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Ring joins GNU - Beta 2 Released with Multi-Device and Decentralized Use

From: Alexandre Viau
Subject: Ring joins GNU - Beta 2 Released with Multi-Device and Decentralized Username Registry
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2016 22:11:58 -0400
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Ring is free software for universal communication which respects
freedoms and privacy of its users. The program allows users to
communicate with each without relying on a centralized server to relay
messages. It uses distributed hash tables for establishing
communication. This avoids keeping centralized registries of users and
storing personal data.

Ring is mostly developed by Savoir-faire Linux, a Free Software
consulting company based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is based on
SFLPhone, which was a SIP/IAX2 compatible softphone for GNU/Linux.

This announcement is twofold:
- The project joins GNU as an official GNU package.
- We have just released "Beta 2 - Gaston Miron", which is an important
milestone for Ring.

Binary packages are available on our download page:

You may obtain the source for the first Beta2 release at the following

If you are already a Ring user, note that this release is not backwards
compatible. On first launch, you will be asked to migrate your account.
Migrating can only be done in one direction and Beta2 users are only
able to communicate with other Beta2 users.

Other than the many bugfixes, here are the most important changes
included in "Beta 2 - Gaston Miron".

Multi-Device support
This feature greatly improves the usability of Ring. You may now share
only one RingID to your friends and they will be able to reach you no
matter what device you are on. Ring users are now able to register
additional devices to an existing accounts. Sending text messages to a
RingID will send messages to all devices owned by this RingID, the same
goes for calls.

Decentralized username registry (experimental)
New and existing users may now register a username. This will allow them
to share a username instead of a RingID. The default username database
is public and fully decentralized. It works using Ethereum, a
decentralized platform that runs smart contracts using a blockchain.

The source code for this new registration server can be found on gerrit:
 - git clone

By default, Ring is configured to query the name server at,
which is an HTTP REST API that talks to the decentralized registry
program. We haven't yet documented how to setup a node and join the
network for the registry, but we will do that in the future. Eventually,
everyone should be able to run a node and won't have to query the server
at, you could connect to your local node instead.

Ring URIs
The decentralized registry is not the only option. Ring now supports
URIs. For example, calling "ring:address@hidden" would query via HTTP for the RingID of "aviau". This allows for
creating many other registries.

We are still in Beta, so you must expect rough edges. However, this
release is an important step towards making Ring easier to use and more

Alexandre Viau
Savoir-faire Linux
Free Software Consultant
Co-Maintainer of GNU Ring

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