What exactly is Umbrel?

What exactly is Umbrel?


When I came across Umbrel for the first time, I thought that this was just used to run Bitcoin Full Nodes & operate Lightning channels. But I was wrong by a long margin.

While reading about it, they started with this mission and very well also achieved it with time. This is evident in this graph shared by the Umbrel CEO in his blog


Since the inception of Umbrel, the number of nodes has risen up proportionally to the number of Umbrel running. Cool.

But Umbrel can do more stuff than that.

Umbrel - The Software

Umbrel is built to run on top of Docker and Docker containers. So, you can pull and run Docker images using Umbrel on Raspi, Ubuntu, and Debian devices. Even you can deploy your own apps on Umbrel and run them, Just like I do, Easy!!!

(Note: I know nothing about Docker & you don't have to know either to do this).


This is one of the benefits of self-hosting servers. Umbrel acts as an OS for letting you host your apps(and also easily run Bitcoin Node).

So how it works??

Well, they have built an open-source software that pulls Docker images as per the Docker-Compose file with some requirements and then runs it on your local machine through your local IP address. Some of the requirements are :

  • The image should be arm compatible i.e. devices that don't require Fans(haha!!!)

  • The image should be OpenSource(Not Official info., my own personal opinion)

Check out my blog on how to publish apps on Umbrel App Store. (the wrong way!!!)

Umbrel - The Hardware

Recently Umbrel Inc. launched its flagship hardware product The "Umbrel Home"

It takes away all the pain of setting up a Raspberry Pi 4 to run UmbrelOS and also it performs way better than RP4. This tiny device looks small but houses 2TB of fast NVMe SSD and 16GB dual-channel RAM. Both of these components alone cost around 14-15k INR.

My opinion is if you are a techie then I would suggest you take the RasPi route now or build a mini-PC from youtube and install Umbrel on it. You will be saving at least half the cost and get better performance(if it matters anyways...).

I don't have much to talk about Umbrel Home as I haven't tried it. I am running a RasPI4 happily and will continue to do so unless Umbrel sends me one to try out :)


Umbrel is not FOSS.

Umbrel is an open-source software for personal use only. It is licensed under Polyform Project and not free and open, which absolutely makes sense. Microsoft is not even OSS for personal use. No one on this planet has seen the Microsoft code apart from the internal devs of the company. At least we must appreciate the effort the Umbrel team has put to build something and making it open for the world to see, very rarely people do that. And now they will be making a profit too, which means they will be alive in the next decade also, so we get to see more OSS which is great.


I do strongly believe the next decade will be a boom for the open-source world. Why?????? -> The topic for my next

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