Episode 139

Manuel Riel on PikaPods, a container hosting service for open source apps


September 23rd, 2022

29 mins 24 secs

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Special Guest

About this Episode


Manuel Riel


Richard Littauer | Justin Dorfman

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source for the long haul. Today, we are super excited to have as our guest, Manuel Riel, joining us from Austria. Manu ran a web development agency and launched multiple open source related products, including an invoice processing tool, and a backup service. He’s also the Co-founder of PikaPods, which is a container hosting service for open source apps. Manu is with us to talk about PikaPods. We’ll find out what it does, why it’s needed, the benefits of having it, the most popular app, and plans he has in the future for PikaPods. Go ahead and download this episode to learn more!

[00:01:23] Manu tells us his background, what PikaPods is, and about the apps.

[00:03:32] What’s the difference between Heroku, Netlify, and PikaPods?

[00:04:29] Since you can’t run your own stuff and you can’t edit the apps, Manu explains how this is an open source marketplace. We hear about PikaPods user base, how long he’s been up and running, and how many people are using the platform.

[00:06:11] Manu explains the one source of revenue they provide to open source office.

[00:09:06] We hear Manu’s selling point he pitches to open source maintainers and open source projects.

[00:11:45] Why did Manu choose to work with open source projects to host when there are other things available to him? Why PikaPods?

[00:13:32] Justin brings up pricing on PikaPods site and comments a trend with the ones that paid the least had the most demands. He wonders how Manu deals with that.

[00:15:04] Justin wonders if the services are subsidized by using the BorgBase infrastructure, and Manu explains how they are totally separate, and he tells us about his team.

[00:16:31] We hear if there are any collabs with maintainers Manu is working with since there are a lot of projects he hosts.

[00:18:02] Find out PikaPods most popular app, if there’s a limit, and if bandwidth is an issue.

[00:21:17] Manu shares some things he would like to do in the future with PikaPods.

[00:23:35] How does Manu position himself in the ecosystem and are there other things that could be used in collaboration with PikaPods that makes it easier for maintainers?

[00:25:37] Find out where you can follow Manu and PikaPods online.


[00:10:08] “Hosting is not a good fit for part-time maintainers because it’s a big responsibility.”

[00:12:20] “The motivating event for me was the Log4j Vulnerability.”


  • [00:26:42] Justin’s spotlight is pydantic, data validation and settings management using Python type hints.
  • [00:27:10] Richard’s spotlight is Amna Shamim.
  • [00:27:36] Manu’s spotlight is Uptime Kuma, a fancy self-hosted monitoring tool.



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