In 1998 the Luon Network was started with the LoTN project (Linux on TU/e Notebooks), by five of us. The main motivation was that the Eindhoven University of Technology provided notebooks to their first year students, and we wanted to assist students who were interested to run Linux on it instead of/next to Windows. One of the goals was gain as much knowledge about the workings of the operating system and make it available to whomever wanted to join us.
Back in those days, it was quite hard to get Linux fully up and running, especially the graphical environment. So, the project started with a bunch of web pages explaining how to get things working with accompanying example configuration files. Because the Internet was not as widely available--dial-in was still the main method to get on-line--it was convenient to have an server that was always available at the university. A server was arranged and put in the archive room of the "studentenburo" of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Because it was also uncommon to have a server at home, shell accounts were provided to the users to learn their way around the system.
In the beginning of 1999, the server we started with was replaced by a
bigger one, which is the one this website still runs on, and we switched
from Slackware to Debian. The
network gained about 30 users, some websites and projects found their home
on the server and we obtained an extra server for the core services. By
then the domain
luon.net was registered and the Luon Network was born.
Due to issues with the place our servers were located, everything had to be temporarily moved to the student society Odin until we found a better place. When in August 2000 Spacelabs was founded, the Luon Network found its current home and was able to spread its wings. We gained and lost dozens of users and also servers who were privately managed by users on which they learnt the ropes of managing a server. Besides that, lots of projects were started and, although not all were finished, are still running on one of our servers.
While the need for the LoTN project has been completely removed by the growing up of GNU/Linux and its distributions, Luon still continues to provide lots of services to their users.
With the closing of Spacelabs in 2011, our servers had to be removed from the premises. All servers were virtualized and hosted on a rented, dedicated server, paid for by our members. Many services got restructed and moved around. Some got dropped, and some got added, but the scope of the network remained the same: providing internet services in a private, trusted setting.