Citadel OS vs Umbrel OS

Citadel OS, originally a fork of Umbrel OS, has undergone significant transformation over time. One of the most noteworthy updates to Citadel OS is its migration to the Nirvati-based Ecosystem.

This transition has led to substantial improvements and features that set Citadel OS apart. For Umbrel OS users seeking a compelling alternative, this page will delve into the compelling reasons to consider Citadel OS with its upgraded Nirvati-based Ecosystem.

Citadel OS
Umbrel OS
Non-commercial Commercial

This means Citadel is fully open source and no one can restrict your freedom when using it.
Polyform Noncommercial

This license helps Umbrel earn money by restricting the ability to sell hardware with Umbrel, the ability to modify it and also restricts commercial use in general.

App permissions Strict permission system that prevents apps from doing anything malicious All apps have full system access
App locking Every app is responsible for their own access control All apps protected by Umbrel authentication (+ their own password in some cases)
HTTPS Built-in

Helps protect your local connections; great for running public sites

Not supported
Speed on the Raspberry Pi 1.8 GHz 1.5 GHz
Software stack Debian 11
Docker Compose v2
Debian 10
Docker compose v1
Site speed

According to benchmarks in June 2023 using PageSpeed Insights

Very fast Slow
App updates In most cases delivered within a few days after release Often delayed
Lightning Full integration for both Core Lightning and LND, apps that support them can use whatever is installed Often separate apps for LND & Core Lightning, Core Lightning integration lacking
Telemetry Does not track you, unless you explicitly opt in to share data with us Tracks your IP address (which can reveal your location) and installed Umbrel version

(Tracking introduced in version 0.5.4)

Upgrade to Citadel OS

Citadel OS includes an Umbrel OS compatibility mode. This allows you to run any Umbrel app in an isolated environment on Citadel OS. We try to be as strict as possible with permissions to prevent malicious apps from accessing your node, however, any app in Umbrel compatibility mode will have access to your Lightning node.

We’re currently working on an easy way for Umbrel OS users to upgrade to Citadel OS. This feature is launching soon, and we’ll post updates on our blog.