About 6 months ago I did a post about self-hosting: installing versions of server software on your own host, rather than using services provided wholly by another entity (Gmail, Github, etc.). I talked about which services I’m currently self-hosting and which I was thinking about self-hosting.
Let’s get up to speed on what my current status is.
The main pro to self-hosting is control. You, the host, say what is running and how it’s run.
The main con is maintenance. Sure, you also have to set up and configure the software yourself, which can be a nightmare sometimes, but it’s the day-to-day maintenance, which can include patching, fixing bugs, applying security measures, dealing with increasing amounts of data (user- or self-generated), and the like.
That being said, it’s a fun learning process for me just to see if I can run as many services on my own host, and it keeps me a little less reliant on other services in the case of their degredation or actual demise.
Before we get started, a good place to start on your own self-hosting journey, should you embark upon one, is Awesome-Selfhosted. There is a Free alternative to just about every service you can think of.
CURRENT SELF-HOSTED SERVICES
You gotta have a place to express your thoughts, be they long or short, meaningful or flippant.
Mastodon has seen a surge of popularity in the wake of a now-Elon-run Twitter, and I’ve decided to move my Internet blips and blorps over to it. Of course, I had to try running my own instance. It’s been a while since I’ve done anything in Ruby on Rails, but the setup was not too painful. Updates have been easy, too. The community is more early-Internet, barely anyone I know uses it, and I don’t check it obsessively, which is probably a good thing.
Thought about using Matrix, but never got it working. Still using a combination of Slack/Discord/text for now.
Dovecot and Postfix and Mutt has been my go-to combination for domain email for a while. I still use Gmail for 99.9% of email purposes, thought, so I don’t muck with it much. When I do, however, I wish I had a webmail client instead of the CLI, but Roundcube was problematic for me (and slow), so I ditched it in favor of…nothing (for now).
Don’t get me wrong: Feedly is still very, very good and recommended. However, I’ve always wanted something more akin to Google Reader, but self-hosted. I tried FreshRSS at one point, ran into difficulties, and gave up on it.
Recently, I tried FreshRSS again, mainly due to still wanting to have a self-hosted RSS reader with the requisite supported clients, and because the Internet more-or-less deems it the best. This time, for some reason, I was able to get it working to my liking, and started using ReadKit on my phone (my main RSS consumer), and it’s great.
Wallabag may be an unusual name, but it’s a great Read-It-Later service, and I’m still happy using it.
- I don’t share my beautiful code very often, but when I do, I now use Carbon
- Installing Mastodon required me to actually learn NGINX, and in order to be consistent across the board, I changed all my websites to use it, which was a task, but it’s done.
FOR THE ROAD
As you can see, I’m still not 100% self-hosted, but I’ve progressed further towards that as a potential goal. One bummer was Linode got acquired by Akamai, which meant my monthly fee to have a VPS to run all these goodies on went up. Blergh.