I have been self hosting my mail since 2011, over the years I added more data types. The reason I have been self hosting is because I like to own and control my data, and my dislike for sharing my data with Google/Microsoft/Apple and other companies. In this post I am going to share with you my setup, but of course, it is tailored to my needs, and may not suit yours.

Yunohost Logo, CC by-sa-4.0

Server and OS

I have set up the server with Debian (And it is still running until this very day) and added Yunohost on top of it. The main disadvantage to that setup was my ISP refused to set up PTR record for reverse lookup to point at my address. This gave me low marks on email scoring systems.

I lived with the setup for several years. I have been debating whether I should migrate to digital ocean or a similar provider for some time, but then lightsail was announced, and I knew I want to use it. The migration was fairly easy, I just took my mailbox and imported it on the new server.

Software

Mail

As mentioned, I used to host my mail, but over the years, I moved more and more things to my self hosted platform. The first addition was in 2013, when Google announced google reader is being sunset. I really liked the product, and wasn’t too sorry when it went, because it forced me to re-think where I should host my RSS reader. I decided to use tt-rss at first. It was comfortable and easy to use. However, the mobile interface user experience was lacking, and I decided to migrate to something else. I moved to Fressrss, which was really great. I stayed with it for several years and would have stayed with it if Nextcloud wouldn’t have a really great RSS reader. I always prefer to maintain less software, even if it violates the unix way of doing one thing, and doing it well.

Nextcloud

I have configured our smartphones to upload images taken by our cameras to our Nextcloud instance running on our Debian + yunohost server. And took out any data that was stored on Google using Google takeout.

I didn’t want to store our data on EBS drives, and it is not so durable compared to other services, and much more expensive. I decided to use the S3 external storage feature in Nextcloud, on order to get low cost, high durability for our files.

As a matter of fact, I added the calendar, talk, contact and audio player apps as well, in order to cover for a good calendaring app, a communication app instead of meet/whatsapp/telegram/signal/hangout etc, contacts instead of google contacts my phone was using by default, and the audio player to play my music.

This setup basically covers all my self hosting needs in terms of private data.

Blog

For the most basic tracking I have setup Matomo, just so I know what people actually read, and what I write simply for myself.

IRC

What is left to do

Git server

Cost

Maybe not for everyone, but worth a thought a least.

Originally published at https://www.matanyamos.es on December 27, 2020.

People, Process, Tooling