Self-hosted Weekly #8

another slightly delayed issue, now sitting at home and resting for the upcoming sunday, where I’ll visit FOSDEM in Brussels.

A few days earlier a nice example about the importance of self-hosting and digital sovereignty made it rounds, when Russia decided to block the Protonmail service, and this wasn’t even the first time. Blocking a centrally managed service is easy, its what people running local network ad blockers do all the time. But blocking something on the protocol level (which would require packet inspection) is a way heavier task and is therefore something that external actors are less likely to be able to cut off from you.

Cloud browser and VDI

Having easy access do a browser/desktop running on a server does not only help reaching resources that would otherwise not be available from your current device/location, but can equally be a tool to to protect your data and your privacy. And this is exactly what Kasm has set out to do. Not only do they offer access web-based access to a session in Google Chome, Firefox and even the Tor Browser, but they even provide images giving a full desktop experience, optionally even with tools such as VS Code preinstalled. And all this is even coming as disposable and non-permanent containers.

Currently I am doing something similar by running a container with Ubuntu-xrdp on my NAS, but I’ll definitely have a look at Kasm in the future.

Another contender for port forwarding services

After last weeks list of services to make to easily expose local services to the internet I have rediscovered another solution for this use case. Inlets does not only allow to reverse proxy http connections, but also arbitrary tcp connections. Although it was not immediately clear to me of the latter only works with their paid for hosted service.

Dokku, the self-hosted PaaS for developers

Dokku is a project that has already been around for a few year. Its aim is to give developers an easy to replicate environment to host their own applications and their dependencies (such as databases, caching servers, message queues and so on).

Bitwarden for self-hosted passwords

Password managers are a hugely important factor in todays world, and not even do they have to be trusted to hold all your keys to your most beloved services and applications, they also need to be conveniently used from all the platforms that you use on a daily basis.

Bitwarden_rs is a Rust based implementation of the backend API of Bitwarde an equally open-source password manager, but instead focussed on very easy small scale deployments.

In his blog Self Hosting all the things Ben shows how to utilise Dokku to run your own instance of Bitwarden.

In case you are not already running Dokku, but maybe rather UCS, then my own Univentin-Bitwarden project could be interesting to you.

Task manager for long running tasks

Pueue is a small daemon that you run on your machine and that can manage one off long running tasks for you (copy/backup jobs, media transcoding, etc) that you otherwise would need to keep terminals open for. With pueue you instead pass the command over to a service that keeps track of execution, parallelisation and command output.

Dehydrated has moved to a new home

Dehydrated has been around for pretty much the same time as Let’s Encrypt. It’s a “simple” bash script and while it does not bring auto configuration for webservers, one can just call out scripts through hooks to let it do exactly what you want.

Interesting new project: Monitor reliability of your mailserver

Not actually landing in someone elses inbox, but the spam folder instead is one of the big challenges when self-hosting e-mail. There a lot of things one can configure (dkim, et al) but if the IP already comes with a bad reputation one is in for a rough ride.

Part of the problem is actually realising that Google decided one should not be viewed in somebody elses inbox. A tool that promises to help here is Lightmeter. It was recently announced as a “tech preview” so it will be interesting how this progresses.

I am always looking for new projects to try out! Just send a mail to selfhosted-newsletter@9wd.eu.

I hope you have enjoyed this issue. If this newsletter was useful to you please recommend it to colleges or tell them to subscribe to it via RSS.

Have a nice weekend! Felix