Self-hosted Weekly #9

I am beginning to understand why a lot of these newsletters are sent early sunday. :-D

This weekend I two examples came my why that highlight the important of digital sovereignty, even when it comes to owning vehicles and hosting your own media server.

Even under these conditions one has to be aware of outside influences like vendors being able to push non auditable or even reversible changes/updates. Or being dependent on outside services like app stores or api/authentification services.

Makeless for Docker based multi server deployments

Makeless is a tool which was only publicly announced last week. It brings its own local configuration files named .makeless.yml and upon execution it will create a docker-compose.yml and zips it up with any local assets. This archive is then uploaded to one or multiple hosts systems where the services will be started up.

From the initial announcement to now checking it out again the documentation has already greatly improved. Who knows maybe Makeless will turn out to be an easier alternative to e.g. Nomad?

Easy snapshot and restore of containers

One of the benefits of using virtual components instead of bare metal is the ability to freeze a current state and returning to it or cloning it to perform tests against the clone instead of the “real deal”.

dksnap is a tool that aims to make snapshots easier to use with Docker containers. One of its benefits (compared to direct interaction with the Docker API) is that dksnap has means to detect running databases and ensures proper restore ability of MySQL, PostgreSQL and MongoDB.

Another personal start page

Another fresh project that only came out this week is DashMachine.

One aspect which intrigues me here is the ability to include live api requests and dynamic information. For Homer, which I mentioned in an earlier issue, there is now a PR to query external data sources as well, but the downside of doing this from the client is that the webservice must allow this kind of embedding (cross site embedding)

Personal document management with Lodestone

Already around for it bit longer, than the last two, but only this week releases a a first beta is Lodestone. Lodestone creates a full text searchable document library. Documents can be added automatically from a file share and organised with tags.

One of its future challenges is that its essentially a “single user only” application that has no means of authenticating or separating users. Retroactively adding such functionality could be a mayor rewrite of its backend.

Get your LDAP infusion

Managing an LDAP server can be a complex task, and understanding its base functionality can be equally complex. A good resource if you want to start your LDAP from scratch is the LDAP book.

And if you did not already start from scratch or running something like Univention Corporate Server or Cloudron then the above resource can offer valuable insights for when you need to scale your setup up.

Automated system setup with Ansible

Ansible can be a valuable tool to make environments uniform and easier to replicate. Sovereign is a set of Playbooks to will setup a complex system offering a wide range of functionality for often seen components for email and file sync & storage, to handling local encryption of data and monitoring and backup of all of it.

Sovereign has also spawn a friendly fork with the called ubermail.

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