A list of software products and services I use both for personal and professional use. I self-host whenever I can, but not always.
When I host, I do so on remote Linux VMs. I don't run anything from home anymore, except for the home automation system (duh!) which runs on a Raspberry Pi.
My database engine of choice is PostgreSQL. My go-to web server/reverse proxy is Nginx. I also host my own DNS servers running ISC BIND9. I backup all my systems and data with Restic, to remote Object Storage with a local replica on a NAS device.
I am naturally drawn toward free and open-source software first, but I recognise the fact that sometimes proprietary/paid software can be more efficient. I'd rather use the software than waste all my time maintaining it.
So here is a list of the main tools and services I use on a daily basis.
- Confluence — wiki, documentation. This one is commercial but for a small team of under 10 people, it costs $10 a year, which is great value (over 10 users it gets much more expensive)
- Nextcloud/Collabora — file and document hosting, groupware (an alternative to Google Apps, OneDrive, O365)
- Zimbra/Z-Push — email and calendaring (an alternative to Gmail, Outlook.com, Yahoo mail)
- eFa Project — mail filtering based on MailScanner/SpamAssassin
- Zabbix— monitoring and alerting
- Gitea — Git version control (an alternative to Github)
- Zammad — helpdesk, support tickets (an alternative to Zendesk)
- MeshCentral — remote desktop assistance (an alternative to Bomgar, Teamviewer)
- Synapse — secure instant messaging using the Matrix protocol (an alternative to Slack)
I have been self-hosting since my first BBS in the early 1990s, and I love the freedom and control. It also helps me understand how things work together. I am a big proponent of the “eat your own dog food” approach: I am a service provider but I can also put myself in my users' shoes.
- WriteFreely — federated blogging
- WordPress — another blog (for family; don't judge)
- Mastodon — federated micro-blogging (an alternative to Twitter)
- PeerTube — federated video sharing (an alternative to Youtube)
- FunkWhale — federated music and podcast sharing (an alternative to… Spotify?)
- Jitsi Meet — video-conferencing (an alternative to Zoom)
- Nextcloud/Collabora — file and document hosting, groupware
- Zimbra/Z-Push — email and calendaring
- Zabbix— monitoring and alerting
- Confluence — wiki, documentation
- Gitea — Git version control
- Bitwarden RS — password management: Rust re-implementation of the Bitwarden server, entirely compatible with the official Bitwarden clients and browser extensions (an alternative to Lastpass)
- Home Assistant — Home automation
Things I used to self-host but don't anymore
These are things I used to self-host but have abandoned for various reasons.
- Asterisk — PBX (phone system) — I now register my phone devices directly to my provider's servers: they provide all the features of Asterisk at no extra cost, with a much better SLA
- InvoiceNinja — excellent invoicing and quoting system. But I don't want to be drowned in accounting tasks and have hired the services of a bookkeeper; as a result I switched to QuickBooks Online. I don't particularly like QuickBooks but I have to admit it makes my life easier and my bookkeeper can connect to my account and fix things directly. I really don't like the fact that you can't take a full backup of your data, though.