~ecs/ecs.d2evs.net

6db24814ff8203fb6b4f16c717b5ef345998ea37 — Eyal Sawady 5 months ago c0206dd
Self-hosting my life
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Over the last few months, I've grown to despise the way most people now
interact with computers. A typical person:

- Uses Gmail for their email. Some folks may still some other megacorp
  email, but rarely will folks even use their own domain name.
- Uses Google to search the web. Because we [all](amp) [know][dragonfly]
  [that][youtube-censorship] [Google][general-censorship] can be
  trusted.
- Uses Discord, Skype, Zoom, and other proprietary chat programs.
- Uses Spotify (or a competitor) for music.
- Uses Netflix to watch movies and TV shows.
- Uses Facebook, Twitter, or some competitor.
- Uses Windows or macOS. Some people don't even have non-mobile devices.

[amp]: https://amp.dev
[dragonfly]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonfly_(search_engine)
[youtube-censorship]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23223219
[general-censorship]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_by_Google

You get the idea.

Each service we use that's operated by someone other than ourselves is
another point of failure in our lives. Each of these corporations is
handling staggeringly large amounts of personal data. When (not if)
these companies go belly-up, they inevitably will take peoples' online
lives with them. I think it's clear to see that these are horrible
companies, to be avoided at all cost. But what's the alternative?

Enter FOSS[^1]. Over the past 30ish years, millions of man-hours have
been put into creating an ecosystem of open-source[^2] tools. It's
feasible to run a daily-driver computer with 100% free software. But
why stop there? There are open-source self-hostable solutions for
practically all of these.

[^1]: Free and Open-Source Software. Loosely, this is where programmers make the secret sauce that powers their programs tick publicly available. Even better, they take contributions!

[^2]: I use the terms "FOSS", "free software", and "open-source" interchangeably. Some people don't, and that's a topic for another day.

A quick overview, only including what I was able to set up within 20
days:

- Postfix/Dovecot for email, as well as [alps
  webmail](https://git.sr.ht/~emersion/alps)
- The Lounge for some the non-techies, and a normal IRC bouncer for myself
- I'm actually quite happy with a combination of mpd and mpv, though
  I'm considering setting up FunkWhale
- A Pleroma instance
- Finally, this blog

Surprisingly enough, the last one took the most time, since I opted to
use [wersh](https://git.sr.ht/~ecs/wersh) instead of a more "normal"
framework. I'm rather proud of where I ended up, check out [the
code](https://git.sr.ht/~ecs/ecs.d2evs.net) if you're curious!

While setting these up took some time, it's a fixed time-sink, with a
low maintenance cost. If you'd like to migrate off of any of these
services but don't have the technical experience, [send me an
email](mailto:ecs@d2evs.net)!