I am a fan of the idea of selfhosting, where people create and use their own internet service instead of using one of the large services that we all have come to love to hate. I would also regard myself as an advocate for selfhosting.

For example, instead of using WhatsApp, I have built my own implementation of the matrix.org messaging service. Instead of using Dropbox or Google Drive, I have an instance of Nextcloud that I and my family use.

Looking at the Other Gibiris Sites menu above, you'll see the other services I have (or used to have!) implemented on and for my own domain.

Some years ago I came across a super resource for learning about the various ways people can set up different types of internet services in their own domain. The Awesome Selfhosted (github) project maintains a list of Free Software projects that people can install and run for themselves, instead of using1 one of the larger, dominant, near-or-actually-monopolistic services that we would all be familiar with.

It is my plan, starting in September 2020, to do a monthly round-up of some of the packages that are listed on that page. The approach I am thinking of taking is as follows:

  • I'll pick a day of the month (e.g. the first)
  • I'll compare the changes to the list since the last review.
  • For any new project, I'll provide a brief review, detailing some or all of the following
    • What it does
    • How easy it is to get
    • What you need to have in place before you can install it
    • How easy it is to install and configure
    • How well it works – particularly how easy it might be to maintain, and how easy it is for users to make use of it
    • The nature of the software licence, and what that might mean for the self-hoster.
    • The level of sysadmin skill needed to run it2
  • I'll make a note of any projects that have been removed from the list (and why, if that's easy to discern), and of any changes to the details of other projects that are important to note.
  • Finally, I'll pick 1 or 2 packages pre-existing on the list and review them as featured packages.

I don't know how much work this will require, and if it's too much, I'll have to scale down the reviews a bit. However, hopefully it will be a little bit of fun.

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and being used by!


This will be hard, as I may not be able to judge this well; I have been doing this kind of thing for fun since the '90s.