This website, my email, contact and calendar are all self-hosted.
This page is a commentary and supplemental guide for Derek Siver's "Tech Independence". Follow the instruction on that page for detailed setup instructions.
- The servers are run on a virtual machine from Vultr.
- The OS is OpenBSD.
- I use ssh to login to the server from my laptop.
- All work on the server is conducted via the command line; Terminal on Mac.
- Server configuration and setup was assist through the use of Derek's sive.rs/ti.sh installation script.
- Sign up for Vultr, with the specifications recommended by Derek.
- Acquire a domain name if necessary. (I use Porkbun)
- Set the domain nameservers to the Vultr defaults (ns1.vultr.com and ns2.vultr.com). This takes time to take effect. See "DNS propagation". Mine took ~40 hours to propagate to the server...
- Verify the DNS name servers have propagated using DNS Checker . Once it shows the vultr nameservers, continue with Derek's instructions to access the server and run the setup script.
Additional Setup (optional)
- DMARC record (to support email deliverability) - more here
- Install Vim
- .profile and .vimrc configuration (to improve the user experience through UI customizations)
- Additional users (for additional email addresses; I have 2 main ones and a few for special purposes.)
- Setup cloud storage (I use StorageBox)
- Setup "aliases" to make common commands easier/faster to execute.
- Practice publishing to the website.
- Establish routine backups.
- If you're new to using the command line, it will take a bit of time to get comfortable. It gets easier with practice and is a worthwhile skill to develop, IMO.
- If you mess up, just restart the process as he highlights. It gets easier and faster to setup once you're familiar. The reps will help you understand the setup and process.
- Once it is fully setup and you are ready to start using the services, make sure you have a backup process in place. Using self-hosted services makes you more personally responsible for the safety, security and reliability of your data. Make sure to take that seriously.
- For a list of tools and services I use, click here.
- For my web publishing workflow using this setup, click here.
- Gmail deliverability (solution pending with Mailjet support).
Of important note: While Derek's installation script is helpful in getting started, it is important to learn about the underlying systems yourself to develop self-reliance. I am no expert, so obviously follow these personal notes with a grain of salt and do your own research. I am sharing my notes in case they may help someone along their journey.