I have been self hosting my own services for years. I originally started doing so to practice new skills early in my career, then increasingly for privacy by definitively owning my own data. Since I started I have added more services to enrich and control my online experience. I recently overhauled and upgraded how I self host after a few years of inertia. I am pretty happy with where my efforts led and thought I'd share a little more about what I did.
One reason I was eager to use Kubernetes with my recent self-hosting upgrade was how much faster it will make experimenting with new services. Unlike my older docker-compose based setup there is an ecosystem of pre-packaged resources to add to a cluster with minimal configuration. For any custom configuration not from a package, jsonnet and kubecfg help me abstract over the often repetitive syntax for Kubernetes. The first new service I wanted to try out in my cluster was Mastodon.
I am enjoying a week off, to celebrate fifty years so far on this planet. I thought I'd write as part of this time I made for myself. I have been self hosting my own services for a while--email, web sites, shared contacts and calendars, RSS aggregator, and others. I recently upgraded and expanded my fleet. I now host a couple of instances of Mastodon. One of them is the social outlet of this site, thecommandline.social.
I was chatting with my good friend, Chris, recently. He had asked for my advice and help. He wanted to brush up on and add to his programming skills. I recommended a language to consider, a couple of books that have helped me gain a working fluency with it, and a newsletter on the same. We scheduled a time for a video chat where he had many excellent questions from his reading so far. Our chat brought up some unexpected memories that yielded a fresh insight and reminded me of an old one. There are things about being a manager I hadn't realized I missed. Helping my friend approach a professional transition reminded me of some helpful thoughts from my last move from management back to contributor.
After reading yesterday's Pluralistic, I realized a few parallels with Cory's reflection on the past three years of his current web-writing setup. I've experimented with many similar tools and concepts. I'm inspired to take that experimentation back up and reminded that writing for myself, however rough it ends up, is still worthwhile. More interestingly I realized that how I read the web has evolved in similar ways to Cory's writing.
I continue to work on this site, either migrating old content or re-writing it to be more up to date.