Self Hosting Series: 01 – It Starts Here

The progression through my technology life has spent plenty of time migrating to different services and platforms, mostly as my understanding and needs change. In this case, over the past year or two, I’ve been focusing on data privacy and security.

The first stage of this was finding various services, ideally with Linux support, to help progressively shift away from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and other services, where possible. The focus being towards providers with better privacy, ideally encryption options, and with options to pay for services directly, instead of via ads and my data. At some point I’ll detail the various services I’ve been using as I work on this next step.

The last few days as I was researching note taking options, in place of EverNote or OneNote, a lot of services were referencing self-hosted open source models, which previously I never explored. As I kept reading, and given I’ve been working in the tech industry over a decade, self-hosting had my attention. It felt like the right time to step away from services hosted by others, even those I trust, and toward self-hosted solutions. The obvious solutions given I don’t have hardware or a remotely fast enough internet connection, is a VPS Host provider.

I read plenty of reviews, comments, features, and documentation, to determine my variety of interests for self hosted would best be satisfied by DigitalOcean.

Over the course of this Self Hosted Series, with an undefined timeline, I’m going to detail, comment and review as I setup various services on my Digital Ocean VPS. The link above and expected elsewhere in this series is my referral link for DigitalOcean to help support my site, but this is not pre-paid advertising or placement, and I selected this service of my own accord based on my needs. Using the referral you get a free $10 Credit to try the services out, and it helps out this site.

To start this series off, I’m running on just the base level 1GB Mem / 1 vCPU host, which I can easily scale resources up on later as needed. My initial thoughts are to migrate this WordPress, setup a NextCloud instance for cloud storage, setup FreshRSS for my feed aggregator and I may also look at setting up Turtl for my notes and bookmarking. I’m also interested in testing it out hosting my small private Minecraft server, but that’s further down the list. It’s currently on a Minecraft host and paid for well into next year, and I might prefer it on its own VPS with dedicated resources. I expect I’ll continue to discover services I would like to add to this list as I keep researching.

The pace of these articles will heavily depend on my regular work and travel, but I’m motivated and interested in moving these services through the end of the year. If your likewise interested in self hosting a service to reclaim your data ownership, check out DigitalOcean


All I’ve completed tonight beyond signing up and spinning up my main VPS, which will be Ubuntu 18.04 LTS based (Arch isn’t an option), is the basic steps to create my non-root account with Sudo access, and sort out my SSH keys for secure console access. I’ll complete the rest of the initial basic setup very soon, and do a post on the full initial setup, tonight’s post is an impromptu introduction to the series.

Scott Haner

Thanks for reading TechZerker! I’m Scott, a Canadian tech professional for over a decade with a wide range of experience. I created TechZerker as my own source to talk about a variety of tech subjects, from reviews of hardware I get my hands on, challenges I see in my tech work, gaming with focus on nostalgic gaming (games over 10-ish years old, but not Retro), and more recently my explorations in Linux and Linux gaming as a long time Windows Insider and fan. I am passionate about the tech I work and live with and enjoy a good, intelligent discussion on all these topics.