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In another classic post by me where I give an update to a post which I only wrote not too long a go, I will be writing about the current status of my self hosting setup, the VPS, PikaPods, my thoughts on what’s next, and trying out a new note taking application.
As I mentioned previously, I was trying out a VPS, initially to self host Calckey and Pixelfed instances, but the idea didn’t work out, and so then used it to self host other applications, including Umami, PrivateBin, and I also dabbled with Gitea since then.
I found myself not using PrivateBin or Gitea enough, though liked Umami knowing basic information about my visitors across my websites, such as how many, if any, were visiting!
However, paying for a VPS just for Umami didn’t feel like it was worth it, and I deleted the VPS shortly before the trial expired.
I never actually explained in my previous posts why I was using a VPS instead of my Raspberry Pi for some of these services. The reason is that while I enjoy self hosting, I would not claim to be good at it.
My setup is run off the default Raspberry Pi OS installation with Docker and Portainer, as well as Tailscale to connect via VPN when outside of my LAN. I don’t want to expose my Raspberry Pi or my LAN to the internet for security and safety reasons. While the system could be fortified to make everything secure, I am not knowledgeable enough or confident enough that I will do a good enough job.
As such, public facing services, such as Calckey, Pixelfed, Umami, PrivateBin, and Gitea were always going to be on a different system, and a different network, than my private facing services. And because of this, I do not feel comfortable setting up Umami on my Raspberry Pi.
I stumbled across PikaPods ages ago when looking for somewhere to create a managed Mastodon instance - and while PikaPods do not offer this as a service, they do manage other “self hosted” applications, including Umami, and for a decent price too.
For just Umami, PikaPods estimate a monthly cost of just $1.2 + tax, and they offer a free $5 of credit for trying the platform out. Depending on what exactly it is you wish to run, such a setup may be cheaper than via a VPS, not to mention easier.
For now, I think the insights Umami provide are worth the low price to PikaPods.
However, I would ideally like a second Rapsberry Pi with YunoHost installed, and use that for public facing services such as Umami, with YunoHost’s OS taking care of the security setup for me. However, with the high price of the Raspberry Pi at the moment, I’m not sure when, if at all, this idea will ever happen.
As to what is next for self hosting, I’m interested in trying out ArchiveBox, evermore so in an era where data and information seems to be disappearing off the internet, and walls are being built around data that was previously easy to access.
I’ll end this post with an overview if where my self hosting setup is currently at:
Not much has changed outside of those that were on the VPS, but I decided that Flatnotes wasn’t for me, and instead tried Memos.
I have nothing particularly bad to say about Flatnotes, I just don’t think its flat file structure was for me where I couldn’t easily see how the files were organised.
Memos, on the other hand, has the tags (which I use as categories for organisational purposes) quickly visible, as well as a nice layout to scroll through the notes, shortcuts, and calendar view. It feels like a place where I can both quickly write down a scrappy note, and keep some information in the long-term.
The downside is that while it was support for Markdown, it does not use Markdown files, and instead runs within a database. I wanted to move away from databases due to concerns over data backups, but I found a plugin for Logseq which syncs it with Memos, essentially creating a backup that way as I can then save the pages Logseq creates.
It is a bit of a clunky process, and I hope the developers of Memos create an in-built process for quickly and easily exporting the notes. However, I like Memos enough (and how there is a great Android app) to keep with it, hoping my clunky process doesn’t break down and I lose everything!