Self Hosting

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3 min, 503 words

Over the last few years I built up a sprawling list of dependencies for my home project and blog workflow. Earlier this year I decided it was time to cut down on that list and host my service dependecies locally where I could. While it took me a while I reached a point where I no longer tweak the setup week to week and decided it was time to write up the process.

A quick list of the tools I used for orchestration:

  • shell
  • DNS
  • Traefik2
  • docker/docker-compose
  • alpine linux

(D)DNS

The first thing I needed to do was make my services easy to reach local and remote. Since this is all running behind my home router that also means that my IP can change from time to time. To handle this I made use of Gandi's DNS API, and setup a shell script to run with cron on my router to keep my DNS records up to date. With DNS ready I moved on to Traefik.

Traefik

Traefik is a really nice routing/proxy service that can inspect container labels and setup route forwarding while handling certificate management, traffic metrics and more. The main callout (other than what you will find in the docs ) is to keep an eye on what version you are using versus what others used in examples, and that non http based traffic (for instance ssh) requires a little more setup. Beyond that Traefik has been really nice to use and made adding/removing various services easy when coupled with docker.

docker-compose

While k8s is the current hot orchestration tool I wanted to keep things simple. I don't have a need to cluster any of my home tools, and while distributed systems are interesting they also require a lot of work. I left those at my day job and use compose + duplicity for my home setup. This makes service management easy, the labels allow traefik to detect and handle traffic management while my duplicty ensures I won't lose much work and can quickly restore my data and restart any services in a few minutes on any box with docker.

Services

A quick list of the services I'm hosting:

  • git
  • cgit
  • minio
  • teamcity
  • youtrack
  • rust home services API

The service management can be found here.

Wrap Up

I've started to self host a few times in the past and backed away. This time I think it's here to stay. With my current setup I'm not worried about what happens when something crashes, certificate management is automated away and everything just works. I've linked to my orchestration code above, but if you have any questions, or suggestions send them my way. If you are starting out on your own self hosted setup, good luck, have fun it's easier now than ever and I imagine it will continue to get better.