Simplify Home Server and Email Stack

YunoHost is doing it’s job commendably. But ive grown to dislike it for a few reason.

  • It configures all applications with lots of specific assumptions about media folder hiearchy that I find annying ultimately.
  • It’s NextCloud app doesn’t track upstream well, and tends to lag behind in security updates between major version changes.
  • I keep circling back to NextCloud being overkill for my needs, everytime I use it. And ive gotten back to that again.
  • NextCloud android synching is full of lies.

I don’t like the following things about self hosting email.

  • It’s honestly a bit nerve racking. I’ve not made any mistakes yet, and I keep lots of secure backups of my config and maildir. But everytime there is a delay in recieving an email I wonder if it’s my fault.
  • A few parts of the internet seem to be offended by me having an email address, whose domain ends in “.in”. Ive been in a couple loops where I can succesfully verify my email with a few businesses, but they then randomly later flag my email as invalid. Leaving me in verification loops. Ive had to move a few of these to my backup tutanota address.

@Maiki at one point recommended I look into less cloud synchronization and think in terms of more portable storage. (I forget where) but that has some appeal.

I wanna do the following things:

Replace homeserver with portable storage; and syncthing. (Syncthing so far has been the best thing ive ever used, in terms of simplicity, security, set it and forget it-ness.)
Figure out a backup strategy for the portable storage. Because im paranoid about loosing data. Maybe periodically mirror it to another drive? rsync, git-annex, etc?
Figure out what to do if anything about contact syncing.
Move my domain’s MX Records to Tutanota (contigent on them getting calendar invite support. Though ive been looking at their git repos and it looks to be comming soon.)
Figure out new use for homserver hardware or give to a good home.

I feel like syncthing is the best thing for a single person, while Nextcloud assists with sharing with others. The reason I don’t propose running a group Nextcloud is because I don’t want to get stuck with hosting it. :nerd_face:

You sure about that? Mine accurately reports it has failed to sync constantly. :rofl:

Regarding email: I use gandi mailboxes going to Discourse, and mailgun for delivery (basically the exact setup we have for mailing and interacting with talkgroup). Because all my messages I end up deleting or moving into my personal Discourse, this cuts out the manual copying.

What I’m trying to say is: I defeated email, and have never looked back. :sunglasses:

Oh, except I don’t send email, just reply. Because maiki does that, in general. YMMV.

Let’s do an audit: what kind of files, how do they break down storage-wise, what’s their importance, etc. Because…

One way I’m thinking of moving my media files into torrent magnets, as the most direct way to share/distribute media and archives. If most folks leave all their shows on Netflix’ servers, I can rely on the torrentsphere to move files around as needed.

For personal files I’m not so sure. What happened to tahoeFS and kin? Do we have a shared, redundant, pooled, peer storage thing that we can pod up and store each others encrypted photos?

Yeah, my email-fu is probably incompatible with yours. :face_with_monocle:

Raise your hand if you’ve got an extra server that needs to peer-network with your friends’!


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Both the fiance and I came with large optical disk collections. Every once in a while I go on a ripping spree, and dream of oneday having it all digital. I think though part of this needs to be going through my files what can stay what can go. What might be exceedingly hard to replace, even by torrent that im actually going to rewatch one day. Etc.

Some stuff is DRM free backups of digital media I purchased. Radio dramas , audio books.

Some of it is music, and it really behooves me to figure out what I wanna do and how I feel about it.

I want something like this, but everytime I try to read tahoeFS docs my eyes glaze over.

Yeah a lot of my social group lives and dies by email based calendar invites.

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Migrated back to syncthing and portable storage, pretty easily. Joplin so far has kind of been the missing link for me in terms of note taking storage with this setup. As it supports setting up a sync folder for use with a syncthing like service, and even works in Android and in Windows so I can synchronize my notes with my work machine (of which I have no choice but to run windows on).

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I’ve looked at Joplin but dismissed it because of node; so far I’ve been able to hold off from needing it for anything. But I started using syncthing with taskwarrior and wow, that’s amazing. I even thought I might configure an inbox I have to use Maildir, to syncthing.

AppImage… does that work as a binary? Is there a way to use Joplin without node?

v1 AppImage did. Most v2 AppImage’s these days mount as a fuse filesystem, with binaries within it.

It is node/electron based. I’ve recently given up my own personal embargo on electron. Im still not a fan, but too many otherwise good apps. Atleast electron finally made it into FreeBSD ports.

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Will probably be figuring out how to migrate over to Tutanota here in the next week or two. Might be putting the calendar invites through some testing first though. I’ve noticed over the years from not being on the most popular email platforms, that they can be kind of squirrely.

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Suddenly realized last night if I spin down caldav/carddav I loose contact syncing. Do I need it? Should I just trade around vcards between my laptop and phone? Is there a peer to peer solution?

I use jabber to send my self vcards, when I used vcards. Now I use jabber to to hold all my contacts, so I don’t need to move them around. :slight_smile:

Though your kinda post-phone-calls-and-sms @maiki right? Or does conversations sync with the android phone contacts.

DecSync seems promising: GitHub - 39aldo39/DecSync: Synchronize RSS, contacts, calendars and other key-value mappings without a server

My phone number is a gateway to a jabber service, so each contact is an address such as So my roster is a set of gateway aliases to the SMS system. :slight_smile:

I call groups all the time now, but it is always call in numbers, not something to track in contacts.

Also, the gateway receives and transcribes voicemail, and jabbers the wav and text to me. :sunglasses:

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Your deffinitely WINNING there. That is so freaking cool. Im not too ready to transition entirely over to such a scheme, but I continue to be impressed by it.


Pointed my MX and other email DNS records records to tutanota this morning. Tested email/calendaring and confirmed the fallback for my old FSF assoc members mailbox are all functional.


DecSync is proving to be very interesting. Its going to be taking over my contact syncing on my phone and ill be able to view edit contacts on my laptop with Kadressbook using the radicale<->decsync solution provided by the author.

Out of scope for this but I could see DecSync RSS shenanigans taking over my RSS reading. Letting me synchronize my read status between my phone and tablet without need of a centralized server.


I really wanted this, that seemed like the best, especially when I was going to the library for net access; take phone down to wifi, sync up, bring home to LAN, sync up, use full computer for viewing.

I’ve also messed with newsboat + syncthing (just a share, nothing fancy), but newsboat isn’t packaged conveniently for me.

The flipside to using a server (I use FreshRSS on shared host): it is fast! It’s just an index of posts waiting for you to sync, rather than the processing all the feeds. Also also, you can configure your feed server to use OpenNIC and sub to feeds from all over the place. :slight_smile:

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