Nik Kantar

Sunday, April 30, 2023
3 min read

Self-Hosting: Resolved?

I tried hosting my own stuff and failed.

TL;DR: I tried. I really did. It just isn’t for me, at least not right now.

Over the past eight months, I’ve been on a self-hosting journey. It started with some annoyances and ideas, then I actually did something about them, and over the last couple of weekends I undid it all, basically. Let me explain.

When I moved all my stuff to my now-defunct server, I picked Ubuntu LTS and didn’t even customize it much. I managed the state of the box via Ansible so I wouldn’t lose track of stuff, and deployed every project via Docker’s docker compose. This gave me a pretty decently simple setup that shouldn’t have been a whole lot of work to maintain. But I didn’t do that. I didn’t maintain anything at all.

From the day I launched the VM some seven/eight months ago until I just destroyed it minutes ago, I updated things on it exactly zero times. Not the sites—those I deployed as needed—but the actual host OS itself. Zero updates. None of the security ones, none of the extras, and certainly no kernel upgrades or anything like that. In the meantime a friend of mine got hit by malware and even had to start anew, and I did nothing to help myself.

I just couldn’t be bothered.

I couldn’t bring myself to devote even a little bit of time to running sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade and seeing if things would just keep working, which they probably would have. I couldn’t bring myself to build a fresh server and swap it out underneath this one, which would’ve been trivial. I most certainly couldn’t bring myself to read any relevant release notes and changelogs.

This tells me I’m just not willing to be a SysAdmin, at least not right now.

So, in order to avoid security issues stemming from pure laziness, last weekend I moved everything to a new stack of providers and services:

After a week of ensuring DNS has properly propagated and the server isn’t actually serving anything to anyone any longer, I destroyed it today.

And now I’m free.

Until the next time I feel the urge to try something different yet again…

Tags: projects

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