Self Hosting

Self Hosting

“If something is free, you’re not the customer; you’re the product.”
― Bruce Schneier,

While privacy tools are fantastic, they sometimes miss the true root of the problem. In times of increasing censorship and data theft, owning your data is the best way to increase your privacy and security while dramatically reducing your ability to be censored. When done right, much of this can be done very cheaply. If you already own your hardware much of the software is free or very cheap. Instead of never ending subscriptions and increasing costs with big tech, simply remove them from your life by self hosting. Take back your digital sovereignty.

Camera Systems

  • Ezvidoo - EZVidoo is a free CCTV surveillance software for Windows, Linux, and Raspberry Pi. It supports IP Cameras by default, local USB cams, and Camera Audios.EZVidoo also supports numerous sensor types as motion, audio, object, face, and person sensors. By default, it offers a recording support on 24/7 basic, and features, alerts, notifications and mobile access. Not open source.
  • Ispyconnect - Free and Open source Camera software. Comptabile with a wide range of camera devices.
  • - An open, scalable and modular solution that supports your usecases at home up to large scale production video landscapes.

Cloud Document Services

  • Cryptpad - End-to-end encrypted and open-source collaboration suite, that can be used in the cloud or self hosted. Google docs alternative.

  • OnlyOffice - Includes Free Cloud, Paid Cloud, and Self Hosted options

  • Standard Notes - One of the top note taking apps. Self hostable, includes 2FA, E2E, scheduled email back ups and more. Charges for the higher level plans with more features.

Cloud Hosting

Open Source as a Service

  • Federated.Computer - Great open-source replacements for Dropbox, Google Workplace, Zoom, Slack, Airtable, Mailchimp, 1Password, Netlify, Github, Calendy, your spying VPN and much more for the low price of $39 a month. As many users as you want. Only pay for more storage when/if you need it.Federated includes Human Support and full Backups. The benefits of self-hosting without the day-to-day high-stakes drudgery. Affiliate Link

  • Disroot - Privacy focused ecosystem. Provides multiple cloud services. Including Email, nextcloud, cryptpad etc…

  • NextCloud - Self hosted cloud software for a massive amount of options. Takes a bit of config, but nextcloud functions as a full Google Docs replacement in addition to many other options including music and video hosting. Also provides cloud hosting if you do not wish to self host. Next Cloud is currently available in other Privacy focused eco systems like Start9, Umbrel, Yunohost, Dietpi and many more, with just a few clicks. Or you can self host on your OS of choice.

  • Cryptee Encrypted cloud storage of photos and videos. Solo use only, cant share docs.

  • Koofr - Allows for importing of Drive, Drobox etc. Privacy focused cloud storage free up to 10 Gb’s.

  • AllMyLinks - Link tree alternative in the event of censorship.All your weblinks in one simple place.

  • LibertyLinks - Link tree alternative in the event of censorship.All your weblinks in one simple place.

  • CoinDrop- Like link tree but specifically for cryto web wallets. All your wallets and donation methods in one simple place.

Operating Systems

While more well known OSes like Windows server or Ubuntu server are great, their are other lesser known OSes purpose built to help people self host, by prepackaging applications in nice ready made GUI. This can be especially useful for less technical users.

  • ProxMox - Proxmox is the primary open source solution for virtual machine hosting. Like VmWare or Hyper V except Proxmox offers you the ability to run multiple virtual servers on a single physical server, easily allowing you to run several different software Operating systems for zero cost. Comes with snapshots, backups, server monitoring and much more.

  • Start9 - Start OS makes self hosting sovereign apps easy, not completely open source. Currently routes all services over TOR or lets you host over LAN. This increases privacy but can make things more difficult to interact with Non TOR/Start9 users. Heavily supports bitcoin software and includes a NOSTR node and several other tools. While their is currently no clearnet support, StartOS is overall very stable. Start9 also offers some of the better documentation and error handling. Save 5% on any S9 Server with code “LOTR”

  • Umbrel - Interface that makes self hosting sovereign apps easy. Beautiful interface but still needs a few bugs worked out. Apps are difficult to config after being setup. Offers lots of Bitcoin Node Software. Umbrel and StartOS are very similar options as they both focus heavily on BTC and Lightning nodes and currently offer only lan and TOR hosting. Umbrel offers more apps but Start OS offers a much more reliable platform. Umbrel is not an OS but rather an GUI application manager for Docker.

  • Citadel - Umbrel open source Fork offering much of the same options.

  • YunoHost - Free and Open Source with over 100 apps. Yuno host comes with Clearnet support with your own custom domains and offers you free pre-seleted domains you can use. Yunohost has a nice troubleshooting tool that helps you find issues with port/firewall troubleshooting. Yunohost has a lot of features but can be a bit buggy at times.

  • DietPI - A Linux distro OS. Dietpi comes with over 200 app packages and dependencies built in. While more command line skills are required than Umbrel or Embassy, Dietpi makes it very easy to install over 100 apps and dependencies. While largely built for Raspberry pi, Dietpi also has specific images created for a wide range of hardware. Dietpi is a bit more difficult than platforms like Yunohost, but runs a bit more reliably and offers more total tools, including backups, VPN integration, clearnet, and more. Documentation is better than Yunohost, but could still be improved.

  • RunTipi - Tipi is a personal homeserver orchestrator. It is running docker containers under the hood and provides a simple web interface to manage them. Every service comes with an opinionated configuration in order to remove the need for manual configuration and network setup. RunTipi comes with Clearnet configuration, but this can be a bit buggy in some cases. This is still very much in development.

  • CASA OS - Community-based open source software focused on delivering simple personal cloud experience around Docker ecosystem. Despite the name CASA OS is not an OS. It is an app similar to Umbrel or Citadel, a Gui for docker images. Comes with some unique apps, like Nginx Proxy Manager and Cloudflare Tunnels. Also provides Clearnet support with a fairly flexible set of config options. Also has a nice simple gui for file uploads, this is especially useful with something like Jellyfin or Calibre-Web.

  • Home Lab OS - HomelabOS allows anyone to easily deploy, backup, restore, and maintain over 100 different applications and services. Everything from video players, to home automation, to chat services. These services can continue to function at full speed on your LAN even when your external internet is completely offline.

  • Cloudron - Cloudron is unique in that it offers offsite backups to AWS, includes a built in firewall that monitors all traffic and comes with its own built in email server.

  • Coolify - An open-source & self-hostable Heroku / Netlify alternative.

  • Dappnode - Operating System for running your own Nodes for BTC, ETH, XMR, Storj, Zcash, Cosmos Tornado Cash and other services like Nextcloud etc.

  • - Operating System for running your your own Nodes for BTC, ETH, XMR, NEAR, Avalanche and more.

  • MoneroOS - OS dedicated to Monero mining.

  • My Node BTC - Another OS that focuses primarily on Bitcoin Software. Includes BTCPay Server, Dojo, Whirlpool, Join Market and much more. Comes with Clearnet, Tor, and I2P.

  • Pinode-XMR - PiNode-XMR is a completely free and open source suite of tools to help a user run their own Monero node with ease. PiNode-XMR is designed for use with single board computers (SBC) such as the Raspberry Pi, Pine64 or Odroid hardware to allow for very cheap node setup and minimal 24/7 running costs due to low power usage.

  • RoninDojo - A company supporting Bitcoin Privacy and full nodes. The Tanto is hardware device that supports the open source Ronin software stack which includes full node Bitcoin wallets, Mem pool, access to the Bisq exchange and 24/7 access to coin pool for coinjoining BTC mixing and privacy all over a TOR connection. Dojo also offers a full downloadable OS.

  • PiBox - Currently has a small offering of Apps but is working on adding more. Notable Apps are Nextcloud, Jellyfin and Homeassistant.

  • Fulmo - A lighting network focused OS configured to run on a Raspberry Pi.

  • UBOS - A newer project. Less impressive interface and less apps than some of the other projects.

  • FreedomBox - Another OS that makes self hosting sovereign apps easy. Currently more limited than most of the other OSes in terms of apps in the internal app store.

Media Center OSes

If you are currently running a Roku, Amazon Firestick, or pretty much any other store-bought hardware device for media streaming, its very likely that it sends out massive amounts of data back to different companies. This is terrible for privacy, self sovereignty, security and internet bandwidth. While its difficult to purchase hardware that does not do this, you can setup your own version with some of the following user friendly Operating systems.

  • OSMC - OSMC (Open Source Media Center) is a free and open source media player based on Linux. Founded in 2014, OSMC lets you play back media from your local network, attached storage and the Internet. OSMC is the leading media center in terms of feature set and community and is based on the Kodi project.

  • LibreElec - LibreELEC is a lightweight ‘Just enough OS’ Linux distribution purpose-built for Kodi on current and popular mediacentre hardware.

  • Xbian - XBian is a small, fast and lightweight media center distribution for the Raspberry Pi, CuBox-i, Hummingboard and many more devices to come. It is based on a minimal Debian and therefore offers much of the same freedom as Debian offers. Our slogan is “XBian, the bleeding edge” as our main focus is delivering the fastest Kodi solution for various small form factor computers.

Photo Storage

  • Ente - Encrypted cloud photo storage.

  • Photoprism - PhotoPrism is an AI-Powered Photos App for the Decentralized Web. It makes use of the latest technologies to tag and find pictures automatically without getting in your way. You can run it at home, on a private server, or in the cloud.

  • Immich - Self-hosted backup solution for photos and videos on mobile device

Remote Control Software

  • TailScale - Tailscale is an easy VPN that allows you to connect back into your network without excessive configuration or firewall rules. While Tailscale is not fully open source and requires an account with the company their is a fully self-hosted version you can run.

  • Mesh Commander - Free Open Source Teamviewer Alternative

  • AeroAdmin - Easy and free Remote access service for many OS’es. Not Open source.


  • GLinet Routers - Routers that come per-configured with OpenWrt an Opensource OS. Allows has built in VPN and TOR support so you can route all network traffic through TOR with a few simple config changes. Company also sells travel size routers so you can create your own private networks anywhere you go. Performance reviews are mixed for many of the routers.

  • Flash Routers - New and repurposed routers that are flashed with Open Source Software OSes. The company also provides subscription models for router level support. They also have a specific Privacy Hero router,that prioritizes network wide VPN usage.

  • Protectli - Hardware all purpose device built on open source firmware via coreboot. You can run your own VPN, Router or hypervisor software on powerful but affordable hardware. Recommended for use with PFSense for home routing by both privacy expert Michael Bazzell and Cypherpunk Jameson Lopp. Does not come with WIFI by default. You can custom add wifi in, but PFSense and OPNSense do not currently support wifi.

  • Invizabox - Plug and play wireless routers than can be easily configured to use a VPN. No Ethernet ports.

  • Turris Omnia - Omnia is an open source router that thats forked from OpenWrt. Includes automatic updates, distributed adaptive firewalls and a virtual server seperate from the Firewall OS.

SSH/RDP Applications

  • Easy SSH - Simple application that lets you save all of your SSH logins and passwords in one easy interface. This way you can login go from SSH terminal port easily and quickly without needing to type in your credentials. Linux Only.

  • mRemoteNG - Just like Easy SSH, but also supports RDP, Telnet, HTTPS, Powershell and more. Windows only.

Website Tools

  • Hugo - Popular open-source static site generators. Helps you simply create websites for desktop and mobile without substantial amounts of HTML code. Hugo is completely open source and utilizes markdown files primarily. Liberty Tools is run with Hugo.

  • Ghost - Self Hosting and cloud hosting with open source software. Ghost is primarily used as blogging platform as a competitor to something like Substack. Unlike Hugo Ghost offers a gui for most of your website management.

  • Plausible - Simple and privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternative - Extensive Review

  • Ackee - Self-hosted, Node.js based analytics tool for those who care about privacy. Ackee runs on your own server, analyzes the traffic of your websites and provides useful statistics in a minimal interface.

  • SSLLABS - Check the security of your own self hosted webserver

  • Immuneweb - Check the security of your own self hosted webserver