in Blog-en, IT-en

A self-hosted FOSS “cloud” (step 0)

So it all started from a simple need, really: being able to share files on my local network. Usually for this type of needs, you buy a NAS, and that’s it. But then you add in a bit of privacy concerns, the will NOT to put all your eggs in the same basket, and you end up looking at buying a Synology NAS. Since I had an old PC lying around, I looked at the project call “XPEnology“, which is basically a “grey area fork” of the synology DSM software (it’s not entirely clear whether you can do that according the licence).

And while Xpenology provided a nice way to test the software and a very convenient experience, I ended up with a problem in one of the disk array, and instead of rebuilding the whole thing again (which was running on an old netbook at the time), I decided that I needed something more reliable.

Excited by the “cloud” possibilities present in the DSM software, I started to look at the various possibilities for self hosted “cloud”. To add sugar on the cake, I wanted to try to use FOSS bricks to replace DSM.

I have identified the following services / needs that I would like to replicate:

Function DSM name Alternative
1. File sharing File Station Linux server (Debian, see step 1.1 & 1.2) + Samba
2. Access to files over internet File station Web server (Nginx) + Pydio (step 2.1)
(or Owncloud/Nextcloud)
3. Sharing pictures Photo Station Pydio, Owncloud/Nextcloud
4. Syncing/Backup of cloud files
Calendar / Contacts sync
Cloud sync  No solution found here appart from scripts


5. Download (torrent) Download station Transmission with web client (step 5.1)
6. Local music playback Audio station  MPD/Mopidy + android client
7. Music streaming on mobile Audio station android App Ampache or other (the list is long)
8. Local video playback Video station Samba client + video player (Kodi)
9. Video streaming on mobile Video station Plex (open source, non free), Amby (open source and free)
10. VPN VPN server option in DSM OpenVPN

Note: tables suck with WordPress.

I might also add some interesting functions that are not present in DSM (to my knowledge):

  • Read it Later: Wallabag
  • Add free network: Pi-hole
  • A personal wiki: Dokuwiki
  • An online repository with my ebooks, similar to the Calibre OPDS: COPS
  • Note taking: Paperwork
  • A way to scan and organise all my administrative papers: Paperless

The list is long 😉

The problem with this approach will be maintenance – maintenance – maintenance. If I end up with 42 instances of different stuff, it will soon become a nightmare to update/maintain.

Interesting resources:



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