Probably some readers will now think about this post: “What’s wrong with you? Where have your ideals and principles gone? Microsoft is evil!” But why do I actually have to justify myself? I have my reasons and I am free in what I can and cannot do.
A few days ago, an OVH data center went up in flames and was completely destroyed. This reminded me that it is important to store backups in another place on earth if possible, so better not in the same data center as the server that might burn down.
… and what I’ve learned about backups and self-hosting my files.
Nextcloud Notes is my favorite note-taking app that allows me to sync notes across devices using my Nextcloud instance. I don’t like to limit my notes to just one computer, I need to be able to access them from anywhere, whether that’s my desktop computer, my laptop or my phone. And I choose a self-hosted Nextcloud, because then I can also choose any other file editor to edit the notes.
I’m currently “managing” (or better say storing) my photos using Nextcloud. Whenever I take photos with the camera, I copy them to a YEAR/MONTH based folder structure. Also the photos from my phone get automatically uploaded to a folder with all phone photos.
Since I use many different devices and want to access the same files from all of them, I run my “own cloud” at home with an Odroid-HC2 (a Raspberry 4 or similar device should work just as well). A 2 TB NAS hard disk (Seagate Ironwolf) is connected to the HC2, where all files are stored. Using Docker I have installed Nextcloud for files (documents, photos, etc.) as well as Gitea (code repositories). Encrypted incremental backups are done daily at night using restic and uploaded to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage (they are quite cheap and now also have a European data center).
These are the Nextcloud apps that are activated on my Nextcloud instance:
- Accessibility: Has an option to activate a dark theme
- Activity: It’s really nice to have an activity log of created, changed and deleted files
- Brute-force settings
- Checksum: Lets you calculate checksum of files
- Deck: I often use this when organizing the learning for exams
- Deleted files
- File sharing
- Log Reader
- Markdown Editor
- Metadata: Lets you see metadata of pictures etc.
- Notes: I use it for all my notes, there’s a great Android app
- Optical character recognition
- PDF viewer
- Preview Generator: Lets you pre-generate preview images of new photos via a Cronjob
- Right click
- Share by mail
- Tasks: I don’t really use it, but it may be a good alternative to Todoist and other tasks managers
- Text: Nextcloud’s new text editor. It’s really nice and supports markdown
- Video player
I have just updated my Nextcloud install from Nextcloud 16 to Nextcloud 17. It’s a Docker-based installation on my Odroid HC2, which I use for a lot of self-hosted softwares. (Thanks to Docker I can forget about all things PHP!)