8 years ago, my digital life was almost entirely stored in Google data centers.

Today, I self-host a handful of services on a Raspberry Pi on my LAN and use privacy-friendly services. Small tech feels good.

I wrote a few words about the moving process 👀

cc @aral: I'm a big fan of your work. I donated to the Small Tech foundation recently, and you + Laura are an inspiration in this space. Keep up the great work!

@vaillancourtmax Yay + you’re so kind, thank you. Looking forward to reading your post :)

@vaillancourtmax @aral That sounds lovely but also like sth only a handful of tech savvy people are able to do. What exactly is the message here?

@malteengeler @vaillancourtmax The message is that not only are mainstream tech folks making this move themselves but that they are willing to take a stand and do so publicly. It matters. It inspires. And, as more tech folks move over and start using alternatives, the more they encounter pain points, the more chances that they will work to create easier to use alternatives themselves for everyone to use and benefit from.

@aral @malteengeler @vaillancourtmax
I'd like to add that almost everything mentioned in the article could be achieved with Nextcloud solely.
Self hosting Nextcloud is not rocket science.

@x2ero @aral @malteengeler

Even if not self-hosted [1], it's already a great step in the right direction.


@x2ero @aral @vaillancourtmax You lost 99 % of humanity when you said "self hosting". I see your point. And I am running my own Card- and CalDAV servers as well as Mastodon instance. But I would never consider this anything but a privilege of me having the time, energy and education to do so. I feel like it is a small step from "self hosting isn't rocket science" to typical neoliberal takes that advocate self reliance as an excuse for lack of solidarity.

The difference being that this self-reliance scales: it is a small step from "I can do this for myself" to "I can do this for a collective" -- and this way it quickly becomes an act of solidarity when you offer services or educate your peers.

@x2ero @aral @vaillancourtmax

@hanno Exactly.

The very *last* thing we should be doing is criticising folks who do take a public stand when it would have cost them nothing (and probably been far more advantageous from a career perspective in the current system) to say or do nothing.

Quite on the contrary, we should be applauding them and welcoming their contributions. Unlike surveillance capitalists, we don’t have six figure salaries and stock options to offer. We can at least offer our friendship and support.

@malteengeler @x2ero @aral

I don't disagree with you, you have good points there.

If anything, to me it's more of a hobby than a political statement (though I see how it could be considered so). I'm privileged that this hobby lines up nicely with the opinions I have on data privacy.

@vaillancourtmax @malteengeler @x2ero I respectfully disagree: it is a political statement. And one that comes with some level of personal sacrifice (at least within the current system). At the very least you’re publicly saying that you don’t care about a six figure salary and stock options at Google. That alone is a powerful statement from someone who otherwise could just remain silent and keep that door open. And it also says that what Google is doing is socially unacceptable. Again, powerful.

@aral @vaillancourtmax @x2ero I am very much with you when it comes to speaking out 🤝

@malteengeler @aral @x2ero

Fair point Aral, I hadn't seen it this way. Makes complete sense now that I read it out. Thank you for sharing your point of view, I appreciate it.

@vaillancourtmax @aral Really great article, thanks for sharing that! Haven’t heard of Miniflux before, but I know people that are using FreshRSS or TinyTinyRSS with good results (I’m still partial to Feedbin for its newsletter support). Authentication sees me using Authy, which I like but not sure about its privacy. Currently I’m on FastMail, and while it doesn’t have at-rest encryption, I don’t use email for anything super secure so I’m not sure it’s needed for me?

@pimoore Thank you for the kind words Pete!

I also tried TinyTinyRSS before, but somehow it didn't click for me. Feedbin is great! I had a great experience using it in the past.

For 2FA: I think I'm going towards andOTP, though I heard good things about Authy too. Will dig into it a bit more.

FastMail was my runner-up to ProtonMail. The deal breaker was the location of their operations (USA for FastMail, Switzerland for ProtonMail).

@vaillancourtmax My pleasure. I've been moving my own stuff back into my @yunohost server.

Annoyingly I have a gmail address because the solicitors I'm currently working with on my house still need to have protonmail servers whitelisted. 😞

@vaillancourtmax @aral
Nice article, thanks for sharing!

I found Aegis to be a good replacement for Google Authenticator by the way. Installable from FDroid on a LineageOS phone without Play Store as well.

@grimfrenzy Great, I was planning on going with andOTP but Aegis is also recommended by other folks. I'll explore both options a bit more, thanks for sharing! :)

Hi Max, if I may call you so, I have a proposal to make regarding ~OSMAnd. If you are happy to trx an alternative maybe go with OrganicMaps
I find this App more snappy and easier to get into.😊

Nevertheless, thank you for sharing this article of yours. It is great to read an success story in digital self-defence now and then 😃👍

@lazalatin Thank you for the suggestion! I'll check it out.

Thank you for the kind words!

@vaillancourtmax @aral

Very nice read, thanks for taking the time!

Curious, one of our biggest blockers for calendar at the moment is a web based calendar solution that works well with radicale. Do you have any suggestions there?


Thanks for the kind words!

I feel you on this one. I don't know of a good solution at the moment (and trust me I searched for one!). I explored creating my own a few years ago, but ended up tangled in XML parsing and the timing didn't line up with other stuff in my life, so I stepped away. Maybe I should get back into it!

... although I have to say I don't have a strong need for such a solution at the moment. Thunderbird and Etar work well enough for what I need.

@vaillancourtmax Yea, I use mutt and would prefer a web based.

I wouldn't mind submitting some code to the alps project ( and maybe customizing templates but finding the time for this is not easy and I need to be able to provide this for my staff.

Still looking. Shoot out a toot if you ever run into something. Thanks again.

@vaillancourtmax Wonderful! Congrats on getting your freedom back and respect to you for taking on the challenge. Google services might not be the best in terms of #privacy but they’re unfortunately really well done. Sometimes Google’s solution is just the best out there.

Q about Standard Notes: when self-hosting, wouldn’t you still keep a local copy of your notes even if you’re not connected to your LAN? Changes would just not sync until your client reconnects to the server. No?

@ilyess Thanks for the kind words! Google products are quite good indeed.

Regarding Standard Notes: yup, that's correct. What I meant in the blog post was to have access to them from other machines as well (say, a public computer). I have to admit though, this hasn't happened yet, and I don't foresee this happening in the near future, so likely a moot point. :)

@vaillancourtmax Got you. And there’s nothing wrong with paying for premium to support a great product like Standard Notes :)

@ilyess @vaillancourtmax Any "really well done" product designed to extract data from you silently for sale to third parties is a good Trojan, but not a good "solution." It is possible for products to treat their users with respect AND do their job well---and many do (as @vaillancourtmax shows)---but to exist they need users (and developers, if you do that) with a sense of community. Using Google products is a big "to hell with you" to community. #privacy

@vaillancourtmax I'm just honest :) I have a thinkpad x230 and also had an raspberyy pi 3 b + which I've gave away to my bodies son which is 5 years old hahah :D

I love linux and open source there so many cool projects do you know

Aral is also a great dude

I'm sooo happy that I've joined the fediverse so much great and nice folks here :D ❤️

@nemo is great! I came across it a few months ago. Excellent resource.

Kudos for giving away the Raspberry Pi, I'm sure they'll love it. :)

@vaillancourtmax Yes, I love it. There is so much more out there. Exactly.

I hope that they loved it :) thx.

I work for a company which is like system76 but in Europe :)

And here is my blog

It's really nothing special, if you have any Linux related questions I may be of some use. Maybe :)

Was and still is a pleasure to have met you.

Have an awesome time in the diverse

Later 👋

@vaillancourtmax @aral Also, you should check out @EteSync. It's an excellent solution for Calendar, Tasks, Contacts & Notes syncing with E2E encryption. It's quite similar to Radicale but also supports E2E encryption.

@gnufella Thank you for both suggestions, I'll look into them. :)

Thanks for the list! I've never been on the Google train but always looking for things I can use safely.

+1 for Syncthing (which also works on the go if you permit use of the relay service), keepass, OsmAnd...

Thanks for mentioning miniflux!

I use freeOTP+ instead of Google Auth or the Microsoft thing which my old workplace was pushing... it's on F-droid.

Also: Soma.FM for music. No recommendations but lots of channels curated by people with taste.

@vaillancourtmax nice article 👍🏻

For the 2FA I can suggest andOTP, nice tool and backups could be done with gpg encryptions.


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