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Removing my last server?

5 February 2022 09:00

In the past I used to run a number of virtual machines, or dedicated hosts. Currently I'm cut things down to only a single machine which I'm planning to remove.


Email used to be hosted via dovecot, and then read with mutt-ng on the host itself. Later I moved to reading mail with my own console-based email client.

Eventually I succumbed, and now I pay for Google's Workspace product.

Git Repositories

I used to use gitbucket for hosting a bunch of (mostly private) git repositories. A bad shutdown/reboot of my host trashed the internal database so that was broken.

I replaced the use of gitbucket, which was very pretty, with gitolite to perform access-control, and avoid the need of a binary database.

I merged a bunch of repositories, removed the secret things from there where possible, and finally threw them on a second github account. GPG-encryption added where appropriate.

Static Hosts

Static websites I used to host upon my own machine are now hosted via netlify.

There aren't many of them, and they are rarely updated, I guess I care less.

Dynamic Hosts

That leaves only dynamic hosts. I used to have a couple of these, most notably the debian-administration.org, but that was archived and the final commercial thing I did was retired in January.

I now have only one dynamic site up and running, https://api.steve.fi/, this provides two dynamic endpoints:

  • One to return data about trams coming to the stop near my house.
  • One to return the current temperature.

Both of these are used by my tram-display device. Running these two services locally, in Docker, would probably be fine.

However there is a third "secret" API - blog-comment submission.

When a comment is received upon this blog it is written to a local filesystem, and an email is sent to me. The next time my blog is built rsync is used to get the remote-comments and add them to the blog. (Spam deleted first, of course).

Locally the comments are added into the git-repository this blog is built from - and the remote files deleted now and again.

Maybe I should just switch from writing the blog-comment to disk, and include all the meta-data in the email? I don't wanna go connecting to Gmail via IMAP, but I could probably copy and paste from the email to my local blog-repository.

I can stop hosting the tram-APIs publicly, but the blog comment part is harder. I guess I just need to receive incoming FORM-submission, and send an email.

  • Maybe I host the existing container on fly.io, for free?
  • Maybe I write an AWS lambda function to do the necessary thing?

Or maybe I drop blog-comments and sidestep the problem entirely? After all I wrote five posts in the whole of last year ..



Comments on this entry

icon Andrew at 21:22 on 22 March 2022

I've been taking an opposite approach -- becoming more serverful! Guess I miss old-school sysadmin. I've been getting my fair share of spam (most of it's hilarious), so I'm thinking that I might build Akismet into my own comment pipeline somewhere.

icon James at 08:53 on 29 March 2022

I love your blog and hope you keep writing but that's selfish of me. :-) Your joy for technology shines through and frankly I find it inspiring quite often. Also you just seem like this pragmatic dude seemingly constantly reevaluating their tech choices and so on. Best!