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Show HN: A searchable list of self-hosted software with screenshots (selfhostedsource.tech)
656 points by techindex on Dec 5, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 112 comments

I know many non-technical small-scale entrepreneurs who would love to use OSS self-hosted tools to run the basics of their businesses and get away from BigTech. I'm talking little shops, yoga studios, restaurants, recording studios, etc. All they need is basics - email, calendars, maybe some shift management, inventory management, and obviously documents. These people are completely non-technical and I don't know of any tooling that would let them set these things up quickly and reliably.

I fantasize about running a little consultancy that would set up and maintain a tailored package of self-hosted OSS software for such small businesses. But I haven't actually studied whether there's a workable business model to be had, or whether there's enough quality self-hosted software out there to adequately cover the needs of most small businesses. I'm curious if HN thinks this could be a viable business...

Please give Cloudron (https://cloudron.io) a try. We provide a solution that makes it easy to self-host apps. We provide Ghost, Rainloop, Nextcloud, InvoiceNinja, GitLab, Rocket.Chat among other apps. Full list here - https://cloudron.io/store/index.html

Disclaimer: I am the co-founder

$30 a month is too expensive for some of these tools (and perhaps too cheap for some of the others).

For instance, I run my own Nextcloud server for 10$/month, the amount of maintenance per month is 0 hours. Nextcloud has already provided a very simple installation setup using snap. It would be cheaper, in the long run, for someone to pay a contractor 300$ to setup a 10$/month droplet on Digital Ocean.

What I'm getting at is you may want to consider per app pricing as a customer is probably interested in a very specific app and thus will price check only for that app.

$30/m seems quite reasonable. If a business can't afford $30/m you probably don't want them as a client. A single support ticket a month will kill your margins.

Many SBOs are recklessly frugal.

Too true. As an SBO with many other entrepreneurial friends, I regularly have the conversation that they need to spend money if they want to scale at any reasonable rate. I generally don't blink at software <$50/mo, even up to $100/mo if it's solving a problem I need and gives me time back, and happily more if it will make me money. I don't really bother price shopping - it either works, or it doesn't, and it's "reasonable".

I agree that the maintenance effort differs wildly per app. I don't actually agree that nextcloud is 0 effort post-setup. If you see our forums or the nextcloud forums, you will see how many questions are really just installation and update related.

We have so far not wanted to get into per-app pricing, because we see ourselves as app packagers and not providing support for the app itself. For example, we don't actually provide any support if Rocket.Chat's mobile app has some problem. Making it per-app pricing can mislead people into thinking we support the app. There is also the issue that we might be seen as competing with the app authors (if they have a SaaS model).

The 30 USD is essentially the price for automatic updates, backups, dns/tls management, deployment with security best practices etc. It is also a 'service' where you can contact us if something goes wrong. As you say, if you want to DIY/time is cheap, cloudron is expensive. That said, if you use the DO marketplace image, you get a 50% discount (you will see the discount coupon when setting up a subscription).

Just signed up for your service today and got OnlyOffice and NextCloud provisioned and working in under 10 minutes. This is after dozens of hours over the last couple weeks attempting to do the setup following guides and install docs online. $30 is a great price point and I will probably add this to my service offering to my customers. One question, any plans to offer installs on different servers all managed under one my.domain.com?

I don't even think it's that... installing this thing would scare most people away:


Anything involving the command line is considered advanced knowledge for most people, so targeting your product to the novice is a miss.

Can you clarify what is scary about it :) ? Or are you saying using the command line by itself is scary? If that's the case, we do have Cloudron listed in the DO Marketplace (and in other providers like netcup, time4vps etc).

"Anything involving the command line"

the command line. a beginner is not going to open the command line and start typing in commands.

"If that's the case, we do have Cloudron listed in the DO Marketplace"

I would suggest break this page (https://cloudron.io/get.html) into a beginner and advanced section and give a detailed instructional walk through (with pictures) for beginners.

> with pictures

...and some animation of Mickey Mouse & cie congratulating the user with some school notation at every step of the tutorial. Like this :

"Great, you didn't forget to prefix your command with 'sudo' while avoiding the evil 'root' user. You deserve a A+. Now take a candy bar in the bag provided by Cloudron just for you."

The initial comment upthread is wondering about how to serve non-technical people.

Most people could probably understand the technical stuff if they had enough spare time/interest, but if you don't have the technical literacy for it, "How to install on Ubuntu Bionic 18.04 x64" is confusing.

Whereas, "I followed these steps on this page (and the screenshots are how it looked like)" is easier.

What are you selling for $30/month? Looking at the home page, the customer apparently provides their own server and storage, installs Cloudron themselves, and then pays you $30/month to run open source apps.

I'm not even a business owner and I think this might be worth it just for personal use. I hate surveillance capitalism almost as much as I hate the twisty little maze of services each written in their own language with their own config file and their own suite of gotchas. $30/mo seems reasonable for someone to make all those headaches their own, but still let me keep control of my data and uptime.

The thing I haven't figured out is what happens to it if/when Cloudron goes away. Do I have/get the passwords somehow so I can hire someone else to take it over (or, heaven forbid, dive in there myself)?

I recently launched freshlytics - selfhosted privacy respecting analytics.

Let me know if you’re interested in onboarding it into Cloudron :)


This looks great and would surely be a great addition. If you like, join us at https://chat.cloudron.io and we can together start working on an app package.

A few of us are trying to get development moving again on Sandstorm.io. It's a super handy (and default-extremely-secure) piece of software, it just needs a little nudge of developer interest. It's original target was the enterprise space, but it's an awesome self-hosting platform for privacy nerds too.

The OSS is out there, but you've gotta wrap it in enough design work to make the experience comparable to closed source offerings: Most businesses aren't going to want to pay for worse software.

Came to the comments to lament Sandstorm's demise. Glad y'all are looking to keep it moving!

Privacy FOSS nerd here; I'd love to offer my help for developing, maintaining, and security reviews. Please send me an email if you'd like additional support. (in profile)

I loved sandstorm and used it for a while. The only issue I had with it, is that is was very complicated to add your own sandstorm app to your instance and the documentation to do so wasnt too great

This looks great!

Synology NAS devices offer a few of features that you mention: email [0], calendar [1], document sharing [2], chat [3], office apps [4]

Shift/inventory management would need to be added via third-party software (or implemented in spreadsheets).

I've heard of companies setting these up for small businesses. [5]

[0] https://www.synology.com/en-global/dsm/feature/mailplus

[1] https://www.synology.com/en-global/dsm/feature/calendar

[2] https://www.synology.com/en-global/dsm/feature/drive

[3] https://www.synology.com/en-global/dsm/feature/chat

[4] https://www.synology.com/en-global/dsm/feature/office

[5] https://www.synology.com/en-global/wheretobuy/United%20Kingd...

https://bitnami.com/stacks helps quite a bit (disclaimer, I am the cofounder)

Seconding Bitnami - I didn't have time to learn Ruby, read through configuration files, search old forums for slightly-obsolete guides, and get familiar with all the tech behind Redmine. Downloaded the installer from Bitnami to my local server, clicked through - boom, done.

Thanks for the effort you put into simplifying the use of all those applications!

Question to people with better knowledge of English than me (or lawyers): what is the difference between disclaimer and disclosure? To me “I am a co-founder” sounds like a disclosure (of vested interest) and disclaimer would be something like “I am not a lawyer. I am not your lawyer. This is not a legal advice”

There might be a legal difference but in common parlance I see them frequently used interchangeably.

A disclosure reveals some previously unknown information, while a disclaimer renounces your responsibility for something.

So your example is correct, although "I am not a lawyer" could also be considered a disclosure.

Disclosure means sharing information that was previously “held close” (private). When people are afraid of being distrusted, they disclose their interests as a show of good faith.

Disclaimer means refusing to accept responsibility for someone else‘a decision to rely on you. When people are afraid of getting sued, they disclaim liability.

This did sound like a disclosure to me as well. A disclaimer would be something like, "Use it. Your mileaage may vary. I am not responsible for any troubles you encounter whilen using it."

I did similar work between gigs a couple years back. There is absolutely a customer base for such things. But they don't have tech budgets - even pricing our services fairly cheaply, they would balk at the cost.

So there may be a business opportunity, but you need enough scale that each single customer is happy with the price.

Maybe it's particular to my local culture (Berlin), but many people I talked to said they would pay a premium to support a small business and to acquire independence and privacy. They're not technical, but they understand the ramifications of these things. Not sure if this culture is everywhere, but my gut feeling is that in Berlin it's big enough.

I have noticed the same tendency among people who follow politics and the media closely in Australia. Some political activists are organising talks designed to introduce non-technical people to doing their own cryptography. People would definitely pay a reasonable premium for a secure service where they get to meet everybody with the physical ability to snoop on their data.

My understanding is that German mass culture has a much better understanding of the value of privacy because of the relatively recent history around the SS and the Stasi. Many German citizens really feel the risk of not having personal privacy in a way that people in other countries don't.

Here in Vienna, there is a thriving small-business, local IT economy... but it is rapidly being countered with "cloud all the things" new-economy bollocks.

Also, I once saw a "Linux-friendly" PC shop, literally sign-posted "LINUX SHOP", out in farm-boy country, in the lower Austria sprawl, so.. pretty sure there is a mom 'n pop/cousin shop mentality for a lot of IT needs...

I've spent some time in Vienna and gotten a general vibe that the past lives on in this city in a way that's particular and charming and unaffected. This includes the cool-but-nerdy computer-geek of the mid 90s, running a bunch of servers out of a closet at home, participating in some sort of pirate-radio setup, maintaining a huge quasi-legal library of all sorts of media and sharing it with the in-the-know kids. I hope this can hold the "cloud all the things" people back.

Yep. I wanted to do this with websites for mom & pop operations, but why would they pay me when they can get their nephew to set up Squarespace for them at $10/month?

I believe there is a niche to be served here, just not sure exactly how yet.

Axé! I also think there is a niche but the key here is to make it as simple, low-friction, and support-free as possible. Supporting a very diverse range of small businesses might be more expensive than what they pay.

Having started my career in this space, many years ago, I've grown to think there is not a good business model to be had. It's too bad, because there's a huge demand. These small companies wind up with bad solutions all around.

Could you elaborate on this? I've been toying with this idea for a while now and if love to hear your insights.

To me, most small bussiness would suffice with a cheap Hostgator/Goddady webhosting with cPanel.

Heck, I personally "mantain" (not that I do much), all my company employees email address, different domains, a couple of simple webpages, calendars, issue tracker...

All without doing much apart from setting the anti-spam, and installing the Installatron applications I need most.

Sounds like a good idea to me. Most people would go with the big company in my experience, but your niche is huge anyway. WPEngine seems to be doing alright still (I remember thinking no way would anyone pay for just WordPress hosting... I was wrong), as are the many small website/app/hosting providers/consultancies.

> WPEngine seems to be doing alright still

They raised $250m a couple years ago, and have been acquiring smaller companies like theme shops, local site management tool based on Docker and Electron, etc. They've got a mature platform suitable for businesses, and it looks like they have a very healthy growth trajectory.

On the other hand, for me they're becoming the "big company" in your description, and I'd prefer a self-hosted or at least open-source solution.

Totally easy to step off the net. You just put bits of it in your own space.

I wanna write a book titled: "how to run your small/medium-sized office with just a linux box on the wall and your staffs cell phones..."

Pretty sure I read a FAQ for how to do this, 20 years ago, though...

There is definitely a market, but I'd say it's a difficult nut to crack. You first want to do a quick cost-benefit-analysis first to make sure you're making an informed decision.

We won't be factoring privacy, working with a big company, or other concerns in this thought. We will only focus on the numbers.

Lets look at email/productivity market real quick.

Google's base package is 6 dollars a month per user with all the backups, support, and infrastructure in place (realistically, you'll want the 12 dollars a month package).

Since email is critical infrastructure (I believe it's one of the most critical elements of a business), lets say two DigitalOcean VPSes at 6 dollars a month each (one primary, one failover) with a license of HostinaBox/Vesta/Whatever Open Source Solution you use with DigitalOcean's backups enabled. Not the "best" design but something I'd say is OK and within scope for a small business. That's 12 dollars a month base costs + your consulting time for a sizeable capacity.

For a small business of 1 person, they get a better deal by just going with Google. Google has their applications and softwares easily integrated with their other services, comes with their productivity suite (GSuite == Google Docs, Drive, etc.), and as a small business who is probably risk adverse in their decisions when it comes to these things, feel more comfortable working with Google.

For a small business of 5 people, I'd say it's still more worth it for them to use Google as that's 30 dollars a month (most consultants charge more than that an hour). If they hire a consultant and if the poo hits the fan, then they'll be paying a consultant money to execute the disaster recovery plan. Even if you did take them on as a client, that's a maximum of 18 dollars a month you get to keep (assuming no issues/errors happen).

For a small business of 50 people, then now it gets to an interesting territory. However, for 50 people I'd change up the base server/system configuration to have higher capacity, more fault tolerant, and resilient under disaster scenarios (which would increase base operating costs).

I'd say this really depends on marginal benefits and based really on relationships established with your clients. In the end, you can probably make some $$$ but your time and effort might be spent on more productive and lucritive tasks. This is also assuming that the self-hosted OSS software is of quality that the clients will be happy with. I'd argue Google's mail offering may have annoying/restrictive spam policies and be frustrating at times, but they have a high quality product made at an affordable price point. The variation in quality of OSS products concerns me as well as developers who are probably overworked and underpaid for their contributions asked to make changes to support clients they're not directly paid by.

As a risk averse business, I'd rather rest my eggs in the Google/Microsoft/whoever basket and directly work with the "entity" that maintains the codebase (or has the talent/expertise on-hand to make adjustments) rather than a middle intermediary of equal level but, in the end, is subject to the decisions and leadership of the OSS product.

Now take this to another step and say you build a consulting company that handles all of these as a one-stop-shop? Well... Then I don't see anything new service/model here than what a local IT consultant company can offer.

So to really make this work I'd say a shop that automates these deployments on-demand and offers a large selection of applications to use is probably the best step forward. Even then, I don't really see the viability of this on a funding perspective except for scaling. In the end in my perspective, the opportunity is there but it'd be hard to do it right. Also funding the developers of the software you're making money off of would be great, but that's a whole nother thing (and I can squabble about that for hours).

Quick plug: two very good friends of mine are in the process of tackling a similar issue via their venture[0]. I am a customer of theirs but have been friends with them even before this venture. Really recommend their product as an affordable and reliable product that "just works".

[0]: https://mxroute.com/

That's a lot of great points. Actually was thinking of doing something like this and now I see there's even more potential to help people host stuff quickly and efficiently.

We are giving this a shot at https://ba.net/private-cloud-office

Main issues are financing high saas customer acquisition costs. And keeping technical support costs down. But the market is big.

From https://selfhostedsource.tech/about:

> Lucid index sources it's data from curated lists of software compiled by volunteers. The specific lists used are:

> - Awesome Self Hosted[1]

> - Awesome SysAdmin[2]

[1] https://github.com/Kickball/awesome-selfhosted

[2] https://github.com/n1trux/awesome-sysadmin

My biggest factor in choosing an Open Source Software platform is the size * activity of the community.

I think it would be a huge improvement to give me a sense of whether the product is well supported.

There are a few reasons for this...

1. I want to choose an OSS that will have security vulnerabilities resolved in a timely fashion.

2. I want the product to keep up with the times and changing landscape.

3. I want to be able to converse usefully in a forum to resolve issues.

4. I don't want to search for a new replacement product and undergo a migration because all the devs have abandoned the project in x years.

Makes sense. What would you want to see in that regard beyond what's already on the site? It currently shows last commit and release date, and that date is green for projects with recent releases...

Some sense of how widely adopted the software is. There is a critical mass required for me to commit to an OSS. Before that critical mass the products are usually poorly maintained and full of bugs and security holes.

I’m not OP.

My company (cloudron.io) provides an App Store for self-hosted apps. We have an app store listing page which has the description and screenshots of each app. https://cloudron.io/store/index.html if you want to take a look. But we have this only for apps that we have packaged/maintain.

That said, the layout of your site is very nice! How does one get new projects added to the list? (For example, we would like to have Cloudron itself listed there).

This looks really nice.

In principle, I'm a big advocate of self-hosting (one of my services is even on this list). In practice, it just doesn't work for me. Once I get beyond 2-3 services it's just too much hassle to keep track of everything.

The key realization for me is that I don't actually care too much where the software is running, or who is running it for me. What I do care about is a avoiding vendor lock-in. As long as I have a reasonable escape hatch if my service company starts doing things I don't like, that's good enough. This keeps them honest. My issue with the current crop of monoliths like Google services is that there's no obvious migration path if you get fed up with them, so you're pretty much stuck with them no matter how crappy their software or customer service is/gets.

That's why I think something like sandstorm.io or cloudron is the future of self-hosting, at least in the near future. Maybe eventually we'll have a substrate of simple protocols and practices that will make it reasonable to manage everything yourself, but we're not there yet.

I found docker was perfect for self-hosting services with relative ease. upgrades are self-contained, security is simplified behind a reverse proxy like nginx, and there are very few dependency conflicts to worry about. I've got about 40 containers running at any given time and barely think about them at all.

Exactly my thought and setup.

I used to install and upgrade everything myself until I discovered docker and docker hub.

Together with watchtower I have zero maintenance on the versions and everything updates automatically.

> Once I get beyond 2-3 services it's just too much hassle to keep track of everything.

Docker Swarm shines in this regard because it's easy to setup, and its simplicity allows you to just forget about it. I run 30+ services behind a reverse proxy for personal use and don't need to keep track of anything.

the screenshots are a nice touch, but I still prefer https://github.com/awesome-selfhosted/awesome-selfhosted

the screenshots are all just a screenshot of whatever the project's listed homepage is. not a single screenshot of the actual software. these screenshots are pretty useless.

It's the same list, just searchable, with some extra meta information scraped from the github repos and the project websites

Awesome list - thanks for preparing this.

Shameless plug: Would you be open to listing our project Rudder, an open-source Segment alternative. https://github.com/rudderlabs/rudder-server/. We were on HN recently

For ease of setting up self-hosted apps, Yunohost (https://yunohost.org) is less polished than Cloudron (https://cloudron.io) but is free. There's also Sandstorm (https://sandstorm.io) which had funding at some point and was looking slick, but it's not clear if development is continuing.

Website constantly times out for me, stuff doesn't load etc. Not sure if that's because of traffic due to this post or not.

Definitely the traffic. Wasn't expecting the front page. Working on it now.

I'd highly recommend Solr[0] for searching to cut down the load. Or, if this is a static site, you could use Lunr[1] to have an efficient search that runs on the client. Is this site OSS?

[0] https://lucene.apache.org/solr/

[1] https://lunrjs.com/

Thank you. I will check out Solr. I'm using Elasticsearch currently for the readmes, but I disabled it while troubleshooting so it's currently just searching on titles and descriptions via mysql. I will re-enable elasticsearch later and figure out how to better optimize it for future traffic.

Ah, then there's no need to check out Solr! They both use the same backend search engine called Lucene.

Is the site self-hosted?

That's not what people use the term "self-hosted" for. It doesn't really apply to websites that you created yourself. It rather applies to off-the-shelf software that you use as an alternative to SaaS offerings.

Perhaps we need a new term or two to distinguish between "services I provide through providers" and "services I provide with my own metal" (except ISP and power, 'cause I run my services but I'm not buying a power plant).

At the moment people, myself included, use "self-host" for both.

I know a lot of people here don't like Cloudflare, but they provide a solution to the "HN hug of death" mentioned above for free.

Whenever you expect to get a traffic spike, you can always turn proxying on for a day or two and turn it off afterwards.

Does the HN crowd not like Cloudflare? If that's the case, why not?

Most of the "HN crowd" like cloudflare a lot, as it's quite convenient, especially for personal projects. There are a few very vocal people who dislike it for all kinds of reasons: taking down too much, not taking down enough, centralization, etc.

> There are a few very vocal people who dislike it for all kinds of reasons [...]

I'll have to agree, there are few but very vocal.

Privacy. Cloudfare-users hand a lot of their clients' data to a third party.

They terminate TLS for you.

They can, although they support end-to-end encryption as well.

For me, on all search results, only the first page loads. Second page is an empty document:


(Not sure if a bug or due to load.)

Bug. It should be fixed now. Sorry about that.

Probably HN hug of death.

Bitrix24 isn't on the list, even though self hosted editions are available since 2008 - https://www.bitrix24.com/self-hosted/

Am I blind or there is no 'Submit' section on the website?

reddit.com/r/selfhosted might like this

Awesome, thanks a million. Working for a privacy-concious NGO, this (not the screenshot part) is a nice starting point for sw-evaluation.

Bugreport: You have 2 different 'Heimdall's leading to the same page. Not sure what went wrong but still:


I was going to say this really needs to be sorted by category.

Then I noticed under filter was categories.

So, actually, its perfect.

Why is something like this included? https://selfhostedsource.tech/p/algorithms

Am I meant to put this software on a computer and run it 24/7? Why?

You've stumbled on the python list: https://lucidindex.com/python

It's not 'technically' part of selfhostedsource, but there's one database shared between selfhostedsource and lucidindex so it's pretty easy to get results from other lists

Lucid Index will eventually index all the 'awesome' lists, but there are a few others already functioning here: https://lucidindex.com

Ah, this makes much more sense, thank you for the clarification. :)

Great list. I started using Firefly to track my finances back in October. Loving it so far.

How well does it integrate with other financial services? I currently just use Mint because it's the only app that can consistently pull in all my accounts into one place.

It has the ability to import data, but it's not perfect. The author actually discourages using it: https://docs.firefly-iii.org/importing-data/csv#best-practic...

would love a replacement for Mint but never find anything that doesn't require a lot of extra work

This is a great and interesting idea. The search could use a bit of tuning. I only found a lot of unrelated stuff by searching for "feed" and "rss" .

Nice list - not sure the screenshots add a great deal though.

agreed. they're just screenshots of each project's homepage. not a single screenshot of the actual software.

Does anyone have a good recommendation for a Yelp-like OSS?

Neat! I’m wondering if you’re looking to monetize this, and how? I’m working on a curated list of [not software] and wondering about how I can monetize it.

I have a link to one of my other projects on the site - https://duetapp.com

Beyond that, I don't really have any specific plans to monetize.

Congrats on launching.

Search could use some work:

- Search for Bot, get a bunch of unrelated results.

- Search for Email, get accounting/translation/etc tools.

- Search for Accounting, seems to work correctly.

This is _awesome_! I'll be absolutely adding these to our Template store over at https://KubeSail.com (YC S19). I use FreshRSS, BitWarden and Firefox-sync all the time on my pile of Raspberry PI's at home! Very excited to show off some awesome home-cluster utilities we're working on soon that will make self-hosting these kinds of tools a breeze! Great work on the site!

Looks like the content tiles/cards are overflowing over the pagination and footer, fwiw. On Chrome on Android 10.

The biggest problem for me (that make multiplayer games that are latency sensitive) is that you can't get self hosted global presence.

Otherwise my stack is completely self made and can run on a Raspberry: http://github.com/tinspin

> self hosted global presence.

Could you elaborate what that is supposed to mean?

I have one server in the center of every major population cluster; Taiwan, Iowa and Belgium, in order to self host those I would need a apartment/building with >1GB internet in all those places.

I think something like this, but for lambda and cloud run would also be cool.

Really cool list, some stuff I hadn't seen, thanks for posting.

Perfect, this is really nice! Love the highres screenshots!

Thanks for this! I get inspired to host my own stuff!

no facial recognition?

This looks awesome!

Would you be willing to add my project (10K+ GitHub stars)?


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