We have been running a Freebox server at home for the last year. It runs the following services:
- Quassel Core
- Cockpit (Admin interface)
- Gitea (Used by my programming son for his private repos, Github for his public repos)
- Asciidoc Documentation Viewer (written by my programmer son, which is super cool)
We have a RPi 3 running a specialized CRM for my work, but that hasn’t seen a lot of usage yet.
Running the Freedombox with Syncthing met a very specific need. About two years ago, we were have internet connection issues, and I noticed that when I lost internet at work, I lost the ability to work on a number of projects because they were in the cloud in Google Drive files. I also noticed that when my kids lost internet connection at school their Chromebooks were paperweights for the most part. Supposedly, there is offline functionality for Google Drive, but I never got that to work consistently so that to be useful during an outage. By moving my office documents out of Google Drive and Google file formats into LibreOffice formats and synced with Syncthing, I have eliminated these issues. Also Syncthing works well with all of my computers (3 Linux, and one Windows 10) computer, where as support for Google Drive was not always there for some distros or desktop environments that I would try. So now I have my important data backed up in two different physical locations on 4 different computers, with Freedombox also doing incremental backups of the data to an exterior drive. If internet is down, I can always grab the most recently updated file from the computer it is on at home or work, put it on a USB drive, and keep working on the LibreOffice file wherever I am.
I want to love Quassel, because I love IRC, but I have struggled to find an IRC channel that is as much fun to hangout in as I used to find back in 2006 time frame. Without a fun and active IRC channel Quassel has been used very little.
Freedombox has been amazing, but also limiting. In order to have a web app or server app on Freedombox it has to be packaged as a Debian package, and then approved by the Freedombox team. My son has figured out how to add a few things manually, but it is a bit of pain. He added Gitea manually.
He also just added manually this week an Asciidoc Documentation Viewer web app that he wrote in Python at the beginning of this week. He and I both enjoy the Asciidoc markup language for our documentation and notes. Trying to find a simple to set up and run Asciidoc file viewer has not been easy, so he wrote his own. I’m excited by this and looking forward to using it as our personal home wiki. We simply copy the Asciidoc files into a specified directory, and his web app automatically sees it, can search its contents and file name, and display it in nicely formatted static HTML pages.
To open up more freedom to experiment with different web apps and gain more control than we have with Freedombox, we have started setting up a new home server built on Fedora Server using Cockpit and Container technology. However, we have discovered that we have jumped into the deep end of the pool. Right now we need to learn a lot more about how SELinux works with Podman and Container technology.