This Site

This server, vance.homelinuxserver.org, runs Debian 9 and was configured entirely using free and open source software. It is part of a larger set of free and open source technologies that makes it possible for me, the primary user of this server, to cut ties with large tech companies like Google. The goal of this site is to document the process of setting up this server so that others can do the same.

The scope of this server covers the following:

While the above can easily be hosted from home, there are many additional services for which it is extremely difficult. I can recommend a few open source and/or freedom loving alternatives:

  • BitChute to replace YouTube.
    • Pro: It’s web-torrent based and operates in your browser, which is awesome!
    • Con: It’s definitely an alternative, with the content limitations that come with it.
  • LBRY is another approach to YouTube replacement.
    • Pro: It’s fully decentralized and has a built in producer payment system using cryptocurrencies.
    • Con: It’s under development (buggy!) and currently requires client software.
  • DuckDuckGo, while not open source, at least prioritizes privacy. It’s a good replacement for Google Search.
  • Mastodon to replace social media.

Shamefully, there are several things that I have no good recommendations for:

  • Google Voice. Maybe Matrix someday? If it bridged SMS, then yes. But it doesn’t (yet), so no.
  • Android phones, and the Google Play ecosystem that goes with them. Right now, nothing. But the Librem 5 looks like it will be awesome when it ships in 2019!
  • Google Maps. For reference, the privacy loving DuckDuckGo defaults to Bing Maps. The only thing that comes close is OpenStreetMap, although it’s quite point-of-interest sparse.