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How to self host various services

You do need to have basic linux and basic docker-compose knowledge, the shit here is pretty hand holding and detailed, but it still should not be your first time running a docker container.

a certain format is followed in the services pages

  • Purpose & Overview - basic overview and intented use
  • Files and directory structure - lists all the files/folder involved and their placement
  • docker-compose - the recipe file how to build a container, with .env file too
  • Reverse proxy - reverse proxy specific settings, if a container has a webserver providing web interface
  • Update - how to update the container, usually just running Watchtower
  • Backup and restore - of the entire container using borg backup
  • Backup of just user data - steps to backup databases and other user data
  • Restore the user data - steps to restore user data in a brand new setup

The core of the setup is Caddy reverse proxy.
It's described in most details.

Some extra info


When making changes use docker-compose down and docker-compose up -d, not just restart or stop/start.

  • you do not need to fuck with docker-compose.yml to get something up, simple copy paste should suffice
  • you do need to fuck with .env file, that's where all the variables are

Often the .env file is used as env_file, which can be a bit difficult concept at a first glance.

env_file: .env

  • .env - actual name of a file that is used only by compose.
    It is used automatically just by being in the directory with the docker-compose.yml
    Variables in it are available during the building of the container, but unless named in the environment: option, they are not available in the running containers.
  • env_file - an option in compose that defines an existing external file.
    Variables in this file will be available in the running container, but not during building of the container.

So a compose file having env_file: .env mixes these two together.

Benefit is that you do not need to make changes at multiple places. Adding variables or changing a name in .env does not require you to also go in to compose to add/change it there... also the compose file looks much cleaner, less cramped.

Only issue is that all variables from the .env file are available in all containers that use this env_file: .env method.
That can lead to potential issues if a container picks up enviroment variable that is intented for a different container of the stack.

In the setups here it works and is tested, but if you start to use this everywhere without understanding it, you can encounter issues. So first troubleshooting step should be abandoning .env and write out the variables directly in the compose file only under containers that want them.

Docker images latest tag

All images are without any tag, which defaults to latest tag being used.
This is frowned upon, but feel free to choose a version and sticking with it once it goes to real use.

Bind mount

No docker volumes are used. Directories and files from the host are bind mounted in to containers.
Don't feel like I know all of the aspects of this, but I know it's easier to edit a random file on a host, or backup a directory when it's just there, sitting on the host.


For sending emails free sendgrid account is used, which provides 100 free emails a day.

The configuration in .env files is almost universal, apikey is really the username, not some placeholder. Only the password(actual value of apikey) changes, which you generate in apikey section on SendGrid website.

Though I heard complains lately that is not as easy as it was to register on SendGrid.


For managing DNS records. The free tier provides lot of managment options and benefits. Like proxy between your domain and your server, so no one can get your public IP just from your domain name. Or 5 firewall rules that allow you to geoblock whole world except your country.

How to move to cloudflare.


official site


htop like utility for quick containers managment.

It is absofuckinglutely amazing in how simple yet effective it is.

  • hardware use overview, so you know which container uses how much cpu, ram, bandwith, IO,...
  • detailed info on a container, it's IP, published and exposed ports, when it was created,..
  • quick managment, quick exec in to a container, check logs, stop it,...

Written in Go, so its super fast and installation is trivial when it is a single binary, as likely your distro does not have it in repos. If you use arch, like I do, its on AUR.