In this article I will describe how I set up my Nextcloud instance aiming to replace iCloud Drive. This article is part of the byeCloud series in which I try to replace iCloud with self-hosted services.
The goals for a file syncing infrastructure are simple
I want a reliable solution that syncs files as-is, that does not corrupt them and does not cancel uploads all the time. Additionally, I want to be able to access my files on the go using a mobile app, as well as having files on my local hard disk to also be able to use it offline, just in case I have no network connection.
Introduction Some years ago I already played with ownCloud, trying to set up my personal cloud and get rid of third party services for keeping my stuff in sync across multiple devices. And while I already liked it at that time, there still were things I couldn’t do with it, so I eventually gave up on it.
Some months ago I decided to give it another shot and installed ownCloud (which is now migrated to Nextcloud) as well as some other services aiming to replace iCloud, the cloud service by Apple that I used until then.
Just as a short update: Starting from the newest AirPods update, they also finally work as a headset on the Mac. Before there was a issue that caused audio quality to drop when using the AirPods both as headphones and microphones at the same time.
macOS has the osascript command line tool that allows you to run embedded AppleScript right from within shell scripts. As AppleScript also has capabilities to show notifications, you can utilize this to show messages in the macOS Notification Center.
Here is an example:
osascript -e 'display notification "Something happened" with title "Test"' If you have any further tips that will help people supercharge their shell scripts on macOS, feel free to leave them as a comment.
I have so many accounts for various web-based solutions, I barely can remember a few. And they send emails. So many that it’s sometimes hard to not loose the overview in my mailbox.
When you run your own mail server, it’s easy to set up a dynamic aliases for your mailserver based on a regular expression pattern that allows to e.g. have a own email address for each service you register.
I wanted to expose a single jail of my FreeBSD NAS to a network of a client via OpenVPN while it’s reachable both from my network and from the clients’ network. It should send all of its traffic through that VPN tunnel so that it appears like it is just another computer on that foreign network.
Luckily FreeBSD offers a great way to solve this by creating a separate routing table apart from my main routing table that is used when starting OpenVPN (so that it can populate it’s routes there) and when starting the jail (the jail in fact will consider that routing table as the only routing table available and therefore use it for anything).
After finishing with the hardware and software parts of my new NAS, I decided to append another little project which is aimed to provide a simplified control panel for macOS in the menu bar on the upper right of the screen.
Objective What I wanted to achieve is a possibility to mount my various shares with one click as well as having controls for power on/off and SSH. Additionally the control should indicate whether the NAS is currently powered on or not.
UPDATE 2018-06-02: I’ve created a new version of this article called “Securing macOS” available here: https://www.davd.eu/securing-macos/
Setting up a NodeJS application on a FreeBSD 10 system was impossible when using ZFS as a file system. This was a real pain for me because when I tried out various stuff in jails rendered the whole system unusable, forcing me to reboot and this is not something one would do in a production environment.
Here’s the bug report: https://bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=209158
Although I couldn’t read it from the bug it seems to be resolved now with FreeBSD 11-RELEASE because I’m running two Node applications on FreeBSD without any of the issues that were reproducible each time.
If you encounter any problems, please check the up-to-date documentation at https://github.com/dprandzioch/docker-ddns .
In some projects I need access to various hosts with a dynamic IP from time to time. Dyndns services offer a great solution by providing a DNS with records that are updated by the clients once their IP addresses change.
There are various existing services out there that are either free or paid, but if you want to self-host a dyndns service, you have to set up a DNS by your own as well as some endpoint that your clients can connect to in order to update their records.