There is no place like [a Linux] home [server]

Last modified on 2017-06-01

Running your own Linux home server is a fun learning experience about how networks work and giving new life to an old laptop or using a Raspberry Pi is a cheap and cheerful way to get the job done!

Plus privacy may be important to you. Hosting your own server running your own services gives more control over your data.

Let’s go!

Install a stable, well-tested Linux distribution and provide services such as network printing and storage (NAS), perform backups, host web services and much more. Start with a minimal base configuration of Debian and gain access to tens of thousands of packages ready to install.

0. Choose your server

A used laptop - retired in favour of more current and powerful machines - can still deliver plenty of oomph for running a personal server. Frugal with power and come equipped with their own built-in UPS (battery)!
Link: New life for an old laptop

1. Secure access

Use cryptographic keys to secure access to your new home server.
Link: Secure remote access using SSH keys

2. Updates

Fetch the latest fixes, install, and reboot (if necessary).
Link: Automatic security updates

3. Consoles

A terminal multiplexor for creating, detaching, re-attaching work areas.
Link: Multiple terminal windows using tmux

4. Backups

Make incremental and automatic backups of a home folder to the server using SSH + rsync + cron.
Link: Backup home

5. NAS

External USB storage + Pi turns any hard drive into a NAS.
Link: Network attached storage


Use a DDNS service to automatically update an IP address.
Link: Access from anywhere in the world using dynamic DNS

7. Web

Host web applications using PHP + Nginx + PostgreSQL.
Link: Web + database

8. RSS

Access news feeds over the web with Tiny Tiny RSS news reader.
Link: RSS reader

Configure a printer + scanner to receive jobs across the local network.
Link: Network printer + scanner

10. Torrents

Use a text-based BitTorrent client combined with tmux to create a lightweight torrent server.
Link: Rtorrent

Happy hacking!