The Helm migration

I really liked my The Helm email appliance. But because the company running the service behind it is going to exit this business, I need to migrate stuff. Oh so much stuff…..

Of course, really, it becomes so-much-stuff because once I’m in a little, I want to pile on more. If Reddit hadn’t become so much trash, I’d have probably been living in /r/SelfHosted these past few weeks. Well, that and except that I’m cloud hosting for myself instead of keeping a box here at home.

Anyway, The Helm provided me with a SMTP server on it’s own domain name, and, NextCloud Files. (It did not include any other parts of NextCloud, though) (I think. Maybe contacts, too?). The company provided DNS services, too. And because no ISP is going to let me run an SMTP server here inside my home, it provided VPN services to AWS where boxes on the public Internet could send port 25 mail from.

I needed to move, and move quick. I’ve seen before how “oh I’ve got plenty of time” turned into “oh crap! It’s due tomorrow‽” enough times to remember the pain.

So now I have learned and am running:

  • A Dovecot and Postfix and rspamd server, with Redis
  • RoundCube attached to same
  • ISPMail attached to same (which is a web administration console for accounts in Dovecot and Postfix)
  • A caching DNS server on same
  • A Linode DNS server, so that Certbot can authorize a wildcard Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate.
  • NextCloud (full suite)
  • Duplicati for backup
  • and I haven’t ever added WordPress yet

I’m least happy with NextCloud. There is a lot of stuff that doesn’t work, and the documentation is poor, and a lot of the forum answers are “just read the documentation, newbie.”

I’m also not really happy with Duplicati. I loved it in version 1, because it was “just” a Python script. It ran on Windows, and I could very easily back up to Amazon S3. In fact, it was my introduction to learning AWS. Version 2 comes with it’s own web server so that it can be cross-platform and have a GUI; but that means adding Mono to my previously somewhat lean Linux server. By the way, accessing a web site on a “localhost” only web server? Here’s a reminder of how.

I started seeing a memory leak, and now I have to reboot the server once in a while. As Tenets of IT number 6 points out, rebooting is a band-aid. Really, I should remove the code that creates the memory leak. I think I’ll move to Restic and Backblaze.

Though I realy want to add WordPress and migrate this blog there, next.

Leave a Reply