Riccardo Padovani

Changing the world bit by bit

My vps configuration

As I anticipated in the last blog post, thanks to your donations I bought a VPS, and now let me explain why and how I configured it (suggestions are welcome!)

Why?

Why should I buy a VPS and lose time to configure it when on the web there are a lot of free services well-configured?

My answer is: privacy (that isn’t security). If you value your privacy, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, I’m sorry for you, because you should.

I don’t want my mails analyzed by Google, or my documents scanned by Dropbox, or my searches inspected by Microsoft. These are none of them business.

But it’s a VPS, not a server in my house, so it isn’t secure by definition, because someone could have physical access to my data without I know it.

I’m aware of that, and this is the important thing: I know what I’m looking for (protect my data from companies that give you free services to have your data).

After this little premise, let’s see which services I use. Of course OS is Ubuntu 14.04 ;-)

Documents

Here the solution is easy: OwnCloud. It manages my docs, my calendar, my contacts and it also works as RSS reader.

More, I can sync calendar and contacts with Ubuntu for Phones (here a nice tutorial).

I created a subdomain for my OwnCloud installation, and I generated a self signed SSL certificate so no one could tamper with my connection.

Mails

A big thanks to Pietro Albini for his help in configuring all the mail stack.

As MTA I use Postfix, and Dovecot as IMAP server. Since I hate mail clients on desktop, I installed a webmail (with a self signed SSL certificate, of course). The choose wasn’t easy: on a first moment, I focused on mailpile, that is amazing, but it’s still too young. There are some bugs / missing features that at the moment I consider as blockers. I hope one day I’ll be able to switch to it, I continue to follow with much attention its development.

At the end I choose Rainloop: it’s far from perfect, but it does its work.

Website

This website is always based on Jekyll: when I push something on the GitHub repo of this site, there is a webhook that calls a script on my server which pull the code, compile it and serve to new visitors.

I dropped Cloudfare, so now when you try to reach my website no one is between you and me ;-) I know there is still a connection to Google’s server, to take fonts: I’m planning to drop also that and host fonts on my server, so you’ll not be tracked visiting my site.

And I think this is all. Of course, if you have any feedback (or you have any question on a specific configuration), feel free to write me a mail at riccardo@rpadovani.com.

If you think server performance are bad, feel free to make me a donation so I can upgrade my VPS instance (it’s hosted in Europe, so who is outside Europe unfortunately will have slower response).

Ciao,
R.