This here website is hosted air-quotes in the cloud air-quotes because despite being a web application developer by trade, I don’t want to screw around with getting my personal shingle up and running on my free time. I used to build blogging-type software for a living, but these days it’s easier to use a push-button system to deploy WordPress. Someone(s) else has worked very hard to create this software, so you bet I’m going to use it!
On the other hand, I’ve recently registered scopique.online with the intent of doing something with it. Right now, it’s pointing back at this site, but with all the time I’m spending in the Fediverse these days, I got to wonder if there wasn’t something I could do beyond just having a blog available on the web. The domain name was cheap enough, but I wouldn’t want to spend what I’m spending on this site to spin up a new instance of something, which is why I’m considering pointing scopique.online at my home server.
I don’t know if I’ve talked about the home server before, but a few months back I acquired an older HP Proliant cube-server from a friend, threw some drives in there, and installed Ubuntu. Why Ubuntu, I can hear you asking in a faint, confused or disgusted voice from afar? Because I don’t want to pay for another Windows license, and that’s pretty much the main reason. Also, because I’ve been on-again, off-again working with Docker, which is native to Linux, so whatever I do on that machine, I should be able to “Dockerize it” and keep the core machine clean. Right now, it’s hosting all of my photos and screenshots, project files, and my local development database.
This is a particularly daunting task for me, though, since I am completely unfamiliar with Linux as an operating system. Settle down, though: I’m not thrilled about it. I’m not looking to drink anyone’s Kool-Aid. It’s a marriage of convenience, because the OS is free; I just need to lay in the bed I’ve now made, which I believe involves pointing my domain at my machine, and then configuring the machine to make resources available to the wider internet.
Right now, the server is running Traefik, which is running as a kind of reverse proxy to serve Docker applications through a common port. All inbound web traffic hits this service first and is then routed to different Docker containers based on the sub-domain name. It works really well, but I’ve only used it inside my home network; I am not completely sure what needs to be done with it to get it working with the outside world, but I bet it’s all done through esoteric commands in a terminal window. I’m thinking that instead of Traefik, though, I might want an official webserver with an actual certificate store so I can operate a true reverse proxy for services I might want to spin up on that machine. It’s been over 20 years since I’ve had to do any kind of server management, though, which is why the prospect of all of this is so daunting right now.