I often see projects aiming to make it easy to set up a server, but today almost everyone who wants to run a server have to rent a VPS.

I’m lucky enough that my ISP gave me a static public IP when I asked for it, and I’m skilled enough to set up port forwarding in my router. When scanning forum posts with newbie questions it seems clear to me that this is a BIG hurdle for a lot of people. Are there any solutions out there?


DynDNS and similar services work if you can figure out port forwarding, of course. But is there a turnkey solution?

I mean, a server install image could always auto-publish over Tor or some obscure distributed protocol (dat or IPFS, maybe?). But suppose that you want to selfhost your blog or wiki on your own hardware in your home, and have it available on the web..?


@tinyrabbit Decent support for IPv6 would make this all a little less hard: no need for NAT and easy for the server to have a globally routeable address.

We can't all have IPv4 addresses.

@edavies IPv6 has taken so long I’m almost wondering if it’s ever gonna be real at all 😝

@tinyrabbit I remember there was a VPN like solution back in the day where you pay a fixed fee per month for an IP address and X speed to get around these problems. I can't remember the name of it, but if it's still out there it was very simple to setup their client and serve from that machine.

If it no longer exists, we need to make it

@praxeology @tinyrabbit @bjarni it actually predated them, I really can't remember their name but you had full connectivity rather than a fixed web-only port

@mmn I suspect that’s the best possible solution available, but it’s sort of sad that you’re stuck between paying for VPN or paying for VPS.

@tinyrabbit it's really a shame that ISPs have decided to become what they are right now. There are still *some* more technically focused out there (like my own who encourage self-hosting) but because the infrastructure doesn't want you to do it, all we have is workarounds

@tinyrabbit incidentally this thread has given me an idea to put up a guide / website about selfhosting from my personal experiences over the years, mainly because the domain was available


Before you can ask this question, you need to ask a more fundamental one. Do you expect such a system to be "live" (as in requiring a two way connection) or document based, ie static?

@emacsen I’d say the minimal viable product is static serving of files, but a full client/server two-way connection would be optimal.

@tinyrabbit I think that hurdle is because there's no education about how the internet works. You won't find any TV shows and even YouTube videos explaining the basics are hard to find. Unless you know in principle what's necessary then it's hard to begin.

Also the domain registration sites are designed for professional sysadmins who know the lingo. They're not designed for self-hosting.

Creating a turnkey solution might be possible if you're running an ISP. This is something which requires control over infrastructure, and that's why it's hard.

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