Open Source Cloud

Updated 28-Jun-2024

The day has come when I have confidence it is possible to move off of all third party clouds, with the only exception being social media and social network sites. That is, the wonderful world of email, file sharing and synchronization, and even online document collaboration, can all be supported independent of third party services.

Desktop Applications - Open Source Replacements

Around 2005 I decided to move off of all possible proprietary third-party applications. This has been largely successful, though there are a few smaller tools I do pay for. In those days the two monsters were (and still are) Microsoft and Adobe.

There are many additional tools which have been overcome by their Open Source rivals, especially with the trend toward lightweight.

Cloud Applications - Open Source Replacements

In terms of the cloud, the heavyweights are Google Docs/Google Drive and Dropbox. Of course there are other tools out there which are equivalent (essentially, web-based document editing/sharing and file synchronization and sharing tools). And not to forget, the venerable mail and calendar tools.

So what we need are:

  • An email, calendar, contacts application with webmail functionality (and underlying email transport) -- iRedmail has become an attractive platform since it integrates other well-known tools.
  • For file synchronization, Syncthing works well.

For some kind of shared document collaboration in the cloud, there are options but the big problem comes down to security/privacy (for third-party services) and functionality/maintenance (for self-hosted solutions).

For third parties there is Cryptpad, and self-hosted versions available from their Cryptpad Github repository.