Open Source Collaborative Docs

Updated 20-Sep-2023

We can call this Tsuite, inspired by Toot Sweet (a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang candy invention), and is meant to provide some functionality offered through third party collaborative documents. The main point is to have a self-hosted, free-and-open-source alternative, albeit with more bare bones functionality. Ultimately the goal is to be functional enough to allow for the replacement of things like Google GSuite, Microsoft Office Suite, and the like. Note: This topic is continued with a recent article about Dropbox Paper

Basic Functionality

  • Email (with IMAP)
  • Web-based Spreadsheets
  • Web-based Text documents and/or wiki pages
  • Some level of collaboration (realtime synchronous and serial persistence)
  • Some level of security and access control (though rudimentarily may be VPN-based)

Expanded Functionality

  • User and group access control
  • Better audit control and backup
  • Export of documents into common document types (.pdf, .xls, .doc)
  • Import of documents
  • More extensive wiki layouts
  • Shared calendaring
  • Shared contacts

Tools to Start

File Options to Explore


For a third-party, open source solution, the most complete while having a modicum of stability, is likely Pydio + Collabora on GlusterFS. Pydio has mobile apps and integrates with Collabora, which has web-based file editors, and GlusterFS is the file service on the server. It is possible that the Pydio open source docker image would be enough, including (or in addition to) the Collabora Online Development Edition distribution. The biggest problem with Collabora as a shared document editing environment is the requirements for a server, which is 8gb of ram (currently $76/mo for an AWS EC2, though a 1-year reserved instance would provide a 38% savings at $46.57/mo). Note: This topic is continued with a recent article about Dropbox Paper