Newbie here, requesting guidance getting started

Hi everyone. I’m looking to de-google my online life. Not completely, not paranoid-level, just mostly.

While I’m comfortable with using the Linux command line for basic tasks like installing software, I have no experience in configuring stuff from the command line, or any sysadmin-ish tasks.

Specifically, I want these services:

== Notes ==

  • Must not use rich text. When a link is copied from Safari in recent iOS versions, it’s copied as rich text, and you cannot modify the link destination easily. I need to avoid this.
  • Must support syncing, with iOS and Android native apps, and a web version or native app for PC.
  • Must support labels or categories, with support for multiple labels/categories per note.

I’m thinking of using Standard Notes or Joplin. Are there other software/service y’all would recommend? Someone under this post recommended Obsidian, but I’d rather not pay.

== Sheets ==
As in Google Sheets / Excel. With formula support.
As with notes, I need something that syncs with iOS and Android native apps.
Stability is important; the reason why I don’t want to use Google Sheets any more is that its mobile app corrupted my sheets twice.
I noticed that both Standard Notes and Joplin offer a spreadsheet plugin; are those any good? Would they corrupt sheets?
Worst case scenario, if nothing works well enough, I could migrate my sheets to webpages and js. But I haven’t learned anything about web dev yet, although I certainly plan to.

== Other services ==

  • Matrix (construct)
  • Calendar and contacts syncing (radicale)
  • HTTP server (caddy/nginx)
  • Telegram bot local API server

== My concerns ==
I have to host on a VPS (i.e. hosting at home is not an option), and I would like to spend as little money as possible. That means getting a potato. What kind of specs would be needed for everything I want to host? Would 3 cores and 4 GB RAM be enough?
Also, I’m aware that NextCloud can provide notes, sheets and calendar/contacts syncing. Should I just use NextCloud? Is it good enough for these uses? Can the abovementioned specs handle it?

FWIW, construct says this on its wiki:

Memory use is about 150 MiB for a fresh install, 600 MiB after a week (by joining a dozen largest available rooms). After an extended period memory use may grow to around 1 GiB give or take.

This is the only program I saw that gave actual numbers about the RAM usage. I really have no idea how much usage to expect for any software.


Hi there,

I host my own Nextcloud on my own local server only on my local network (there are solutions to open up securely to outside networks, forgot names but someone could mention it).

I use Logseq for notes which I really like. Problem is that there’s currently no great solution for syncing on mobile device with Nextcloud. People use Syncthing but (in my opinion) syncthing is not a good solution with Nextcloud. Perhaps Synthing only with Logseq would be good for you but I know Syncthing is not great either for modifications on multiple devices at around the same time.

If you are not in a hurry, there’s currently development being made to get Logseq selfhosted API which would solve a lot of problems regarding syncing with Logseq. I personally currently use Foldersync, which works fine but I don’t know if it would work with IOS. Tell me if you want more advice for fast Foldersync. Foldersync isn’t open source by the way, it is just a temporary solution for me and is only for syncing with mobile device with Nextcloud. Nextcloud can also sync on its own on mobile device if you do it more manually.

Logseq apparently also have a paid sync solution, but I don’t know where it is or what’s the price. It isn’t well advertised.

That being said, Nextcloud comes with a simple collaborative text editor. A problem with this text editor is that you should only use the Nextcloud’s text editor because it mess with the formatting. It can be a good temporary solution while you experiment with self-hosting then later you should be able to transfer these notes (could be short or long depending on how long you wait before transferring and the difference in format with the new solution).

Otherwise, there’s also Collabora which can be added to Nextcloud. It is like Office 365 web apps for text editing and such but open source. I don’t know if it can handle non rich text well, although, like the Nextcloud’s text editor, you could edit straight from there (I actually don’t understand your issue with rich text).

If you are a keyboard person, perhaps Org-mode offer everything you need. It is for Emacs. I don’t know much about its sync tools and mobile device and Emacs in itself is a whole thing to learn. You probably want to learn Vim (or Neovim) in the first place which is a simple terminal UI text editor (TUI). It is very fast and keyboard driven. Well worth it for taking note and quickly edit settings in a server. While being at it, Tmux could also be of interest, as well as Tile window managers (DWM, QTile, etc.) Maybe the kitty terminal is all you need… lot of stuff to learn along the way.

As for specs, I can’t really help you with that but I’ve been running Nextcloud on an Odroid HC4 which is an SBC (Single Board Computer) and SSDs. Slow but once the site is loaded, it is kinda fine. Now I run on a very old server. Site seems as slow to load at first, but browsing files and apps seems much faster. Edit: For syncing files with Nextcloud Client, it is fast, no issue there with the Odroid HC4 nor the old server.

Note that I promote open-source solution which is another thing I believe one should look for when going into a de-googled (or privacy) lifestyle. I also suggest looking into rooting android device.

Edit: See edit section above

Black Friday is coming up! A lot of providers have very cheap deals during Black Friday so it’s the perfect time to get a new VPS. Keep an eye out for the megathread on LowEndTalk.

Having said that, there’s good deals that aren’t Black Friday deals. You can get a VPS with 4GB RAM for less than $30/year at several different providers. Here’s two providers I use and can vouch for:

I personally prefer GreenCloudVPS over RackNerd, but both are decent.

GreenCloudVPS have some that are $45/year for 8GB RAM and 60GB space, at the link I posted above. IMO that’s a sweet spot with enough RAM and disk space for most things you’d want to run. They use AMD EPYC CPUs in many of their locations.

I’ve got a few VPSes with them, but I got them all during sales. They often double the RAM (so 16GB instead of 8GB) during sales if you pay for three years upfront.

Keep an eye out for HostHatch’s Black Friday sale too. I’ve also got some VPSes with them.

Is there a reason you’d prefer a native app over a web app? A lot of modern web apps are Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) which makes them “installable” like regular apps and often allows them to work offline. This could potentially unlock more options, as small developers prefer building a site that works across multiple devices compared to native apps for a bunch of platforms.

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With NextCloud, I’m actually looking at NextCloud Notes. I assume you meant NextCloud Text? Anyway, I don’t need collaboration, and I have no problem with not directly operating on actual files I can see (i.e. I have no problems with the notes only being presented in the app). I’m actually looking for a replacement for Google Keep, without the recently-added rich text support. Among the extra features offered by GK, I only use checkbox and labels.

That has 4GB RAM, so I guess NextCloud is fine there? But that is ARM and VPSes are x86 so I have no idea if a direct comparison of the numbers make sense. Also I would like to host services other than NC too if possible, so the RAM may still not be enough?

Believe it or not, I’m doing this not because of privacy, but because Google just can’t do things right. Having more privacy is a nice bonus but not a must for me.

I always root my Android devices and jailbreak my iOS devices if possible. I like having full control. I didn’t do much in terms of de-googling or privacy however.

I am actually looking at RackNerd for this, specifically the $38.77 one. GreenCloudVPS’s $45 plan seems even better though.

I know they are all the rage recently, but I never used one myself. I always think the look and feel of web apps (including Phonegap/Cordova) is just worse than native. For example, when you tap on something in a web app, there’s usually a small delay, compared to native apps.

Too bad you just missed their 10th birthday sale in October. They had a plan with 10GB RAM, 100GB disk space, 10TB monthly transfer, 5 AMD EPYC Milan cores, 10Gbps network connection, for $100 every three years (~$33/year). They may have similar deals during Black Friday though!

I’ve got one of their 9th birthday sale VPSes (which has 9GB RAM and 99GB disk space) and self-host Mastodon, Lemmy, and a bunch of other things on it. It works well.

I’m not affiliated with any of the providers I’ve mentioned; I’m just a customer of all of them.

As for hardware, I’m pretty sure it will be fine for Nextcloud. It may be slightly slow but if you are the only one using it or 3-4 people, I think it will be very fine. In my case, its only the UI that is slow, all webdav syncing is fine.

Yes I mean Nextcloud text which seems to be possible to use with the note mobile app which seems like it would be able to edit files on local device and sync later with internet. Could be good for what you need but as I said, Nextcloud text plugin has a strict formatting so I’d recommend either using it or completely switch to another app. It works fine for simple note. I prefer a more robust note app because of the search power. I can tag pages and block of text and also search about anything on my whole base of notes. Something I am not aware to be done easily in Nextcloud notes. Logseq is able to do that and you can edit files with other app without problem as long as you use a similar formatting (which is markdown). The only downsides with Logseq to me are the slow start (once it is done, there’s no other slowdown) and the lack of a robust sync for mobile device (it works perfectly for desktop with Nextcloud).

When I started my journey into self-hosting, I was also looking for a Google keep alternative. With Nextcloud, you can use Davx5 and sync calendars, contacts, tasks (and possibly more). I like the Tasks plugin for Nextcloud. There’s some missing features for me (assigning a user to a task and adding recurrence) but it’s fine. You can use the open source app Tasks (which is not related to the Nextcloud plugin). It is a great app except I highly recommend looking in the settings first. For me, there was a lot of base settings that I hated (like not saving when going back and having a big completed button while editing tasks) but once set up, it is great. Recurrent task do work in this app, but if the task is checked from Nextcloud, the recurrence will stop so it only works within the app.