The Times They Are A-Changing.

I can’t stand that song.

Nevermind. This site will be down from 15th June, for as long as it takes me to get myself sorted out. I’ve disabled automatic renewal on my hosting, and have started the process of creating a home server, using Yunohost,1 on which I plan to host a static version of this website. That excellent project seems more accessible now, thanks to my having learnt a fair bit about networking recently, and to the fact that the Yunohost documentation has been refreshed and is now rather excellent, in my opinion.

I’ve already installed Yunohost onto the SD card of my Raspberry Pi, fired it up and been able to access the admin page.

At the moment, it is just a box under my desk, transmitting very little to my local network. It’s the Raspberry Pi, box, incidentally, that I mentioned in a recent(ish) post.2 However, come the end of my hosting contract, I hope it will be the new home of danceswithcats.

Doesn’t the naive hope break your heart!

My task list towards this goal is long and fussy, as all computer projects are. I’ll also need to make backups of backups of my Nextcloud data as I’m planning a new instance, rather than a migration of my existing Nextcloud. I want to bring all my digital stuff under one domain name, so that I can cut costs. At the moment, I am paying for three domain names. That wasn’t such a problem when Gandi offered free email with a domain, but now they’ve whacked a £3/month charge on that, it adds up. Getting rid of hosting and two domains with associated email will save me around £300 a year.

I’ll need to think about domain management. I’ve already created an A record on my domain, pointing at my home IP address, and I’ll change the CNAME on the 15th, assuming I have the time: annoyingly, it’s a Thursday, which means I’m teaching. Anyway, there has to be a Yunohost admin page, but I’m not clear whether that hogs the top-level of the URL. I hope not, as I’d like to keep this website as the main domain. Nextcloud3 will be a subdomain, of course, and I’d like a Calibre server,4 a Matrix server5 and a music server. At the moment, I’m favouring the idea of using Navidrome6 for that. Quite how much one can tax a Raspberry Pi with is an open question at the moment. No one in the forums seems keen to talk about hardware limits, but they must be a factor. I won’t, for instance, be installing the Nextcloud Talk app: video conferencing is not a thing when you’re using an ARM processor, I wouldn’t have thought. However, the Matrix server should be entirely practical and will allow me to, maybe, also install other Fediverse-linked services in the future. Let’s see how the initial setup goes: I’ve got port-forwarding and storage configuration to get through before I get any more ambitious.

As it is, I’m a little bit stuck until my domain is ready, and I’m tight enough to not want to waste the cost of the hosting for which I’ve already paid. However, it gives me time to focus on becoming used to using a static blog application. I’ve chosen Hugo, because it’s well supported and has lots of themes. Once this post is up, I will use the WordPress to Hugo Exporter7 to download a copy of this website and start playing with Hugo on my local machine. I hope that, in the week-and-a-bit until the 15th, I will have a site ready to upload.

Hugo builds a website on your own computer, so that you have a site to simply upload to your web server, complete and independent of databases and other complications. The program uses Markdown as its composition language, which is fine: I use that on the excellent Nextcloud Notes app.8 The only snags I really anticipate with Hugo, having read a very helpful overview,9 are formatting my theme with a serif font, which doesn’t seem popular with the Hugo community, and my use of footnotes. I really prefer them to direct links in a blog, but I haven’t yet worked out whether they are available in a static site generator.

There’s a chance that I will have to troll through all my posts, converting my footnotes to conventional in-text links. That will be a chore, but it might discipline me to do some editing and pruning.

Anyway, enough of this. I’ve got my task list. Onwards and downwards.

Wish me luck.

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  2. Linux: A Love/Hate Story []
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  1. …And, We’re Back. – Danceswithcats

    […] The Times They Are A-Changing.[↩] […]

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