Party like it's 1999: Running a Home Server

The cloud. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

That's not true of course. The "cloud" (big rooms full of servers) is very handy. This is especially true if you don't want to deal with the hardware and networking of doing things yourself. Or if you want to deploy all over the world. Or if you need large scale deployments. The list goes on.

But doing things in the cloud has become so commonplace many people don't even consider doing it at home anymore. You should. It's fun and it's really cheap. I have hosted sites on Heroku and Digital Ocean. Pricing for those starts at $7 and $5 per month, respectively. It's a pretty good deal, until you have 14 of them.

I want to be able to create new websites, willy-nilly, without paying anything except domain registration. I already have a big beastly computer. I have high speed internet. So I got a static IP address and went to town. I will write more about the details of that configuration in the future (spoiler: Arch Linux and Docker).

Another nice thing about hosting from your own PC is that you can get a much more powerful machine than you would on low-tier cloud services. I have used a lot of AWS instances with very slow CPUs and very little RAM. Now I get a fast i7 CPU and a ton of RAM, solid-state drives, etc.

Obviously this doesn't scale. I don't want to build more servers, turn my apartment into a datacenter, and deal with complex networking and security issues. I just want a place to host small, low-traffic, or experimental websites for free. If a ton of people start to visit, say,, then I will move it to the cloud.

Until then, I'm doing it at home.