nsg's blog

De-Google my life


I have now passed the mid-mark of my summer vacation, just a little under two weeks left. Looking forward to being back to work, a lot of interesting things happening at SVTi this autumn. But at the same time It’s really nice to do exactly what I want in the days, dosen’t matter the day or time. I took once again on of these “relaxing vacations”, I needed it.

I have spent some time with my side projects, some more important than others. One of them has been to de-google my live, I have got to dependent to a single company and I while there are worse offenders out there, Google is not the company where I like to keep too much data.

The first step was to move my email, calendar och contacts to a Kolab install about over a year ago. It was a easy and quick setup but the upgrade documentation was lacking and I was afraid to brick my email so I was stuck at an older version, this was not the way forward… during the spring I started to tinker with Postfix and Dovecot to set up a mail server properly, and to understand it all. It has been a fun experience and I have a better understanding how email works today. I have complimented the install with a few Sieve filters and a OwnCloud install for calendar och contacts (and more).

I think I will make a proper writeup about that later then I have finalized things. But for the time being I have replaced the functionality of Gmail, Google Calendar and Dropbox. And I must say, it’s an improvement!

I will continue use Google products, like Google Maps, Google Search, Hangouts and from time to time other less used products. The idea is to reduce the amount of my personal data passing through a 3rd part. Nothing bad about Google, they just happened to be the company I was using.

I have a expertise and time to self host so there are really no reason not to do so. It is also a good learning experience both for my personal and professional work so it is not wasted time. With virtual machines, Ansible and Docker deployment and management of these services is easy both to setup, manage and maintain.

Please note that this is a old post from the year 2015 and the information may be outdated. All these 406 words are written by Stefan Berggren, feel free and contact me if you like.