A question that comes up quite a bit in the Self Hosted communities is "What Self Hosted applications do you use most?" This question alone has been the reason I discover so many new applications I never knew I needed. Perhaps I can do the same for you by sharing my most used self hosted applications.
This very website runs on Ghost CMS. It's fast and easy to use when writing content. I love everything about this platform. If you need a blog or website, be sure to check out our Getting Started Self-Hosting series using Ghost.
Portainer is how I orchestrate all of my applications using Docker. It helps manage and deploy my docker applications in a simple, effective way. I use the Portainer Agent on other servers and machines so I can use one instance of Portainer for all of my Docker hosts.
I use Filebrowser to quickly edit, view and move files. It's an application I use nearly every single day.
One thing I learned early on when I got into self hosting and building a homelab was to take notes! I use Bookstack to store my notes and things I learn along the way. I also store docker compose snippets. You can see my public instance on TheHomelabWiki.
The open source Memos is what I use as my personal, private Facebook. I don't use Facebook but I like the idea of privately posting personal notes, photos, videos and project ideas on a micro-blog style platform that I can later reflect and look back on. I use it to remember dates and to keep track of my daily tasks.
AzuraCast allows me to create my own 24/7 uninterrupted music streams. I self host this in Proxmox and I use my Echo Show to play the stations I want to hear. It's something I use all the time and highly recommend.
This application has been a complete life saver. My kids are very young but love to watch videos from YouTube. I needed a way to control what content they consume. Tube Archivist allows me to choose what channels and videos are downloaded. There are automated options but I prefer using the manual options when it comes to the content my kids consume and Tube Archivist is perfect in every single way.
When it comes to monitoring my consumer grade homelab, I look to Grafana. It allows me to see at a glance, what my system vitals are when combined with Netdata and Prometheus. It's open source and can be easily self hosted.
Get Started Self Hosting
Learn the basics of self-hosting and start by self-hosting your own website using Ghost. This series will cover installing Ghost using Docker, setting up your domain with Cloudflare then using Zero Trust to protect your login page.
When I need a simple analytics option, I always choose Umami. I use it here on Noted. It's a wonderful analytics tool that focuses on the privacy of the people. You can read the self hosted umami review here on Noted.
I really enjoy using LinkAce as a bookmark application because it keeps my browser clutter free. I like how I can search for bookmarks, archive and delete them with ease. Adding tags to bookmarks allows me to categorize them. Alternatively, I also use Linkding for archiving websites. I wrote an article comparing both Linkding and LinkAce here.
Audiobookshelf is the newest of the self hosted applications that I use for audiobook and podcast hosting. It's clean web interface is second to none and fills a few voids I've been wanting for a long time. Check out the self hosted Audiobookshelf review here on Noted.
When it comes to serving home videos, Emby is what we use for that and other media. It's been an all around great solution and a household favorite for the kids.
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Final Notes and Thoughts
I use Proxmox hypervisor for nearly all of my self hosting applications. If you don't know what Proxmox is, you should take some time and check it out. But in short, it's a free hypervisor where you can host virtual machines and LXC containers. It offers convenient solutions for backups and snapshots depending on what storage you are using.
All of these applications have Docker images making them easy to install on pretty much any system.
What are your most used self hosted applications? Let us know in the comments below! Want to see more? Check out all of our Self Hosted reviews!