Nextcloud Docker with Nginx Proxy Manager

Nextcloud has become an integral part of my work flow these days. I love having a “place” to go that’s totally mine. I have been running it from a docker container since before the AIO images were available and so have not had a reason to change.

The container comes in two flavors- Apache vs php-fpm. The I had been running the Apache version since it is generally easier, but always hated the idea of using Nginx Proxy Manager in front of Apache. It just seemed like a redundancy. Finally, I started to get some weird behaviors in Nextcloud which … Read the rest

Fully Local Universal Remote Control with Home Assistant


I have had a Logitech Harmony remote solution for almost 10 years. In my opinion, it is a very nice product. It integrates nicely into Home Assistant, and so, while it didn’t behave as intuitively as I wanted out of the box, Home Assistant automations were able to modify its behavior so that it largely performed seamlessly in the way that I wanted.

Unfortunately, as with many other quality products, Logitech decided to discontinue the Harmony line of products.

Luckily, Logitech has learned from its previous mistake when it discontinued the Harmony Link years earlier. At the time, … Read the rest

Create a FREE public endpoint for self-hosted services using Oracle Cloud and OPNsense


As many of you (the people who would be interested enough to read this post), I have a number of self hosted services which have become integral to my everyday life. For the most part, I use a wireguard (split) tunnel to access these services remotely from my phone or laptop. However, there are some services, like Nextcloud, for which I prefer public access so that I can access them from any computer. Up till now, I have opened port 443 on my router and forwarded incoming traffic to an instance of Nginx Proxy Manager. This has been working … Read the rest

Making an Automatic Email Backup – Part 3

Part 1

Part 2

Initially, I described a solution which required the use of LXC or some full Linux box to install and operate the necessary tools. Recently, however, I repackaged those tools into a couple docker containers, more easily deployable through a docker compose file with configuration done with environment variables.

Instructions on the github page. Let me know if you have any questions!… Read the rest

Integrating XMCOSY+ Outdoor String Lights with Home Assistant Locally

XMCOSY+ Outdoor String Lights

Home automation is incredible and obviously in my opinion, a lot of fun. However, I’m sure many of you would agree that buying a product for use in your home shouldn’t have to connect to an outside computer, let alone one in another country.

Fortunately with the magic of Home Assistant and the Local Tuya plugin, I have managed to run this light locally without any loss of functionality. As you may know, Tuya is a Chinese manufacturer who creates a lot of white label IoT devices. The devices, in my experience, tend to work … Read the rest

Custom 3D Printed Mount for Fire Tablet (2015)

I have been enamored by the slew of Home Assistant Dashboard mounts lately and have wanted to make one for a while. I saw that the newer Amazon tablets have commercially available options, but my old 2015 Fire Tablet was on its own.

I decided to make one using my Creality Ender 3 Pro. I designed one with screw holes to fit a standard 2-gang box, an opening for the cord to exit posteriorly, and cut outs for the tablet’s buttons.


Unfortunately, each one took about a day to print and I went through several drafts, slowly tweaking the … Read the rest

UPDATE 2: A Wired Sonoff Zigbee Alternative



The updates for this little device keep coming. Thanks to the folks leaving comments, we keep getting more information. I apologize for not noticing this myself, but I did not spend any time trying Zigbee2Tasmota on this device having played with it enough on the Sonoff hub.

A commenter, Ronald, noted that using Zigbee2Tasmota, attempting to pair Zigbee devices caused the hub to reboot. I confirmed this myself, and tried with both Zigbee firmware packages from the EmberZNet NCP UART EZSP firmware page.

I attempted to build … Read the rest

UPDATE: A Wired Sonoff Zigbee Alternative



So while the documentation in the initial post on how to compile and flash Tasmota to the ZB-GW03 works, there is a bug when using the Tasmotized device with Home Assistant.

After changing the device to a ZHA Bridge, a power disruption will prevent a reconnection to Home Assistant once power is restored. The only way to reconnect appears to be by switching the device template back to Zigbee2Tasmota, letting it start, and then back to the ZHA Bridge template. Afterwards it will reconnect as usual. A … Read the rest

Making an Automatic Email Backup – Part 2

UPDATE: PART 3 has instructions for email backup using pre-made docker images based on this post and Part 1.

<— Part 1

Summary so far

Ok, so if you have gone through Part 1 already, you have Mbsync set up to sync all emails from your remote IMAP server and then Dovecot set up to host those emails on a local SMTP server, but without SSL.

That may be enough for many, but we can take things a step further. In this part, we will add self-signed SSL certificates for Dovecot, and we will install Roundcube. Roundcube is an … Read the rest

Making an Automatic Email Backup – Part 1

UPDATE: PART 3 has instructions for email backup using pre-made docker images based on this post and Part 2.


In the world of self-hosting, creating a personal email server always seemed like the Holy Grail of personal privacy. Unfortunately, with all the work that would go into maintaining it, and the high probability of failure when operated by someone as inexperienced as myself, it has never seemed like a viable option for me. However, I have wanted a system for some time whereby I can automatically backup my email in a standard format which could potentially be served to … Read the rest