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โ€บ Simple containerized open source app hosting - Free for a year during Beta
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Simple containerized open source app hosting - Free for a year during Beta

m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider
edited May 28 in Help

tl;dr: I'm building a container service to run open source apps in a simple way, while sharing with the app creators. Will be free for a year when signing up during beta.

Hi all,

I'd like to share my latest project: Basically I found myself running a bunch of VPS mostly to host various tools, like uptime monitors, Git, etc. They all come in Docker (thankfully), but I still need to figure out env vars, DB settings, etc. And then look after updates sometimes. I'm sure others have a similar workflow. So I wanted to find a simpler way to just run the open source apps I use regularly.

As a result I built PikaPods: A container-based platform to run selected open source apps with just a few clicks. It's aimed at those who aren't sysadmins at heart or just too lazy.

At the same time running an open source project is such a shitty job. (I know because I'm doing it.) It would be great if the people who maintain all our toys got something in return. So I'm offering a revenue sharing option to all projects available on the platform. PhotoPrism (a great Google Photos alternative) already took me up on it and I'm hoping to add more over time.

I'd love to know what you guys think of this idea, possible improvements and apps to add. Just note that I won't add any projects that already have a hosted offering and I don't plan on making this into a general container hosting platform, since this would require much more vetting and monitoring. So just established open source projects for now.

Mod edit (Not_Oles): removed ๐ŸŽ‰ from title.

ยซ13456

Comments

  • henrymillerhenrymiller Member
    edited January 23

    I am potentially interested in paying for something like this, but...

    • how will you assure me you wont do lock-in at some point? (E.g. i'd want some (easy) way to enter e.g. s3 credentials and you to push backups there in a form that allows me to easily just spin up a docker container myself.)

    • need support for Navidrome (music streaming server)

    • I'd want to know what the pricing will be like now, because personally i don't want to move things back again in a year (if it will even be possible, see 1)

    I really like your idea of rev-share with the open source projects.

  • zhizhi Member

    Ghost blog?

  • m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider

    @henrymiller said: how will you assure me you wont do lock-in at some point? (E.g. i'd want some (easy) way to enter e.g. s3 credentials and you to push backups there in a form that allows me to easily just spin up a docker container myself.)

    You can grab your data any time via SFTP. One of the first things I added.

    need support for Navidrome (music streaming server)

    Noted here: https://feedback.pikapods.com/

    I'd want to know what the pricing will be like now, because personally i don't want to move things back again in a year (if it will even be possible, see 1)

    No idea yet. Won't be crazy expensive. So below Digital Ocean, etc in terms of CPU/RAM. Something like 3 pods for $5/m or so. Maybe have a monthly plan for X CPUs and Y storage/RAM and then just launch pods as needed.

    Thanked by 1henrymiller
  • m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider

    @zhi said:
    Ghost blog?

    I'm trying to focus on projects without paid offering for now. So I don't compete with them. Ghost has a paid offering, I think. A friend works there so will ask them directly how they would feel about it.

  • Sounds like this might be a great service to launch Matrix homeservers using Synapse or Dendrite. Will you be offering something like this for your service?

    Thanked by 1jmaxwell
  • thestothesto Member
    edited January 23

    .

  • m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider

    @deltatux said:
    Sounds like this might be a great service to launch Matrix homeservers using Synapse or Dendrite. Will you be offering something like this for your service?

    Anything that runs in a container and talks via https is fine. Will look into those 2 projects.

    More complex stuff a bit later.

  • edited January 23

    Congrats on the launch!

    Not trying to be a party pooper, but if you wish to turn this into a successful business it's worth reflecting on the situation around sandstorm.io.

    Thanked by 2mrTom o_be_one
  • This seems like Docker with an webpanel, something like Pterodactyl. Or am I completely off?

  • AbdAbd Member, Patron Provider
    edited January 23

    Is it possible to enable ipv6 on the node ?
    uptimekuma motitoring IPv6.
    nice project.

  • m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider

    @WebHorizon said: Is it possible to enable ipv6 on the node ?

    Sure, no problem at all. Will do tomorrow.

  • m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider

    @Sacred said: This seems like Docker with an webpanel, something like Pterodactyl. Or am I completely off?

    Sounds about right. One of their sponsors is actually a big BorgBase customer. Small world..

  • m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider

    @stevewatson301 said: Not trying to be a party pooper, but if you wish to turn this into a successful business it's worth reflecting on the situation around sandstorm.io.

    Thanks for the hint. This is a real interesting case study. There are also some major differences. To me it looks like they made their own packaging based on Vagrant and Virtualbox. Seems pretty difficult to pull off like this. Time will tell if my plan is better.๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ•บ

  • ErisaErisa Member
    edited January 23

    Both social logins on your feedback site don't appear to work.

    Would love to see https://plausible.io though you commented on not interfering with paid plans which I will say is very respectful so I'm okay with that.

    Other suggestions maybe things like https://nitter.net if they're not going to cause too much abuse traffic? And small things like pastebin sites.
    Would be super excited to see Ghost come to fruition as well.

    I run a lot of personal instances of software that I really don't need to completely manage, so to hand all that to an external service would be great. I'm aware of the arguments about it not being "mine" at that point but it's mainly things where the main instance isn't particularly great or practical or maybe doesn't even exist. So I don't really care, as long as I can use it.

    Wouldn't normally jump on beta services hosted by LET users but I already have a 100GB BorgBase plan so recognition worked its magic there.

    For backups, maybe you could be cheeky and integrate with BorgBase or similar borg providers? A container that runs with the volume mounted and dumps all the data in a borg repo would be pretty cool. Though there are probably better ways to backup Docker volumes I'm not aware of!

    Looks really great, hope it all works out.

  • m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider

    @Erisa said: Both social logins on your feedback site don't appear to work.

    Good tip. Fixed now. Didn't adjust the URLs before.

    @Erisa said: And small things like pastebin sites. Would be super excited to see Ghost come to fruition as well.

    Something Pastebin-like would be nice. Will see what's there. And check with Ghost, if they would mind.

    BorgBase integration might be possible. A few of my customers are hosting companies actually. Seems to work for them.

    I would only backup the container volumes and database. The container image needs to be ephemeral. It's lost during updates anyways.

    So thanks a lot for all the great input and also for using BorgBase. All much appreciated. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ‘

    Thanked by 1Erisa
  • AstroAstro Member

    Maybe something small as uptime kuma can count as 0.5 pod? Also what is the expected pricing after the beta ends?

  • Already a fan of borgbase, please look into filestash app: https://www.filestash.app .

  • m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider

    @cadddr said:
    Already a fan of borgbase, please look into filestash app: https://www.filestash.app .

    They have their own hosted offering. I'm trying to be a good citizen and not compete with the app's own hosting offering. Unless they agree with it. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

    @BarkingIron said: Maybe something small as uptime kuma can count as 0.5 pod? Also what is the expected pricing after the beta ends?

    Good idea to have 0.5 CPU cores. I think it's possible to add a limit like this for containers. Would be in %.

    Pricing will be decent, as always. And there will be a free tier to run at least 1 pod. I just haven't figured out bottlenecks yet. Those will dictate the pricing.

  • ericlsericls Member, Patron Provider

    woo. looks very well executed! Gonna give it a try

    Thanked by 1m4nu
  • m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider

    @ericls said: woo. looks very well executed! Gonna give it a try

    Thanks. ๐Ÿ™ Still have a ton of TODOs though after all the great feedback I got in the last days.

  • Very nice! This is actually quite similar to what I've been working on for the last 6 months. Can you share a bit about the tech behind this? (Not looking to carbon copy you, just curious :) ).

    @stevewatson301 said:
    Not trying to be a party pooper, but if you wish to turn this into a successful business it's worth reflecting on the situation around sandstorm.io.

    I backed their Indiegogo and loved the concept, but Sandstorm was just too early and focused on the wrong things. They completely ignored the B2B market too.

  • m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider

    @jgillich said: Very nice! This is actually quite similar to what I've been working on for the last 6 months. Can you share a bit about the tech behind this? (Not looking to carbon copy you, just curious ).

    Sure. Being a Red Hat Engineer by training, I mostly stick to their stack. So Podman and (flavors of) RHEL9 are at the core. Hence the name PikaPods ๐Ÿ˜„

    What did you use for your solution? Any website that's available to view?

  • ericlsericls Member, Patron Provider

    @m4nu said:

    @jgillich said: Very nice! This is actually quite similar to what I've been working on for the last 6 months. Can you share a bit about the tech behind this? (Not looking to carbon copy you, just curious ).

    Sure. Being a Red Hat Engineer by training, I mostly stick to their stack. So Podman and (flavors of) RHEL9 are at the core. Hence the name PikaPods ๐Ÿ˜„

    What did you use for your solution? Any website that's available to view?

    Any thoughts on fedora silverblue? vs nixOS?

  • m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider

    @ericls said: Any thoughts on fedora silverblue? vs nixOS?

    Honestly, I don't use either and thus shouldn't give an opinion. As a concept I do see advantages of immutable systems. Just not everywhere.

  • @m4nu Great Offering.
    Signed up, very snappy. Slick UI, just gets the work done! B)
    So far, it seems only EU location is available to deploy pods?

    All the best!

  • @m4nu you should consider flagging your OP and asking a mod to add a blurb about you being behind Borgbase. It's one of the most polished service I use for very little $. You'll get more interest with instant credibility for anyone who didn't already know you were borgbase.

    Thanked by 2m4nu lanefu
  • jgillichjgillich Member
    edited January 25

    @m4nu said:
    Sure. Being a Red Hat Engineer by training, I mostly stick to their stack. So Podman and (flavors of) RHEL9 are at the core. Hence the name PikaPods ๐Ÿ˜„

    What did you use for your solution? Any website that's available to view?

    I'm still preparing the launch for another ~2 weeks, but my project is built on top of Kubernetes. I store apps as a custom resource in the K8s API and run them through a template to generate resources (started with Helm but it wasn't flexible enough). There are also custom resources for things like database users and email credentials; I've decided to run shared database clusters to cut down resource usage and to make backups easier.

    How do you scale this with podman? One dedicated VM per pod or do you have some sort of cluster management? What I can say is that your system is a lot snappier than mine, your apps are available in seconds whereas mine take a bit to deploy (although I use Bitnami images which automate the initial setup step).

    @ericls said:
    Any thoughts on fedora silverblue? vs nixOS?

    I do! I've been using Silverblue basically non-stop since it released, and I am a former NixOS user and contributor.

    I love declarative configuration (also why I think K8s is incredible) so theoretically NixOS is my perfect operating system. My problem is that it prioritizes purity over practicality; running downloaded binaries linked to standard fs paths ranges from difficult to impossible. And I've run into plenty of bugs; I don't think you can be NixOS a user without also being a contributor. My experience is a little outdated (2016) and Flatpaks didn't exist back then, so perhaps it has improved a lot in that regard and I'd definitely like to try it again in the future.

    Silveblue on the other hand just works. You can install almost everything as RPMs if you really need to, but docker/podman and Flatpaks are mostly sufficient nowadays. VS Code with the remote containers extension was a game changer for my development workflow.

    Thanked by 2m4nu ericls
  • ericlsericls Member, Patron Provider

    I do! I've been using Silverblue basically non-stop since it released, and I am a former NixOS user and contributor.

    I love declarative configuration (also why I think K8s is incredible) so theoretically NixOS is my perfect operating system. My problem is that it prioritizes purity over practicality; running downloaded binaries linked to standard fs paths ranges from difficult to impossible. And I've run into plenty of bugs; I don't think you can be NixOS a user without also being a contributor. My experience is a little outdated (2016) and Flatpaks didn't exist back then, so perhaps it has improved a lot in that regard and I'd definitely like to try it again in the future.

    Silveblue on the other hand just works. You can install almost everything as RPMs if you really need to, but docker/podman and Flatpaks are mostly sufficient nowadays. VS Code with the remote containers extension was a game changer for my development workflow.

    Woo! Thanks for your reply, that is very insightful. I'm currently running silverblue on a laptop that I'm going to return. (Sadly, I found out I can only be productive on a laptop with a Mac) But I find silverblue very intuitive to use and I'll probably switch my desktop to it soon.

    Also, 100% agree that vscode remote is a game changer for my dev work flow. I hope the devcontainer config format can be more widely adapted and integrated with more things, even something as proxmox, 3rd party cloud providers etc.

  • Is it much different from Yunohost, Cloudron, Sandstorm or Ubos?

  • m4num4nu Member, Patron Provider

    Yes, in that you don't manage your own server. Also, it's based on containers, not VMs. It also reuses the official Docker deployments of each project, so less work packaging and better consistency with the upstream project.

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