8 essential self-hosting projects for your Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a single board computer, built for a price but capable of high performance and performing the kind of tasks you would more easily associate with a server farm or data center.

Self-hosted web services and applications are a popular hobby today, and this article will introduce some of the best ones to deploy on a later model Raspberry Pi.

Why use a Raspberry Pi for self-hosting?

You can build a home server on virtually any computer hardware built in the last 30 years, but the Raspberry Pi has the advantage of extremely low power consumption. Even the recent Raspberry Pi 4B (the model we recommend for most of these projects) draws less than 3W at idle and around 7W under load, that’s about the same as a single energy-saving light bulb. ‘energy.

The 15-year-old gaming PC you pull out of storage to act as a server probably consumes over 600W. Since servers are typically left on 24/7, that’s a huge electricity savings.

In terms of performance, the Raspberry Pi 4B is a beast of a machine in miniature form, and features a quad-core Cortex-A72 64-bit processor running at 1.5 GHz (if you don’t overclock it), Gigabit Ethernet , four USB ports, and built-in RAM between 1GB and 8GB. Although prices are currently high for Raspberry Pi hardware, under normal circumstances they cost around $35.

In our opinion, few machines represent better value for money than the Raspberry Pi, and here are some of the best self-hosted projects you can run on it.

1. Nextcloud

Nextcloud is an extremely versatile piece of software that aims to completely replace almost every other service you access on the internet. You might think we’re joking, but we’re not.

At its core, Nextcloud is an open-source cloud storage and synchronization platform that supports multiple users. You can think of it as similar to DropBox, Google Drive, or Microsoft’s OneDrive, with apps available for Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, and Ubuntu Touch.

You can access your files through a web browser or a WebDav folder on your desktop. But Nextcloud is nearly infinitely expandable via free add-on apps, most of which can be installed in minutes with a single click.

Although Nextcloud has a Markdown text editor installed as standard, you might prefer a full collaborative office suite in the form of Collabora Online. You can add recipe managers, a full-text RSS reader, streaming radio apps, music library management apps, video conferencing apps, and even a ready-to-use social media server to interact with other people. other users.

This list barely scratches the surface of Nextcloud’s capabilities, but you can build your own Raspberry Pi cloud server with Nextcloud.

2. Jelly

If you have a large collection of movies, TV shows, music and audiobooks and want to use your media on your phone, TV, laptop, etc., you need to install Jellyfin on your Raspberry Pi .

Jellyfin is a simple, easy to install and intuitive to use media streaming center. It automatically scans and categorizes media and retrieves relevant thumbnails and metadata as soon as it detects a new file.

Each user can have their own account, and Jellyfin will keep track of the content they have watched, their progress in watching content, and their favorites. Authentication is done on the Raspberry Pi itself (unlike Plex), meaning your data stays entirely on your own network.

3. Photoprism

While Google put limits on its unlimited photo storage offering last year, millions of users are now looking for a free alternative that will give them the benefits Google Photos once offered.

PhotoPrism is by far the best solution as it will categorize, create albums and even recognize objects and faces in your photo collection. It automatically handles uploads and syncing, but you’ll need to use SyncThing or NextCloud to upload your photos to the server. PhotoPrism works well with both.


CryptPad is an open-source collaborative office suite complete with the unique (metaphorical) selling point of end-to-end encryption.

Traffic is not only encrypted in transit, but also encrypted in your Raspberry Pi’s storage. Even you, as a system administrator, cannot see what your users have written. CryptPad handles various formats and is smoother and a bit faster than NextCloud’s Collabora online integration.

FreshRSS is a self-hosted RSS newsreader that fetches and stores all your RSS news for consumption in-browser or, via its API, in various mobile apps.

In addition to fetching article stubs as intended by publishers, FreshRSS can use user-defined CSS selectors to pull entire articles onto your Raspberry Pi for you to consume.

You can set parameters such as article retention periods, feed categories, and rules that apply to each feed. With FreshRSS, you’ll never have to visit another website again!

6. Audio Library

If you have a huge collection of audiobooks, Audiobookshelf is the perfect tool to help you manage it. Books are automatically grouped into series and can be searched by author, narrator and metadata.

Audiobookshelf will track your progress across devices and offers apps for Android or iOS. You can change the playback speed between 0.5x and 2.0x, and if you’re the kind of person who prefers to be lulled into the gritty tones of a professional narrator but don’t want to lose their place overnight, you can set a sleep timer up to 90 minutes in advance, or the end of the chapter.

It’s like having your own personal Audible! So what are you waiting for? Go host your own Raspberry Pi audiobook library with Audiobookshelf.


WordPress is the most common CMS and blogging platform in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard to install or master. In fact, you can host your own WordPress site on a Raspberry Pi. That way you can focus on writing rather than managing your system.

WordPress supports multiple user roles and provides access to thousands of themes and plugins so you can customize your site to look and behave exactly the way you want.

8. Mail Server

Email is one of the terrifying prospects for any budding system administrator, but installing a fully secure and reliable email server on your Raspberry Pi can be accomplished in an afternoon.

You can quickly configure Dovecot, Postfix, OpenDKIM and SpamAssassin, after which you can send emails securely, knowing that your communications are entirely in your control.

Deploy almost any web software to your Raspberry Pi

These are just a few of the ways you can use your Raspberry Pi to replace sites and services offered by tech giants. You will derive great satisfaction from being independent in the digital world and you may also be able to encourage your friends and family to take up this hobby.

Remember that hosting costs are virtually zero when hosting on your own hardware. All you need is one domain name, and you’re good to go.

About Jon Moses

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