Easier self-hosting with Umbrel
While it’s undeniable that cloud-based services are convenient, there are people who would rather do it themselves. For many of us, it’s because we want what we want the way we want it. For others, leaving your personal information on someone else’s server that you do not control is distrustful. Umbrel is a Linux distribution only for people who want to self-host popular applications like NextCloud or Home Assistant. [ItsFoss] has a good review pointing out some of the pros and cons of the early version of Umbrel.
But what’s really interesting is the approach the distribution takes to installing software. Like most modern distributions, Umbrel comes with a package manager. However, unlike most others, the packages are actually Docker containers. So when you install an app, it’s preconfigured and in its own bubble, so it’s unlikely to clash with other things you might install.
We also like that it has a dedicated build for a Raspberry Pi, although it will work on other 64-bit hardware and you can even install it on your regular operating system from within Docker. Of course, the Docker container concept is also a disadvantage – at least for now – as it can be difficult to adjust settings inside the container compared to a more conventional installation.
It amazes us that hardware has gotten so powerful that it’s easier to simply duplicate entire operating systems than it is to work out the required dependency interactions. Nevertheless, it works, and in most cases it works well.
If you’re interested in knowing more about Docker, we’ve covered it a few times in the past. You can even use it for very simple development cases if you want.