A set of Ansible playbooks to build and maintain your own private cloud: email, calendar, contacts, file sync, IRC bouncer, VPN, and more.
If you’ve never used Ansible before, you might find these playbooks useful to learn from, since they show off a fair bit of what the tool can do.
The original author's background and motivations might be of interest. tl;dr: frustrations with Google Apps and concerns about privacy and long-term support.
Sovereign offers useful cloud services while being reasonably secure and low-maintenance. Use it to set up your server, SSH in every couple weeks, but mostly forget about it.
What do you get if you point Sovereign at a server? All kinds of good stuff!
Don’t want one or more of the above services? Comment out the relevant role in
site.yml. Or get more granular and comment out the associated
include:directive in one of the playbooks.
You do not need to acquire an SSL certificate. The SSL certificates you need will be obtained from Let's Encrypt automatically when you deploy your server.
The following steps are done on the remote server by
sshing into it and running these commands.
aptitudeis required on Debian
apt-get install sudo python
If you haven’t already, download and install Tarsnap, or use
brew install tarsnapif you use Homebrew.
Create a new machine key for your server:
tarsnap-keygen --keyfile roles/tarsnap/files/decrypted_tarsnap.key --user [email protected] --machine example.com
Download a copy of this key and keep it somewhere safe! There's no point having backups if you can't retrieve them when needed.
For goodness sake, change the root password:
Create a user account for Ansible to do its thing through:
useradd deploy passwd deploy mkdir /home/deploy
Authorize your ssh key if you want passwordless ssh login (optional):
mkdir /home/deploy/.ssh chmod 700 /home/deploy/.ssh nano /home/deploy/.ssh/authorized_keys chmod 400 /home/deploy/.ssh/authorized_keys chown deploy:deploy /home/deploy -R echo 'deploy ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL' > /etc/sudoers.d/deploy
Your new account will be automatically set up for passwordless
sudo. Or you can just add your
deployuser to the sudo group.
adduser deploy sudo
Ansible (the tool setting up your server) runs locally on your computer and sends commands to the remote server. Download this repository somewhere on your machine, either through
Clone or Download > Download ZIPabove,
git clone https://github.com/sovereign/sovereign.git
Modify the settings in the
group_vars/sovereignfolder to your liking. If you want to see how they’re used in context, just search for the corresponding string. All of the variables in
group_vars/sovereignmust be set for sovereign to function.
For Git hosting, copy your public key into place:
cp ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub roles/git/files/gitolite.pub
Finally, replace the
host.example.netin the file
hosts. If your SSH daemon listens on a non-standard port, add a colon and the port number after the IP address. In that case you also need to add your custom port to the task
Set firewall rules for web traffic and SSHin the file
If you’ve just bought a new domain name, point it at Linode’s DNS Manager or similar. Most VPS services (and even some domain registrars) offer a managed DNS service that you can use for this at no charge. If you’re using an existing domain that’s already managed elsewhere, you can probably just modify a few records.
CNAMErecords which point to your server's IP address:
www.example.com(for Web hosting)
autoconfig.example.com(for email client automatic configuration)
First, make sure you’ve got Ansible 1.9.3+ installed.
To run the whole dang thing:
ansible-playbook -i ./hosts --ask-sudo-pass site.yml
If you chose to make a passwordless sudo deploy user, you can omit the
To run just one or more piece, use tags. I try to tag all my includes for easy isolated development. For example, to focus in on your firewall setup:
ansible-playbook -i ./hosts --tags=ufw site.yml
You might find that it fails at one point or another. This is probably because something needs to be done manually, usually because there’s no good way of automating it. Fortunately, all the tasks are clearly named so you should be able to find out where it stopped. I’ve tried to add comments where manual intervention is necessary.
dependenciestag just installs dependencies, performing no other operations. The tasks associated with the
dependenciestag do not rely on the user-provided settings that live in
group_vars/sovereign. Running the playbook with the
dependenciestag is particularly convenient for working with Docker images.
mail.example.comas the domain’s mail server.
To ensure your emails pass DKIM checks you need to add a
txtrecord. The name field will be
default._domainkey.EXAMPLE.COM.The value field contains the public key used by DKIM. The exact value needed can be found in the file
/var/lib/rspamd/dkim/EXAMPLE.COM.default.txt. It will look something like this:
v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQDKKAQfMwKVx+oJripQI+Ag4uTwYnsXKjgBGtl7Tk6UMTUwhMqnitqbR/ZQEZjcNolTkNDtyKZY2Z6LqvM4KsrITpiMbkV1eX6GKczT8Lws5KXn+6BHCKULGdireTAUr3Id7mtjLrbi/E3248Pq0Zs39hkDxsDcve12WccjafJVwIDAQAB
For DMARC you'll also need to add a
txtrecord. The name field should be
_dmarc.EXAMPLE.COMand the value should be
v=DMARC1; p=none. More info on DMARC can be found here.
Set up SPF and reverse DNS as per this post. Make sure to validate that it’s all working, for example, by sending an email to [email protected] and reviewing the report that will be emailed back to you.
Sign in to the ZNC web interface and set things up to your liking. It isn’t exposed through the firewall, so you must first set up an SSH tunnel:
ssh [email protected] -L 6643:localhost:6643
Then proceed to http://localhost:6643 in your web browser.
Similarly, to access the server monitoring page, use another SSH tunnel:
ssh [email protected] -L 2812:localhost:2812
Again proceeding to http://localhost:2812 in your web browser.
Finally, sign into ownCloud with a new administrator account to set it up. You should select PostgreSQL as the configuration backend. Use
owncloudas the database user and the database name. For the database password ansible has created a set of random passwords for each service and stores them in your local folder
secret, use the one in the file
We’re collecting known-good client setups on our wiki.
If you run into an errors, please check the wiki page. If the problem you encountered, is not listed, please go ahead and create an issue. If you already have a bugfix and/or workaround, just put them in the issue and the wiki page.
You will need to manually enter the password for any encrypted volumes on reboot. This is not Sovereign-specific, but rather a function of how EncFS works. This will necessitate SSHing into your machine after reboot, or accessing it via a console interface if one is available to you. Once you're in, run this:
encfs /encrypted /decrypted --public
It is possible that some daemons may need to be restarted after you enter your password for the encrypted volume(s). Some services may stall out while looking for resources that will only be available once the
/decryptedvolume is available and visible to daemon user accounts.
Ask questions and provide feedback in