Can I self-host Standard Notes?
Standard Notes is free and open-source software, which means self-hosting both ends (the app and server) is both totally possible and very easy.
There are two components to the self-hosted infrastructure:
Standard File Server
The first is the server. We use and develop a server framework called Standard File for our backend. The backend is zero-knowledge, which means that it does not nor care to understand the contents of what it is storing. Indeed, any content received by our server is always encrypted and cannot be understood by the server.
The server is responsible for authentication and syncing. When you self-host your own server, the end result will be an endpoint that you expose via HTTPS on your server. You then enter this endpoint in the Standard Notes client applications in the Sync Server Domain field (found under Advanced Options when signing in or registering).
Using your own server ensures that at no point does the client application communicate with any other external server beyond your own (with the exception of auto-update version checks for the desktop app; although, that can also be configured to use your own server as well).
To get started with self-hosting your own Standard Notes/Standard File server, choose one of the following paths:
- Deploying a private Standard File server with Amazon EC2 and Nginx
- Deploying a private Standard File server using Docker
- Deploying a Standard File server on AWS with a preconfigured image
- Deploying a free Standard File server with Heroku
Standard Notes client applications
Because the client applications (desktop, web, and mobile) allow the option of specifying which server to connect to, self-hosting the client applications is not as common as self-hosting the server. If you were to go down this route, the paths you might take are:
- Self hosting the Standard Notes web app (app.standardnotes.org) on your own server so that you do not rely on our own instance for portable usage.
- Compiling the desktop and mobile apps from source to achieve maximum configurability or peace of mind.