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Christopher Kapic
Christopher Kapic

Posted on • Originally published at on

The case for a CapRover Instance

If you have not heard of CapRover, it is a self-hosted platform-as-a-service designed to simplify deploying containers; that is well and good, and perhaps you will actually use CapRover at some point to deploy something to production. But the real value is using it as a playground.

CapRover offers a list of one-click-apps, and unlike choosing from a selection of one-click-apps from a cloud VPS host, you do not need to provision a new machine for each app you deploy. Deployment is super easy, and if there is not a one-click-app available, you can submit a Dockerfile to create your app.

CapRover also offers ridiculourly easy SSL deployment, so all of your self-hosted one-click-apps can have valid HTTPS certificates with minimal work on your end.

One click apps

For context, here are some of my favorite one-click-apps available in the main CapRover Repository:

  • Ackee - a self-hosted, privacy-respecting analytics tool. (An alternative is Plausible, but I have not been able to get the self-hosted version working. If you are willing to pay, their SaaS option is actually pretty good... and I'm not getting paid to say that.)

  • code-server - VS Code in your browser. There are a couple quirks, but it is super helpful to have an accessible (from any computer with a web browser) IDE. Just try not to let yourself get lost in the weeds of maintaining any weird settings.

  • Firefly III - personal finance manager. To be honest, I have yet to spend much time figuring this one out, but it seems promising, and it also seems to be the most popular based on online forums.

  • OnlyOffice - OPENOFFICE in the browser. Fairly similar to Microsoft Word in functionality, but in your browser, and open source (not proprietary through Google).

Overall, there are still more one-click-apps for me to explore. There are also a couple that I have had trouble with... If you want Mastodon, do not host it with CapRover (as of July, 2021).

At the very least, CapRover will offer a little fun. Give it a shot.

Thanks, and you're welcome.

Top comments (2)

silverark profile image
Matthew Nelson - Silverark

Just discovered caprover. For me it's use is when you want to deploy with docker, but the project isn't big enough to warrant AWS.

I've set services in a similar was in the past, manually configuring let's encrypt and nginx. This is a much easier and slicker.

Just set up gotosocial on a server in an hour, without a one click install. It's that easy!

nghialele profile image
Nghia Lele

I just dicovered CapRover this week and obsessed.

Thanks for sharing this.