What will happen if I die?

Hello all.
I self host my own yunohost server since 2015 and, little by little, I have convinced my family (parents, wife, childrens) and some of my friends to replace the GAFAM services they used by the services hosted on my yunohost instance (cloud and mail). After few years, they’re satisfied.
But recently, my father asked me about what could happen to their data if I die? Who will manage the server? I’m in a good health for the moment and I havn’t thought about that, but I think it’s a good question.
Any advices about that?
Thanks a lot for your ideas.


This is a good question! …necessary not die though :sweat_smile:

Iv done an emergency USB-stick with as much information as possible. In my case I have family members that are in to IT and computers, so this should be enough to at least get back most of the data.
Also, I think its important to practice and test so see if it actually works.


Interesting one. I am starting the same journey and I asked myself the same question actually. Especially considering that some important personal data will be stored.
In my view, the best is to prepare a “how to” guide about administration/setup of the system and backup of the data. How to access, recover and potentially move to other platforms if no other admin can replace you. This could be a video, a slide pack or a document of any sort.
However the “how to” guide would need admin credentials… which is a security issue. For now I plan to go for a simple, old-style paper version! But there might be better ways…

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Interesting how capable brains are more important than the tools to make it. Nowadays it’s so cheap to self-host, the problem is people with the will and skills to do it.

I hope that your server keeps on running when you die. (I also hope that you don’t die, but changes are very slim… )

When a server is still online, your family members should be able to access all their data: cloud and email and such, so they could migrate themselves to a new server or retrieve everything for local use.

So I would maybe write a few manuals on how to do this. Could be a nice collaborative project… “what to do when your admin dies”. And indeed, like @tomas says; practice…

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thanks a lot for these first answers.
@dosch data migrations are not usually trivial operations for end users. I’im sure most of my users are unable to migrate their data themselves.
But yes, I agree with you: it could be a nice collaborative project (that’s the idea of this post)
@tomas nice idea is the emergency USB stick, I will probably dig on this way.

I already thought about it and I chose to pass all I know to my kids. The grown up is 12 now. Learning new things will be a game. One day she’ll become better than me

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Data migrations sound big. But depends a bit on the context and app you are talking about…
If I set up Nextcloud sync with the app to my desktop, then I should already always have a local backup of the files on the server.
If I use an email-client, (instead of webmail) I already have a local backup of all my mails and on the server.

The same goes for calenders, addressbooks.

The hard stuff; config files, modifications, SSO setup etc. are harder to migrate, but are probably not of any concern to the users of your server. And if they are, then they are probably so interested in continuing your work that indeed they will need to educate themselves and would be very happy to have a USB stick with passwords somewhere.

As for the USB stick: I gave an encrypted USB stick to my parents and the password to decrypt to my partner. This way they have to collaborate in case they want access if I am no longer around.