Since a couple of weeks I have been more active in sharing my personal thoughts on this blog, and few readers said that there's no option for them to comment, and share their thoughts.

When I was hosting my blog on Heroku, I enabled comments using a 3rd party commercial tool. But, after moving to Google Cloud, that feature was lost and I was only running a plain blog. I didn't enable comments earlier because this time I wanted to do it differently. With all the privacy related issues going on, I didn't want to share data about my readers with a 3rd party. So I decided to look for a self-hosted open-source tool which fits my bill. And after a quick google-fu I found remark42.

Remark42 is a self-hosted, lightweight, and simple (yet functional) comment engine, which doesn't spy on users.

Using Remark42 gives me full control on how & where all the data is being saved. Since I am the only one managing the tool, I have to make sure that the comment service is always running and frequent backups are in place for restore purposes.

Since I am a Linux newbie, getting this up & running was a bit challenging. Even though Remark42 has a very good documentation, there were certain details which were not available. E.g. Creating a Linux service which can keep the tool always running, even if the server restarts. This is where I struggled to get a local server running where I can replicate the environment & experiment with it.

And all the hard-work paid off! I was able to get the tool running on my local server. And the next step to get it working on the main server was easy.

P.S: At this point I have only enabled Facebook login to post comments, but I plan to add few more login providers very soon.

So let your commenting begin, and let me know what you think about all the thoughts I have shared :).

Disclaimer: The data received from these providers is minimal(only basic profile info) and you can read the privacy policy here.