I like to run all my own data services (for security and confidentiality). I'm wondering whether anyone has tried to replace iCloud with a personal server.

I presume that a combination of server side WebDAV plus jabber might do the trick together with some client side scripting and sculpting of the hosts file.

The aim would be to as completely as possible replace Apple's services but still use the OS X and iOS integration for documents and messages between a single user's devices.

  • Are you looking to totally mimic each and every iCloud service or just set up something like OS X server which provides WebDAV, email, calendaring, directory service (contacts and groups) as well as jabber chat server for video and audio chatting (messages/iChat).
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 12:22
  • #overkill tbh, hardly worth the time
    – Alexander
    Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 12:33

3 Answers 3


Simple answer: No

More exact answer: Maybe. You would need to have a inside knowledge of the internal processes of the iCloud. The iCloud is not just one server, but many of them with different parts (Key Value Storage, Document storage, ....) I don't think it's possible to replace them without extreme inside knowledge.

For more info about what exactly the iCloud is (much more than just a file server) you could read this Mountain Lion Review from John Siracusa

Of course there are other services which provide the same tools for managing reminders, todos, ... But there isn't a direct replacement for the iCloud and I can't imagine that there will ever be one. That would fundamentally contradict with apples philosophy of a closed and controlled environment.

  • sometimes the best advice is no!
    – FGiorlando
    Commented Aug 14, 2012 at 7:59

Have a look at ownCloud which provides Calendar, Notes and File Sharing. It can be installed on any hosted or own server.

  • 1
    thanks for the tip, I currently use Horde: (horde.org), WebDAV and rsnapshot but ownCloud looks good too
    – FGiorlando
    Commented Aug 14, 2012 at 8:01

I run Calendar, Contacts, WebDAV, and VPN as a service on OS X and can access it from my iDevice. It's not as complex as iCloud (as in offering a lot of features and being replicated across multiple data centers in different geographic regions, but for my personal use, it works fine.)

While having multiple geographic locations is nice, it's not necessary. If you have the money, find another location near your residence so that data is transferred to and from quickly.

If you live on the east coast and only travel on the east coast, having a Mac colocated on the west coast is almost pointless. Sure someone can say, well what if a hurricane destroyed the east coast. Well my response, most likely my ISP or cell carrier will be down anyway and I'd have bigger issues to worry about - like finding a new home maybe.

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