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  • The Distributor is the application you install on your device to get notifications. It receives notifications and distributes them to the other applications.
  • The Push Server is the server reachable from the Internet that listens for incoming notifications for you.
  • The Distributor is connected to the Push Server to get the notifications.

Install a Distributor

Without self-hosting the server (Easy)

  • ntfy: You just need to install it.
  • UP-FCM Distributor: The same as above. Just be aware that it uses Google servers.
  • Conversations: Conversations is an XMPP messenger which can also act as a distributor.

Self-host the server (Difficult)

Self hosting lets you have control of the server through which you receive push notifications. You have several distributor/server options for self-hosting:

The ntfy server can be easily be self-hosted. It can be installed with a package, available for most linux distributions, with docker, or using the standalone binary.

NextPush is a push server that can be hosted as a Nextcloud app. This is an easy way to self-host a push server if you already have a Nextcloud server.

Conversations is an XMPP instant messaging client for Android, with the ability to deliver UnifiedPush notifications using an existing XMPP account, on any server. This requires converting push notifications to XMPP messages first, which is done by a service hosted at up.conversations.im.

The service at up.conversations.im can also be self-hosted. It is called a rewrite proxy in UnifiedPush parlance.

Other options

If you have Google services (play store, etc.) on your Android phone, the easiest way is to use FCM-Distributor. However, this means that all your notification data is still being routed through Google.

FCM-Distributor might also be a good option for people whose phone manufacturer has set up extremely strict battery saving.

Special Case: the embedded FCM distributor

Some applications using UnifiedPush automatically use Google’s Firebase Cloud Messaging if no UnifiedPush Distributor is detected.