State of my homelab in August 2023
My center of operations
I thought I might do a series of posts in which I show the status of my homelab, with updates each time something significant happens. This way I will be able to log the changes to my setup, how it evolves over time, with updates and downgrades. When read at some point in the future, it might turn out to be interestting story? We’ll see. Anyway, every series has a start, and so has this one, this is the first instance of the State Of My Homelab.
On the left, a TP-Link router provided by my ISP. The provider delivers an Ethernet cat cable straight from the wall, so no need for a modem. This is the first flat I’m seeing this, in my previous one there was a coax first, and a fiber optic later coming from the common parts of the block.
The white box is a Netgear GC110 smart switch, which currently I am using in a dumb mode, with no special configuration applied. I want to learn advanced networking, VLANs etc, but I never really sat down to it. Yet. Cool thing about it is that it has SFP ports, so one day I might use with fiber optics to connect stuff together? Maybe connect my future house with my future shed?
On top of the switch is my “dev server”, a Raspberry Pi 4b which I use to test out stuff before pushing it to my “production”. The Pi is running Raspbian, right now I am using it to test out Mullvad VPN, and a bit of BOINC, hence the fan. With light load, I never needed a fan if the case was open enough. Speaking of the case it’s a TerraPi Alpha SSD Case, and I highly recommend it, that case has served me for years, it’s great quality and the mounting is ingenous. The Pi is using an SSD for storage and SD card for booting. I wanted to use the SSD to host the system, but the Pi is very picky when it comes to USB-SATA controllers and SSD brand, and this combination did not want to cooperate.
Below the shelf, on the floor there is an IKEA Tradfri gateway, which I used to connect to my Home Assistant, but for now it’s now doing anything, in this generation of homelab I’m not running Home Assistant at all, got bored with it. Maybe next time.
Finally, on the right is the main production server of my homelab, Lenovo X240 with Intel i5-4300U and 8GB of RAM. I bought it as a cheap dispensable laptop to take when I wouldn’t want to carry expensive hardware on me, but I could not stand the screen quality and resolution, so it was promoted to become a server. I wish I could upgrade the RAM, but it has only one slot, and cannot take more than 8GB sticks
The Lenovo mainframe is also sporting an SSD in an external case as storage, and I removed both of the batteries, as they are not needed, and I don’t want to risk them bloating.
The secondary usecase of the server is a small file sharing server via NFS. I don’t have yet a proper NAS, but the few hundred gigs available on the external SSD are a convenient way to move stuff between computers in my LAN.
What I’m hosting
A homelab dashboard, this is what the screenshot is showing.
An ebook storage and management system
For downloading videos from Youtube. Surprisingly fast!
Downloads and stores podcasts. I mostly use it for data preservation (aka hoarding), I listen to podcasts only my phone with the iOS Podcasts app :)
Listen to MP3s, awful UI but it works. No, seriously, the UI burns out your eyes.
RSS is the best thing out there for following blogs. No algorithm, no ads, just a feed. For my RSS client I recently moved from Tiny Tiny RSS to FreshRSS.
Those Linux ISOs won’t download themselves.
Tool for creating CI/CD pipelines, something like GitHub actions but self-hosted. One of the tools that I am always planning to learn and never get around to it.
Dashboards, Grafana get’s data from InfluxDB and Prometheus and makes nice graphs out of it.
Time series database, together with Telegraf I am using it to gather statistics about the system, like Docker container stats. Also sometimes I’m using it to fetch and aggregate data from MQTT.
For monitoring uptime of your sites. I use it to see if this blog is up.
I’m self-hosting an ADSB receiver to watch airplanes. This is a topic for a separate blog post in the future.
The single best thing to remove ads and trackers when browsing the Internet.
My self-hosted instance of Wiki.js where my girlfriend and I store resources on cultivating our garden.
For making quick notes and drafts of blog posts.
Prometheus together with node-exported to gather metrics on my homelab state. The metrics are then ingested to Grafana and shown as dashboard graphs.
To quote a famous American poet of the 21st century (Drake):
started from a Raspberry Pi Zero W, now we’re here.
Thanks for reading, and if you would like to help fund my future projects and make my homelab grow, please consider to