Homelab Networking Ubuntu

Pi-Hole – Taking back control of your DNS


I have seen a few posts on twitter recently about people running the Pi-Hole software for network-wide ad blocking.   The software was originally built to run on a Rasberry Pi and therefore is very lightweight.   I don’t have any Pi’s so i thought lets test it in a VM.


I spun up an Ubuntu VM from my Image Service on My Nutanix CE server

This process allocated an IP out of the IPAM in Nutanix.  Obviously, if you dont have this available you will need to configure a Static address.

Make sure your VM is upto date

[codeblocks name='Ubuntu Update']

Install Git

[codeblocks name=’Install Git’]

Install Pi-Hole

[codeblocks name='Install Pihole']

Input your sudo password and hit Ok!  the installer should run and you will be given a few basic options.


Next thing is to choose your favorite DNS provider.   I went for custom and then Cloudflare 

I allowed listening on IPv4 and v6  and left the network settings already applied to the VM and enabled the web interface .

You get a final confirmation page and then your done!!

 All thats left to do is to update your devices/DHCP to start using Pi-Hole  as a DNS server and your done.

If you want to monitor how Pi-Hole is doing check out the web interface listed in the final screen.   In the few hours I have been running it its blocked 28.1% of the DNS lookups my systems have attempted

AWS Hosting

AWS Lightsail

AWS Lightsail

I have been running this blog on-top of some of my Infrastructure at home but the performance ( due to my connection) has never been stunning.

So I decided to move it over to an AWS Lightsail instance to investigate more about the newer VPS service from Amazon and to hopefully help anyone that wants a read.

Assuming you already have an AWS account getting a Lightsail instance up is very quick and incredibly easy.

Options exist for either Linux or Windows


Pricing is also very straightforward


I chose to go for the $10 a month Instance running Ubuntu with Plesk Included

Once you have decided what you want decide what AWS region you want ( Not all are currently available) I have gone for Ireland



Then your Instance OS and App

Pick the instance  spec/price and then give the instance a name and click Create


A few minutes later you will have a running instance

A public IP will be allocated  and on a Linux server SSH HTTP and HTTPS will be open by default


In summery.  Its not as complex as EC2 but the beauty is in the simplicity if your new to AWS its a great place to start and the  performance has  certainly surprised me.



AWS Hosting

AWS Status Page – Monitoring Included

AWS Status Page – Enhancements

In a previous post, I deployed a basic AWS status page.  The tool I deployed lambstatus supports pulling metrics from AWS Cloudwatch and displaying them.  As part of my personal development, I thought I would include this on my status page.

I managed to get this working as can be seen here. This is a lambda function running once a minute polling this website and adding the response time into AWS Cloudwatch which Lambstatus is allowed to call.  It has been running without a hitch for nearly a month now at effectivly zero cost

Site Response

The guide I followed is very good and is documented in the Git repo here