I’m working on the next revision of my homelab backend. Currently I rely on an Ubuntu server with ZFS on Linux for file storage over Samba, and a separate Proxmox Virtualization Environment (PVE) server (the Minilab) with local LVM storage for virtualization. Ideally, I’d like to add a backup server to the mix, with its own storage, that can handle both the Proxmox server and Samba shares. However, the big choice ahead is what software to use for backups - TrueNAS (CORE or SCALE), or the newer Proxmox Backup Server (PBS)?
As I’ve posted about in other blogs, I use OPNsense as the firewall for my home network. It has an inbuilt method of backing up its configuration to the cloud, but I’d like to avoid that and back up locally. Unfortunately, there isn’t a plugin in the repository to have the firewall push a backup to a samba share, so I need to run code somewhere to pull the configuration from the firewall and store it on the storage server (where the backup policies will take care of it).
I’ve decided to start Twitch streaming my evening gaming sessions. I usually spend a small amount of my evening playing games anyway, so broadcasting it to the world isn’t a big change to my routine, and hopefully I can improve my content creation skills at the same time. I play almost exclusively single-player games, particularly first person shooter, puzzle, and simulation games. I’m slowly building up my streaming stup and it should help with video creation too, which is something I’m excited about.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is quite a buzz-word now in enterprise computing, and it’s something I’d like to experiment more with in my homelab. Essentially, it’s a new way to describe old school terminal servers, but with modern features and marketing. The primary difference is that VDI normally implies that each ‘seat’ is a virtual machine and has some resources associated with it, as opposed to a terminal session running on a shared server.
I log data from my OPNsense firewall using Telegfaf, but there are some statistics in OPNsense which I’d like to keep track of which aren’t available to be pushed, but are accessible via The API. In particular, I want to keep track of the gateway statistics. Gateway stats come from continuously pinging the gateway, and are used to determine if a gateway is available for routing. Normally, gateway monitoring is used with multi-WAN setups to remove a gateway from a load-balancing group, or fail over to the next tier in a failover group (or both).
Policy-based routing has a lot of applications in a home lab or home network. It can be used to change the route taken based on the source or destination, and this can be used in multi-WAN or VPN applications to selectively choose traffic to send over one WAN or which traffic to route over a VPN. It can also be used to selectively drop traffic instead of routing it. Having the ability to change some of these routes from Home Assistant makes it possible to control some of these functions from the HA app or via automations.
This Christmas, I printed a whole series of maze boxes as gifts for family members. After finding a gift maze model on Thingiverse, I felt like there must be a better solution to programatically generate mazes of varying difficulty, and so each person who gets one has a unique experience. Before writing such a program myself, I checked to see if it had already been done, and sure enough it had.
Every year, the exterior holiday lighting gets reluctantly set up. It’s part of McMansion life, a requirement to appear as though you’ve made an attempt to decorate for the season. Between the colored optical projectors, to strings of lights haphazardly strung around the front porch, it all ends up needing to be plugged in and turned on/off. For years, the solution to this was a mechanical timer, with on and off markers which could be inserted around the ring to turn the timer on and off at the right time.
I’ve had a Creality CR-10 MAX for about a year and a half at this point. I bought it on sale in early 2020 when I had big project ideas that wouldn’t fit on my workhorse Prusa i3 MK3S, so it’s fair to say I bought it for the large size for the price point and not the build quality or feature set. However, I’ve never really liked it, so now that the Prusa is working really well with Octoprint, the box, the cameras, and all of the other projects I’ve documented here, it’s time to move on to the CR-10 and get that one working well too.
Recently, I have been organizing all of the parts and pieces of my partially finished projects so I can go back to projects more easily. This started as a simple goal - keep all of my work in boxes, keep the boxes labeled, and keep the boxes in a place where they are easy to get to. I have mountains of leftover parts I’ve accumulated over the years, and I really need a better solution.