The Homelab Swiss Army Knife: ZimaBoard

I’ve used a lot of different small form factor machines over the years, from the Raspberry Pi to used ebay thin clients. All of them are good at some things. But when Icewhale sent over their x86-based Zimaboard for me to take a look at, I’ve been impressed with the flexibility it has for me to test new software and hardware in a relatively cheap way. It’s not spectacular at any one thing, but it’s versatile enough that it’s a great foundation for so many of my projects.
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Remove Proxmox Server Access over SERIAL! Cheaper Alternative to IPMI or KVMs

I have a rack-mounted KVM now, and it’s great, but I’m working on building out a new Proxmox cluster which might not have a graphics output at all on some of the nodes. So, I need a new remote access solution for them. The new nodes I’m planning on building will all be based on used consumer hardware, so I’m limited by what would be available on normal mATX boards. This doesn’t include IPMI, and if I go with AMD-based CPUs, doesn’t include an iGPU either.
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Network KVM for ALL of my Servers!

Since I use a lot of repurposed computers as servers, I don’t have many with IPMI / remote access built in. Usually I can configure them remotely through SSH or their web UI, but sometimes things go wrong and it’s nice to have remote console access. Enter, PiKVM, a project to build a networked KVM switch with a Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately, I have a more than one server, and building a PiKVM for every one gets expensive, so I’m combining it with an 8 port rack mount KVM switch so I can remotely view and control all of the servers in my rack.
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Fully Routed Networks in Proxmox! Point-to-Point and Weird Cluster Configs Made Easy

Are you playing with Proxmox clustering, but want faster networking without paying for multi-gig switches? For small clusters, sometimes it can make sense to use fast point to point links between nodes. This could be in a small 2 or 3 node cluster, where you can use dual port 10 gig cards and direct attach cables without a switch. Maybe you’ve got a wacky 5 node cluster with quad port gigabit cards on each node, and don’t want to buy a 20 port switch and do link aggregation.
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Ultimate Home Server Megaproject

In this project, I explore an all-in-one home server using low cost hardware, bringing together as many common home applications as possible in a single box. Terramaster NAS as low-cost Proxmox node? Teardown and SW Install! In the first video, I introduce the hardware for this project - a cheap Terramaster NAS! It combines two HDD bays and two NVMe slots in a very tiny and low power brick, with dual 2.
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Manage your Media Collection with Jellyfin! Install on Proxmox with Hardware Transcode

In the last video I introduced Linux Containers, today we’re going to supercharge that by seeing if we can get some graphics hardware into our container, and give our large blu-ray collection a new home. We’re going to cover a few more advanced Proxmox container features, such as privilaged containers, hardware pass-through, and Jellyfin setup and transcoding for Intel and AMD GPUs. There are always hardware quirks with hardware transcoding, but I’ve worked through it with two examples - a modern Intel Jasper Lake Celeron (which requires the guc/huc firmware), and an AMD Radeon WS3100.
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Linux VM Templates in Proxmox on EASY MODE using Prebuilt Cloud Init Images!

Have you ever wanted a nice, easy way to create new VMs to play with using your favorite base distro, without doing a lot of work to configure basic settings like your account, networking, hostname, etc? Cloud-Init can do all of that and more, but it’s designed more for big cloud providers and not the easiest thing to setup. But, what if we could take a generic cloud image, and use it with Proxmox’s built-in Cloud-Init automation, to provision easy bare VMs without having to build our own templates?
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Making Proxmox into a pretty good NAS

Continuing the series where apalrd teaches proxmox skills through meaningful applications, today we are setting up a proper fileserver on our Proxmox system using Linux Containers. I’ve chosen to use a lightweight Linux Container (LXC) for this, so we can share the host’s ZFS filesystem. To manage shares and users using a web UI, I’m installing Cockpit, as well as some additional modules from 45Drives to deal with Samba. This should provide a pretty easy to use storage interface, keep all of our storage contained in the host Proxmox system without adding another layer of filesystem or a virtual machine, and run well on lower end hardware such as the Terramaster unit I’m using.
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Take Control of your Smarthome with Home Assistant! Installation Tutorial on Proxmox

If you’re building your first home server (or following my Ultimate Home Server series!), the first app I recommend playing with is Home Assistant. Taking control of your home automation with free and open-source software is an excellent way to get out of the cloud-based walled gardens, and self-hosting an app like this is a great way to learn about self-hosting in general without the pressure of hosting something like your firewall.
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Terramaster NAS as low-cost Proxmox node? Teardown and SW Install!

I get asked a lot about what hardware I recommend for homelabs and home servers. It’s a very difficult question since it depends on what exactly you want to get out of your setup. But, whatever you choose, I’m starting a new series where I’ll setup all of the commonly requested home server software in a single box. Since I want to try this on both used and new hardware, here’s a low cost NAS you can buy brand-new and run your own software on it!
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