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Gitlab CI/CD at Home

Gitlab CI/CD at Home

While many people are familiar with the concepts of dev-ops (and if you aren't, Amazon has a pretty good definition), we often think of dev-ops in an enterprise context. For a home lab, there are quite a few applications for utilizing dev-ops concepts at home. For general dev-ops concepts I highly recommend taking a look at Techno Tim's content. Tim's content covers quite a few home lab topics and puts out almost weekly Youtube videos. For our purposes we are going to be utilizing Gitlab.com repos to orchestrate code and systems in our home lab!

18th Feb 2023
M2 Air Monitor Limitations

M2 Air Monitor Limitations

While I use a MacBook Pro for work, I use an M2 MacBook Air for personal projects around the house. I have used a Plugable Thunderbolt dock for the past few years to run the display for my gaming PC, work Mac, and any other system I may have sitting around. The monitor I use is a Samsung CRG9 49" "super" ultra wide. This size monitor is quite nice for a single monitor setup and allows me to have a good spread of windows throughout the day.

30th Dec 2022
Grav Tag Filters

Grav Tag Filters

Grav CMS! It is what is powering this site! As I work my way through understanding more about Grav, I hope to document some of the issues and fun things I run into.

Today's adventure is related to the Taxonomy List plugin, a nice plugin that allows custom tags to be applied to pages.

List of tags

The Taxonomy List plugin allows you to specify a page route to your blog, which defaults to /blog. I was finding that even though the plugin was enabled, the link to the filter didn't seem to be working. My blog URL is https://mktbs.net/blog but I was finding that any link from the Popular Tags was linking to https://mktbs.net/tag:homelab, somewhere, the /blog URI was missing.

18th Dec 2022

Linux Shell SSH/No Root One-Liner

Having a scripts for repeatable system administration saves times and reduces human errors. The following lines can be used in shell scripts (I tend to use bash) or in the cloud-init data of a cloud provider. I tend to have this script and the public key of an SSH key in a public Git repo that I just clone into a new VPS and execute. This should work on modern Debian and Red Hat Linux variants such as Ubuntu 22.02 and CentOS (RIP).

18th Dec 2022

Grav CMS

For the past few years I've been running my (mostly) inactive website via Gitlab pages, serving statically generated pages from Hugo. Static site generators like Hugo and Jekyll take markdown, join it with some images and CSS, convert it all to html, and there you have a website which can be served from just about anywhere. Small file sizes and no "moving parts" can result in a much faster and "secure" website. Of course there will always be security issues with the host, but you aren't serving content out of a database.

While this process worked for a while, especially since I don't put out much content, I wanted something a bit more interactive, not something as indepth as a Wordpress, but something a bit more involved. While I can deal with CSS, I don't want to. Enter Grav. Grav is a CMS like, Wordpress, but unlike Wordpress does't rely on a database component. All flat files.

4th Nov 2022

Moving to Proxmox

Virtualization is an important tool for a homelab, large or small. For many years I ran some iteration of VMWare, normally ESXi with vCenter. Last year I switched everything from VMWare to Proxmox, a "free" hypervisor platform. In 2022 there are quite a few homelab hypervisor platforms that we could take advantage of.

Hypervisor Options

Homelabbers have plenty of options when it comes to running a hypervisor at home. If you are just getting started you might investigate something free like Oracle's Virtual Box, Microsoft's Hyper-V, or VMWare's Workstation Player. These products are often referred to as Type 2 hypervisors, or hypervisors that virtualize on top of an operating system. These products work well as they allow you to just install the hypervisor directly on your existing operating system, the cost to get started is quite low, if it isn't for you or you feel that you want to move onto more advanced hypervisors, worst case you just uninstall the hypervisor (or in the case of Hyper-V, just turn off the Windows feature).

Hypervisors like VMWare's ESXi and Proxmox Virtual Environment are known as Type 1 hypervisors, or hypervisors that are installed on bare metal. The benefit of Type 1 hypervisors is that they are more performant, designed to run as servers, and include more enterprise-like features.

6th May 2022


If you manage domains for yourself or your organization, it might be a good idea to have an idea of similar looking/sounding domains from a security perspective. This blog isn't focused much on brand protection, although that is another use-case for being aware of similar domains to your own. There are a few methods for being aware of domains that are registered (or could be registered) that are similar to your own, one comprehensive method that requires a fair amount of work would be Rapid 7's Project Sonar data. This is a collection of datasets that are updated weekly (after you register for a free account) or monthly (downloadable without requiring any account registration). For our purposes the interesting one is the Forward DNS data which includes all A and AAAA records. Downloading this dataset is the easy part (assuming you have the harddrive space to store it, compressed the A record data is 22.9 GB as of August 2020), once you have it you need to do something with it. This involves additional parsing, storage, and notification, something that can certainly be done (and might be a fun project) but if we could shortcut getting the same or better result with a LOT less effort, well that would sure be neat...

16th Aug 2020
Homelab Update

Homelab Update

I recently (Summer 2020) took some time to revisit, update, and document my homelab. This was also a great time to upgrade the primary hypervisor that I've been using since 2013, ~7 years ago.

New Hypervisor Parts

The parts used for this build are primarily new, but I reused the case and a few...

5th Jul 2020