Using ntfy.sh to send unRAID notifications

unRAID supports multiple notification platforms for keeping you informed about what the server is doing, the only problem is, I don’t use any of those notification platforms. I have however started using ntfy.sh, which has been working well for my home assistant notifications, and is a very simple platform. What I’d like to do is integrate it into unRAID so that I can make use of it there as well.

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Setting up Giscus Comments on WordPress

This blog was setup originally in 2016 and has never had a really useful comments section. There was a time when the only thing showing up were trackbacks to malicious websites. This wasn’t exactly a positive addition, so I disabled trackbacks and commenting to prevent any misleading comments. I decided to try and get a comments section back and operational as a part of my overhaul of my webserver (and having recently learned of Giscus for using GitHub accounts and backend for commenting). So here we have a guide for setting up Giscus comments on WordPress.

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Upgrading Ubuntu Host for Unifi Controller

My unifi controller was installed on an Ubuntu server back on 16.04 LTS. This server finally reached end of life and I needed to run an upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. I decided to first try to just release upgrade it two steps. I’d tried this in the past and failed which is why it stayed out of date for so long, but maybe the upgrade process was fixed for things to work automagically. I was a bit wrong on that, however I also found out that rebuilding from scratch is pretty easy.

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Intro to InfluxDB V2

I have watchtower setup on my Unraid server to handle automatically updating all my docker containers. This is quite convenient, however it does come with some dangers. For instance, my InfluxDB instance recently updated to version 2. This version of influx has a brand new query language, authentication system, and much more. This also breaks all compatibility with my Telegraf, Unifi-Poller, Grafana, and other services. Instead of trying to revert to an older version and refuse the slow change of technology, I decided to just start stepping up services to work with the new version. So I know get to introduce myself to InfluxDB V2 and then to move on to stepping up services to use it.

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Virtualized Docker Swarm

Why

Why not? In reality, I always wanted to play with clustering, originally with proxmox and ceph, but I never had enough hardware to do so. I do however have a proxmox node with enough ram that I can host multiple lightweight nodes.

Docker swarm is lightweight enough that I can virtualize the entire cluster on my single proxmox host. While this isn’t fault tolerant like a cluster across multiple nodes, it does mean I can reboot cluster nodes for kernel updates and maintain my uptime. I also am able to add additional docker swarm nodes on separate hardware if I get additional hardware, and there is the benefit of having the cluster load balance itself for which software is running on which node.

Benefits

Each node in the cluster is identical, each can be replaced by following the exact same process and while I don’t have automated deployment of new nodes, they are still closer to cattle than many of my other virtual machines. Due to the goal of replicated storage between the nodes, I should also be able to take a single node and rebuild the entire cluster if needed, since it would have the entire clusters configuration.

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DNS Structure

The goal of the DNS structure of my lab was primarily to create a very stable foundation. Second to that, was the addition of two services, the first a local DNS server to avoid loopback issues with my ISP, and the second was pihole ad blocking.

To set this up, UCS was chosen as a domain controller/DNS server over FreeIPA. Linux was chosen as the platform of choice as that is what a majority of my systems are, and I don’t have any windows server licenses. UCS was installed to a VM, and a second ubuntu VM was configured with PiHole. These were configured to handle local queries first, then everything else. If one of my local DNS servers is down, the clients won’t notice a change as everything uses Google DNS as backup.