Remotely control your Raspberry Pi with TightVNC

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Whether you’re a Linux guy pounding away on the keyboard in a Bash shell, or you’re a Windows guy automating specific tasks in PowerShell, we can all agree that the CLI is king. If you think “The GUI is where it’s at, bro. It’s all you need.”, or you’re one of those that’s stubbornly shying away from any command-line environment, then you’ll be severely behind almost everyone if you work in any IT-related administrator or engineer position.

Sometimes, though, there’s times when the GUI is necessary. Microsoft struck a home run when they developed RDP, but if you need to remote into a desktop environment on a Linux or Mac OS, you’ll need something like VNCContinue reading “Remotely control your Raspberry Pi with TightVNC”

Remotely control your Raspberry Pi with TightVNC

Pi-hole: How to block all ads on every device in your network (and integrate with your Windows Active Directory)

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Pi-hole is my newest and current obsession. When I first read about it, I initially thought “Yeah, I’m sure it works, but probably not as well as everybody says it does.”

Well, my assumption was bad. And I felt bad.

Essentially, Pi-hole blocks all ad traffic on every device in your network that’s using it as it’s DNS server. You then assign it as every device’s primary DNS by either DHCP, statically, or using it as a forwarder for your current DNS server(s). So any device that might not be able to install an ad-blocking browser extension (like a lot of smartphones, smart TVs, small media devices, game consoles, etc.) will also not show any ads. Also, from what I’ve seen, it’s better at blocking ads than most browser extensions (and doesn’t allow companies to purchase ads that’ll still be shown)!  Continue reading “Pi-hole: How to block all ads on every device in your network (and integrate with your Windows Active Directory)”

Pi-hole: How to block all ads on every device in your network (and integrate with your Windows Active Directory)

Installing Netdata to monitor your Linux environment

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I just recently learned about a new performance monitoring software called Netdata, so I figured I’d quickly throw it in a test box to check it out. This tiny software is awesome. This is real-time performance monitoring done insanely well. The dashboard UI is beautiful and they even have a demo site you should check out here.

This is when I’d normally write a paragraph on what Netdata can do and how awesome it is, but I figured I’d quote their Github page instead since they already do a great job of summing everything up. Continue reading “Installing Netdata to monitor your Linux environment”

Installing Netdata to monitor your Linux environment

Install PowerShell on Ubuntu Server 16.04

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So it turns out the rumors were true: Microsoft really did open source PowerShell. Their GitHub page even includes installable packages for Ubuntu 16.04 (& 14.04), CentOS 7, and OS X 10.11. If you’re like me and are itching to play around with it in a Linux environment, I went ahead and wrote some quick instructions to get this going in Ubuntu Server 16.04.

Keep in mind that this is an alpha release and it’s very much in its infancy, so there’s not a whole lot you can do with it now. A lot of the power in PowerShell comes from the modules you can load into it (Active Directory, Exchange, PowerCLI (VMWare), etc.) and it doesn’t seem like any of them can be imported yet. But all in all, this is a great move from Microsoft and I’m excited to see what comes out of this. Continue reading “Install PowerShell on Ubuntu Server 16.04”

Install PowerShell on Ubuntu Server 16.04

Easily update the BIOS and all firmware on your Dell PowerEdge server

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Most might not think working with servers is fun. Most might not even list “I like long walks on the beach and Dell PowerEdge R730s with Intel X710 10Gb NICs” on their Tinder profile. But then again, you might be a homelabber who’s stoked to have scored one of those PowerEdge R710s on eBay for ridiculously cheap or you’re a SysAdmin whose proposal for one of those badass new four-socket PowerEdge servers got surprisingly approved. If you’re closer to the latter, then you agree that servers can actually be pretty fun.

You’ll also probably agree that updating all of the firmware/drivers/etc. on a server can be very tedious and boring. Even more so if it’s been neglected and everything is severely in need of an update. If the process isn’t automated in some way, it can also take a lot of your time and a lot of downtime for that server.  Continue reading “Easily update the BIOS and all firmware on your Dell PowerEdge server”

Easily update the BIOS and all firmware on your Dell PowerEdge server

Getting started with Docker and easily create a Dashboard/Portal for your Homelab

 

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“What the Hell is Docker or containers?”. “Why is everyone telling me to “just run it in Docker”?”.

If you work in system administration, obsessed with your homelab, or you’ve seen the inevitable “Or you can just run it in Docker” comment on almost every “How to install _______” post on Reddit, then you’ve at least heard of Docker. Those that use it, love it, but those that are new to Linux are probably asking themselves the same questions as above or think it’s too complicated to try it out. While I’m by no means a Docker expert, I thought I’d write a noob-friendly post on two things people have been asking me to write: Getting started with Docker and creating a dashboard for your homelab or HTPC. Continue reading “Getting started with Docker and easily create a Dashboard/Portal for your Homelab”

Getting started with Docker and easily create a Dashboard/Portal for your Homelab

Upgrade VMware Tools on multiple VMs (without rebooting) in vSphere

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I run vSphere 6 in my homelab and I’ve been lazy about keeping VMWare Tools up-to-date on a lot of my VMs. Not sure why considering it’s easy to upgrade multiple VMs simultaneously WITHOUT needing a reboot using just the standard vSphere Client or the Web Client. Since I know the fear of specific VMs rebooting keeps a lot of people from upgrading VMware Tools, I thought I’d put the small process on here since I’ve been needing to do it too. Continue reading “Upgrade VMware Tools on multiple VMs (without rebooting) in vSphere”

Upgrade VMware Tools on multiple VMs (without rebooting) in vSphere