Along with various networking changes, I’ve recently had a shuffle round of my self-hosted services and other bits in my homelab. I figured it would make a semi-interesting blog post.
Plex Media Server
The first thing on the list is the Plex Media Server.
I’m currently a paying Plex Pass subscriber and am hosting Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB RAM (probably a little overkill for what I’m using it for but whatever).
Of course I’m listening to Coldplay.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with my PMS; it’s stupidly easy to maintain and generally works brilliantly as a little music streaming server for my CDs, but the unfinished nature to some elements of it (like removing all my lyrics, thanks Plex) and the fact they don’t even offer support for Plexamp, which is labelled as a premium application for Plex Pass users, frustrates me incredibly.
I could rant and rave about Plex all day.
Portainer + Docker
The Docker containers I currently have running.
Properly discovering the brilliance of Docker is what really got me back into self-hosting things.
In alphabetical order, here are the containers I have running currently:
- phntxx/dashboard - Mostly there for experimental reasons; I thought it might be interesting to have a dashboard for things, but I don’t really use it.
- gitea/gitea - This is my Git server that I use for small projects that don’t really matter or school work.
- portainer/portainer-ce - Docker web UI.
- jc21/nginx-proxy-manager - More on this later.
- jetbrains/youtrack - Again experimenting with things. JetBrains is cool.
Nginx Proxy Manager
Until recently, I’ve been manually adding everything to my reverse proxy through regular Nginx config files. While this is perfectly fine, and works generally pretty well, I discovered Nginx Proxy Manager and decided it would make things so much simpler.
It handles everything: SSL, domains, the whole deal - it even runs as a Docker container! Now, basically everything hosted at home goes through it when I want to access it away from home.
My requirements were an efficient adblocker that ran on the network and did what it needed to for me and my family without much maintenance, and initially Pi-hole was what I was going to use until a friend introduced me to AdGuard Home.
It’s blocked that many requests in just 24 hours!
From the few days I’ve been using it, it’s been great. I hardly notice it’s there, considering I use browser-based adblockers anyway, but for things like mobile devices it’s brilliant. It blocks ads and trackers without blocking things that are needed; something Pi-hole and the built-in one on my router ended up doing with my limited testing.
This is just a small update to what I’ve been doing with my homelab recently. While no hardware has changed, I’ve tackled some of the annoying issues I had before with keeping things working and working well, and this update, albeit small, has helped with self-hosting things a lot.
In the future, I’m probably going to downsize. Right now, I’m using an annoying old HP SFF desktop as a Proxmox server and, while it works, it can be a pain to use. Proxmox is brilliant for virtualisation, but it falls a little bit short for file servers that work well and can be maintained easily.
I’m thinking of getting something like a small NUC to start with for virtualisation and file storage, and from there I might consider splashing out for a Synology; the UI is too tempting.
Thanks to Tom for proof-reading.