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Home Server -- Coolest Software



Rockstor and YUNOHOST are both fun pieces of software for home severs.

Nextcloud, TTRSS, Wallabag and Plex are all very useful.

Wire can now be self hosted and is shaping up to be a pretty nice alternatives to other chat software.

Kaldi, which is an open source speach recognition engine is neat. There is an ongoing effort to have it run with Mycroft so anyone can self host an AI assistant.


I will play devil’s advocate and venture that for every couple of L1 tech members 100% only open source opoinated there is at least one if not a higher ratio of L1 tech members trying to get into the industry, be it data center tech, general sysadmin, etc. And with that I would like to see @wendell go forward with esxi. I support open source, but I take advice from a great coworker to use enterprise any time possible for the simple reason of career growth. I got my VCA and geared up for VCP, the latter a good cert to have- both coming pretty easy because my home server is ESXi with the onboard LSI chip flashed to IT mode for a freenas VM, that if I took my own advice I wouldn’t even run but should find a way to emulate netapp or something.


Ha that timing. Just updated my server. Erased Debian with ZFS, Plex and other stuff, with FreeNAS. As I am just now discovering plugins i will probably use Transmission and Plex again.


I’m planning to run XenServer on my current Threadripper box and mount iSCSI block-volumes from FreeNAS. Want to test out this workflow as an alternative to Fedora 26/KVM.

Currently, I’m running an Ubuntu VM in FreeNAS that runs the Ubiquity Cloud Controller and a OpenVPN server for me to dial into my network.


Can recommend. Freenas + ZFS + iSCSI with the transfer speeds i am looking at right now it’s better than SMB. Don’t know how the passthrough works with iSCSI in Xen, but a disk passthrough has native performance.


Zfsonlinux supports native encryption as of 0.7.1 just FYI. Not an easy feat to wipe and rewrite all the datas though.

I 'd like to see more on automated server monitoring. Im playing with zabbix, nagios and postfix to send me alerts on UPS, router and system issues. Trying for a minimal install.


I am hoping to add a 10G switch from Ubiquiti and wire up the core systems over SFP; that should greatly reduce latencies too for iSCSI performance no?


I never got PS3 media server to work. Found out miniDLNA to work just as fine, and easy to set up.


Nice. I have two SFP 10g NICs as well. Not hooked up jet but I think someone on this forum mentioned it improves iSCSI performance so yea, good luck.


My setup is pretty lame. I have an Athlon 64 machine running FreeNAS. A second Athlon II X4 machine (CentOS) is running my home server and runs servers for minecraft and 7 days to die. It also is my SSH tunnel into my home network. I really need to get more utility out of the thing. Granted the hardware is weak but you can do a lot with little.


Most of the time less is more, so don’t feel bad. We all started from some point that we considered ‘lame’. With more systems, there’s a lot more maintenance etc.

Take your time and only add/upgrade as you need.


I have a HP microserver I use as a NAS

I was going to use FreeNAS, but for some reason the keyboards I had did not work in the setup, so I tried out OpenMediaVault, it works well for what I need it to do.

It does windows backup and torrenting so far, its does not have enough power to do plex encoding.


What’s your deployment procedure? Do you have automation like bash or ansible?


Apart from FreeNAS I use Nextcloud a lot and Unbound as my DNS resolver. When I upgrade my home server, I will also run a Fedora package mirror for quicker and fresher updates. I was also planning to use some hypervisor to run these things in VMs. One of the VMs will be a build machine that will compile and deliver software as a package repo for my workstation system. :smiley:

@wendell It would be great if you could go into how to set up something like Proxmox/oVirt, maybe with FreeNAS as a VM, since I haven’t seen much content on how to do that. Also, if you are going to cover FreeNAS, you might want to cover ZFS replication or a similar backup strategy; a lot of people seem to forget that redundancy is not a backup. :wink:

That’s basically how mine is setup. With it being a home server haven’t really pushed for ansible and the likes yet


I like that suggestion @comfreak, would be nice to see @wendell do that.

Here’s another one - I really should LUKs crypt all my USB/backup media, but I don’t. Why? Managing those pesky encryption secrets.

Whats the strategy here - do you print hard-copies, 1password, may be Hashicorp Vault in a HA configuration?

I’m more paranoid that loosing/misplacing my encrypted keys will lock me out of my data, rather than actual data-loss. That would be hilarious right?


My FreeNAS box runs Clonedeploy. Clonedeploy is the 2nd most useful thing my FreeNAS box does, right next to hourly off-site replication of my critical data.


Emby has issues but it is open source, and that’s enough for me. Never felt comfortable using Plex.

For cloud backup, I’ve had a good experience with rclone and Google Drive. I’ve pushed over 50TB with it. I don’t run it directly on the box though. Run it in a VM with RO access to the data over NFS.

I have not used it yet, but I am curious about

oVirt is also a KVM alternative to ESXi. I think the learning curve is higher than Proxmox though…


Fixed links for legibility


Maybe ESXi, i would love to learn more esxi tricks from such an Intelligent individual like Wendell.

  • ESXi
  • FreeNAS
  • XPEnology
  • Unify(Set up Ubnt stuff for Home use)
  • Set up VLANs for homelab/Server like Wifi, Guest network


Ah, the Unifi stuff is good, it’s childs play to set it up as well. Once you’ve got the controller installed, it’s more or less plug in the AP’s, click “provision” as they show up in the controller UI and you’re off to the races!

That said, touching on that would be good.

Sounds like you’d be more interested in general network architecture topics. Definitely a good idea.