My progress - on The Ultimate Home Server

I am putting this here just to monitor my over all progress and jive with anoyone else following the “The Ultimate Home Server” stuff.

So over the last two (2) weeks or so. I have been following a few different guides from @LinusTech, Techno Tim, @geerlingguy and of course @wendell’s work here in the forums and Youtube.

I have built out my first homeserver in the Jonsbo N1

The Build

Case: Jonsbo N1
CPU: Ryzen 5 5600g
RAM: 32 GB DDR4 2666MHz

  • 5x 4TB Iron Wolf 5900RPM (best I can afford right now) Raid Z1
  • 1x 16GB Intel Optane Memory Accelerator
  • 1x 120GB Kingston SATA SSD
    GPU: None yet (p400? maybe)

I himed and hawd for a while wanting to setup Harverster and Rancher. But honestly they are designed for more metal in the race (more nodes… I have 1 currently). I settled on TrueNas Scale and thus far its been pretty solid.

I managed to setup my NFS share for rpi-pxe/rpi-tftboot and get two of my Raspberry Pi’s to net boot. If the price of Pi4 8GB ever comes back down to reality I’ll like get a few more. Though I wonder if the NetBoot Guide @wendell posted should setup ZFS dedup as I can imagine a baunch of Pi all having the same (more or less) boot drive and basic OS stuff copied over continually would add up to a lot of wasted space.

I managed to buy my domain throw it on Cloudflare and setup a VPN to my home network (builtin to Unifi gear, didn’t go with WireGuard, but if its adventagious I might).

The first “app” on my TrueNas Scale was PiHole which I am using at my internal DNS. I have managed by Cloudflare, with being updated by a cron job to keep my IP insync. On PiHole I have {app} all pointing back to my TrueNas Scale server. Then Traefik setup for each app I install to run Ingress.

This allows all devices on my network to hit {app} and reach the given {app} be it plex, navidrome, wikijs. From the internet these are all inaccessable, except though vpn.

Pitfall: Kiddo’s phone has parental controls on it via our carrier. This requires her phone to have a vpn installed to keep it managed by our parental app. Weird Verizon thing. So I am going to have to find another connection alternative for her if she wanted to use our navidrome instead of Spotify while out and about. I don’t think I can run two VPNs on her phone.

I have wikijs installed but I am not sold on it yet. I was looking for something like Confluence that I can use to build out documentation on the HomeLab & Smart Home. So when wife or kiddo have a question about “how do I use X software” I can give them the RFTM talk. These docs would also have infrastructure diagrams as well and deployment run books for repeating the setup (mostly for my use).

Ansible. The often forgotten piece of DevOps Sanity isn’t how do you prevent a failure, but rather how quickly can you recover. If I can get 90% of my infrastructure able to be repeatable with ansible I’ll be happy. @geerlingguy here’s looking at you.

Figuring out the best (afforable) GPU for transcoding for Plex, currently I don’t think the TrueCharts Plex deployment on TrueNas allows for Nivida GPU passthrough.

Home Assistant; I am currently waiting for my Home Assistant Yellow / Amber to get here before I rebuild my smart home. But once it does get here; the goal is to rebuild the smart home from the inside out. Meaning everything works “dumb” first, smart “local” second, “cloud” third, if it has too.

Steam Cache, I am not 100% sure how this will work since it relies on port 53 which my PiHole already uses. Sure I could ingress it with Trafik but I would still need to have a way for PiHole ot intercept the traffic hand it off to the SteamCache

A Few Odds and Ends
I would love to be able to build a gaming PC in my network enclosure to use as a “centralized” Steam Machinethen use either Pi or Steam Links around the house to interface with it. Especially if Steam OS gets updated to rock that SteamDeck UI.

A chunk of my storage is intended for photos/family NAS. My wife had a meltdown when she thought her Facebook got deleted (500 error lol) she realized nearly every family photo she has over the last 13 years exists almost exclusively on Facebook. My mission is to get her a lace she can back them up too. With that, the moment my homelab blows up I’ll be on the hook so maybe NAS backups to AWS S3 Glacier? I mean it makes sense, while setting up Navidrome, I found my some-thousands on albums I had backed up to Google Play Music are dead to me. GPM is gone and replaced with YouTube Music, and while some of my music copied over, I can no longer just click “download” to get them back locally.

I don’t know. I am rambling now. This post will hopefully evolve and others will find it useful.