• Switching to Nixos from Arch Linux

    I recently made the switch to NixOS after using Arch for several years. NixOS is different from any other operating system I’ve ever used. It has a built-in declarative functional programming language ‘Nix’, that can be used for configuration, and package management.

    Tags: linux, archlinux, nixos, open-source
  • Running Nextcloud in a jail on FreeBSD

    I recently setup Nextcloud 12 inside a FreeBSD jail in order to allow me access to files i might need while at University. I figured this would be a optimal solution for files that I might need access to unexpectedly, on computers where I am not in complete control. My Nextcloud instance is externally accessible, and yet if someone were to get inside my Jail, I could rest easy knowing they still didn’t have access to the rest of my host server. I chronicled the setup process including jail setup using iocage, https with Lets Encrypt, and full setup of the web stack.

    Tags: freebsd, linux, server, containers, open-source
  • A Brief Introduction to LXC Containers

    I recently found myself needing a machine to compile binaries on for a CentOS server. I first considered actually spinning up a CentOS system on a VPS; however, that seemed a little overboard just for compiling, I then realized that this would be the perfect use for a container. I could have an identical system to the one where the binaries will be deployed on, and at little cost since it can simply be blown away when I’m done. In order to set up my compile machine I used LXC.

    Tags: linux, archlinux, lxc, containers
  • Containerizing Graphical Applications On Linux With systemd-nspawn

    Recently I was looking to install an application on Linux with a large number of dependencies: TeXstudio and it’s TeXLive libraries. I wasn’t sure I wanted the packages sitting around on my computer long term, and I didn’t feel like micro-managing the dependencies with a minimal install. I thought this would be the perfect chance to experiment with Linux containers.

    Tags: linux, archlinux, systemd, containers, open-source
  • Arch Linux on ZFS - Part 3: Backups, Snapshots and Other Features

    In previous posts I went though setting up a custom Arch Linux install image with ZFS pre-installed, and then installing ZFS on Arch linux. Once finished the install, the fun part comes; playing with all the interesting features ZFS has to offer. This post will walk through using and setting up some of the great futures ZFS has, and how to use them on Linux.

    Tags: linux, archlinux, zfs, open-source, filesystem
  • Arch Linux on The Surface Pro 4

    I recently acquired a Surface Pro 4 and it was instantly obvious what a great machine it is. Having a tablet for casual use, while still having the capabilities of a powerful computer that you can use with a normal keyboard and mouse is extremely convenient.

    Tags: linux, archlinux, zfs, open-source, filesystem, hardware
  • OpenVPN On FreeBSD 10.3

    While trying to setup OpenVPN, I noticed there was no up-to-date information with correct instructions. OpenVPN uses EasyRSA to setup keys, it has recently been changed in version 3. As a result of this, the old steps to configure OpenVPN are no longer correct. I went through the process of setting up a VPN using OpenVPN on FreeBSD 10.3.

    Tags: bsd, freebsd, open-source, networking, server
  • Making a ZVOL Backed Virtualbox VM on Linux

    There are various benefits to using a ZFS backed block storage device, or ZVOL, as opposed to large file on disk. In this article I look at how virtual machines can be made using ZFS backed block storage, as opposed to regular Virtualbox files.

    Tags: linux, zfs, filesystem, virtualization
  • Arch Linux on ZFS - Part 2: Installation

    In the last section of this series I discussed using ZFS snapshots, ZFS send and using other interesting features ZFS has to offer. In this post I discuss setting up a arch system using a ZFS pool as a root filesystem

    Tags: linux, archlinux, zfs, open-source, filesystem
  • Arch Linux on ZFS - Part 1: Embed ZFS in Archiso

    After using ZFS on FreeNAS and then using btrfs on Linux , I was curious to see how ZFS on Linux stacked up against btrfs. I attempted setting up Arch Linux on ZFS around a year ago and after running into multiple problems I abandoned the thought of getting it working. With all the talk recently in the Linux community, I was curious to see if the process had changed at all in the last year and if I could get it running successfully.

    Tags: linux, archlinux, zfs, open-source, filesystem
  • Multi Boot Linux With One Boot Partition

    Recently while setting up a new install of Linux and making my partitions I was wondering why I needed a separate boot partition for every Linux install on my system. I also didn’t want to have to use a specific boot loader to achieve this. I know it’s possible with rEFInd and GRUB, but they are over complicated for what I need, for this reason I decided to stick with the nice and simple bootloader systemd-boot, previously referred to as gummiboot. The system I figured out works quite nicely, and lets me achieve all of this.

    Tags: linux, systemd, open-source
  • Using Btrfs for Easy Backup and Rollback

    Having been introduced to ZFS on my server, I started to feel as though I was somehow using an inferior filesystem on Linux while using ext4. I became used to copy on write features that are part of what make makes filesystems like ZFS so useful and started to realize how useful it could be on the desktop as well. The first thing I did was attempt to setup ZFS on Linux. While it is quite easy to install and use ZFS on an existing Linux system, attempting to run root on ZFS, at least on Archlinux at the time of writing this, proves to be much more difficult. After multiple installation attempts installing with first rEFInd, then grub, then systemd boot - and multiple failed boots and error messages while following the Archlinux Wiki to the letter, I decided that If I had to battle this hard to get it working, ZFS just didn’t have the kind of documentation or adoption on Linux that I was looking for. Fortunately there is a very easy way to set up a copy on write filesystem that can run natively on Linux: use Btrfs…

    Tags: archlinux, linux, btrfs, zfs, open-source, filesystem
  • FreeNAS Server Build Article Featured In BSD Magazine

    My recent FreeNAS Server Build article was featured in BSD Magazine for their January issue all about open source storage. The magazine is a free download on their website.

    Tags: server, bsd, open-source
  • Building a Custom Linux Environment With Openbox

    In the past month or so I have been putting together my own desktop environment starting with Archlinux and openbox and piecing all the different parts together to make a proper desktop environment. Building a desktop this way really follows the Unix methodology, have a bunch of programs that each do one thing well, and when you put them together you end up with something amazing.

    Tags: archlinux, linux, desktop, open-source
  • FreeNAS Home Server Build

    I’ve spent the last couple months configuring and setting up a new home server, with the intent of using it as a storage and media server.

    Tags: server, bsd, zfs, hardware

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