Why I Homelab

I think homelabbing is just a great way to get into IT and a great way to keep skills sharp or develop new ones. I got started with homelabbing like many people do, a Minecraft server running off my own desktop as a kid. From that Minecraft server I moved onto a Raspberry Pi that ran OwnCloud and OpenVPN.

When I interviewed for my first IT position, a Linux Admin position I was woefully underqualified for, I hit it off with their Security lead who happened to be standing up OpenVPN as a solution and we had a great conversation about the struggles of learning the tool. Needless to say I did not get that job but they did end up calling me back a couple months later for a helpdesk/junior admin position that I accepted.

Homelabbing is what got me into the field and I encourage anyone who asks me about getting into IT to take a crack at it. You don’t need an entire rack of servers, you don’t need expensive disk arrays, a Pi is more than enough to get started down the IT road and to learn a couple new things on.

The Environment


Hardware Purpose
R220 OPNSense
R320 Backups NAS
R510 Media NAS

Service List

  • Active Directory
    • For central authentication for all services and GPO
  • Windows DNS
  • Windows DHCP
  • Windows Enterprise CA
    • Testing ideas and the ability to sign local scripts
  • Nextcloud
    • Docker
  • Gitea
    • Docker
  • TheLounge
    • Docker
    • Basic homepage for https://dev0.sh
    • Docker
  • Linx
    • For personal code sharing/file uploads
    • Docker
  • Ansible
    • CFM on Linux hosts mostly
  • 3CX
    • I run a “work line” over this since we all went WFH and I didn’t want to give out my cell
    • voip.ms is my DID provider
  • Homebridge
    • My smart home is based around Apple and Siri
  • TrueNas
    • I run 2 hosts, one for media and the other for backups/shares (the cost worked out better to have 2 hosts)
  • OpenWrt
    • My Cisco WRT series router runs this as my main AP