Having a dead simple PXE Server

So my big project the last week or so was coming up with a pxe server to boot images from the network.

My first reason is that I keep my images on another server and when I’ve attached them with vmware if I accidentally close VMware workstation there goes my install.

Secondly I have two machines that seem to be real picky on usb sticks to boot from. Not sure what the issue is but they just stop at some point.

Plus it would be great to not have to deal with usb keys.

So at first I tried building the pxe server myself. I got a couple images in fine, but at some point I’d always get stuck. Spent alot of time looking at installs that were based on other linux distros, as well as the instructions on how to put older versions of ubuntu, centos, etc onto the pxe server. So it just made it a total pain.

That is until I decided to load up the Fog Project. It’s software that you can install on linux distros like debian and centos and it makes it real easy to set up a pxe server. It does have a few other features, which I have not gotten into yet, but probably will.

The best thing really is that it makes it easy to set up the pxe server, you still have to deal with setting up the distros, but it’s no where near as bad.

In the next couple of days I hope to have instructions on how to install recent distros onto the fog server.

Pi-Hole Debian setup on VMware

So personally I don’t have any raspberry PIs. Just have 3 big VMware servers. So I decided to setup a PI-hole server for my network using a supported linux distro that PI-hole said it supported.

So here’s the results. For me it took 3 attempts to do it simply.

  • Ubuntu 18.04 – Had trouble with the network connection. After setup I couldn’t ping anything outside my network and dns didn’t appear to work.
  • Centos 7 – Couldn’t access the web interface.
  • Debian 9.5 – Was the choice that worked with minimal effort.

So here’s how it was done.

  • First I did an install of debian 9.5.0 from a net install iso. I gave the virtual machine 1 core of 1 processor and 2 gigs of ram
  • As far as the debian install I did the most basic install possible because for me the only thing this machine is going to do is function as a PI-hole.
  • After debian completed it’s install I had to install curl by doing.
apt-get install curl
    • Then once it was installed I did.
curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash
  • Then I just went through the setup prompts of PI-hole, which are pretty self explanatory.

And that was pretty much it. After this everything works and is pretty much ready to be set up to your liking.