Clay's Blog

Adventures in homelabbing and other goofy computer stuff.

Update 1: Baby I'm Back


OBS and NDI: 3 Letter Acronyms Aren't Always A Bad Thing

2019-12-20 - I recently got my hands on a Ryzen chip. I’m going go test how well it works with the stuff below and see if I can’t come up with a better, cheaper ingest machine. I’m curious as to how well that $50 Athalon machine would handle pulling all of this off, as that’d make a strong case for a sub $200 ITX build that could fit in a bookbag and eliminate the need for us having a big tower on stage all the time.

CentOS 7 + Kolab: Relatively OOB

2019-12-20 - I’ve gotten a lot of requests for a follow up. Glad to help! I’m finally getting around to writing the follow up posts and they should hopefully be up in a week or two.

nginx + git-http-backend on CentOS 7

2019-01-29 - Fixed a lot of stupid errors. Had too many cups of coffee and lost my ability to proofread apparently. Going to write up a followup post with enabling SSL and installing GitWeb as well.

Up until this point, I’ve been using my Guacamole server to SSH in to my web server and edit my posts using Vim. I use VSCode for basically everything else, so it’d be way more convenient to edit my posts in that, and then use git to push them to my server and have Jekyll automatically rebuild the site. Having the option to use HTTP as well as SSH is preferable considering I do a lot of work away from my main laptop, and SSH isn’t always an option.

I’m going to assume you already have a working nginx installation. There are a lot of other tutorials out there that explain this better than I could. I’d suggest this one from DigitalOcean. You’ll also need git installed. If you don’t have it, run:

yum install git-core

git configuration

To start, you’ll want to get a git directory set up. I chose to use /var/git as my root. htpasswd will generate an htpasswd file for something to authenticate against.

mkdir /var/git
htpasswd -c /etc/nginx/htpasswd <user name>
chown -R nginx:nginx /var/git
chmod 700 /etc/nginx/htpasswd

FCGI configuration

CentOS 7 doesn’t offer fcgiwrap in its repos, so we’ll have to build it from source.

yum install fcgi-devel spawn-fcgi
git clone
cd fcgiwrap
autoreconf -i
make install

fcgiwrap should have compiled and should now exist at /usr/local/sbin/fcgiwrap. Now we need to configure /etc/sysconfig/spawn-fcgi to start fcgiwrap.

Update 0: Almost Ready, and Future Plans

It begins. I’m finally getting to a point that I’d consider “ready”. So currently, I have three servers set up as virtualization hosts with XCP-ng. I was planning on using ESXi, but XCP-ng offers me the option to run the latest version on nearly any piece of kit I throw at it without having to worry about version incompatibility and the like. Had I gone with ESXi, I’d have the PE1900 on 4.x and the other two on 5.5, missing out on all the relevant features added in 6.x. Nope. I try to run the PE1900 as little as possible because even with the L5335s I dropped in there, it still slurps power like crazy. The rack and rails are in the mail, so the R310 and my networking gear can finally move from their temporary home on or next to an old end table I have down in the basement to their permanent home in the laundry room. I’m sure the girl will appreciate not having a line hanging out of a ceiling tile to get the AP over to the router anymore.

As it stands right now, I’m okay with how things are, for the most part. Since I’m on a pretty stringent budget, I’m limited on expansion, but there’s only a few more pieces I want to add before I’d consider the setup to be the ideal minimum.

Hardware Upgrade Plans:

  • UPS of some sort, leaning toward a CyberPower rackmount unit
  • Proper PDU. Power strips won’t cut it much longer, and I desperately need surge protection.
  • Either an R510 or a DL180se, unless I can find a nice DAS for cheap. I wanted to go with a Norco 3216, but it’d be probably 3-4x more expensive. I’d need to get a new CPU and mobo sooner than later since the X10SLA-F only has two PCIe slots, and if I planned on getting all 16 drives live, I need 4 miniSAS connectors. So unless I get a PCI NIC, which I really don’t want to to, I’m already out of PCIe slots. On the plus side though, I could build something designed to be as power efficient as possible and put a super low draw CPU in there that has ECC support. I’m still mulling my options around right now though, so who knows.
  • An end-all, be-all virt host. The R310 is serving me well right now, but it caps out at 32 gigs of ram. Ideally, I’ll max that out and run it 24/7, and then get another host with iLO or iDRAC so I can turn it on and off at will and only have it on for when I’m doing lab stuff. But I’ll probably wind up getting lazy and just leaving it on 24/7, to be completely honest. I’m not sold on anything yet, but a DL3{6/8}0e G8 or an R420 both sound like great options. The E5-2400 series chips are abundant and cheap, and the low power SKUs are really enticing. I also have been considering an R710 as it’s kind of the homelabber staple machine. It’d be nice to get some newer-ish gear though.

Network Upgrade Plans:

  • I need to properly implement VLANs. Currently I’m cheating and have my LAN on DHCP is on for 1.0 and 0.0, 2.0, and 3.0 are where my VMs/management interfaces/OOB management devices exist with manually assigned IPs. I’ve been lazy with getting this set up since it breaks my entire network when I do it wrong, so I’ll worry about it later.
  • Long term goal: 10Gbit networking for at least my hosts, and maybe my rig. Not super important at the moment, as I have a reasonable amount of VM storage in each of my machines, but I’d like to move my VMs to a network share eventually and cut down on internal storage almost entirely.