You Probably Don't Need a VPN

15 Jan, 2020 - 4 minutes
Do you live in North Korea or Iran? Is your totalitarian government cracking down on dissidents? These are serious concerns for some, but for the rest of us it might be time to re-think the modern threat model. Why to people use VPN services? I think at the very core of the VPN subscription market is the belief that as a consumer it’s possible to buy privacy. That’s simply wrong. Privacy is a process, not a product.

Build a Linux Router from an Old Laptop

13 Nov, 2019 - 7 minutes
Recently, I found myself in a situation where I needed to quickly replace a broken router. In times like these, you must improvise and think on your feet… The device in question was an old, rusty but trusty IBM ThinkPad T60. This particular machine has a special history for me. I salvaged it from a pile of e-waste at my old job as a PC tech many years ago, and that summer it was my playground for learning Linux ultimately starting the career which I currently enjoy.

Fix an Oversharded Elasticsearch Cluster

TL;DR The default settings for Logstash index rotation are bad and will break your cluster after a few months unless you change the rotation strategy. If you’re anything like me, you probably read somebody’s cool blog about how awesome ELK stack is and just had to have a piece of it. So you went through the quick start guide, googled your way through getting it up and running, then BAM you had an awesome logging system with all the bells and whistles!

Automating KVM Virtualization

Think of it like, “OpenStack for cheapskates." There are plenty of ways to automate the provisioning of virtual machines, and while this isn’t the best way it certainly works great for me. I am fortunate enough to have a very heterogeneous environment at home; aside from a few appliances nearly all my virtual machines are running Ubuntu 18.04. This approach certainly won’t work for those who have a mixed environment with different versions Linux, Windows, and BSD derivatives.

Update all your linux servers as fast as possible

7 Sep, 2019 - 2 minutes
Do you ever just update everything? There’s a few times you might need to do this. For example, some nasty vulnerability comes along and ruins your week. Or maybe you just want to be super up to date because you have a strange compulsion to have the latest and greatest of everything. Ether way, here’s my solution: Use Ansible inventories to update all your servers I wrote this playbook as a simple way to ‘freshen up’ my homelab after months of neglect.