Category Archives: Blog

Homelab 2017 refresh

My faithful Lenovo TS440 home server has reached its peak potential as I have maxed out the 32gb memory limit of the Intel E3 v3 architecture.

My needs for more CPU power and memory is driven by the idea of hyperconvergence. Which means I use a single machine to be my router/firewall, VPN gateway, network storage as well as virtual machine host.

Those themes have been part of my home network design since 2010 or so, today’s hot technologies are focusing on containers (LXC), Docker, etc. So I need a more powerful server in order to be able to expand my playground into those technologies. The 32gb maximum on my old server is simply not enough when you have 5 different VMs that consume almost all your memory resources (windows 10 VM, OSX one and my FreeNAS one being the top users of 75%+). Continue reading

3 week post-LASIK update

If you are following my LASIK journey, where I drove to Mexico to get it done. This is my 3 week post-op update.

I’ll keep it brief and summarize my experience over the past 3 weeks. If you read my initial post you know that I had moderate Hyperopia (farsightedness) plus astigmatism that I wanted to get corrected.

Continue reading

TeamViewer monitoring and instant push notifications

It has been almost a year since that massive reddit post with people freaking out about their TeamViewer accounts getting hacked [link].

Since then I have always wished team viewer would notify my cellphone every time someone connected or disconnected from my workstation, since I am the only user that connects to it I find the peace of mind extremely valuable and I wouldn’t mind getting some push notifications each time I used TeamViewer.

As TeamViewer themselves don’t have this feature I decided to write my own little program that will  send instant notifications to any phone for anyone connecting to your workstation using TeamViewer. Say hello to go-TValerts!


I have released my code as open source, written instructions on how to install and implement it. Find out more at github.com/TheLinuxGuy/go-tvalerts

I drove to Mexico to get LASIK eye surgery

This is a follow up post about my research for LASIK vision correction. You can read it here.

Why Mexico?

Based on the technology advantages of the AMARIS 1050RS laser system that is widely available in Europe, Latin America, Canada but not in the United States I ended up deciding to get my vision corrected using the latest technology. Continue reading

Xenserver 7.1 a good contender to replace esxi

I have been a big fan and user of vmware ESXi for years, I started playing with it since circa 2008. The bare metal hypervisor and its easy to use GUI on Windows makes virtualization management extremely easy.

However in the past couple of years the free version of esxi has moved to HTML5 web management, and in the latest ESXi version the Windows client (vSphere client) requires you to pay for a license a run a central vcenter server/vm in order to manage via GUI (non-web).

Continue reading

Why certain programs launch fine on Start > Run on Windows but not from the command line

On windows, if you run a program such as Chrome.exe (Google Chrome Web Browser) via control + R (run) it will launch without a hitch as long as the browser is installed.

However, if you open the command line and you attempt to run “chrome.exe” it will complain that the executable is not found in the %PATH%

This is because Control+R also looks up the registry values within HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\

Which include all apps ever installed such as Chrome.exe, Firefox.exe, Excel.exe, Illustrator.exe, etc.

So if you are ever writing a program in your programming language of choice, using a Windows Registry check of the location (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths) for whatever.exe will be the perfect solution when that program is not in the System Environment variable %PATH%

Fix Webstorm “Plugin ‘Go Lang Plugin’ is incompatible with this installation

If you are running Webstorm IDE (my version as of writing is 2016.3.2) and you are trying to ‘install from disk’ the Golang plugin and get this error:

You may have tried to upload a .zip version 0.171.XXX and got this error. To fix it:

  1. Download plugin version (0.13.xxx) just download the latest one that begins with 0.13 (disregard the top of the list that has a version 0.171.xx as they are incompatible with Webstorm.
  2. Go-0.13.1924.zip is the latest one as of writing.
  3. After loading the .zip file into the program it should ask to restart Webstorm.
  4. You should now have successfully installed the Golang plugin on Webstorm IDE… confirm by going to Settings > Plugins


That’s all folks  🙂

My LASIK research for hyperopia and astigmatism

This will probably be part 1 of my research into getting LASIK surgery to correct my hyperopia (also called hypermetropia or farsightedness) combined with some mild astigmatism. Continue reading

Plex mediaserver on FreeNAS allowing anyone to stream without login

I’ve been a user of Plex mediaserver for over two years, I set this up on a FreeNAS jail a long time ago and in the past few days I noticed something funny.

Out of nowhere there were two additional streams going on in my server onto the internet, I usually share my library with friends and family but what was curious about this traffic was that Plex was claiming that these two streams were “on my local network”
Continue reading

How to setup Mailjet on exim for cPanel dnsonly on Google Cloud

I have been experimenting with Google Compute Engine (GCE) for the past few days. I wanted to migrate a slave DNS server to Google as an experiment and this blog post will talk about the shortcomings, my workarounds, configuration and tips to achieve the goal of having cPanel DNSonly installed and setup using Google’s infrastructure.

What is Google Compute Engine?

Google Compute Engine (or “GCE”) is Google’s answer to Amazon’s AWS, it basically offers you the ability to deploy Virtual Machines (VMs) at Google’s datacenters. In the most simplistics of setups you would use a single VM or “compute instance” and if you wanted to have a more complex setup you could deploy multiple instances in different geographic locations spread across different datacenters in the United States to achieve a more redundant setup or to provide you with better capacity for large traffic workflows.

It all depends on what your goals are, myself I am just starting out with a simple requirement. I would like to use a single compute instance running CentOS linux that runs cPanel DNSonly (proprietary control panel/dns clustering solution for cPanel servers).

The goal is not to host websites or any critical services on this instance, but rather only keep a copy of my DNS zones. If my experiment fails or my instance goes down or gets destroyed there won’t be any losses or damages for this experiment as my primary server is still running on Proxmox PVE.

The limitations of GCE… What I learned so far

GCE instances run behind Google’s firewalls and depending on the datacenter you decide to host your instance your VM will have an internal IP within that datacenters network scope/range (for example: us-central1 datacenter zone has a 10.128.0.0/20 range for all VMs).

This means that assigning a IPv4 public static IP, which is needed to allow anyone to query the DNS server we’ll be hosting inside this instance will actually have to forward packets to the instances internal network. Not really a big deal unless your application can’t be behind a NAT firewall like it is the case here.

For our intensive use and purposes it is fine. One important issue that I found is that doing any kind of e-mail server related activities on GCE is prohibited (source). You won’t be able to use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) port 25, 465 or 587 to send or receive email.

Now for a DNS server that will not be a mailserver this is not a blocker, but it is really a pain in the ass. Why? because monitoring scripts running on the server need to email the administrator to notify me of issues or errors so they can be investigated.

Continued on the next page.