Weekend Projects

It was a very productive weekend, thanks mainly to finally spending some time with my home network.  I’ve been wanting to shore in my DNS lookups for a while now with Bind and also cut back on the repetitive typing of “192.168…”.  I have honestly had all this setup before, with DNS, a Network Management System (openNMS if I remember correctly), and even my own mail server.  The problems occurred when I continued to add more and more to these three hand-me-down desktops.  I would get something running smoothly, then add another server to the same OS (and break everything I had already built in the process).  I eventually got tired of having 3 extra computers running and heating up the place and scrapped them all after erasing the drives.

I’ve been reading everything I can about LXC (Linux Containers) for about a month now and decided it was time to bring some of the magic back to home networking.  To crudely explain what LXC is, imagine creating servers inside another server that the operating system thinks is real.  As an example, you can put an installation of debian or centOS inside a computer running Ubuntu.  The word “container” refers to the concept of putting a “box” around the OS.  You can copy containers, log into them and make changes, spawn two or three copies of the same installation and create backups.  Essentially, it is turning the entire OS into a file and doing wonderful things, all without damaging the other containers.

I already have some further experimentation in the works.  This is going to be a life changer for me.



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