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Managing containers with podman and systemd

tl;dr: Use simple systemd units to supervise your containers.

A while ago I stumbled upon podman, which touts itself as an alternative to Docker. Not only does podman not use any big fat daemons™ but it makes it rather easy to run containers in a user-namespace, i.e. with greatly restricted privileges on your system. The fun thing is: you are still root within the container!

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Install ESXi 6.5 on a Supermicro X10SBA

tl;dr: Work around problems with the installer by using a serial connection.

Trying to install VMware ESXi on a number of Intel Bay-Trail boards apparently fails with a hanged installation right after a message like Relocating modules and starting the kernel. There’s multiple forum posts around the internet where people suggest various workarounds, which never seemed to work for me. One suggestion which stood out to me as most promising was completely disabling the internal graphics chip and using a dicrete graphics card in the PCI Express slot. read on »

Create a CentOS mirror for Kickstarting

This is an update over my earlier post about PXE booting. I’ve learned a few more things and refined some rough edges. My Motivation is similar to the last post: I started building my homelab with virtual machines. Most of them are based on a minimal CentOS 7 installation, and as such I have a lot of very similar systems. Yes, I could probably use containers to great effect. But I prefer the separation/isolation that I get from virtual machines on ESXi. read on »

Local PXE Boot Server

1. motivation Today I set out to setup a local CentOS mirror for quicker PXE installations of my virtual machines. In the long run this will probably be superseded by a Spacewalk machine and until now has served me well. For the time being I just wanted a faster alternative. The kpxe file for is tiny and can easily be used with the builtin TFTP server of OpenWRT / LEDE project or any other TFTP server. read on »

On-Demand Socket Forwarding with Systemd

Sooner or later when setting up a server you’ll want to create some MySQL databses and users. If you’re not proficient in writing SQL queries or just wanted to use a nice GUI tool for the task, you’d need to connect remotely to your databse host. But of course you do not want to expose your MySQL port to the internet … Or suppose you want to debug some remote service, which is only accessible locally on the remote machine …

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