We had a lively discussion about OpenVPN and various use cases to have it available for access to a home system. A very quick walkthrough showing how simple it is to create and a few gotchas that you can run into.

You can get additional information on installing it from these resources:

You might also want to visit the OpenVPM website at openvpn.net There is also a discussion of clients there as well.

We also talked about future topics for the rest of the year. We have a rather large number of items, so there is opportunity to cover many items and still have topics for next year assuming they are relevant any more.

Future Topics, mostly gathered by recent web searches I have done:

  • PXE Booting
  • RRDTool (and things to do with it)
  • Centralized Logging (synology or Linux)
  • Docker: what is it and why would you want it?
  • Things to do with your Synology:
    • Docker on Synology
    • Synology as Datastore for ESXi (thin provisioned iSCSI)
    • Crashplan on Synology
    • Monitoring with Nagios (or icinga) (on synology)
  • Logstash
  • Various git items: git, github, gitolite, gitlab, git-annex, git-stash, gist
  • Backups, snapshots, filesystem features, etc.
  • Building a hackintosh on a spare laptop
  • Documenting your lab setup
  • Building a phone system AND programming it beyond the basics
  • Flash talk on USB3 Issues (Renato)
  • Openstack 
  • IPv6 Implementation & Gotchas
  • Centralized authentication at home with technologies such as LDAP or FreeIPA and why you might want to do it
  • Graphite

The next topic will be PXE booting due to popular vote, so that covers June. The rest will be allocated as interest dictates. I suspect July will be a talk (or talks) on RRDtool  usage.

Links to other items we mentioned/discussed:


The talk we had for April was on using asciinema to provide walk-throughs, training and demos that do not use something like a movie. As a short followup, you can view the embedded asciicast below to get a quick idea of what was we were talking about. This is nothing more than a quick and dirty demo to show that in addition to showing what you get, including things like a vi session, but you can also pause the player and cut and paste directly from the playing file. For anyone that has to show command-line configurations, this could be very valuable. Think about router and gateway configs as one usage case.

Here is the demo:

Normally I would host the cast myself, but I don’t have the service available on my VPS yet. Once I get it working on the limited resource VPS, I’ll migrate it to my own server. I’d prefer to not have the entire world watching my less than stellar demos, etc.

As an additional item, there will be an asciicast embedded in a post to follow-up the puppet talk as soon as I get it finished. I thought I was close to done, but the last phase had an unexpected error and I have to track it down before I can redo the ‘cast. Slides will also be available.

Today is Pi Day, assuming we follow month-day dating. Better yet, if we happen to use American style dating, March 3, 2015 becomes 3-14-15. That is as close to 3.1415 as we get for another hundred years.

To celebrate all things geeky, Bruce, Andrea and I met up for a slice of pi(e). There should have been a few more, but the freezing rain may have put the others off. In order to be fair, we may have to celebrate tau day next.


We had a rather small attendance this month, so rather than have the puppet talk, I decided to put it off until March and we had a free-form meeting instead. Some discussion of WordPress, which linux distros are appropriate for what settings, etc.

We need to have another idea session, so part of the time at the next meeting will reserved to put together a topic list for the rest of the year and see if anyone has a pet project or new technology they wish to give a talk on.

This seems to happen every couple of years.

I keep trying to find a Canadian hosting provider that offers capabilities similar to the one I use in the US and at a similar price point. Every time I find one, it ends up getting bought out. The last one was adequate, but had a number of issues (no shell access for starters) that I had problems with. This time I’m using a VPS from a Montreal provider to see how well it works. The initial tests were quite good, so I have migrated over. As it is a full virtual server as opposed to a chrooted area, I have more control and I’m happy with that.

I expect I may have missed a setting or two while performing the migration, so there may be some things that do not work as expected. The last time I set this up, it was on a RHEL based system and this time it is Debian based, so there are a few differences in how you accomplish some of the tasks. Learning is always good.

I’m sure someone will point out issues if they find any. Comments should be open for a couple of weeks and there is always the mailing list.