Tag: Homelab

Installing Ubiquiti UniFi Controller on Ubuntu 18.04 Virtual Machine

In this video we learn how to install the Ubiquiti UniFi controller on to an Ubuntu 18.04 VMWare Virtual Machine and run through the base configuration.

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Permanent link to this article: https://achubbard.com/2020/06/03/installing-ubiquiti-unifi-controller-on-ubuntu-18-04-virtual-machine/

How To Enable IP Routing On a Cisco Catalyst 2960s | SDM Template

Learn how to change the SDM Template to lanbase-routing and enable ip routing on a Cisco Catalyst 2960s switch.

Check Out My Other Videos:
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Permanent link to this article: https://achubbard.com/2020/06/03/how-to-enable-ip-routing-on-a-cisco-catalyst-2960s-sdm-template/

How to Move Active Directory FSMO Roles to a New Domain Controller Windows Server 2019


In an Active Directory environment you have five FSMO roles.

Those role are as follows:
– Schema Master
– Domain Naming Master
– Infrastructure Master
– RID Master
– PDC Emulator
FSMO (Pronounced FIZ-MO) stands for Flexible Single Master Operations. 

At some point, it might become necessary to move these roles from one Domain Controller to another. Accomplishing this is pretty straight forward. Before we begin, lets use some basic commands to verify were our FSMO roles are located and that replication is working. We want to make sure all systems are go before take off. This will help us should any trouble arise during or after the migration of the FSMO roles.

You need to start off on the target Domain Controller. What this means is, you need to be logged onto the Domain Controller that you wish to move the FSMO roles to.

In our lab environment, that will be our LAB-DC02 VM. Login to your target Domain Controller and open a Powershell window. Issue the command: netdom query fsmo

This will query Active Directory to see who has the FSMO roles. It will return an output like this:

This shows us that currently, LAB-DC01 holds all five of the FSMO roles. Upon completion, this will show that LAB-DC02 holds all five of the FSMO roles.

Now, let’s take a look at our replication summary. Back in Powershell, issue the command: repadmin /replsummary

This will show you an overview of the present replication status. In this view, you will see both Source and Destination DSA and both of our Domain Controllers are listed under each heading. This is because updates can be sent to any of the Domain Controllers within the Domain. 

You can also see the amount of replications, the largest replication delta (This means the longest gap of time between replication links) and if there are any failed replication attempts. 

Your output should look similar to this if everything is working correctly:

One last system check before we engage on this endeavor, again, back in our Powershell window, issue the command: repadmin /showrepl

This will show you further details of the replication than the above /replsummary command will. It will show you the status of each source Domain Controller for each destination Domain Controller that has an inbound connection. 

Your output should look similar to this:

Troubleshooting Active Directory Replication is not what this article is about, however, I wanted to give you some guidance as to what you should see prior to migrating your FSMO roles. If something looks out of the ordinary or states failure, you should troubleshoot and resolve those issues prior to migrating the FSMO roles. 

When you are satisfied with the replication results, lets jump into Active Directory Users and Computers. The first three roles we will move are, RID, PDC and Infrastructure. 

Once in ADUC, right click on your lab.lan (or your domain) and click on “Operations Masters”

Change the RID Master from LAB-DC01.lab.lan to LAB-DC02.lab.lan by hitting the “Change” button:

You will be prompted “Are you sure you want to transfer the operations master role?” – hit the “Yes” button to transfer it.

If successful, you will see a dialog box stating the transfer was successful.

Continue this process for the PDC and Infrastructure roles. Once you have transferred the RID, PDC and Infrastructure role, open up Powershell and issue the command: netdom query fsmo 

You should now see that three of the five roles have changed from LAB-DC01 to LAB-DC02.

Continue on to the Domain Naming Master role. This will be our fourth role of five total. Open up Control Panel > Administrative Tools and Double Click “Active Directory Domains and Trusts”

Once the console opens up, right click on “Active Directory Domains and Trusts” in the left hand column. Select “Operations Master”

This follows the same procedures as the above three roles. Hit the “Change” button.

Again, you will be prompted, are you sure? Hit “Yes”

If it changed successfully, you will see a dialog box stating that the transfer was successful.

We can move onto the final role, the Schema Master. This role is a little bit different to get to than the previous four were.

Before we can transfer the role, we need to register the Schema Master Mgmt DLL file. To do that, open up a run box and type “regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll” and hit enter.

Once you hit enter, you should be prompted with the message “DllRegisterServer in schmmgmt.dll succeeded.” – you can hit “ok”

Go back to your run box and type “mmc” to open a blank Microsoft Management Console.

Go to “File” and select “Add/Remove Snap-in”

Select “Active Directory Schema” and hit the “Add” button. Then hit “ok”

When in the Schema MMC, if you hover over “Active Directory Schema” you will see that it is connected to LAB-DC01 as that is our current Schema Master. We need to connect to LAB-DC02, or our target Domain Controller, to transfer the role.

You can do that by right clicking on “Active Directory Schema” and selecting the option “Change Active Directory Domain Controller” – Select LAB-DC02 from the list and click “ok”

You will receive a warning stating “Active Directory Schema snap-in is not connected to the schema operations master. You will not be able to perform any changes. Schema modifications can only be made on the schema FSMO holder.” This is ok. 

If you again hover your mouse over “Active Directory Schema” in the left hand column, you will see it has changed from LAB-DC01 to LAB-DC02. This is what we want to see. 

Right click on “Active Directory Schema” and select “Operations Master” – The same dialog box that we are familiar with from the first four roles will appear. Click on the “Change” button and it will prompt “Are you sure you want to change the Operations Master?” Click “Yes”

You will get a final dialog box that says “Operations Master successfully transferred.”

Finally, you can check your results by going back to Powershell and issuing the command: netdom query fsmo

You should see all the FSMO roles being held by LAB-DC02 (or your target Domain Controller)

You are now done moving the five FSMO roles from one Domain Controller to another. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please check out my YouTube Channel for more IT related videos

Permanent link to this article: https://achubbard.com/2019/12/17/how-to-move-active-directory-fsmo-roles-to-a-new-domain-controller-windows-server-2019/

Install Ubuntu 18.04 on VMware ESXi | VMTools SSH


In this video we go how to install Ubuntu 18.04 on our VMware ESXi host. We also install VMTools and enable SSH. This is my base install of Ubuntu.

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Permanent link to this article: https://achubbard.com/2019/11/26/install-ubuntu-18-04-on-vmware-esxi-vmtools-ssh/

How to Install Windows 10 and Join a Domain on VWWare ESXi

How to Install Windows 10 and Join a Domain on VWWare ESXi

Permanent link to this article: https://achubbard.com/2019/10/25/how-to-install-windows-10-and-join-a-domain-on-vwware-esxi/

How To Setup a Windows Server 2019 Domain Controller

Check out my latest video! Write up coming soon!

Permanent link to this article: https://achubbard.com/2019/09/18/how-to-setup-a-windows-server-2019-domain-controller/

Small Home Lab Server

Small Home Lab Server

I have seen numerous posts on Reddit’s Home Lab subreddit from users looking for a small, quiet, low power home lab server. Well folks, this is the machine for you. Be aware, this machine is rather pricey. For the last year or so, my primary home lab goal was to consolidate all of my home lab resources into this lovely little box. This has now changed as I am back to expanding my lab. Please see my home lab rebuild post, Homelab Rebuild – Part 1 – Intro
This system is very quiet and sips around 50-60 watts of electricity. To top it off, this machine seems to handle anything and everything that I throw at it. The machine I purchased was a Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T case and a Supermicro X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard.


Intel Xeon-D 154132GB4x2TB Hard Drives2x512GB SSDsWindows 2012
The CPU, a Xeon-D 1541, on the Supermicro X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard is soldered on. What this means is that it is not up-gradable or changeable. At the time, I chose to only outfit it with 32GB of RAM. The system is capable of supporting up to 128GB of RAM. That being said, DDR4 2133 ECC is relatively expensive. The kit I went with was the Kingston ValueRAM KVR21E15D8K/32I – this included 2x16GB sticks of RAM. I already had all of the drives I was going to use for the time being. My boot drive is a 512GB Samsung SSD, with a second identical SSDs for some small VMs. I have 2x2tb drives for my BlueIris setup and 2x2tb for my backups.


Inside small Supermicro Home Lab Server

Inside Supermicro Home Lab Server


At first, I was rather skeptical if this chip would actually handle things like, Plex, BlueIris, ManageEngine, Untangle and all the other applications that I was running. I was coming from a multiple R710s and other, larger, more powerful systems.
Supermicro Home Lab Server Xeon D

Intel Xeon D 1541 Specs

 The Xeon-D 1541, surprisingly, packs quite a punch. I have had no trouble with this machine running all of my applications. The only time this system balked at me was when I initially converted over to BlueIris. BlueIris is a great piece of software, however, if not configured properly, it is a bit of a resource hog.



As an OS on this server, I initially wanted to go with ESXi. I am, after all, a VMWare kind of guy. However, this machine has an on board RAID controller. The on board Intel RAID controller is just software RAID. It will not pass through to ESXi and ESXi will not see anything attached to it. Given the cost of the machine, explained below, I decided not to purchase an additional RAID card at the time. Plus, I wanted to use it as an opportunity to learn something new. I opted to install Windows Server 2012 and configure Hyper-V. This was something very new to me. I have only dabbled with Hyper-V in the past. Most of the environments I work with are VMWare based.  So far, it has worked out very well.


Cost wise, this system is not for the faint of heart. The case/motherboard combo cost $1,224.99, the RAM cost 297.99 and shipping  cost me $36.84, all for a wopping total of $1,559.82. This price did not include any drives. I saved a few bucks because I already had the 4 drives to stick in the unit, plus two additional 512GB SSDs. If you have almost $1,600 to spend, and you want a very quiet, low power, powerful home server, this is the machine I would go with. I’ve been running it for almost a year and it has been rock solid.

Please feel free to check out some of my latest blog posts or my about me page to learn more!

Permanent link to this article: https://achubbard.com/2018/03/26/small-home-lab-server/

Personal Weather Station Setup

Homelab Weather Station Weathering the options

As an IT guy, I like metrics and graphs. I like knowing how things are performing. I’ve also always been a bit fascinated by the weather. So naturally I decided to put two and two together and built my own weather station setup. I live out in a rural area and we can get rather high winds and lots of rain at times. This project really started because I wanted to know just how fast the wind would whip through our property.

Data Acquisition

As a techie person, I really wasn’t looking for an out-of-the-box solution. I wanted something a bit more…custom. I spent a lot of time researching various different software and “controllers” for the weather station. I figured I would decided what I was going to use for data acquisition before I picked a sensor suite. I settled on the WeatherBridge Pro from Meteobridge. Not probably the most popular device out there, but I thought it was pretty neat. It lets you report to various weather sites and export the data into MySQL and other various databases. It had quite the price tag at around $450-500. I purchased this in 2015 and overall it has been ok. I do not believe I would purchase a second one. It has had…quirks.. from day one. Occasionally it will hang up and need a reboot, the screen will go silly and need a reboot or I have had it drop off the network and not respond. When it works, it works well. Boots right up and grabs the data from the ISS (below) and reports it to WeatherUnderground and CWOP.

The OS is based off OpenWRT. The web GUI also has some quirks that are more annoying then anything else. Under the services tab, if you add a service, say a MySQL database, and then decide you want to remove it, there is no way to do so.

I’ve also found the the unit itself generates quite a bit of heat and there are no fans or vents on it.

Integrated Sensor Suite

Once settling on an acquisition device, I moved on to the sensor suite. This is the piece of hardware that lives outside and actually does the leg work. I went with the Davis Weather Station 06357. This setup comes with a temperature and humidity sensor, a wind speed (anemometer) and direction vane. These sensor report back to the WeatherBridge Pro over RF at 915MHz. The unit boasts a 1000′ distance, but I have found anything further then a few hundred feet is the limit. This could be a limitation of the WeatherBridge Pro or the Davis ISS. This is a fairly basic setup, which, for what I am doing, is perfectly acceptable. I picked up the mounting hardware as well.

Davis Weather Station 06357 Integrated Sensor Suite

Ambient Weather EZ-30-12 Mounting Kit

Ambient Weather EZ-100-35M 35″ Extension

This setup is mounted to the rail on my deck. I picked this location for ease of accessibility, and the fact that I am not terribly fond of heights so my roof was off limits. It has worked well in it’s current location. I purchased the sensor suite in 2015 and it has been installed since. It has held up well to the cold weather, wind, rain etc. I have been very happy with it.


All in all, the components I picked for my weather setup have worked out pretty well and I have been relatively happy with it. You can check out the data from my station on WeatherUnderground.

Please feel free to check out some of my latest blog posts or my about me page to learn more!

Permanent link to this article: https://achubbard.com/2018/02/27/personal-weather-station-setup/

Homelab Rebuild – Part 1 – Intro

Homelab Rebuild

For the last year and a half, I have been all about consolidating my gear. I got into this funk where I absolutely wanted nothing to do with enterprise equipment in my home. I wanted to go home and just be home. However, that attitude has sacrificed a lot of my personal learning and growth. I am a guy who LOVES to tinker. Doesn’t really matter what it is, I just love to tinker and I love gear.

After talking with some fellow IT guys during a meeting recently, I realized, I miss having the gear to work on at home. I missed having the resources to test something and not give a care if I break something.

I’ve also recently started this blog and am attempting to teach myself about WordPress, it’s plugins and WAFs (Web Application Firewalls). I felt re-invigorated to acquire some gear new gear. I am hoping this blog, and purchasing some new gear, will keep me interested in a hobby that has turned into a career for me.

 Hardware – Dell R510, R610


I have acquired 2 Dell PowerEdge R610s to use in my rebuilt homelab. Both are outfitted with only 16GB of RAM. Ideally, I would love to increase this to 32-48gb of RAM per host. The price was right on the two machines the way they sit so I figured I would just outfit them as needed. As low power is a slight concern for me, I ordered a pair of Xeon L5630s for each machine.

Shared Storage

I would love to have a true Dell SAN to go with the rest of my Dell stack, however, they are subtly out of my price range at the moment. Can you tell? I am a rather big Dell guy when it comes to servers. I picked up an 8 bay Dell R510, was hoping for a 12 bay, but this will give me a start. Honestly, with the size of drives these days, 8 bays should be sufficient for what I am using it for. This will allow me to install my collection of hard drives and pass them through to FreeNAS. I have also picked up a set of 10gb Mellanox cards and cables.

Mellanox Network Cards - 10GB

Dell R510 FreeNAS SAN, Dell R610 Hosts


I picked up a pair of Dell PowerConnect 5524Ps. Initially, I planned on using these as my VM switches and picking up a 48 port Cisco of some variation for my core switch. However, I’ve decided I would use both of these for the time being and forgo the Cisco idea. The 5500 series Dell switches support stacking via HDMI cable, not something I have ever tried, but I scored both switches for a song and this is homelab right?

Dell Switches Homelab Rebuild Network

I did however, purchase a Cisco WS-C2960G-8TC-L switch to hand off my modem to my firewalls. This will give me some redundancy…err at least to my firewalls. Maybe someday I will get a secondary WAN connection and setup some type of failover.

Homelab Rebuild Cisco Network Switch 2960G

VLANs, what good is a homelab without VLANs?


I will provision 3 ports on the Cisco C2960G on what I call VLAN5. Taking the link from my cable modem, I will feed the WAN into 1 port, and send it out the other 2 additional ports to my redundant firewalls. VLAN5 will only exist on the Cisco switch. By setting up the environment this way, it gives me a little bit of redundancy, at least, in my mind. Obviously my two single points of failure are my cable modem and the Cisco switch.

iSCSI Network – VLAN10

As the hosts will have no local storage, we will need to create this VLAN to handle all of the iSCSI/Storage traffic for both. This VLAN will only be present on the Dell stack.

vMotion Network – VLAN15

This VLAN will allow the movement of virtual machines back and forth between my two hosts.

Production/Home Network – VLAN25

VLAN25 is where most of the err….action…happens. This is where my end devices sit. I don’t typically try to break that stuff up in my home environment. This VLAN will be on both the Dell stack and Cisco switch. It will only be present on the Cisco switch so that I can manage the switch from my workstation.

Security Cam Network – VLAN35

My security cameras were once on VLAN25….with everything else… my network was in essence…flat. I currently have 9 cameras with the plan to add a few more (small farm, we have animals etc so we like to keep an eye on things) – I decided it was time to break them out into their own VLAN. Enter stage left, VLAN35. Some of you reading this may be asking, how does this guy pick his VLAN numbers?? Honestly, the number is in direct correlation to the 3rd octet of the VLAN. So, an example might be, – the x.x.35.x is where the number comes from. Just something I came up with and ran with.

Guest Network – VLAN45

I do not typically have a lot of guests at my house, we’re out in the woods and people don’t like to visit. I’m ok with that. However, when we do have the occasional guest, I would rather they be on their own VLAN and have no access to anything other than the internet.

Area 51 – VLAN51

This is a new one for me. VLAN51 will become my secure VLAN. It will have no access to the internet. No access to the rest of the network. Any VMs that are apart of VLAN51 will be shut down when not in use. VLAN51 will be used to network my penetration testing VMs.

Network Layout

Homelab Rebuild Network Design


Since I am moving my office to my basement, I will be working on installing two dedicated circuits for my new lab. My electrical panel is right there and access is fairly easy. Most likely these will be 2 – 20 amp circuits. I am not an electrician, I just play one on the internet. Just kidding, please if you are going to run your own circuits, be aware of the risks involved. I am fairly comfortable working with electricity.

One thing I regret selling is my UPS. That is a pricey component that I will need to re-acquire at some point. I have a couple of smaller ones, and frankly, it’s my homelab, if it goes offline, eh not the end of the world.


One item that I had a hard time selling when I was consolidating my lab, is my 25u StarTech Open Frame rack. I had advertised it locally numerous times and never had anyone actually come and buy it. So I kept it and I am glad I did. It’s one less thing I need to purchase for the this adventure. I am planning on either enclosing it or putting it in a small server closet in my shop/office. This will hopefully help keep the noise down.

Software – FreeNAS, VMWare, pfSense


Something I never needed before was a VMUG subscription. I always had access to VMWare products through work. This time around I will be purchasing the $200 subscription so that I can utilize all of the products that come with it. Both of my hosts will be running ESXi. I will also be using the vCenter appliance instead of the Windows based vCenter install since that is the way things are headed anyways.

Shared Storage

Several years ago I utilized FreeNAS as my SAN for a POC (Proof of Concept) for a previous employer. This worked out very well. FreeNAS will be once again utilized for this en-devour. It will be installed on an R510 as stated above. Then I will create an iSCSI target and present that to VMWare as a LUN. Once the LUN has been presented to VMWare, we can go to town building out the Virtual Machines. Fairly straight forward here.

Virtual Machines

As of the moment my virtual machines are…..lacking. I went from having numerous VMs to accomplish one or two tasks down to one physical host and only a couple VMs to do a lot of tasks. Some things on my list to virtualize:

Firewall – pfSense and CARP – this is something I have never tried. Never really had a reason to. I feel like in the spirit of homelab, I should attempt this. Currently I am running a single Untangle firewall on Hyper-V. I love Untangle (so far) but I do not believe there is a way to create a failover cluster. None the less, this could change at any time. I jump from UTM to UTM or Firewall to Firewall. Keeps things exciting you know?

Monitoring – Nagios, Observium (perhaps Grafana will make a debut at some point too)

Domain Controllers – Currently I am working on my Master’s in IT, so I have access to the Microsoft Imagine program, so I will more then likely be spinning up a couple DCs to work with.

File Server (either nextcloud or something)

Security related – AlienVault, Nessus, and a dedicated KALI VM. Perhaps even a couple other pentest VMs on a secure VLAN.

Patch Management – ManageEngine

Web Server – Centos 7/WordPress/MySQL

Home Automation and Security – HomeSeer

Media – Plex (and maybe iHome Media Server too)

Physical Machines

Additionally, aside from my 2 hosts and the R510 SAN, I do have several physical machines present in the lab. One of the biggest tasks will be to remove all of my VMs off my Hyper-V box and turn my Hyper-V box into a BlueIris/Nakivo backup box. I switched to BlueIris from Ubiquiti’s NVR recently, and although I am loving Blue Iris, I find it resource intensive. So I will be leaving it as a physical box. The way I figure it, I can remove all the other tasks off my SuperMicro Mini and then have room for Nakivo along side Blue Iris. That machine has plenty of oomph for those two tasks.

I have a custom built workstation that I can never figure out what to do with, so I ordered up a 2u case and will be racking that as well. This will server as my media ingest machine. By that I mean, when I buy my next lot of DVDs and Bluerays or borrow them, I will use this machine to ingest the media and flip it to my Plex server.

A secure homelab or network environment should have a jump box or jump point. For me, my Intel Skull Canyon NUC will become this. Just a versatile box that is always on. Something I can hit from the field. My NUC will also be tied to a TV or screen in my office so that I can monitor the systems in real time.


Check out my latest Home Lab rebuild posts

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades – to see my progress on the two new hosts!

Add VLANs and Assign Ports on Cisco 2960G Switch – to see some configurations on my WAN switch

Permanent link to this article: https://achubbard.com/2018/02/24/homelab-rebuild-network-hosts-freenas-dell-r510/

Add a VLAN on a Dell PowerConnect 5524p Switch

Adding a VLAN on a Dell PowerConnect 5524 Switch

Having spent the last few years of my career in a Dell networking environment, I have decided that I will be adding a Dell switch to my personal collection. In this tutorial, I will show you how to add a VLAN via the CLI on a Dell PowerConnect 5524p switch. This tutorial assumes you know how to connect to the switch either by a using a console cable or SSH.

Connecting with Putty

Use Putty (or another similar tool) to either SSH or serial/console into your switch. This will get you into the CLI.

Configuring the switch

To begin, we need to enter the configuration mode. To do this, type “conf t” at the prompt and press enter. You will now be in config mode and see (config) to the left of the # sign.

Creating the V-LAN itself is a fairly easy task. Type the command “vlan database” and press the enter key.

Pick your V-LAN number and type “vlan #” and press the enter key. Where the # is, place your vlan number. So, in this tutorial we will use vlan 55.

Basic VLAN Configuration

In order to configure an IP address for our newly created VLAN, we must use the command “interface vlan 55”. This allows us to enter the interface configuration.

Give your V-LAN an IP Address if so desired, use the command “ip address x.x.x.x x.x.x.x” The first set of x’s represents the IP Address, the second set represents the subnet mask. So in my case, the command would be, “ip address”

Giving your V-LAN a name also helps distinguish what the V-LAN is for. Enter the command “name” followed by the name you have picked. So: name “test vlan”

Before you exit Putty, make sure you issue the command “copy run start” otherwise, if you reboot your switch, you will lose the configuration changes you just made.


Please feel free to check out the rest of my blog posts for other tutorials and information from the home lab!

Permanent link to this article: https://achubbard.com/2018/02/09/vlan-configuration-on-dell-powerconnect/