A few weeks back, Ubiquiti released a pre-release update for the Unifi Network Controller, version 7.1.61. It got installed on my UDM and I noticed a few interesting bits that you might find handy… First, you will need to be signed up for Unifi Early Access before you can download or even read the release notes, but this is just a quick update based on my findings so far.
The first thing to note: You can see the list of devices connected to switches on the Overview Tab. I can’t remember exactly when that was added, but I think it’s new…
Under the ports tab, you now have a ports insight option:
Clicking this give you:
You can also select multiple ports and make changes at a bulk level:
You can also see a bit more info about each port:
Teleport VPN is also now added. This makes giving someone access to your network a LOT easier than usual. They will need the WifiMan software on Android, iOS or Mac to join. Not sure what happens on a Windows machine… Maybe it’s coming soon? To use it, just generate a new link and send it to your user. Not sure how to remove them afterwards (if you want to give them temp access for example…)
Final Interesting part, and something I have been waiting for for a while, under Traffic Management, you can now create custom traffic rules:
You can set it based on destination Domain Name, IP or even the full internet:
And you can set the Source to be All Devices, group of devices (network) or individual (or multiple targeted) devices.
Finally, you can set the output internet connection.
If you had multiple internet connections, and one had better speeds for stuff like Netflix, or you wanted to send bulk data over a different link, you can do this using this feature. Very cool stuff.
For the last few weeks, I have been running a Raspberry Pi in my car, along with a small UPS and a Wifi Access point, allowing me to download videos from my dash cam and back them up to my NAS in the house. But I have had some teething issues, and I am currently thinking my way through some fixes…
First, the Pi is connected to both the network in the car (via ethernet) and network in the house (via Wifi). It seems that when the car is parked outside, sometimes the Pi can’t talk to the internet, and sometimes it can’t talk to the dashcam… It’s a routing issue, and it’s starting to annoy me…
I thought the onboard Wifi on the Pi was a little weak… it wasn’t getting much more than about 2-3Mbytes/s (16-24MBit/s) when downloading from the Pi to the House. Given the Pi was serving content from an SSD (not the internal MicroSD) I would have hoped for faster. I tried swapping in an external Wifi dongle with an aerial, but the same kind of speed… must be having issues getting through the metal and glass in the car, plus the metal, glass and brick in the house…
I started running out of disk space on the SSD on the Pi after about 3 or 4 weeks of video… so, I needed to tweak the command for the download script to only keep 14 days on the pi. Resilio Sync, the app I use to sync back to the house, has a “keep deleted files in an archive” folder option, so when the pi does delete the files, they are still stored on the Pi… I would like to find a way of automating that…
While trying to figure out how to fix part 1, I came up with an idea: I have an older Mikrotik RB951G that can be powered via a 12v adapter for the car. I am going to use that, along with a Huawei 4G dongle to act as an internet connection. The onboard Wifi will be in client mode, so when it’s near the house, it will connect to the main network and send traffic through that to the internet (or internal NAS) and when away, use the LTE modem. Then, using the Wifi dongle on the Raspberry Pi, use that as a Wifi AP.
Anything in the car that needs Wifi will connect to the Pi, which will act as a bridge to the Mikrotik. When the script needs to download files from the dashcam, it should have a direct connection to it, plus (hopefully) will be faster… then the Pi is connected to the internet through the Mikrotik. The Pi has both Tailscale and Zerotier on it for remote management, and the Mikrotik can be configured to use Wireguard to connect back to the house directly if required.
I have some of this working on a bench in the house, but it will be a while before I manage to get this running fully… Hopefully, I will have some more stuff sorted this weekend…
The Huawei Wingle was a little slower on 4G than I would have hoped…
When the power in the car went out, everything stopped working immediately (12V sockets in the car run for about 20 min after the engine shut off)
It did not connect to the WiFi in the house when parked
No option for backing up Video…
So, I went digging to find some alternatives… and I realized I had a load of them floating around the house: the Raspberry Pi. Specifically, the 4GB Pi 4. I got my hands on a Pi UPS Hat, a couple of 18650 Cells and an SSD Expansion board with a 512GB (overkill I know) SSD. I also got a BlackVue Power Magic Battery, B112, which will power the Dash Cam (a BlackVue DR750S-2CH). It has 2 USB ports, which allows me to run both the Pi and the new WIFI router, a Netgear Nighthawk M1.
When the car starts, it powers, via the 12V socket in the boot of the car (trunk for my American friends), which powers the Blackvue Battery. Cables run from there to the front of the car where the front camera is. (there is also a rear-facing camera in the boot too… more cables!) This then also starts the Pi and starts charging the 2 18650 batteries. Finally, well, at the same time really, the Nighthawk starts running too. Because the batter on this was running hot, the battery is removed from this.
The Pi is hooked to the Nighthawk via ethernet and the WIFI is set to connect to the house when it sees it. The BlackVue uses the WIFI from the Nighthawk for its internet requirements. When the pi boots, it connects to Zerotier for management via SSH or VNC (I use VNC to remote into the box and watch the live video when the car is parked or when someone else is driving).
There is also a python script that is scheduled to run every 15 min that downloads the videos from the Dashcam. It also downloads any GPS and other info. The folder these files are downloaded to is on the SSD and is shared with my machine at home via Resilio Sync. To make sure I don’t use all my LTE usage, the machine at home is set to only download what I want to download. So, if the car is somewhere else, I can download specific files when I want, or when at home, I can download full days, if required.
It’s been running for a few weeks now, and so far, so good. I haven’t had to do any clean up of the SSD, yet, but I would guess that eventually, I will need to look into that… With the 4G connection and Zerotier, I can then connect to my car and watch the live video whenever it is online, and whenever it is driving, within 15 min it will start downloading videos. I could, in theory, do a LOT more with the Pi in the car… Some ideas that come to mind:
Turn WIFI off on the Nighthawk and use the Pi as a Router, probably adding a second WIFI adapter to get better range… This could then have PiHole running on it for monitoring DNS traffic…
Since I have access to the GPS files in (somewhat) real-time, use it to map the car in somewhat real-time. Though, I do this already using Ruhavik and a TeltonikaFMC-001.
Connecting to the car’s OBDII port (On-Board Diagnostics) and getting data from the car… Technically, again, the FMC001 does most of this, but in theory, it could be replaced with something else…
Keep an eye on the blog for future possible projects with this… Not sure where this project will get me, but we will figure it out at some stage… Leave a comment if you have questions!
So, this has been a blog post in the making for a while now but never got around to fully writing it up, so here goes nothing…
I run a UDM Pro in the house. It has 2 WAN Links: 1 1Gb link and 1 10Gb Link. I also run AS204994, my own ASN with its own Transit and Peering connections, mostly in Europe. There is a VM in the house which acts as a connection to AS204994, which gives me a full connection to the Internet through my own ASN. More details on my AS204994 blog are here.
That connection is hooked up to the 10Gb Link on the UDM Pro, which is listed as the primary internet link. Details on how these works were uploaded in this video on YouTube:
In the video above, I was using OpenMPTCPRouter to connect to the internet, but it’s been causing some issues lately, I decided to try something else.
The new setup is an Intel Nuc (i3 with 32GB RAM and 2x512GB SSDs… VERY OVERKILL for the job at hand) running Ubuntu Linux. It has a USB Hub with 3 USB Ports and an Ethernet port connected, giving me 2 Ethernet ports on the box in total. 2 of the USB Ports are connected to USB 4G Modems from Huawei and the external ethernet port is directly connected to my cable modem.
Both modems and the ethernet port are connected to the NUC with full internet connections (The Huawei boxes give up NATed IPs, but the Cable modem is a full public IP) and then Speedify takes those 3 connections and does some bonding magic. Speedify is a handy little VPN service that does connection bonding. You can use it to make sure your internet is rock solid using multiple links, make sure streams are stable, etc. It can bond Wifi Links, LTE modems, Cable Modems, DSL, etc. Anything that can connect and be bonded. The only issue I have with it, compared to OpenMPTCPRouter is that you don’t control the upstream server…
Speedify is set in shared mode, so the internal port on the NUC is set to share the internet connection. This is hooked to the 1Gb WAN Port on the UDM Pro. This is set for failover only (currently the only option on a UDM Pro) so if my AS204994 link goes down (VM reboots, VM host dies, Cable modem connection goes out, etc) I will still have a connection. If the cable goes out, it will use just the 4G links, but if everything is running, I get all 3 connections.
I use ZeroTier on my network for a good few things, including internal network peering between BGP VMs, management of machines, and now, connecting to my car over LTE. This is one of those posts that sounds silly, but is very handy! First, the parts list:
3G/4G/5G modem of some sort. I am using a Huawei Wingle… Can be used without the Router below, but I wanted Zerotier, so I have it in modem only mode…
A router that supports Zerotier. I am using a modified TP-Link TL-WR703N upgraded to 16MB ROM and 64MB RAM. This is required for newer OpenWRT builds
After installing the the latest copy of ROOter on the TPLink (or router of your choice) and getting the modem configured correctly (this took a while) you need to install the Zerotier software though the dashboard. Once installed, I joined my Zerotier network using the CLI (SSH into the router) and the approved it though the my.zerotier.com dashboard. Once its approved and connected, you can now go to the Zerotier IP and get to the router directly. From here, you can either setup a route in Zerotier to point at the internal network behind the router, or, in my case, setup a SSH tunnel to the dashcam. I found the IP given to the dashcam and used SSH forwarding to get to it. Finally, i used the URLs from Digital-Nebula’s hackview repo to get to the different URLs. I use this to download stuff like GPS logs, emergency videos, etc. I have to clean up some scripts at some stage for this, and plan to upload them at some stage.
I have posted about backups a few times on this site in recent years, and its still something I make tweaks to every now and again. The latest setup is probably over the top, but I will give you a walk though on it and some of it could be useful to some of you.
I have a couple of different machines and storage devices running that need backups. Some need daily backups, some could get away with weekly. The list is as follows:
QNAP TS-932X (5X8TB HDD in RAID 6 along with 4X512GB SSDs in RAID 5, 2X10Gb NICs)
GodBoxV2 and the 4 C6100 boxes are running Widows Server 2019, and I have 4 new C6220s which, when in production, may be either running Server 2019 or VMWare ESXi. More on this in a future post. GodBoxV1 and V3 are being backed up with Borg/Borgmatic, and the Server2019 boxes are running Hyper-V and the VMs are not backed up on a nightly basis, but that is planned in the future…
Borgmatic is basically a very nice and handy wrapper for Borg itself. It allows you to easily configure a YAML file with what you want to backup, what you want to exclude, where you want it backed up to (multiple locations if required) and details on retention, etc. It also allows you to send notices when something completes or fails. I have 3 main machines which are backed up using Borgmatic, but will probably add more at some stage. These three backup to 3 different locations; Local ZFS Storage in house (currently on GodBoxV1), RSync.NET and Hetzner’s Storage Box. [Note: Hetzner have 2 types of storage: Storage Box and Storage Share. Storage Share seems to be NextCloud and does not have BorgBackup installed. Storage Box can be used with BorgBackup though]
[Note: RSync.net have an offer for Borg Storage: 1.5c per Gig. So, 100Gb a year costs only $18. On their signup page, if you enter referral code 2019-09-13_05-27-04, I get some extra storage for backups on my end, and you can help me continue writing random stuff here!]
Nightly, Borgmatic runs and backs up everything important on GodBoxV1, V3 and the Docker Box, to all three locations. Then, on GodBoxV3, we backup some larger files (photos, video and other large data from my cameras) to Hetzner. I also plan on setting up a backup of those larger files to either my Synology or QNAP boxes. The reason the large files are only backed up to one current location is size; they currently weigh in at around 300GB, give or take, and I currently have around 200Gb of usable space with RSync.NET. My plan is to use the QNAP or Synology box as a secondary backup for this storage at some stage.
On a nightly basis, the Synology runs backups to both Backblaze B2, Wasabi and Hetzner using Hyper-Backup. Finally, on a weekly basis, some folders on the Synology are backed up to AWS Glacier.
This gives me a fairly good set of backup options, but there are some tweaks I want to make:
Important VMs on the Hyper-V Cluster should be backed up. Daily backup to local storage (QNAP, Synology, ZFS) and one weekly backup external (Hetzner, B2, RSync.net)
Large media files backed up to a second location, either local or remote.
Intel Nuc, Home Laptop and Mac Mini should also be backed up. 99% of the time they use storage from the ZFS pool or the NAS devices, but they still have local storage.
Look into backing up iPhones, Android Phones, iPads, etc, to local storage also. I do use PhotoSync to copy photos from my iPhone to the ZFS storage, which is backed up, but having something to backup the rest of the data, other than iCloud, would be handy.
So, thats my 2020 backup plan. Any comments, questions, etc, shout in the comments section.
With the whole Work From Home thing probably becoming more and more normal in the years to come (I can count on 2 hands how many times I have physically been in my main office in the last 7 months) there are a couple of certainties in that people will come up against. One is passwords expiring and needing to be changed, one is password resets being required and finally laptops or desktops needing to be domain joined or connected to the domain before they can be fully provisioned. As the (currently only) IT guy in our office, I have had to deal with these first hand, and decide to write this post, helping both my fellow employees, and possibly other IT Admins stuck in this challenge.
So, as the IT person, there are a couple of assumptions:
You have on premises AD
You have Azure AD (P1 and above seems to be required if users are mixed AD and on prem. Free allows just Cloud users).
Now, the next task: domain joining over VPN. This is a bit more “fun” to play with.
First, you need a VPN connection. We use Meraki gear using Active Directory for RADIUS auth. I wont go into too much details on setting that part up, but the script we use to build the VPN connections for users is below. This will probably be different for different VPNs, but this is our starting point.
Lines you need to change are at 8, 9, 10 and 47. Line 39 can also be modified to change from Split Tunneling (only sending traffic to internal subnets) or full Tunneling (all traffic over VPN). If you have multiple internal subnets, Line 49 can be copied with more.
The most important part we need though is line 34. The -AllUserConnection allows the connection to be available to all users on the machine, but also on the start screen. This is important.
So, with all that in place, you will need to connect to the VPN
you should now be able to join the domain as if you where on your local network.
reboot your machine as usual and when it boots, you should see a new option on the login screen
Click this icon and if you only have one VPN connection the screen below will show up. If you have more than one, you will be given a list of options to use.
Enter your domain credentials. Since our AD and VPN use the same credentials, it will automatically log you in aswell.
So, there you have it. How to domain join a machine outside the network. Now, in reality, Azure Active Directory and Intune would probably be the better option, but that’s future work…
[NOTE] This post was done entirely on iPhone XS Max and a iPad Pro. Photos taken on the iPhone. Some edited on iPhone, some on the iPad. I have edited some text on the iPad with the keyboard, but if i missed anything, all was written mostly live, so apologies… Will add extra links to places like Engadget, etc, below.
Homepod mini. $99 available 16 November. The feature of intercom sounds good… When they mentioned the list of extra service, Spotify was very missing… [NOTE] I missed some stuff on this cause I was in a late meeting… This does look cool though.
iPhones. 5g available. 5g ultra wide band. 4gb down and 250mbs down ideal conditions. MmWave Support. Low latency support. But that’s normal for 5g. Verizon expanding their network to 60 cities by year end for ultra wide and and all cities for normal 5g. And it’s avail be on ALL models. Not just the high end. Very handy. Rumours had suggested it would be limited to either high end, or that mmWave would be available only on pro.
IPhone 12. First one announced. 5g support. New design. Looks very iphone 4 like. Bigger camera bump with 2 cameras. 6.1inch display. Smaller border. Super Renta XDR display. 2 million to 1 contrast ratio… 460ppi. Dolby vision hdr10 and hgl support too. 1200 nits. Ceramic shield on the screen to increase toughness. Tougher than any smartphone scree.
Most 5g bands in any smartphone. Even iOS core is modified to make 5g faster. When lower speeds will do, it can drop to LTE. Has been tested and gets up to 3.5Gb/s max and best conditions. 4Gb/s down on mmWave and best conditions and 1Gb/s in normal conditions.
A14 bionic. 5nm process. 11.8 billion transistors. 6 cores. 4 core gpu. Neural engine goes from 8 to 1y cores and 11 trillion operations per second.
Gaming stuff. Something called league of legends. I’m not a gamer, so… Hmm…. [I took this time to try upload photos for this post…]
Camera looks very cool. Larger aperture for better low light photos. video looks cool too…
MagSafe for iPhone. Qi charging with magets. 15w charger. NFC support too… New cases and wallet. And charger has magnet. Apple has a duo charger for both iPhone and Watch. Belkin have a car dock and a multi device charger too. I like the sound of the car dock, and a duo charger for iPhone and Apple Watch could be useful…
Recycling stuff. Lots of important stuff here… But very big words for trying to type live. But they are removing chargers and headphones from the box. Smaller box, which means they can get more on a shiping pallet, which reduces CO2. And by removing the headphones and charger, they can save 2 million metric tones of CO2 or 450k cars off the road. USB C to lightning cable included in the box.
Iphone 12 mini. Same spec as the full 12, just smaller.
12 mini starts at $699. 12 non mini is $799. More details of availability later in this post.
“There is simply nothing like iPhone 12”… Think that’s about to change now…
Pro line. They… Multiple… 12 pro. Still reminds me of the 4…
Pro camera also looks very cool. 12 pro max has better camera.
Pro raw option. Raw with some processing. Available later in the year. Works on all 4 cameras. Flexibility of raw with apples computational photography. Edit photos in photos app or in other professional apps. Wonder when light room gets it.
Pro video. Hdr shooting. Dolby vision Hdr recording in camera too. And the internet just went missing… Give me a sec…
Shoots the Hdr video at 4k 60fps. And it can be edited on the phone… Nice.
Lidar scanner. Interesting for ar objects but could be interesting. It was in the iPad pro. It can see in the dark too… 6x faster auto focus.
To finish up, a quick Gallery of the photos taken.
A few days back (October 6th 2020) VMWare announced a new “Fling”: ESXi Arm Edition. Not completely sure what a Fling is, but anyway, I started reading, liked the idea and managed to download a copy for testing. I have 2 Pi 4s in the house, both 4Gb Models, and I wanted to play around with the new tech.
So, after some messing with UEFI stuff, formatting Micro SD cards correctly, copying files and some limitations, I managed to get 2 new ESXi servers running on Raspberry Pi!
There is a walk though Video showing everything I did to get up and running. Its embedded below. Some of the hardware I used is also mentioned below.
2 X POE to USB C Splitters. I used these so I can power both Pi’s though POE and can reboot them using the switch. You could use a USB Power Adapter like the Anker PowerPort 60W which would give you 6 ports to run your Raspberry Pi’s. I would probably limit it to running 4 Pi’s though, since the Pi 4 needs a bit more power…
As mentioned above, the USB key is used for storing ESXi when its installed. It can also be used for storing VMs. There is a command you run when installing to partition the drive in 2: 8GB for ESXi and the rest for storage. I managed to run this correctly on one, but missed it on the second. I might reinstall that Pi and get it up and running again soon. You also have the option of installing to iSCSI. That might be useful too…
Storage wise, VMWare recommend using usb3 or fast iscsi or nfs storage for vms. I’m using nfs on my workstation which seems to work OK. but you are still limited to 1Gb/s of the Raspberry Pi. They say it is possible to use extra USB network cards. Could be interesting to try that out.
So far i have managed to install a single VM on one of the Pis. I plan on migrating from a Physical PiHole instance to a virtual one. I also plan on getting a few 8Gb Pis and see where this rabbit hole gets me. It can also be managed with VSphere. Let’s see if I can get that working… Stay tuned!
If anyone has any questions, comments, etc., just shout. And if your interested in videos like these, subscribe and like the video!
A few months back, I pre ordered a Nexdock Touch. The Nexdock Touch is a laptop without the laptop components… its essentially a screen (1920×1080 touch) with a keyboard, battery, touch pad, a 3 USB C ports (one for charging, one for phones only and one for connecting other devices) a Full USB A port (for plugging in other stuff, more on that in a sec), a Micro SD Card and a full HDMI port. Interestingly, the HDMI port is not for output, like you would think it is, but for input.
This is the Nexdock’s party piece: plug in a compatible phone (I have a Samsung Galaxy A90 5G that works), Raspberry Pi (I tried with a Pi 4) or any other device that takes USB input and HDMI output (I also tried with an Intel Nuc) and that machine becomes a laptop… Well, within reason; the Phone and the Pi will both get charged or powered by the Nexdock’s built in batter, but for the Nuc, it needs to be powered externally.