Tag Archives: Raspberry Pi

Conference Pi

Idea:

Use a Pi hooked up to the living-room TV with a webcam to make family and group video calls easier to manage without having to frequently rearrange computer locations.

Parts:

  • Raspberry Pi 4B 8G
    • Ubuntu arm64 w/Xubuntu Desktop
  • HDMI to miniHDMI cable
  • USB-C power adaptor
  • Webcam
    • USB Webcam
    • Pi Cam
  • Connectivity Options:
    • External keyboard & mouse (less optimal)
    • VNC (doable)
    • Barrier (preferred)

First off is the microphone enabled USB Webcam.

Update:

So close! The webcam was seen, the mics picked up sound from across the room just fine, everything was beautiful on the initial tests. That is until I joined a google meet. Video both directions were good, but the Pi began to choke on the audio processing. No sound in or out.

Adventures in Nagios (Version 4.4.6)

So, for a while now I”ve been wanting to try out Nagios on my home lab. But until recently, I never had a real reason to dig any further than “yep, got it to install and see the localhost”, especially while I was riding hi on ESXi on a real server. Everything I could want to monitor was either my laptop or already monitored through ESXi.

Recently though I downgraded (is it though?) to a few Pi-4Bs, dug out my Pi-2B, and repurposed some laptops I had kicking around. I now have a variety of hardware to monitor.

The Pi-2B (Raspberry Pi 2 Model B Rev 1.1) became my monitoring server. I put Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster) armv7l on it as it”s what was recommended, and went to town. Decided to build from source rather than rely on what is in the repo (was it even in the repo?). Install was pretty easy and localhost was found and all green.

I”ll admit, digging through the config files is NOT a fun time. Nagios lets you either split everything up so that everything has its own config OR you could just dump it all into one single massive config.

the config schematic I borrowed from work before went to a neat managed thing using racktables, puppet, and a few other more advanced IT toys. (might look into racktables myself just for the pain of it)

├── cgi.cfg
├── htpasswd.users
├── nagios.cfg
├── objects
│   ├── commands.cfg
│   ├── contacts.cfg
│   ├── localhost.cfg
│   ├── monitoring
│   │   ├── groups
│   │   │   ├── hw_printers.cfg
│   │   │   ├── os_linux.cfg
│   │   │   ├── os_storage.cfg
│   │   │   ├── os_windows.cfg
│   │   │   ├── srv_web.cfg
│   │   │   └── srv_workstation.cfg
│   │   ├── hosts
│   │   │   ├── linux.cfg
│   │   │   ├── printers.cfg
│   │   │   ├── storage.cfg
│   │   │   └── windows.cfg
│   │   └── services
│   │   ├── linux.cfg
│   │   ├── printer.cfg
│   │   ├── service_grups.cfg
│   │   ├── storage.cfg
│   │   ├── web.cfg
│   │   ├── windows.cfg
│   │   └── workstation.cfg
│   ├── printer.cfg
│   ├── switch.cfg
│   ├── templates.cfg
│   ├── timeperiods.cfg
│   └── windows.cfg
├── resource.cfg
└── workspace.code-workspace

This layout made it MUCH easier for me to figure out what I wanted to monitor and how without making it too easy or too cumbersome. There”s just enough complexity that every now and then I need to backtrack to make sure I”m tweaking things right. I gave my account access so I could use VSCode to help juggle the file names, config names, group names, all the names!

That was a nice exercise to be sure! I”ve already started thinking of ways to streamlines the configs just a little bit, but I haven”t fully decided on that.

Now, time to up the challenge a little bit with NRPE. The daemon for nrpe 3.2.1 is available in all of the Raspbian repos, but not in the Ubuntu repos, which is at 4.0.0 which turned out to be a bit of a problem. The newer version ignores packets form version 3.x. You have to make sure your check_nrpe command uses the -2 flag to make sure it only uses the version 2.x packets.

At some point I”ll try upgrading the server nrpe version to 4.x and see if it”ll talk to the 3.x clients, but today is not that day.

Migrations and Upgrades

Well, it’s only upgrades if you look at the power the web server now has.

I have finally bitten the bullet and took steps to retire the ESXi server that had been hosting my web server and my windows VM. I will miss the compute power that I had at the ready, but anything that will need that much power, could probably be done on the new MacBook.

“But what did you replace it with?”

That’s a very good question. The answer would be 2xRasbperryPi 4Bs. I’m still working out whether I should bother replacing the workstation, but the webserver is doing quite nicely on the new hardware. In fact, with the SD card as storage and with a comparable number of cores and RAM, the CLI reaction time is MUCH faster. It also doesn’t have the connection lag that the 2B has.

While this migration will mean less of a power draw on the house, it does put some limitations on what I can do without purchasing more hardware, but that’s okay. I don’t need a whole lot. Right now my biggest concern is how long the SD card will last before it needs to be replace.

I am enjoying the progress that is being made in the Pi form factor systems. I’ve got some ideas as to what I can to with the other system. Which spins off into what I can do with a couple of the other systems I have kicking around the house.

Backups

I really have to hand it to the wordpress backup plugin I’ve been using. I was able to copy over the base wordpress setup, and create bare mysql entries and restore everything into place quite nicely. Quite nicely indeed! Nothing was lost and the most recent wordpress has checks built in to make sure thing run as they should.