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    Very nice. Now you’ve given me a case of homelab envy. And caused me to be NixOS curious. I don’t have time for either right now, so I’d appreciate hearing more about what you’re doing with the ‘lab both because it’s interesting and as a way to enjoy that setup vicariously.

    One minor nit… you write:

    Our home office also only has a 15 watt breaker.

    I’m sure you meant a 15 amp breaker. A normal home breaker can run about 1800 watts.

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      That last one has been fixed thanks to my fiance. The caching is really aggressive, or I’d tell you to refresh to see it fixed.

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      My approach to similar has been a Ryzen chip with too many cores, integrated graphics, and Proxmox managing VMs. Good writeup!

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        +1 on ProxMox!

        I’m an urban cave dweller so my homelab is all about compactness. It currently lives in a tiny Seeed Odyssey and a 3yo Alienware laptop.

        Plenty enough horses for the work I’m doing and ProxMox makes managing VMs, containers and storage super easy.

        I really need to write my tiny homelab up too :) Thanks for the inspiration!

        @cadey did you ever consider using something like ProxMox to manage your VMs rather than rolling your own? Or was that (rolling your own) part of the fun of the project?

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          I considered proxmox, however I want to be able to mess with the hardware directly so I can do CI things on the boxes. Also, using proxmox would preclude me from using NixOS and I really want to use NixOS. Rolling my own is going to be part of the fun of the project. I have a boring summer ahead of me due to COVID lockdowns. This is a great way to kill time.

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            There is some work done on proxmox with nixos deploys, if that helps.

            I’ve had little trouble using proxmox to host nixos images.

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              Yeah I’m aware I could just run NixOS on proxmox, but that doesn’t let me use all 12 threads of the host CPU to do nix builds without running into weird thread pinning issues with qemu. I’d really rather just leave it simpler if I can.

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                Ah, yeah, the build issue…that tracks.

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        Yeah I hated how the Canadian dollar is so undervalued vs USD and the PC parts being unavailable just make it worse. Its one of the reason why tech jobs in Canada is quite a turnoff for me.

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          It sucks yeah. I think these machines would be something like $600 in the states? I’d need to do more research to confirm but that sounds about right to me. Salaries in Canada are certainly much worse though.

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            Intel NUC 8 with an i5 cpu (NUC8i5BEH) is about $400 on amazon right now, sans ram and nvme.
            You can put 64gb of ram in (two samsung M471A4G43MB1) for an additional $300 or so.

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              Wow, it’s surprising that it still costs $400. I got a NUC8i5BEH in 2019, I think it cost 349 Euro at the time (426.70 USD). Prices did drop a bit (currently 319 Euro, 389 USD), but it’s pretty old/underpowered by now (I gave it to our daughter).

              AFAIR one of the issues was that the NUC10 models were underwhelming, so maybe there is still demand for the NUC8.

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          Neat! I’m also (slowly) moving my homelab to a similar NixOS-based system and I’ve made a nice setup to automatically deploy configuration using deploy-rs and GitHub Actions. Do you have (or plan to) any automation to manage deploy process or it’s manual?

          Server fan noise tends to range from “dull roar” to “jet engine takeoff”.

          Indeed it does. I have a quiet setup now but back the it was literally a nightmare given that it was in the bedroom.

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            I was going to try to do CI with GitHub Actions and a custom runner with my homelab. That will be in a future article.

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            On my server (just an SFF business desktop, I got tired of debugging whiteboxes), I run ESXi. While I miss the “run containers directly” of Proxmox’s dipping mustards for it or even raw docker on the metal, I like to run a lot of weird stuff only VMware can handle well. Sorry that I’m the freak who wants an NT 4 VM D: