The quintessential home lab. A place you can test, explore, and sharpen your skillset as an IT Guru or even just a beginner. We will cover some of the details, services, and roll out that might help you create your own Homelab.

For starters, this is not going to be a comprehensive how-to. I will talk about unique integrations I’ve learned about in my efforts to build my own homelab. One of the first points is that a good home lab has a fair amount of control over the incoming internet, and ideally, you’ve been able to setup a DMZ or something else to hold the sensitive elements. In getting there, you will have to likely setup the network to be able to handle a DMZ in the first place.

The Router

In this guide we will use the OPNSense router which is a great open source project that branched from the PfSense router that has existed with a lot of support for some time. PfSense was bought, so, it is a good thing that we have a guaranteed Open Source project that should continue to live.

Specific Integration Points

DNS, Internal DNS, and Client DNS Registration

The OPNSense has the ability to do the DHCP Server for IPv4 addresses, and you should likely be using this. It is very effective and configurable.

For this detail however, you will want to more or less configure your OPNSense to resolve all things from your internal stack, and now we get to your internal stack.

Say you deploy a BIND DNS Server to be your Nameserver. You can do this and deploy a DNS Key and use that key from the OPNSense to register DHCP clients into your local domain Zone.

For this configuration, we will not be having the BIND server do all the work, in fact, it will only serve the local domain and that is it (or any other extra domains/IPs we register there). We will use a Pihole to sanitize our domain usage for all devices. Fortunately, now the Pihole lets us configure a local DNS server to query for local domains (in case it is not the DHCP Server for your network). This works perfectly for what we are trying to do.

We can configure the Pihole to be THE DNS Server for the network, set the BIND nameserver to run for the local domain, and then configure the OPNSense to update BIND for the local domain. Full DNS resolution!

In “/etc/bind/named.conf”:

key nameofkey {
	algorithm hmac-md5;
	secret "Base64encodedValue==";

server {
	keys {

This allows BIND to authenticate the OPNSense router.

In your main local domain zone:

	update-policy {
 		grant nameofkey wildcard *.localdomain.tld. A TXT;

In your main local reverse lookup zone:

	update-policy {
 		grant nameofkey wildcard *.1.168.192.in-addr.arpa. PTR;

In your OPNSense DHCPv4 Service config:

You will enter you local domain name in a “localdomain.tld” format, without the quotes.

Enter the IPv4 address of your BIND nameserver.

Enter the key, above referenced as “nameofkey”, without the quotes.

Enter the secret, above referenced as “Base64encodedValue==”, without the quotes.

Leave the domain key algorithm as “hmac-md5” because neither system support an alternative and this is better than blindly trusted the IP address for source auth.

That’s it! Obviously I’m not telling you how to setup a BIND server at the beginning, or going over configuring the Pihole to query your localdomain. Future updates… <3

Update detail about backups and IO over that path:

393216 is the KB you want (384 MB or 3 Gbps)

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