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Easy as pi…. hole.

A slight digression from my normal database-focussed content today Smile

In internet bandwidth and latency strapped Perth (Western Australia), every last drop of internet counts. Recently I stumbled upon this blog post by Troy Hunt about using a Raspberry Pi to serve as a local DNS to filter out unnecessary content. Personally, I don’t care about the content as such (I don’t like ads, but I do acknowledge that they are generally a necessary “evil”), but for me it is about getting the most performance out of my lowly internet connection until the technology evolves in Australia.

So I headed over to https://pi-hole.net/ and downloaded the installation script. I don’t have a Raspberry Pi, which is its intended platform, but I do have Virtualbox floating around, because I use that extensively for the Oracle VM’s that I need for tackling AskTOM questions on various versions of the database. I initially tried to install pi-hole on an existing Oracle Enterprise Linux installation, but the script makes a fair few assumptions about platform, and I had a lot of dramas. So I just downloaded a fresh install of Fedora 28, got it up and running in a small VM and voila! Pi-hole installed pretty much straight out of the gate.

Subjectively, things definitely seem a lot snappier now. My console suggests that a quarter of my traffic is being filtered out!

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And I’m only using the pi-hole on a few machines at home currently. I’ll give it a few more days before I take the big jump and make it the DNS for my router so that all my devices can get the benefit.

But so far, so good. If you’re laden with slow clunky internet like I am, perhaps give pi-hole a look.