COVID has made its way into my household and as a result we are in a bit of our own personal lockdown, it is not all bad though. This extended period of time (when I have energy) has allowed me the opportunity to learn and play more with Docker. I have been playing and experimenting with Docker for awhile, but this extended period of time being at home in my home lab I have really had a chance to dig into what Docker has to offer. I by no means am a Docker expert and I am still learning. I certainly have more expertise in using virtual machines, and in server setup and maintenance than Docker, but I can see a day when I will need to use Docker at my work as well as a nice COVID distraction. Anyway I thought I would share some of the things I have been playing with on Docker as a fun post.
I have always wanted to run an uptime service to know when my website goes down so I can get it back online as soon as possible. For work it is not a problem, but for my own personal projects I could never really justify the price of purchasing a subscription to do that. Thanks to Uptime Kuma I can run my own uptime monitor and be alerted when my personal websites are not online. This could be a blessing and a curse but it is nice to have. Of course it does not help me if the sites go down when I am sleeping. One problem at a time I guess.
I have known about Guacamole for quite awhile but never really bothered to look into how to set it up. It just seemed to be more trouble than it was worth for my home. I have to say I was wrong, I should have looked into it a long time ago and got it running. I already had a method for connecting to my various home computers and services but it was scattered. Guacamole has made it available all in one place and my life of being a tech Dad will never be the same. I have to say that Guacamole was not as easy to setup and get running as Uptime Kuma in Docker, so I followed a YouTube video tutorial by BD Tech. Gotta give the guy some love he walks you through the steps in the video. I’ll embed the video below and the links to the Github repo and blog post explaining it all.
The only trouble I had was with the final command.
sudo docker-compose up -d
I had to run the command without sudo on my machine to get it to complete. Probably has something to do with how I have docker installed would be my guess, but once it completed I was able to setup Guacamole and access all the machines in my home lab from my browser. Life will never be the same.
Like many people that code for a living I mainly use Visual Studio Code for many day to day coding tasks. I can’t think of any work day when I would not open up VS Code for some reason or another. VS Code and the many extensions has made my day to day work faster, easier and for the most part more enjoyable. Now what if you took VS Code and made it available over the network available anywhere you have a web browser? Welcome to Openvscode-server! I am still playing with setting this Docker container up but I can see the potential for this container to change how I work. It could possible change how I code in my day to day work and on all of my personal projects.
Honestly I don’t know if I have a use case for Webtop yet, but I think it is cool, being able to run a complete Linux machine in my browser is just kind of fun. I could see myself potentially using it for testing software and ideas before trying them on a cloud provider but still not sure about this one. In the past I have used virtual machines to run tests of software but Docker is certainly faster and lighter to use. It certainly has some potential.
PhotoPrism Community Edition
I have been on the lookout for a replacement for Google Photos ever since Google Photos stopped being accessible from Google Drive. As much as I might like Google Photos I am leery of having all of my photos in Google Photos in the event Google decides to do something stupid like kill off Google Photos, cancel my account (for some reason) and out of generally principal I dislike having all my photos in one place. I like to keep copies in multiple places just in case.
Managing all those photos is not easy and to be honest I have been behind in keeping the photo collection up to date so when I came across PhotoPrism Community Edition on my COVID lockdown time here I was curious. My initial tests have been good, and I am considering installing PhotoPrism Community Edition on one of my home lab computers to have a more permanent home.
The minute I tried Docker roughly a year ago I knew that it would play a significant part in my personal and work life going forward. It is a very robust and interesting way of distributing software. Combine Docker containers with Cloudflare Zero Trust and you can very easily make your own cloud infrastructure to serve your needs where ever you are.
What are your favorite Docker images that you use regularly?
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