Well, it really is a long time since the last blog, which was at the start of 2022! Life just seemed to get in the way as things started to get back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, but that’s really quite a poor excuse. I did start a new permanent job, something I’d last done all the way back in 1995, although I just missed the 20 years working as a Contractor by less than a handful of months.

So why am I back? To be honest, I’ve missed blogging and thought I needed a New Year’s resolution, so what better than to restart this blog? And why not start as we ended, with a TrueNAS 2024 update?

The first thing to comment on is the version of WordPress, which has jumped from 5.8.2 to 6.4.2, and the block editor already feels somewhat alien! It’s going to take some time to get back into things!  The Divi theme has also seen some updates, so you’ll have to excuse some of these early blogs as I get back up to speed!

TrueNAS has received a few updates and is now running 13.0-U6, although feature-wise, it’s very much the same. IXsystems seems to be focusing their development on their Linux-based SCALE product rather than the long-serving FreeNAS-based CORE product, but I’ve not been tempted to switch and still love the flexibility of running both FreeBSD jails and Linux-based virtual machine.

I’m going to keep this first blog reasonably short, so let’s start with a table for the jails:

Airsonic???10.6.2This might be the only thing that hasn’t changed in this entire blog, but it still works and is up and running.  I still don’t really use it much and tend to listen to music using Apple Music or occasionally via emby.
emby4.’m still running emby as my Home Media Server, although it’s been through some bumpy times with a fairly major security issue and a pretty slow development/release cycle. I wasn’t directly affected and think I have things reasonably well locked down via reverse proxy, but I’m hoping some extra security is coming in the product’s next release. I’ve dropped Plex and no longer have a jail or lifetime account.
Nextcloud22.2.327.1.5It feels like there have been lots of Nextcloud updates, and the version numbering would support that. It’s still one of my most heavily used services, and I’d be lost without it. The PHP stack has also been updated and is now running 8.2.7, although I’ll look to bump that to 8.3 early this year when version 28 is released.
Limesurvey???6.4.0+I don’t update this as often as I should (I did update it over the holiday though), but I’m also not using it much. It got quite a lot of use over Covid running surveys for both charities my partner and I helped to run, but we’re both less involved now.  It hasn’t run a live survey in well over 12 months.
OpenVPN2. is updated regularly, and it just ticks along in the background, letting me access my network remotely whenever required. It’s used less often than it was pre-Covid, but it still comes in handy occasionally.
WordPress5.’s another one that is updated regularly but hasn’t been used. I ran my company site and blog from this, but my company was wound up when I took the permanent job, and as you know, this blog has been dormant. It’s running PHP 8.2.11.

And another one for the VMs:

NameOS 2022OS 2024Application(s)
cplanubuntu-desktop 18.4.6ubuntu-desktop 22.4.3This runs Crashplan exclusively, and I kind of forget it’s there, other than the weekly e-mail to remind me it’s backing up my TrueNAS server and the monthly invoice for $11.99!  It’s still the cheapest I can find for offsite backup, which is especially important as my onsite backup no longer runs 24×7, given the rising electricity costs and a remodelled home office with no space for two large workstations/servers. It does get updated every few months, but it’s nice to know that Crashplan has a much more up-to-date backup.
mattermostubuntu server 20.4.2ubuntu server 20.4.2I should upgrade the OS for this one, but it is still supported until 2025 and will be updated whenever I update the LTS release of Mattermost. It was running 6.0.3 and is now running 8.1.0. 9.5 is due next month, so perhaps I will upgrade both simultaneously.
oedocsubuntu server 18.4.5ubuntu server 22.4.3I should have called this oodocs, as it’s running ONLYOFFICE Document Server, which I use with Nextcloud, but it just works, so I have left things alone. I’m getting wiser in my old age! It’s updated every few months and is currently running 7.5.0-125.
piholeubuntu server 18.4.5ubuntu server 22.4.1Another one I update regularly, and it’s worked brilliantly to hide most advertising when web browsing, but also speed up DNS searches using unbound.
portainerubuntu server 18.4.5ubuntu server 20.4.4It’s another with the wrong name, as it’s running all my Docker containers, although one is Portainer. It is hard to cover them all in detail here. Still, the main ones are Bitwarden, Calibre-web, Teslamate/Grafana, Uptime Kuma, WordPress (a development version), and other web tools (LEMP stack, phpmyadmin, etc.)

I have a few dormant VMs running ONLYOFFICE Suite, a test version of TrueNAS Scale and Windows 2016 Server, but none are running, and I can’t remember the last time I started them up.

I’m still running a Raspberry Pi 4 from an SSD running a pretty up-to-date version of the Home Assistant Operating System (11.2) and an equally up-to-date version of Home Assistant Core (2023.12.3). As well as providing all the home automation for my Philips Hue lighting and TP-Link switches, I have various integrations for my Tesla and Octopus Energy. Still, the most important is probably the Addon for NGINX Proxy Manager, which controls all access to my network and the Certbot certificate renewals every three months. This has worked brilliantly since I switched from doing this semi-manually in a jail, which I think I blogged about here!

So that’s about it. My TrueNAS system main pool uses 70% of its capacity but still has over 12TB of storage, and the SSD pool is 62% with ~340GB of storage. Both should be good for another few years, and the server performance is still fine even though it’s now four years since I built it and blogged about it a lot here.

I will try to blog once a month, so this covers me for at least 50 days! I’ve got much more to say about Whisky than I did in 2022, and I have built up a small collection of about ~75 bottles in the loft! A Raspberry Pi 5 arrived last month, too, so there might be some blogs about that. And the Tesla I’ve been driving since this blog is due to return in June, so there might be something to say about that. And perhaps something about my new Office, which I mentioned earlier, and some of the new things displayed? I’ll let you know before the end of February….