Avalon A Programmer Blog

The Journey of Home Labbing 1: The Beginning

Recently, I have spent most of my spare time maintain my home lab. I want share my story on my jouney of home labbing from the beginning.

I like watching anime. Back in the days when there is no official source for anime, I watch anime translated by fans. I always try to keep a copy for what I have watched, so that I can rewatch it later. But I run out of space quickly. Adding harddisk for to hard for me that time, I chose to use an USB external harddisk instead. A few years later, the external harddisk start to become full. I realized external harddisk does not worth the trouble. I had my own computer and I can add harddisk as much as I want.

But that also started to run out of space, and I had to turn on the computer to access my files. I put my eye on NAS. I brought myself the first NAS from Synology. It was enough for my used until discovered r/DataHoarder/ and r/homelab/.


The first application that I setup is Plex. It hosted on a Ubuntu server and access the NAS for its media. Plex is a media streaming server that can transcode video to playable format on different device on the fly. Installing Plex is trivial, but customizing it is not. The metadata on anime is not a meh. Later, I end up with a self written XML agent.

After a period of time, I found out some problems on this setup.

  • Plex scan on NAS is relative slow.
  • The ubuntu server have small storage small that I have to disable Plex generate thumbnails.
  • SMB mount does not remount after NAS resume if the connection is lost.
  • Adding more applications result in many conflicts.

In order to solve these problem. I decided I should build a server that with large storage and power. All the applications should be contained in VM or docker.