I saw a tweet a short time ago from Drew Furgiuele about pi-hole.net. He noted this was a near use of a Raspberry Pi, and I wanted to give it a try. I got one awhile ago, and used it for a few things. We started with a media streaming device, but when I got a Fire Stick, this wasn’t needed or used. Then I tried a Bluetooth audio bridge to the stereo. It wasn’t as reliable as I’d like, and it added complexity to turning this on, letting it boot, etc.
As a result, it’s been sitting a bit as I thought of some other project. The pi-hole seemed like something to try, so I decided to give it a go. It was pretty easy, and it blocks some ads. Not all of them, but
First, I grabbed the latest release, Stretch, of Raspbian. I chose the lite version, since this will be headless. I downloaded that and also grabbed Etcher to flash the card. This took a bit, but I let it run in the background as I did other things.
From there, I used Explorer to connect to the drive and create an empty “ssh” file. I read this tutorial, and ended up just creating a new text file in Windows, and removing the extension.
Once this was done, I took the device up and plugged it into the router, both the Ethernet and the USB cables. This booted and connected the device. Back at my machine, I used Putty to connect. I did have to upgrade Putty to get the proper encryption level, but if you get a new copy, you’ll be fine.
A few people pointed out ssh is in Windows now. Great, that works, I like Putty.
Once connected, I ran the curl command to get pi-hole installed. It was fairly simple, and once installed, walks you through some basic config and networking. I use the 192.168.1.0/24 network that most people do, but my DHCP is set to give out addresses from 2 to 199. 200 and above are statics for me, so I configured this to use one.
After that, I got a password for the device and I went to my static IP/admin to see the Pi-hole dashboard. I logged in and I could see traffic. This is from the next day.
It’s an interesting project and I’ll see how this goes. I could add a other software to this device, and I may. We’ll see.
I’m not against advertising, but there are some shady sites and some data gathering. Right now, a lot of blocks are for some telemetry service, which is fine. I can’t get info on it, so I’m guessing it’s not legitimate.
In case you are wondering, there are lots of queries to telemetry.servers.getgo.com that are being blocked.
If you want to try it, this is a cheap experiment, and you can also play with Linux, some hardware, and SSH.
This is great stuff Steve, I’m glad you like it so far. I much, much prefer a “device” to handle all my ad blocking (and telemetry/data gathering stuff). It’s made a world of difference and has really opened my eyes to just how much data gets exchanged out there, whether I want it to or not.For instance… I have some smart switches in my house. Do they *really* need to phone home to the company’s web site, and if they do, do they need to do it *every minute?* I also like seeing how many ad or location-based URLs try to get hit too. That query log makes for some really insightful reading.
It interesting. Already had some issues and I have to go through and whitelist some stuff. However, it’s interesting to see what’s being logged and run.
Is there a vm for the pi?