A New PiHole in the Sky

Last year I set up a PiHole server on my RaspberryPi to help block some ads and malicious stuff (tracking, malware, etc) on my home network. It’s not perfect, but it’s a layer.

Unfortunately the Raspberry Pi was unstable and would die or lag or restart fairly often. I’d end up with poor performance and that drove me crazy. Eventually I gave up and started to just run normal DNS again. However, I was frustrated with Netflix overseas and decided to set up a cloud version and see if that helps.

I started the project by looking at a blog post that covers the general cloud setup.

Creating a VM

I started by going to the Azure Portal and clicking on a new Virtual Machine. The default I got was actually Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, which is what I’d like.

2018-12-27 12_04_11-Create a virtual machine - Microsoft Azure

I went with it, giving my new machine the wonderful anme of SkiHiPiHole. I wanted this to be inexpensive, as it uses minimal processing power. I decided to check the various sizes, and if you look to the right, you’ll see that you don’t want to just blindly click the top item. The sizes aren’t ordered by cost.

2018-12-27 12_03_58-Select a VM size - Microsoft Azure

I picked the B1s, which should eat up about US$8/month. I can spare that as I usually have about $50 credit from MSDN left every month.

I picked this, and then had to generate an SSH key. I tried this with sshkeygen on Windows, but had issues. I won’t document what I did, but I have PuTTy installed, so I used puttykeygen instead.

2018-12-27 12_16_54-PuTTY Key Generator

I copied and pasted this file into the Portal and then created the VM.

2018-12-27 12_09_12-CreateVm-Canonical.UbuntuServer-18.04-LTS-20181227120251 - Microsoft Azure

Once this was done, which was minutes, I connected with PuTTy to complete the install. I updated the OS and ran the Pi-Hole install, according to the blog above. I accepted defaults and then the system ran.

2018-12-27 12_28_34-way0utwest@SkyHiPiHole_ ~

Once this was done, I went into the Azure Portal for my VM and added firewall rules to let me connect with DNS (53) and for the admin console that’s web based. I limited the latter to my home network, but I can change it on the road if needed.

2018-12-27 12_38_23-Add inbound security rule - Microsoft Azure

With all that done, I changed my local DNS settings to use this server and tested it on a few pages.

2018-12-27 12_56_09-Block Ads!

I could also see the admin panel. Success!

2018-12-27 12_52_31-Pi-hole Admin Console

Now we’ll see if this works overseas.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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One Response to A New PiHole in the Sky

  1. Pingback: Setup Pi-Hole in Azure - Leonard Nelson

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