Tailscale on VMware Photon OS

You might remember that I'm a pretty big fan of Tailscale, which makes it easy to connect your various devices together in a secure tailnet, or private network. Tailscale is super simple to set up on most platforms, but you'll need to install it manually if there isn't a prebuilt package for your system. Here's a condensed list of the steps that I took to manually install Tailscale on VMware's Photon OS, though the same (or similar) steps should also work on just about any other systemd-based system.

Nessus Essentials on Tanzu Community Edition

Now that VMware has released vCenter 7.0U3c to resolve the Log4Shell vulnerabilities I thought it might be fun to run a security scan against the upgraded VCSA in my homelab to see how it looks. Of course, I don't actually have a security scanner in that environment so I'll need to deploy one. I start off by heading to to register for a (free!) license key which will let me scan up to 16 hosts.

Secure Networking Made Simple with Tailscale

Not all that long ago, I shared about a somewhat-complicated WireGuard VPN setup that I had started using to replace my previous OpenVPN solution. I raved about WireGuard's speed, security, and flexible (if complex) Cryptokey Routing, but adding and managing peers with WireGuard is a fairly manual (and tedious) process. And while I thought I was pretty clever for using a WireGuard peer in GCP to maintain a secure tunnel into my home network without having to punch holes through my firewall, routing all my traffic through The Cloud wasn't really optimal1.

Cloud-hosted WireGuard VPN for remote homelab access

For a while now, I've been using an OpenVPN Access Server virtual appliance for remotely accessing my homelab. That's worked fine but it comes with a lot of overhead. It also requires maintaining an SSL certificate and forwarding three ports through my home router, in addition to managing a fairly complex software package and configurations. The free version of the OpenVPN server also only supports a maximum of two simultaneous connections.

AdGuard Home in Docker on Photon OS

I was recently introduced to AdGuard Home by way of its very slick Home Assistant Add-On. Compared to the relatively-complicated Pi-hole setup that I had implemented several months back, AdGuard Home was much simpler to deploy (particularly since I basically just had to click the "Install" button from the Home Assistant add-ons manage). It also has a more modern UI with options arranged more logically (to me, at least), and it just feels easier to use overall.

BitWarden password manager self-hosted on free Google Cloud instance

A friend mentioned the BitWarden password manager to me yesterday and I had to confess that I'd never heard of it. I started researching it and was impressed by what I found: it's free, open-source, feature-packed, fully cross-platform (with Windows/Linux/MacOS desktop clients, Android/iOS mobile apps, and browser extensions for Chrome/Firefox/Opera/Safari/Edge/etc), and even offers a self-hosted option. I wanted to try out the self-hosted setup, and I discovered that the official distribution works beautifully on an n1-standard-1 1-vCPU Google Compute Engine instance - but that would cost me an estimated $25/mo to run after my free Google Cloud Platform trial runs out.