My good conscience seedbox

When you use the phrases torrenting, filesharing or p2p you generally get a 50/50 reaction. Half of the people have no idea what you are talking about and the other half recoil in shock on the assumption that you are illegally sharing files and content and that you will inevitably get caught!

Torrenting isn’t a bad thing if it’s done for the right reasons, recently I’ve had to download a couple of distributions and a piece of software that are distributed by wither direct http download from a list of hosting sites or had the option to download via a torrent which got me thinking. For all of the times I’ve downloaded and redownloaded various Linux versions, Ubuntu desktop, Ubuntu server, Raspbian and the likes. I’ve always just taken it for granted. Where as most people go out of the way to make sure the torrent box simply leeches I’ve actually gone out of my way to ensure it seeds, it doesn’t sound a lot or an especially heroic thing to do but I genuinely feel better about using the distributions I am doing knowing I’m helping to make them more available for other people like me.

Using Transmission to do my torrenting on a Ubuntu Server 16.04.3 VM I followed this guide with some minor adjustments to get the box running;
https://www.htpcbeginner.com/install-transmission-web-interface-on-ubuntu-1204/

Then just insured that the peers port was correctly forwarded to my aptly named machine “seeder”

seeding

Since starting it I’ve seen a slight increase in traffic on my upload stream but then having set some limiting and QoS on the router it doesn’t affect any of my daily on goings and “needful” operations.

Adblocking done well with Pi Hole on Ubuntu Server 16

Adblocking is a bit of a love or hate thing on the internet. Ads do drive some companies and make websites viable and as users most prefer not to be bombarded by adverts for thing you’ll never use. Pi Hole is a brilliant little piece of software designed for blocking those aggravating adverts at DNS level so they never actually download to your PC. This is marketed as making your network faster but in all honesty, it just makes for a cleaner browsing experience.

I installed Pi Hole onto both my actual Ubuntu Server as well as my Virtual server so I have both DNS 1 & 2 running an adblocking service, I can tell you, it helps immensely on certain websites that have lots of pop ups.

Installation is ridiculously easy to do however just in case it’s detailed below, please note this is for a Ubuntu Server installation, mine being the 16.04.1 flavour;

curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash

How difficult was that? You will need to make some more minor adjustments though;

Password to the web admin page;

pihole -a -p yourpasswordhere

Log into the web admin page at http://PIHOLE.IP.ADDRESS.HERE/admin and choose your DNS servers, I am using my ISP’s for mine as they are naturally the fastest to respond but you can use any of the preset options such as Google or OpenDNS or use your own custom option.

Change your DNS options, this can be done either at router level so all of your DNS traffic goes here or alternatively you can specify it manually from each device you want to have an ad free experience on. I’ve personally gone down the DHCP option as this gave the most hands free approach to deploying this.

Updating Pi Hole is also a nice easy 1 liner at the command line;

pihole -up

I’ve also taken this 1 step further by adding it to crontab to be run weekly;

sudo crontab -e

@weekly pihole -g

A clean and ad free internet experience without any serious tinkering, also a snazzy web interface to view your statistics.