Home server adventures in the container’s world.

After migrating my Microserver to Freenas/TrueNAS I missed having a server at home for my side projects. At the same time I was tired of messing with WLS2 and Docker on my Win 10 PC - migration to Ubuntu already planned.

I was running an Unifi controller on Hetzner cloud to manage the network equipment in the house and considering some options, from running an actual server to a Raspberry Pi 4 to TrueNAS jails .

My NAS is not powered on 24/7 and its old hardware is not a good choice for most workloads.

So I went back to the whiteboard and started with the requirements:

  • a CPU good enough (i3 or more, no Atom/Pentium)
  • support of 32GB of RAM
  • small size
  • preference to fanless or very quite machines
  • power budget

How it ended: another NUC joined the family!

Hardware details:

The NUC supports up to 32G or RAM so there’s room for another module if I ever need it.

OS and virtualization

I considered running ESXi on the NUC but it’s 2020, VMs are the old way. As a personal challenge I decided to run all the software I need in containers.

After testing Docker and Podman for a few days I decided to start with Docker because it has a wider adoption and it’s easy to find ready to use docker-compose files.

Install Docker

Installing Docker on Ubuntu 20.04 requires just a few commands describe in the Docker documetation

Enable Docker remote API

To work on the remote machine enable Docker remote API and create an alias like

alias doc='docker -H='

Now run

    doc ps

to get a list of the containers running on the server.

Note: protect the Daemon .

If you preferer a GUI look at Portainer .


Heimdall dashboard Heimdall dashboard

The containers I currently run are:


New ideas coming from awesome-selfhosted and reddit .

Container images are available on linuxserver.io . I recommed the blog that has some guides.

Portainer Portainer

Upgrade a container

After a few days form the deployment I’ve had a chance to apply the first upgrade to the Unifi container.

How do we upgrade in the container’s works? We don’t.

The upgrade procedure is:

  • pull a new image
  • stop the current container
  • remove the current container
  • start a new container from the new image

The configuration is in a Docker volume so no data will be lost in the process:

    - /etc/unifi-controller/config:/config

The commands:

docker pull ghcr.io/linuxserver/unifi-controller
docker stop unifi-controller
docker rm unifi-controller
docker-compose up -d

and this is the docker-compose.yaml used to create the container

version: "2.1"
    image: ghcr.io/linuxserver/unifi-controller
    container_name: unifi-controller
      - PUID=1000
      - PGID=1000
      - MEM_LIMIT=2048M #optional
      - /etc/unifi-controller/config:/config
      - 3478:3478/udp
      - 10001:10001/udp
      - 8080:8080
      - 8443:8443
      - 1900:1900/udp #optional
      - 8843:8843 #optional
      - 8880:8880 #optional
      - 6789:6789 #optional
      - 5514:5514 #optional
    restart: unless-stopped

The whole process was very fast and without an impact on the network.


I’m quite happy with the setup so far. I already use a NUC8i7BEH as my main machine so I knew what to expect for the hardware.

I plan to start building my own containers soon as an exercise and just in case I ever need it in the future. Developing inside containers is something I’ll try.

linuxserver.io a curated repository of containers ready to use

The NUC Blog


reddit selfhosted