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Thread: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

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    Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    Hi,

    A situation has arisen where I believe pi-hole would be useful.

    I am literally at that stage of thinking that it would be useful.

    What exactly do I need to get it to work, both hardware and software.

    I am using Virgin Media with their latest hub 5
    Jon

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    Will be watching this too. I've been threatening myself with this (if I can get the Pi) since, well, my last discussion was with PeterB. Also Virgin hub here, but in modem mode, with a decent 3rd-party router.
    Last edited by Saracen999; 27-03-2023 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Tpyo
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Senior Member AGTDenton's Avatar
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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    I have been looking into this as well but not got as far as downloading yet.

    My plan was to install to a VM. I've not decided on distro yet but Debian, Fedora or Ubuntu were my likely choices, there's also CentOS Stream and Raspberry pi OS.

    Hardware wise would recommend having a dedicated ethernet port if you're going the VM route and your server does other things, otherwise anything that you would install one of the aforementioned OS's on is fine.
    I have seen dual Ethernet ports suggested to avoid collisions because you want a DNS to be responsive, but I would think that's only if you have a computer doing several other tasks and you have lots of users. It isn't specified by Pi Hole.

    As for your router, the only thing you need to do is point the DNS to your local Pi Hole server or initially route on a per device basis for testing until you're happy for router roll out

    Fairly certain there is a LTT video about it or Level1Techs but it is some years old.

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    DDY
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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    I've got PiHole running on Ubuntu Server Hyper-V on bare metal Windows Server.

    I did have a dedicated NIC port assigned to PiHole at one point. Ended up downsizing the server, getting rid of the physical LAN card and running it off a virtual switch. I haven't noticed any performance impact, but the server doesn't do terribly much these days.

    This was dead easy to set up.

    1) Set up a new Hyper-V virtual machine
    2) Install Ubuntu Server on said VM
    3) Install PiHole on Ubuntu Server
    4) Set the router to forward DNS requests to PiHole

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    I know I am going to ask a stupid question but could I just get a raspberry pi and install it on that? Would it still work the same? Have seen some raspberry pi model b 3+ (not sure if I got that right) around £55 with dual ethernet ports
    Jon

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    I did think about a VM on the NAS but, no. Really don't want to mix ;n; match like that so it'll be some separate form of box. Just no idea yet quite what. And yeah, may well be a standalone Pi assuming (as I think is the case) that's feasible. None of this (Pis, VMs etc) is in my wheelhouse. It'll be a learning curve, and hesitation of biting off that mouthful is why this idea is still in my "might do when I get A Round TUIT" category..
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    According to pihole website and I am not sure how up to date the info is. Pihole will work on any raspberry pi so for me I am going to look at just getting a standalone unit just to do that.

    However how exactly it gets up and running I don't know
    Jon

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonj1611 View Post
    I know I am going to ask a stupid question but could I just get a raspberry pi and install it on that? Would it still work the same? Have seen some raspberry pi model b 3+ (not sure if I got that right) around £55 with dual ethernet ports
    PiHole was designed to run on a RaspberryPi after all.

    That's the simplest use case, just drop a Raspberry Pi OS image on to an SD card, run the commands to automate the installation, boom - PiHole on a RPi. Just need to forward DNS requests from the router to the RPi.

    You only need the one Ethernet port, I mean if the RPi is only being used as a PiHole server, then there's absolutely no point having more than one port.

    Pretty much any version of RPi would work, one with an Ethernet port would be an obvious choice.

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    Many thanks.

    So it just connects to the Virgin Router and instead of the router contacting Virgin DNS it uses the pihole thats plugged into the router? Have I got that right?
    Jon

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    It is up to you - either you can connect it to the router and tell the router to run DNS through the PiHole, or you can choose on a device-by-device basis whether to go to the router for DNS or whether to go to the PiHole.

    Personally I had it set up as a VM on my server for a while, and pointed my desktop at PiHole just to test it out. In the end, I found I had too many issues - the problem is that unlike, say, an adblocker, if you have weird bugs on a site it's a bit of a pain to go and find the PiHole and then suspend it for 5 minutes to see if that was the cause of the website bugging out. And for a few cases with me, it was.

    It also, unsurprisingly, interferes with cashback websites and the like, so needed to be disabled for those.

    I decided not to continue using it, but I know others love them.

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    As far as I can work out, it will only use the "lists" it has been given so if I wanted to block ads etc it would come under one of those lists. A bit like the lists ublock origin uses I imagine. I don't actually need it to block ads, I have another use for a specific case, I want it to block out gambling sites so even though its out of date if I installed this : https://github.com/jelayeb/pihole/bl...ories/Gambling

    All it would do is block the sites on that list and not ads unless associated with above? Does that sound correct?
    Jon

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonj1611 View Post
    As far as I can work out, it will only use the "lists" it has been given so if I wanted to block ads etc it would come under one of those lists. A bit like the lists ublock origin uses I imagine. I don't actually need it to block ads, I have another use for a specific case, I want it to block out gambling sites so even though its out of date if I installed this : https://github.com/jelayeb/pihole/bl...ories/Gambling

    All it would do is block the sites on that list and not ads unless associated with above? Does that sound correct?
    That's pretty much it.

    PiHole does come with a default list of ad and tracker hostnames that it blocks, you can disable or delete this list if you wanted.

    You can add or remove hostnames as needed.

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    I think I used this one to install on my Pi Zero W (after installing Pi OS by writing an image to the SD card) - https://learn.adafruit.com/pi-hole-a...nstall-pi-hole

    My Plusnet router doesn't work well with it, I seem to recall I couldn't disable DNS on it so the pi could take over. I've recently moved an have to use the Plusnet router for now so I'm without ad blocking, so upsetting!

    I've a spare Pi Zero W floating around if anyone needs one, could pop it on the classifieds if interested.

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonj1611 View Post
    As far as I can work out, it will only use the "lists" it has been given so if I wanted to block ads etc it would come under one of those lists. A bit like the lists ublock origin uses I imagine. I don't actually need it to block ads, I have another use for a specific case, I want it to block out gambling sites so even though its out of date if I installed this : https://github.com/jelayeb/pihole/bl...ories/Gambling

    All it would do is block the sites on that list and not ads unless associated with above? Does that sound correct?
    Can't you just do that with the HOSTS file? Though, perhaps answering my own question, it'd need doing on each device which, if including PCs, tablets and phones etc .... and maybe smart-TVs ... could be a right pain to maintain.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    Can't you just do that with the HOSTS file? Though, perhaps answering my own question, it'd need doing on each device which, if including PCs, tablets and phones etc .... and maybe smart-TVs ... could be a right pain to maintain.
    Indeed, its all the different devices, and there are apps to stop gambling for instance but you can just wipe a device and its gone. This way at least all internal traffic will be stopped no matter what device it comes from.
    Jon

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    Re: Can Someone Give Me A Pi-Hole Walkthrough?

    Thinking about this I may actually need a new router as well as the Virgin Media hub you can't change the DNS
    Jon

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