Pi-hole on tinycore?


#1

Any thoughts on getting the pi hole software to run on tinycore linux? Much more tolerant of power failures. I have had my pihole damaged a couple times now by power events to the point that it was easier just re flashing the sd card and once it took out the sd card. This would also open up running the pi hole on other hardware.


#2

Aside from your original question: I really think it is a better idea to get some auxiliary USP unit for your Pi because - even if another OS might be more resistant against them - a power failure of the Pi-hole also means an outage of the DNS in your network. They are available for less than $10 and use, e.g., mobile phone batteries, which are themselves cheaply available. I’m quite certain that this will be a less time-consuming and possibly frustrating approach.

Now back to the question “Pi-hole on tinycore”: I don’t have any experience with this OS. Did you already try installing Pi-hole on this platform? If so, can you share your experience? I don’t have a spare Raspberry Pi so I cannot test it myself. If the underlying system is similar to what we already support (Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora/CentOS), then it may be possible to support also tinycore with only little effort


#3

Thank you for the reply, and no I have not tried pi hole on tinycore. Your point is well taken with the DNS going away if the pi goes away, but if the power goes away so does the cable modem, the router, the san etc. At that point in time DNS is really not a big deal, unless it does not come back up, And sadly the pi hole has a bad habit of not coming back up. I have to admit, we live out in the country and every time the wind blows hard, it rains hard, or snows hard something falls through the power lines. We have more power events than most people in cities.

Another reason to get the pi hole running on tinycore is tiny core fits well on a Wyse C10LE thin term. A friend gave me a pile of them the other day. They say on my pile for a few weeks and after picking one of them up in one night I now have my SO’s web site running on one of them. I would love to move the pi hole to one of them.


#4

You could put all of that on the UPS as well, but you would need a bit bigger than the $10 model. I have modem, router, switch, 2 Pi-Holes, and home smart hub on a UPS. My computer is on another UPS. It is nice to keep working when the power goes out for a bit, plus the devices don’t get the abrupt power cycles.


#5

Two ways to look at a UPS, one is to keep things running through a power outage and the other is to keep them running for a bit and then do clean shutdowns.

The keep things running is expensive if you are talking about much gear. the last a few minutes and do shutdown option is much cheaper. Pick about any UPS with NUT support and load the NUT client on your Pi and connect it to the UPS. You can piggyback other systems off the PI’s NUT so they also can be cleanly shut down too. https://networkupstools.org/


#6

The thing is if it going to be considered an easy to use appliance it needs to be tolerant of having the power kicked out from under it. The pihole is the only piece in all the network gear that does not take well to loosing power. Plus I would rather save the expensive pi for something that makes use of it’s gpio that the other devices lack.

The installer does not like the package manager on tinycore but I went in and rounded up a list of the packages it wants and sadly, but not unexpectedly, some of them don’t exist for tinycore:

FAILURES:
newt
which
bind-utils
cronie
ncat
libidn2
psmisc
lighttpd-fastcgi
php-common
php-cli
php-pdo

I guess I could look into building them, but this is looking like it is going to be more than a casual afternoons project. I have a bunch of the thin terms though, so this may be revisited. I would love to have the pihole running on one of them.


#7

From my understanding it would be an awful lot of work to get Pi-hole to install on tinycore, as it doesn’t use any of the supported package managers.

It might be worth while for you to investigate AntiX - a debian-based distro, but sharing some (not all) of the design philosophies of core, such as small persistent & frugal installs.

It’s nowhere near as small as tinycore, but may suit the Wyse terminal you mentioned.


#8

A new Pi Zero is $5, and a USB/ethernet adapter is about the same. Users have been happy with Diet Pi on that platform (minimizes card writes by keeping the system log in RAM, pretty lightweight installation).


#9

A new Pi Zero is $5 if you live near a Micrcenter, which I don’t. And than they have to have them in stock, which last time I was near one they did not. To that you also need to add a power supply and a micro SD card, both of which push the price up. And than you need a case, again, another cost. On the flip side, I have these nice looking fidgets that are, um, free.

Another thought, and it would not be great for places with a lot of dns lookups but great for a house, port the software over to an android app. You have power from AC, you have power from batteries, you have wifi and a nice display. And it is not hard to get old droids…


#10

A Zero W is $5 at Microcenter. Everybody sells Pi Zero for $5 (that’s the list price). But point taken. You do need a card (which is about $5) and a power supply (which you probably already have, if not another $5). Case is optional. So, that’s about $20 all in.

Consider what your time might be worth. How many hours to get Pi-Hole running on a non-supported platform? I get the challenge of it all, but for $20 you could be done with it on a proven platform.

Even cheaper option - if you have an always-on computer, install it there in docker or a VM and your cost is zero.

This is just the devil’s advocate speaking. No intention to discourage expansion of Pi-Hole to new platforms.


#12

You guys that live in civilisation make me jealous. For me, getting a pi zero is eBay for the most part, and the low cost $5 pi turns out to be more like $13 or more. Sd cards come from Walmart in town, they set me back more like $15 or a bit more after the government’s cut, and pi’s are finikey about the power supplies so the little POS that I use to charge my phone probably won’t cut it for a pi. I get real 5V2A supplies with micro usb on the end and they are in the $5 a pop range, and the thing needs to sit in something so that will cost you. But the pi zero needs a usb to ethernet fidget if you are going to plug it into a hard network or the pi zero w can go wireless. Still the cost starts to creep up a lot from zero, I guess that depends in your perspective. I am jobless so time is a plus and money is a minus. But outside of that it is sad seeing all these wonderfully cute little and good devices sitting unused. And at the same time the pi that runs the pi hole would be fun to use for something that can make use of it’s GPIO.

As far as having a computer on all the time, that is what the thinterms are replacing. I just turned off a 120 or so watt dual pIII with 6 disks in it for a tingterm with a usb stick that I suspect is pulling under 20W. My old PC at work was a single and had less disks, cards, and fans and pulled a steary 92W so I am assuming the dual is about 120 based on that. Also, the thinterm is rated for a 12V@2A supply, and the supply is not even warm to the touch so I am figuring that is drawing say well under under it’s rated load.


#13

I bought my Pi’s, power supplies and cases from AdaFruit, and the SD cards from Amazon.

Let us know if you have success putting Pi-Hole on one of your devices. That would be a new platform.