Highlighted
Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer
  • 6,326 Views

Homelab setups

Jump to solution

Are there any guides on setting up homelabs?

I would like to learn about configurations that would support practicing each subject area. RHLS includes lab hours but I think this would be a benefit to those that do not have a subscription.


4 Solutions

Accepted Solutions
Highlighted
Flight Engineer Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer
  • 6,500 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution

Take a look at RHCSA/RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide, Seventh Edition (Exams EX200 & EX300) by Jang and Orsaria, from McGraw-Hill. Link

I have the 7th edition of this book, and it includes guidance on setting up a lab environment specifically for the practice exams included with the book. Just like the tests, these practice exams are not Q&A, but practical application of "configure the system to achieve the following items" followed by a list of requirements. The book comes in dtf (dead-tree-format) and eBook, and is probably available from your library or as a rental from appropriate services.

Basically, it's an Enterprise Linux 7 system with KVM libvirtd to host two guests. The directions in the book are not all together in a single place and concise, but its a good reference to get started.

Asking questions here is good too. Smiley Happy I recommend you start with this solution. Install EL7 with the Server-With-GUI environment profile, which comes with KVM / libvirtd preconfigured and running. You will need to be familiar with installing and configuring the basics of libvirtd as one of the objectives, but this way you can begin getting the experience with KVM (if you don't have much/any yet) right off the bat.

Good luck and let us know how you do!

-- Jaffo

UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.
-- Dennis Ritchie

View solution in original post

Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist
  • 6,437 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution

I absolutely 200% agree with Jaffo Petorrino, the Michael Jang book is absolute gold in a paperback.

It was all I needed to pass both EX200K/RHCSA in 2014 and EX300K/RHCE in 2015 (mind you I did have years of Linux, Solaris, AIX, etc... experience, so YMMV).

As Jaffo said, the [first] book explains in first few chapters how to install the OS, including virtualization host package group, as well as guest OS the same way. It may seem a bit confusing at first as Jaffo points out, but just realize that you are doing it once for the baremetal with the virtualization host package group, on which you will then make NO changes other than security/updates, then within the qemu/kvm environment, you will install again the OS for the VMs, clone them so you can do any changes from the exercises and destroy them accidentally or intentionally, then copy the clones to get you back to starting baseline.

If you then really want to increase your mileage, the second book is a companion to the first guide, which reiterates in more concise form and with additional example tasks/exercises... and... wait for it... wait for it... GIVES YOU ALREADY BUILT VMs to use and save you some time if you have any issues reaching or returning to a stable baseline VM.

I had the 6th edition books for RHEL6, but wanted to help keep Mr. Jang in the business of writing these, so I also got the 7th edition for RHEL7 (even though I didn't need it, as I was pursuing and just passed last week the EX413K/RHCSS to renew and as my stepping stone towards RHCA).

Mr. Jang is most certainly a gentleman and a scholar, for such an accomplished yet humble work, and Mr. Pettorino is a connoiseur of the finest things in life, for both recognizing it and recommending it out to you!

Ismail
...as they say... it's not rocket science!

View solution in original post

Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist
  • 6,434 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution

Additionally, I would point out that all you really need is a solid, even if old, workstation-class laptop.

For my 2014-2015 RHCSA/RHCE self-study (with the Jang books) I got for $150 (USD) from Craigslist a old Dell E6410 that I maxed to 8GB RAM, and that is the system I still used this year to do my RHCSS self-study (with the Safari Books Online discounted yearly subscription).

My Dell E6410 still works flawlessly (over the years I did have to replace the dying keyboard with a backlit one, $24 from Amazon, and $40 battery), even the WiFi, although I most often use it on the E-series dock with 2 monitors, so I can easily keep track of the guest monitor vs host monitor (without having to use just the virtual workspaces).

By now you can probably get the newer models like E65xx series even cheaper and with more RAM, they are still more powerful than most consumer class laptops you will find at best buy and such.

If you already own an i5 or i7 with 8-16GB RAM that you could reload with RHEL/CENTOS you are all set.

Some people will be tempted to use Virtual Box or VMware Player on a Windows PC (I do myself have VMware Workstation on my i7/16GB/SSD laptop for my VMware nested lab, as I am also a VCP-DCV), but I would advise against it. There just seems to be a certain level of discipline with using the platform you are studying on for both the HyperVisor and guest VMs.

Ismail
...as they say... it's not rocket science!

View solution in original post

Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Starfighter Starfighter
Starfighter
  • 6,338 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution

I don't know your background, but If you have a spare laptop with at least 12GB of RAM, you can use one the homelab set up with VirtualBox. It's a rather basic homelab that can be deployed and run on a portable HDD. I find VirtualBox easier to get started with for people with little experience in virtualisation.

For a more advanced setup, there is also a KVM based homelab, but you'll need at least 26GB of RAM. This lab covers configuration of Foreman/Katello and Puppet, and some other tools that are often used in production.

View solution in original post

Reply
Loading...
9 Replies
Highlighted
Flight Engineer Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer
  • 6,501 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution

Take a look at RHCSA/RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide, Seventh Edition (Exams EX200 & EX300) by Jang and Orsaria, from McGraw-Hill. Link

I have the 7th edition of this book, and it includes guidance on setting up a lab environment specifically for the practice exams included with the book. Just like the tests, these practice exams are not Q&A, but practical application of "configure the system to achieve the following items" followed by a list of requirements. The book comes in dtf (dead-tree-format) and eBook, and is probably available from your library or as a rental from appropriate services.

Basically, it's an Enterprise Linux 7 system with KVM libvirtd to host two guests. The directions in the book are not all together in a single place and concise, but its a good reference to get started.

Asking questions here is good too. Smiley Happy I recommend you start with this solution. Install EL7 with the Server-With-GUI environment profile, which comes with KVM / libvirtd preconfigured and running. You will need to be familiar with installing and configuring the basics of libvirtd as one of the objectives, but this way you can begin getting the experience with KVM (if you don't have much/any yet) right off the bat.

Good luck and let us know how you do!

-- Jaffo

UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.
-- Dennis Ritchie

View solution in original post

Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist
  • 6,438 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution

I absolutely 200% agree with Jaffo Petorrino, the Michael Jang book is absolute gold in a paperback.

It was all I needed to pass both EX200K/RHCSA in 2014 and EX300K/RHCE in 2015 (mind you I did have years of Linux, Solaris, AIX, etc... experience, so YMMV).

As Jaffo said, the [first] book explains in first few chapters how to install the OS, including virtualization host package group, as well as guest OS the same way. It may seem a bit confusing at first as Jaffo points out, but just realize that you are doing it once for the baremetal with the virtualization host package group, on which you will then make NO changes other than security/updates, then within the qemu/kvm environment, you will install again the OS for the VMs, clone them so you can do any changes from the exercises and destroy them accidentally or intentionally, then copy the clones to get you back to starting baseline.

If you then really want to increase your mileage, the second book is a companion to the first guide, which reiterates in more concise form and with additional example tasks/exercises... and... wait for it... wait for it... GIVES YOU ALREADY BUILT VMs to use and save you some time if you have any issues reaching or returning to a stable baseline VM.

I had the 6th edition books for RHEL6, but wanted to help keep Mr. Jang in the business of writing these, so I also got the 7th edition for RHEL7 (even though I didn't need it, as I was pursuing and just passed last week the EX413K/RHCSS to renew and as my stepping stone towards RHCA).

Mr. Jang is most certainly a gentleman and a scholar, for such an accomplished yet humble work, and Mr. Pettorino is a connoiseur of the finest things in life, for both recognizing it and recommending it out to you!

Ismail
...as they say... it's not rocket science!

View solution in original post

Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist
  • 6,435 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution

Additionally, I would point out that all you really need is a solid, even if old, workstation-class laptop.

For my 2014-2015 RHCSA/RHCE self-study (with the Jang books) I got for $150 (USD) from Craigslist a old Dell E6410 that I maxed to 8GB RAM, and that is the system I still used this year to do my RHCSS self-study (with the Safari Books Online discounted yearly subscription).

My Dell E6410 still works flawlessly (over the years I did have to replace the dying keyboard with a backlit one, $24 from Amazon, and $40 battery), even the WiFi, although I most often use it on the E-series dock with 2 monitors, so I can easily keep track of the guest monitor vs host monitor (without having to use just the virtual workspaces).

By now you can probably get the newer models like E65xx series even cheaper and with more RAM, they are still more powerful than most consumer class laptops you will find at best buy and such.

If you already own an i5 or i7 with 8-16GB RAM that you could reload with RHEL/CENTOS you are all set.

Some people will be tempted to use Virtual Box or VMware Player on a Windows PC (I do myself have VMware Workstation on my i7/16GB/SSD laptop for my VMware nested lab, as I am also a VCP-DCV), but I would advise against it. There just seems to be a certain level of discipline with using the platform you are studying on for both the HyperVisor and guest VMs.

Ismail
...as they say... it's not rocket science!

View solution in original post

Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Cadet
Cadet
  • 6,285 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution
These days I run docker on my laptop, with docker-compose stacks for common DevOps stacks, like elk, Jenkins etc so I can have a lab without maintaining the physical kit. For anything more complex I write a cloudformation or terraform stack, spin that up in Aws, work on it, then tear it back down when I'm done.

This maybe a bit much if your just starting out with red hat, and for the RHCSA and RHCE exams I used both red hat KVM VM on my laptop and Red Hat VMs in the cloud, just turned on when I studied, and powered down when I was not studying.
Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Starfighter Starfighter
Starfighter
  • 6,339 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution

I don't know your background, but If you have a spare laptop with at least 12GB of RAM, you can use one the homelab set up with VirtualBox. It's a rather basic homelab that can be deployed and run on a portable HDD. I find VirtualBox easier to get started with for people with little experience in virtualisation.

For a more advanced setup, there is also a KVM based homelab, but you'll need at least 26GB of RAM. This lab covers configuration of Foreman/Katello and Puppet, and some other tools that are often used in production.

View solution in original post

Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Flight Engineer Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer
  • 6,118 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution

Hello,

 

Take a look at ftp://rhatcert.com/pub/

 

Best regards,

Pascal

0 Kudos
Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Flight Engineer Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer
  • 6,109 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution
0 Kudos
Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Cadet
Cadet
  • 6,091 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution

For me the best experience has been making mistakes and learning along the way.  I usually never refer people to reference materials due to the fact that some are outdated, and others are biased.  Normally for a home lab however you need a workstation, some routing/switching gear, and a few servers.  However now a days you can get a good amount of Intel NUCs to serve this purpose and have a home lab thats able to fit in a small briefcase.

0 Kudos
Reply
Loading...
Highlighted
Flight Engineer Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer
  • 6,081 Views

Re: Homelab setups

Jump to solution

While I agree that Jang's book is good, I think Sander's Cert Guide is better (and I have both).  As well, Sander has a lot of free videos where he explains topics in more detail.  Pearson / Safari also puts his paid content on sale quite frequently for very reasonable prices.

 

https://www.sandervanvugt.com/books/

 

 

0 Kudos
Reply
Loading...
Join the discussion
You must log in to join this conversation.