The blog of dlaa.me
Sky-Hole Revisited [Pi-Hole in a cloud VM for easy DNS-based ad-blocking]
Monday, November 21st 2016

I wrote about my adventures running a Pi-Hole in the cloud for DNS-based ad-blocking roughly a year ago. In the time since, I've happily used a Sky-Hole for all the devices and traffic at home. When updating my Sky-Hole virtual machine recently, I used a simpler approach than before and wanted to briefly document the new workflow.

For more context on why someone might want to use a DNS-based ad-blocker, please refer to the original post.

Installation

  1. Create an Ubuntu Server virtual machine with your cloud provider of choice (such as Azure or AWS)

    Note: Thanks to improvements by the Pi-Hole team, it's now able to run in the smallest virtual machine size

  2. Connect via SSH and update the package database:

    sudo apt-get update

  3. Install Pi-Hole:

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

    Note: Running scripts directly from the internet is risky, so consider using the alternate install instead

  4. Open the dnsmasq configuration file:

    sudo nano /etc/dnsmasq.d/01-pihole.conf

  5. Turn off logging by commenting-out the corresponding line:

    #log-queries

  6. Open the Pi-Hole configuration file:

    sudo nano /etc/pihole/setupVars.conf

  7. Update it to use an invalid address for blocked domains:

    IPv4_address=0.0.0.0

  8. Re-generate the block list:

    sudo /opt/pihole/gravity.sh

  9. Verify the block list looks reasonable:

    cat /etc/pihole/gravity.list

  10. Verify logging is off:

    cat /var/log/pihole.log

  11. Reboot to ensure everything loads successfully:

    sudo reboot

  12. Grant access to the virtual machine's public IP address by opening the relevant network ports (incoming UDP and TCP on port 53)

Don't forget

If you use a Pi-Hole regularly, please consider donating to the Pi-Hole project so the maintainers can continue developing and improving it.

Tags: Miscellaneous Technical Web
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