1. Introduction

There are several definition of what a home lab is and I'll just go ahead and add mine on the pile.

A lab is a place to experiment, a place to fail forward. Therefore, broadly, a home lab is a place in your home that you use to research and teach yourself pretty much anything that tickles your interest. I don't know about you, but I'm so vague that for me I could be defining Earth right now. A huge playground.

For tech enthusiasts, their home lab mainly refers to servers, networking, software and security. A place where you can try out new things and learn new technologies or equipment in the comfort of your home.

But why


My home lab is a place to:

  • self-host and own my data
  • have fun while learning
  • try, experiment, fail
  • test my patience and contemplate the meaning of life after losing countless hours for a missing character in a config file

How it started

I started coding at an early age by reading online and self teaching myself. It started with HTML & CSS ("coding"), then some JavaScript and then PHP. I really loved PHP. While EasyPHP wasn't bad, I really wanted to understand how it works and how to set it up myself.


I wanted to upgrade the software versions before EasyPHP would release them. I needed my own Linux Server! I'd find small jobs to earn some money, e.g. mow the lawn, and then spend it all on hardware.

My Home Lab in 2006 at my parents, I had recently added fans 🤣

This picture above was taken in 2006 as was one iteration of my first home lab. The server on the left, under Windows XP, was running the Sphere server powering the small Ultima Online Apocalypse (uoapo on GH) shard for a community of a hundred players. Truly golden times! I also, at different times, hosted CS1.6 servers, TeamSpeak / Mumble / Ventrilo, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory server, etc.

The PC on the right was running Ubuntu Server and was my first experience with Linux. An incredible love story, much better than any movie one can watch 🤣. It was primarily a public web server to host my small project, like Orkïka, a text-based web-browser medieval game written in PHP.


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