I found a use for my newly cleaned windows laptop when looking to work on command line, set up a DNS sinkhole, and network storage; I would deploy it as a server! I double checked that all important documents were copied, then re-imaged to RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.1) and registered with Red Hat for personal use. Connecting through, SSH the first task was to shut the laptop and maintain the connection. With the first use of nano out of the way, I stored the new server on a shelf that has great airflow and enough space to add servers as I grow. Next on my task list was securing the server. I chose to enable auto updates, prevent root from logging in remotely, forced public/private key pairs for any remote login, and switched from port 22. After installing AdGuard Home, I set it up as a DNS sinkhole for ads and content filter protecting my entire network. Then using Samba to share an external hard drive to my network (Ubuntu and Windows 10) providing a safe and convenient place to save documents to be accessed on any system. Finally, I configured my firewall, setting up an implicit deny for anything I wasn’t actively using.
(See Repurposing Windows Laptop for origin story of this server.)