Random Research: Using docker to keep your server clean when testing

Docker is amazing. Containers make setting up a media server almost like building with LEGOs. You just pull down the image you want (likely from the great linuxserver.io), make sure you wire up the ports and volumes appropriately, and Bob's your uncle.

Sometimes what you want to do isn't packaged up in a nice Docker container for you. Docker is still helpful in these situations.

I don't know about you, but when I'm experimenting with something, I am always weary about installing stuff because I don't want a bunch of trash hanging around on my server when I'm done. There's always chroot'ing or lxc, but I've found that generating a customized docker image and spinning up a new container when you need it is easy and makes cleanup a cinch.

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Random Research: What is "random research"?

I'm going to try something new.

As you may have noticed, this site gets updated very infrequently. Every now and then I feel productive and start working on some new guide only to leave it in a perpetual draft stage never to be seen (until someone cracks my password).

The problem is my work flow. When I decide that I want to write up a new guide, I'll start doing research and playing around. I will get everything working the way I want it and then go back and start writing the guide. At this stage, I'm retracing my steps and trying to remember what I did. I basically have to redo it to get screen shots and recall the exact commands I used. If I actually make it this far, then I have to proof read everything and polish it up.

The problem is that I don't have enough of an attention span for all of that.

So I'm going to try something new. While I'm doing my research, I'll be loosely documenting it. The topics will probably focus around HTPCs, but there may be some stray thoughts along the way. The quality of the posts will range from unpolished guides to organized chaos sprinkled with bash commands.

Hopefully the contents of these posts will get revised and posted as an actual guide somewhere around the line. If they do, I'll do my best to edit the post and throw a link to the organized post. At the very least, there will be more content that hopefully someone somewhere finds useful.

Also, call me out if I slack on this. If I post two of these things and then six months goes by, give me shit in the comments.