3 min read

Bringing harmony to home container management with Portainer

Bringing harmony to home container management with Portainer
Photo by Mohammad Rahmani / Unsplash

Getting a handle on the home server sprawl

If you're anything like me, your home network has evolved into a bustling ecosystem of services and devices. From media servers to home automation, each brings convenience and joy and adds a bit of management overhead. Keeping tabs on multiple Docker instances scattered around can become a juggling act. That's where Portainer stepped in to bring some much-needed order to my home container chaos.

Portainer to the rescue

Portainer is a user-friendly web interface that simplifies the management of Docker environments. It offers a centralized dashboard to visualize, control, and troubleshoot your containers, regardless of where they run. It's like having a trusty overseer for your home container kingdom.

Setting up shop in a Proxmox LXC

To give Portainer a cosy home, I opted for a lightweight LXC container on my Proxmox server. The installation process was a breeze:

LXC creation: A few clicks in the Proxmox web interface, a fresh Ubuntu-based LXC container was ready.

Portainer installation: Inside the LXC, a simple docker run command pulled and started the Portainer container. You can find instructions on how to run this from the official Portainer documentation. I am using the Community Edition:

Install Portainer CE with Docker on Linux - Portainer Documentation

Tailscale for effortless remote access

With Portainer running happily in its LXC, I turned to Tailscale to bridge the distance between my devices, including a LightSale EC2 instance to host this blog. Tailscale's magic weaved a secure tunnel, allowing me to access Portainer's web interface from anywhere, even my phone, while on the go. All are controlled with very convenient ACLs and tags ( I'll post about this later )

Unifying remote environments under one roof

Here's where things got really exciting. Portainer's ability to manage remote Docker environments opened up a world of possibilities. I can now effortlessly oversee containers running on all my assets, including the Lightsail EC2 instance hosting this blog. All from the comfort of Portainer's centralized dashboard.

A tidy home for my containers

With Portainer at the helm, managing my home containers has become a delight. I can easily:

  • Monitor container health monitor on resource usage and logs to ensure everything's running smoothly.
  • Deploy new containers: Spin up new services with just a few clicks; command-line gymnastics is unnecessary.
  • Manage images and volumes: Keep my Docker environment organized and efficient.
  • Troubleshoot issues: Quickly identify and resolve any problems that arise.

In conclusion: A welcome addition to the home and cloud hosted family.

Portainer has proven to be an invaluable tool in my setup. It's brought visibility and control that I never thought possible while being incredibly user-friendly. If you're managing multiple Docker environments, I highly recommend spinning Portainer. The free version is feature-rich and more than capable for most home users.

If you want a deeper dive into my setup or help setting up your env, drop me a line:

Joao Silva
Passion for Solving problems and helping design solutions with a strong focus on security, IT Management, and Systems Administration alongside driving Teams to Success.I love Open Source, management, and Tech Consulting in general. 

To learn more about Portainer and its CE version, visit their website.