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How to Bake an Ortelius Pi Part 2 | The Preparation



In Part 1, of this series we installed Ubuntu Server 22.04.4 LTS on our Raspberry Pis.

In this follow-up blog, I will help you prepare three Pis for DHCP, DNS, NFS (Network File System) storage with a Synology NAS and install MicroK8s.

IP Addresses and DHCP

We need to give the Pis a home address so that they are contactable and this is where either a static IP addresse or DHCP comes in. Your home internet router generally comes with DHCP pre-configured. I use the tp-link | AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router and so I will use my router as the example here.

  • Login to your home router with your browser and look for your DHCP configuration. Mine is Network –> DHCP Server


  • Here you will see the IP pool range that your router is handing out to your device on your home network. I don’t want the entire range to be handed out as I need at least two static IP’s to be availble. One for the for the Metallb load balancer which will run in Kubernetes and one for the Synology NAS.

  • My Pi’s have the following IPs which I have reserved with their mac addresses. You can get the mac addresses from the DHCP list of IPs handed out to your Pis. Reserving an IP entails instructing DHCP to consistently assign the same IP to specific devices, ensuring their stability and preventing allocation to other devices, effectively maintaining their static nature.



If you don’t have something like NextDNS or similar you can use local.gd which works very well and is very easy to setup.

A easy way to serve localhost is to use DNS that always resolves to For example you could use ortelius.local.gd when developing locally and it will resolve to Any subdomain like *.local.gd will work. The use of subdomains and sub-sub-domains work too as in the example below.

$ dig ortelius.local.gd
ortelius.local.gd.                  86400	IN	A

$ dig www.ortelius.local.gd
www.ortelius.local.gd.              86400	IN	A

$ dig aliens.are.real.ortelius.local.gd
aliens.are.real.ortelius.local.gd.       86400	IN	A

$ dig xrpl.local.gd
xrpl.local.gd.                 86400	IN	A
  • Edit localhosts on Linux and Mac here with sudo rights sudo vi /etc/hosts
  • Edit Windows localhosts file here as administrator windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts


For DNS I use NextDNS but this is not just DNS it is complete protection for all your devices no matter where you go in the world including your Pi MicroK8s nodes. It will use to resolve your local IPs. However, you will need to do some configuration by logging into the NextDNS portal to add local DNS records and installing the cli.

Disclaimer - NextDNS is free up to 300 000 DNS queries once you reach that limit resolution stops. It is inexpensive and totally worth it.

  • Think of a domain name for your environment - mine is pangarabbit.com.
  • Go to the NextDNS Wiki here.
  • Install the cli on each Pi and on your NAS so that you can SSH into your NAS and install NextDNS.
  • Here is a doc on how to configure SSH for a Synology NAS.
sh -c 'sh -c "$(curl -sL https://nextdns.io/install)"'
  • Run sudo nextdns config to view your config.
  • Run sudo nextdns config edit to edit for each Pi and NAS and configure like this:
debug false
cache-size 10MB
max-ttl 5s
mdns all
cache-max-age 0s
use-hosts true
auto-activate true
listen localhost:53
profile <your profile id goes here>
log-queries false
report-client-info true
hardened-privacy false
timeout 5s
setup-router false
control /var/run/nextdns.sock
detect-captive-portals false
bogus-priv true
max-inflight-requests 256
  • Run sudo nextdns restart to restart the service.
  • Run sudo nextdns status to check the service status.
  • Then in your NextDNS portal go to Settings.
nextdns settings

  • Then scroll down to Rewrites
nextdns rewrites

  • And add your private network DNS records like in this example for the Pis and your NAS
nextdns records

nextdns records nas

NextDNS will instantly auto refresh all your NextDNS agents with any configuration changes.

Great! DNS is done.

NFS Prep

Enable NFS on the Synology

  • Login to the Synology and go to File Services.
synology file services

  • On the SMB/AFP/NFS tab and scroll until you see NFS and enable NFS and enable NFSv4 support.
synology nfs services

synology nfs services

Configure Shared Folder

  • Go to File Sharing
synology file services

  • Click Create
synology file services

  • Create a name for your folder share, I used Pi8s.
synology file services

  • Skip encryption.
  • Apply your config.
synology file services

  • Right click your newly created Shared Folder and select Edit.
synology file services

  • Select Permissions tab.
synology file services

  • Select Local usersdrop down and give the admin Read/Write permissions by checking the box.
synology file services

synology file services

  • Select NFS Permissions and then Create.
synology file services

synology file services

  • Configure like this then click OK.
synology file services

  • Congrats you just configured the Synology for NFS!

OS Prep

Pis | Ubuntu Server 22.04.4 LTS

  • Update all packages to the latest on each Pi with sudo apt update -y && sudo apt upgrade -y and then go make coffee.
  • Install sudo apt install nfs-common -y for each Pi.

Kubectl | Your machine

  • Kubectl docs here
  • Kubectl quick reference here
  • Install Kubectl here on your local machine
  • Install and setup Kubectl on Mac here
  • Install and setup Kubectl on Windows here
  • Install and setup Kubectl on Linux here

Helm | Your machine

  • Helm docs here
  • Helm cheat sheet here
  • Install Helm here on your local machine
  • Install Helm with Homebrew package manager brew install helm generally used on Mac
  • Install Helm with Chocolatey windows package manager choco install kubernetes-helm

MicroK8s Prep

  • SSH into each Pi and configure the Pi BIOS sudo vi /boot/firmware/cmdline.txt and add the following cgroup_enable=memory cgroup_memory=1.
  • Below is the config from my Pi as an example:
cgroup_enable=memory cgroup_memory=1 console=serial0,115200 dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=tty1 root=LABEL=writable rootfstype=ext4 rootwait fixrtc quiet splash.
  • Install Kernel Modules sudo apt install linux-modules-extra-raspi.
  • Referenced from here.
  • Install Microk8s on each Pi.
sudo snap install microk8s --classic
  • This installs the latest version of Microk8s.

Create highly available 3 node cluster with MicroK8s

MicroK8s uses Dqlite as a highly available SQLite database to store the Kubernetes logic without any configuration. In Canonicals own words High-availability SQLite Dqlite is a fast, embedded, persistent SQL database with Raft consensus that is perfect for fault-tolerant IoT and Edge devices.

  • Choose a Pi to start the process, I used pi01.
  • SSH onto pi01 and run this command on pi01.
sudo microk8s add-node
  • You will need to run this 3 times on the same node to generate a unique key for each node you wish to join.
  • This will return some joining instructions which should be executed on the MicroK8s instance that you wish to join to the cluster (NOT THE NODE YOU RAN add-node FROM) <– Taken from Canonicals docs.
# EXAMPLE from Canonicals docs
From the node you wish to join to this cluster, run the following:
microk8s join

Use the '--worker' flag to join a node as a worker not running the control plane, eg:
microk8s join --worker

If the node you are adding is not reachable through the default interface you can use one of the following:
microk8s join
microk8s join
microk8s join
  • Referenced from here
  • On the same Pi run sudo microk8s config.
  • This will return config you will need to access your Microk8s cluster.
  • On your computer you will need to configure Kubectl by editing your kube config.
  • My Kubectl configuration is here on my Mac /Users/<username>/.kube/config.
- cluster:
    certificate-authority-data: <your certificate authority data goes here>.
    server: https://<your local network IP for your Pi goes here>:16443
  name: microk8s-cluster
- context:
    cluster: microk8s-cluster
    namespace: default
    user: <your user goes here>
  name: microk8s
- name: <your user goes here>
    client-certificate-data: <your client certificate data goes here>
  • Kubectl quick reference here
  • Use Kubectl to connect to your cluster.
  • To view your current kube config.
kubectl config view
  • Get your available contexts.
kubectl config get-context
  • Switch context to Microk8s.
kubectl config use-context microk8s
  • Run the following to see all namespaces.
kubectl get ns
  • Run the following to see all pods.
kubectl get pods --all-namespaces
  • Well done you are now using your Microk8s Kubernetes cluster.


By this stage you should have three Pi’s each with NFS and MicroK8s. Stay tuned for Part 3 where we will deploy the NSF csi-driver-nfs for Kubernetes, deploy MetalLB load balancer, deploy Traefik and Ortelius.

Next Steps:

How to Bake an Ortelius Pi - Part 3 The Configuration

Disclaimer: Any brands I mention in this blog post series are not monetized. This is my home setup!

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