@klipper, @bfcoder, @v0rtex, @yukaia


Home Labs is a community of IT professionals and hobbyists who sharpen their skills for their $dayjob while building cool stuff at home. This community will be a space where you can talk about projects you are working on, try your hand at some automations, and snag some flags for the Hackers Challenge by participating in some of our workload challenges.

At the Home Lab community, there will be loads of compute, networking, and storage gear for you to come get some hands-on time with and learn about. We also look forward to hearing about your projects and endeavors and teach us a thing or two as well.

Main Events

  • Several flags from the Hackers Challenge board will be stashed in various workload and reconnaissance challenges
  • Workbooks and labguides will be available to build some cool solutions / projects from the ground up
  • Try your hand at infrastructure as code and automate the builds and deployments of your favorite home-lab solutions
  • Get some hands-on experience with traditional network segmentation, micro-segmentation, VLANs, load balancers, IoT networks, guest networks, and troubleshooting
  • Convert from physical machines to virtual machines to containers and back again
  • Learn to annoy your friends by taking over their smart speakers in the middle of the night with your favorite eurobeat playlist
  • Learn to provide secure remote-access to your home network. Or tunnel your traffic from the coffee shop to your home network. Or connect to your friends network. Or to just use the internet like your private network over encrypted tunnels
  • Listen to a sermon on the joys of ZFS by @yukaia

What do I need to bring?

Yourself and your inquisitive mind. The whole point of Home Labs is to get exposed to new technologies, new ideas, new ways of thinking, all while justifying the hours and $$$ of expense to those we live with by making their lives easier.

We will have some linux-based laptops you can use to run through the labs, or to perform some challenges…or you are welcome to bring your own rig. (I mean a laptop here, please don’t come try to rack your entire compute cluster…we’re pushing the power as it is)

Anything I need to know beforehand?

A basic understanding of networking principles, virtualization technologies, and general IT knowledge will go a long way….but we will have content for all levels. If you’d like to get some background on the ‘spirit’ of home-labs, you can watch previous SAINTCON Home Lab presentations here:

Hours of Operation

See FAQ for Expo Area Hours

Minibadge Details

To earn the exclusive (and in our opinion awesome) Home Labs minibadge you’ll need to knock out all of the Home Labs challenges on the Hackers Challenge board.

HomeLabs FAQ

Where did the Home Labs community come from?
Over the past several SAINTCON events, there were talks, discussions in the hall, and hanging out in the chill-out area discussing the projects / IT stuff we were doing at home in our basements. This is the natural evolution to those informal talks
I don’t even know where to get started, will there be content for me?
Absolutely! A lot of us got our start by cobbling old desktops together. We will have tons of low-power and low-cost options to give you ideas on how to start your own Home Lab journey.
I’m a Home Lab wizard! I’m running 220V to my full depth rack, have an 8 node HCI cluster, and am running 100 Gbps to every room in my house, will there be content for me?
You bet! We can focus on cool and innovative projects to run on your sweet setup! Maybe we can just sit down and exchange our war stories of times we’ve broken our lab and upset everyone in the house.
What can I actually do at this community?
We’ll have some workload labs to work on. (Media Servers, NVR’s, Content Caching services (Steam Cache), all manner of networking devices that can be used to learn advanced networking skills, flight tracking receivers, storage best practices, you name it. There will be a menu up on the board at our area on whatever you’d like to sample.
Do I need to bring anything to the area to participate?
Nope, we have some chromebooks turned Linux laptops you can borrow while you’re there
How can I get a Home Labs mini-badge?
Come try your hand at some networking fun. Or run through a work-load lab. Basically come do ‘something’ interactive and you’ll get your reward
No, I meant that, ‘special’ badge I’ve heard rumors of
Ahh, that one. You’ll have to knock out all the Home Labs challenges on the Hackers Challenge game board.
I have $device, is there someone in the area that could teach me about it / help me learn how to use it?
Maybe! A lot of the folks in the area have touched ALL manner of hardware and software solutions…there is a good chance they’ve ran into something with that particular $device before.
Wait, what is ZFS?
Come on over and find out! @yukaia has a nice sermon on the matter
I have a LAN party coming up and I want to see how awesome a Steam Cache can help the experience, can I come see how one works?
We actually have one running in the booth! Come plug in your laptop and watch your games download limited only by our local network / your system. Want to learn how to make one? Have a seat at one of the lab stations or hop on the Home Labs wifi and build the lab from the comfort of a couch in the chill-out area. You’ll have your own cache setup in no time
Can I take these labs with me? I finally got it working!
We will share the lab-guides with you so you can do it again at home, but you can’t take your ‘actual’ working lab. Labs are going to be transitive in nature so you’ll need to rebuild it.