Raspberry Pi + Pi-hole: a perfect combo

Raspberry Pi 3 B+ from The Pi Hut
Raspberry Pi 3 B+ from The Pi Hut

In our SOC we use Pi-hole to block network ad-serving domains. Benefits of Pi-hole are highlited on their web site

  • Since ads are blocked before they are downloaded, your network will perform better
  • Network-level blocking allows you to block ads in non-traditional places such as mobile apps and smart TVs, regardless of hardware or OS

Pi-hole works on Linux systems and for home usage is common to install it on a Raspberry Pi device.

This is my jurney into installing Pi-hole on my Raspberry Pi.

First I bought a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ from The Pi Hut web site; I choosed to buy the Pi along with a full starter kit because I’m very lazy; of course you can buy each component separately and save money.
The starter kit includes

  • the microSD with the NOOBS (New Out Of the Box Software) image pre-loaded (is ok for beginners like me). You can also download other images and install it
  • the power supply (5.1V, 2.5A)
  • a case for the board
  • ethernet and HDMI cables

The first step is to put your Pi into the case; the case is well designed and is very easy to do this task; remember to insert the microSD in the slot on the back of the board (spot it on last image).

Build the Pi Build the Pi Build the Pi Build the Pi

You are ready. Connect USB keyboard & mouse, connect the HDMI cable to a video, power on the Pi and follow the on-screen steps (I choosed to install Raspbian Strech with desktop).

15 minutes to have your Pi up&running 😀

After the installation (that includes update process) I made some tuning before Pi-hole installation.

I reserved a static IP address to the Pi; is mandatory if  you want to use Pi-hole.

You can do this by reserving an IP on your DHCP home server (create a static lease between the IP and Pi MAC address) or by assigning a static IP address not in DHCP range (details here).

In the second case append at the end of /etc/dhcpcd.conf file the following lines (adjust the values as per your home network config and set the appropriate interface)

# STATIC CONFIG for wlan0 interface
interface wlan0
static ip_address=192.168.x.y/24
static routers=192.168.x.z
static domain_name_servers=8.8.8.8

Using the Raspberry provided tool raspi-config (details here)

sudo raspi-config

I made following config

  • changed the default password (raspberry) for pi user (Pi is set to autologon as pi user). To do this select option 1 “Change User Password”
  • enabled SSH access, that is disabled by default. To do this select option 5 “Interfacing Options” –> “SSH” and set to enable
  • disabled autologon and desktop interface. To do this select option 3 “Boot Options” –> B1 “Desktop / CLI” –> B1 “Console” and choose this option
Disable autologon and desktop
Disable autologon and desktop

I suggest to reboot and test the IP address config and SSH connectivity.

We can now install Pi-hole. Is quite simple; from terminal execute the commands

sudo su –
curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash

Set the binding interface (in my case wlan0), the remote DNS to be used (from the menu) and save the generated admin password.

Then access your Pi-hole web interface

http://pi.hole/admin
http://<YOUR_IP_ADDRESS>/admin

Pi-hole up&running
Pi-hole up&running

Adjust now your DHCP server settings and set your Pi IP address as internal DNS; adjust static configurations too, if you have any.

From now Pi-hole will do his job, and it’s a great job.

You can add more URLs to the blocklist (from Settings –> Blocklists); tks to Andrea Draghetti for the following

https://www.squidblacklist.org/downloads/dg-ads.acl
https://www.squidblacklist.org/downloads/dg-malicious.acl

Blocklists
Blocklists

Last but not least donate to the project

Some link to go deeper on the topic (italian):

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