If you are in the market for a starter self hosting homelab, PiBox is a great option that packs a lot of apps in a small footprint package.
PiBox makes it simple to get started in Self Hosting and requires little to no knowledge while slowly teaching you along the way.
What is PiBox?
The PiBox is a storage server that lets you use a standard operating system, runs Kubernetes, and has expandable storage. Designed for home-hosting and for shipping to customers directly, the PiBox is the perfect small NAS! Check out pibox.io for more memory and SSD options.
PiBox is built on the popular Raspberry Pi platform which makes it small but powerful giving you options of 1, 2, 4, or 8GB RAM, optional WiFi, and up to 32GB of onboard flash storage. The compact design includes 2 powered SATA SSD slots allowing for up to 16TB of expandable storage.
The PiBox case is a heavy duty 1-mm powder coated steel that gives the unit a solid weight and a great feel. Outer dimensions measure 2x3x5 inches
PiBox First Time Setup
Setting up PiBox out of the box was relatively simple and painless. PiBox also offers an extensive setup guide for those who don't like going in blind. They basically hold your hand to get you started!
Obviously this is for the Plug and play model with included SSD so don't be mistaken. Refer to the correct "getting started" section on their documentation.
PiBox App Store
PiBox has a very extensive app store where you can browse all of the official and unofficial apps you can install to your PiBox.
If you have more experience, you can even create your own app or add any docker app that supports the ARM platform.
PiBox Use Cases
Let's go over a few example use cases for the PiBox to help you better understand the functionality it can serve as your homelab.
NAS File Server
PiBox can be used for multiple functions. It can serve as a small NAS file server or a more advanced file system using Nextcloud which gives you access to all kinds of open source tools such as photo storage, notes, messaging and more.
Website or Blog Host
Use PiBox to host your first website with the Ghost blogging platform! We use Ghost here on Noted and it uses very little resources and is more than capable of running on PiBox hardware.
Cut the cord and downsize. Use PiBox as your personal media server with Sonarr, Radarr and Jellyfin or Plex to automate all of your TV shows and more! PiBox makes a great media center, taking advantage of the Raspberry Pi's native 4K video decoder.
All of these use cases are just examples and just the tip of the iceberg for the potential PiBox offers.
PiBox Models and Prices
The PiBox can be preorderd on their website and may take some time to receive due to the demand in hardware. Here is the price breakdown for each model they offer.
The PiBox will arrive fully assembled as ordered. Mine came in a small box packaged in foam inserts with a fancy sticker on top. I was very impressed with the packaging as it supported the PiBox very well.
Final Notes and Thoughts
PiBox is the all-in-one solution for anyone looking for a plug and play self hosted homelab. Get self hosted apps up and running with ease all at the press of a button.
But don't take my word for it! Check out the PiBox review by the renowned Jeff Gearling on your way out!
It truly is amazing how far technology has come and how Docker has revolutionized the industry making deployment of self hosted apps easier than ever before.