Lunchbox Status Update

Recently I’ve been working a new project called ‘Lunchbox’. Basically, it is a GUI wrapper around vagrant projects so that you can use the power of vagrant and virtual machines without the learning curve. To start with, I’m targeting support for DrupalVM.

Here’s a quick status update of the project to date. It’s still not ready for prime time, but this will give you an idea of where the project is headed. If you’re a bleeding-edge kind of person or would like to contribute, head over to the Lunchbox project page and submit some PRs!

Notes on Raspberry Pi, LEMP, and CloudFlare

I spent the majority of the weekend converting and streamlining my hosting setup. The end result was a lot of learning and information – way to much to write up a step-by-step manual. However, I do want to share some notes and resources I found along the way.

The upshot – this site now runs off a Raspberry Pi!


  • Raspberry Pi 2
  • PNY Class 10 micro SD card

Basic Setup

Good initial checklist:

‘Diet Raspbian’: Create base micro-SD with image from

Fix keygen issues:

Run raspi-config:

  • sudo raspi-config
  • expand filesystem
  • change hostname (advanced)

Configure a static IP:

Set up ssh key login, disable password login:

Make sure it’s all up to date:

LEMP Setup


Loosely followed:


In nginx.conf:

Did not enter client_max_body_size 12m; Default of 1m will be good for now.

You can check file with:

You probably want to make this adjustment:


Turn off fopen

In php.ini:


Also helpful:


In my.conf:





DrupalVM + NFS on Ubuntu

DrupalVM is a great project with some very complete documentation. However, for some reason I kept having difficulty getting it to work on Ubuntu despite seemingly straightforward instructions including a reference to DigitalOcean documentation (usually very good) about getting NFS running on Debian/Ubuntu.

After a few mis-starts, I think I have found the magic combination to getting it all running on a new Ubuntu-based system. As with most things, it seems incredibly simple in hindsight. One major prerequisite is that NFS does not work reliably with home directory encryption turned on. If you must run with this you’ll have to turn off NFS support in DrupalVM. Once you have that squared away, here’s the basic process:

  1. sudo apt-get update
  2. sudo apt-get install nfs-common
  3. apt-get install nfs-kernel-server
  4. sudo apt-get install virtualbox  – you may need to make sure your software sources is configured correctly, usually needs to include Canonical Partners
  5. sudo apt-get install vagrant
  6. sudo apt-get install ansible
  7. sudo apt-get install git
  8. git clone
  9. cd drupal-vm
  10. sudo ansible-galaxy install -r provisioning/requirements.yml --force
  11. vagrant plugin install vagrant-hostsupdater
  12. vagrant plugin install vagrant-vbguest
  13. [edit config files]
  14. vagrant up

The key pieces, I’ve found, are installing the nfs-common  package and the vagrant-vbguest  plugin.

The end result is a DrupalVM with NFS (much more performant) with magical DNS capability (via vagrant-hostsupdater, no need to edit /etc/hosts). If you add new sites to the config file just run vagrant provision  to quickly get them configured in the VM and added to your local DNS  without losing anything else or needing to wait for a full VM rebuild.

One more pro-tip: mimicking the Acquia cloud platform is super-simple with DrupalVM since it includes a yml override file to match Acquia’s hosting environment.

Mediocre Cookies

NOTE: This post was released after it was written as to not spoil the surprise :)

Today was a friend’s birthday, a friend who has obsessively fallen in love with Mad Max: Fury Road. So when I saw this Mad Max cookie cutter on Thingiverse while browsing I knew I had to print it out for him.

Cura: Mad Max cookie cutter
Cura: Mad Max cookie cutter

I actually printed each part separately, but you get the idea. Here’s to hoping the cookies it helps make don’t taste too much like motor oil or sand.

Assembled cookie cutter

Bats in the House!

The kids and I decided to make some decorations for Halloween with the 3D printer. Our first attempt was these cute little bats from Thingiverse.

They print flat and then you insert the wings into the flat body so they stand out from the wall a little bit. I didn’t bother to sand them since they are only seen from a distance and I like the texture on their backs – makes the almost look furry. I did use a dab of Elmers glue on each wing to ensure they would stay together, and taped them to the wall with masking tape so I wouldn’t damage the paint.

Marvin the Monitor

Last night I wanted to test out tweaking my layer height on my 3D printer. I picked the Marvin Keychain from Thingiverse since it was small and had some details I thought would be a good test. He can hang out on top of my printer and monitor the following jobs as they are run.

As you can see in the image below, I’ve set the layer height to 0.15mm and also increased the speed to 125mm/s.

Marvin layer height test
Marvin layer height test


Overall I was happy with the test. I have some sanding and cleanup to do on the print, and I can also use the print as a test on finishing and painting. If you consider how zoomed in that photo is (it’s a very small model) it didn’t turn out too bad. I do wonder if printing at a slower speed would melt the layers together a bit more, though.

No Comments!

Yes, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve disabled comments on my site. Oh, how I wish I could say it was because I was so popular and was being harassed by trolls, but the simple fact is … comments suck. Really, I just felt inspired by the recent uptick in browser plugins and CSS files that hide and otherwise disable comments on sites. :)

This site is my vehicle for communication thoughts, ideas, etc. I fully welcome open discourse but realized there are better mechanisms for that; namely Twitter and other similar services. If you want to converse, please start a conversation. 

Coffee Cap

More 3D printing tonight!

This time, a screw top for our ground coffee. This clever top pieces together on top of an existing bag of beans (ground or whole) to make sealing and pouring much easier.

Cora – Coffee Bag Lid

I tried printing this one with a 0.15mm layer height. I have to sand down a few pieces since they’re pretty tight, but when trying to seal coffee that’s a good thing! If you check out the Thingiverse project you’ll notice there is also another cap that can be used for pouring; I may have to add that next.

Apple Lightning Cable Protector

While I’m much happier with the durability (and ease of pluggable use) of Apple’s Lightning cable, I’ve noticed that all my cords have started to disintegrate. Electrical tape seems to extend the life, but doesn’t feel very solid and looks gross especially after gunk starts accumulating on the cord end.

A battle-worn lightning cable

Apparently I’m not the only one since I found this model on Thingiverse to print your own protector.

Lightning cable protector model previewed in Cura

It’s a relatively quick print at 28 minutes. My main advice is to be sure to add a brim around the edge on this model since it is so skinny at the base. My first print attempt broke free from the glass plate as the leverage applied to it grew the taller the object became.