Adding advertisement-filtering and spotify support to a Linux-based Access Point/Router

The last weeks I’ve tried to improve upon my Raspberry Pi based LTE-Router/Access Point. Normally I would heave tons of software on it, try it out and let it simmer on. I did that this time too: the ELK-Stack (too little memory) and HomeAssistant (too little SmartHome-devices in my flat) only had a short intermezzo on this hardware. What stuck?

Before that a small note: originally I was using a IKEA USB charger; its spec should be sufficient but I kept getting “Undervoltage detected” error messages in dmesg/syslog. I switched it out my Xiaomi Phone’s USB charger: the warnings disappeared.

Adding Spotify-Support

As the Raspberry has an Audio Out socket, I’ve added spotifyd. This allows me to use it as an audio sink/speaker from within the Android Spotify app.

Setup was quite easy:

More less this removed my need for having an Amazon Alexa Echo standing around. One always powered-on device less.

Do some lightweight Advertisement-Filtering for connected devices

Yeah, I know there’s pi-hole but I prefer simple solutions. I found a DNS-Blacklist with known-advertisement sites, the basic idea is to configure this on my Raspberry Pi; it will remove all requests for known advertisement and tracking sites from clients’ requests, e.g., from my Desktop or my mobile devices. I still use uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger on my clients, at least the Raspberry Pi setup should lighten their work load. To set up:

Create a new Directory /var/cache/black_list:

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$ mkdir -p /var/cache/dns_blacklists

Download the blacklists:

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$ cd /var/cache/dns_blacklists
$ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/notracking/hosts-blocklists/master/hostnames.txt
$ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/notracking/hosts-blocklists/master/domains.txt

Configure dnsmasq to use this blacklists by adding the following lines to /etc/dnsmasq.conf:

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conf-file=/var/cache/dns_blacklist/domains.txt
addn-hosts=/var/cache/dns_blacklist/hostnames.txt

Restart dnsmasq (systeemctl restart dnsmmasq). Voila! Be sure to re-download the blacklist periodically and restart dnsmasq afterwards.

Potential next steps

What’s up next? As soon as I am back to the default kernel (damn you, raspberry-update) I will add WireGuard VPN functionality to the Raspberry Pi Setup. Sometimes I also feel like replacing the Raspbian Distribution with something more akin to my line of work, e.g. Kali Linux. Maybe investigate if I can directly stream Netflix videos to my computer stream and thus reduce the need to power-up my desktop.

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