The Pi-hole blocks ads at before they get to your device and can speed up your network at the same time.  It’s now even easier to install (a forked) Pi-hole powered and automated by DietPi–a slimmed down, optimized version of Raspbian.

This burnable SD card image will give you essentially the same Pi-hole created by using the automated installer for Raspbian, but has some benefits/differences that I will explain below.  Before I do that, you probably want to know how to install it.

Download The DietPi Image Preconfigured As A Pi-hole

  1. Download this DietPi .img from Sourceforge, which is preconfigured as a Pi-hole
  2. Burn the image to your SD card (Windows instructions / OS X instructions / Linux instructions)
  3. Plug it into your Pi and boot it up
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to set a static IP address
  5. Run dietpi-update  to updated to version 86, which fixes a small bug with the Web interface
  6. Change your DNS server for any device that you want to utilize the Pi-hole (or change the setting on your router, which is more advanced and something I can write up later)

Details

After you have burned the Pi-hole image to your SD card and have booted up your Pi, login with the username root with the password dietpi.  Follow the on-screen instructions until you get to the IP address settings window.

You will be prompted to create a static IP address, which you should do.  You will be able to copy your current settings and use them as the static address, which will be easiest for most users.

Choose the adapter to change.  It would be best to use Ethernet as the Pi-hole should be plugged directly into your router.

For the easiest setup, just copy the DHCP settings and use them for the static address.  You can change the address as you see fit if you know about your network.  It is important for the Pi-hole to have a static address, however, since it is a server.  Not setting one can cause your Pi-hole to break at some point in the future.

Save your settings and exit.  Your Pi will then update, install the Pi-hole, and restart.  Then, all you need to do is change the DNS server of any device you want to have ads blocked on.

Benefits/Differences Of This Install Method

Benefits

  1. It is easier to install and configure
  2. It runs faster than Raspbian since it is only running essential services
  3. It installs the Pi-hole Admin Web Interface by default found at <your Pi’s IP address>/pihole/index.php

Differences

  1. It doesn’t install the exact same Pi-hole created via the automated installer
  2. It uses Apache instead of lighttpd
  3. The default page that ads get redirected to says “Blocked by Pi-hole.” instead of just a blank page

Observations

I used my original Pi-hole for many months without issue and never had a problem.  I switched over to the DietPi version a few weeks ago and as far as I can tell, they run the same.  So essentially, it just comes down to how you want to install it and if you are planning on doing anything else with your Pi.

I still need a way for users to easily update their gravity.sh script or other components of the Pi-hole if changes are made.  I have a method to do this but I need time and money to do it…