Create a "private cloud at home" with a Raspberry Pi or other single-board computer.
Building a homelab can be a fun way to entertain yourself while learning new concepts and experimenting with new technologies. Thanks to the popularity of single-board computers (SBCs), led by the Raspberry Pi, it is easier than ever to build a multi-computer lab right from the comfort of your home. Creating a "private cloud at home" is also a great way to get exposure to cloud-native technologies for considerably less money than trying to replicate the same setup with a major cloud provider.
This article explains how to modify a disk image for the Raspberry Pi or another SBC, pre-configure the host for SSH (secure shell), and disable the service that forces interaction for configuration on first boot. This is a great way to make your devices "boot and go," similar to cloud instances. Later, you can do more specialized, in-depth configurations using automated processes over an SSH connection.
Also, as you add more Pis to your lab, modifying disk images lets you just write the image to an SD card, drop it into the Pi, and go!