In 2019 I wrote about how I get around static IP restrictions when working in different places.
The world is very different now and whilst I’m not travelling anymore I still use sshuttle regularly to make my traffic look like its coming from a given location.

Recently I started switching some of my projects to run on docker locally (annoyingly this was before Laravel Sail was announced). However one of the challenges with sshuttle + docker in the way I’d originally got things set up is your networking gets messed up and consequently nothing really works for the project - not ideal.

Thats not the end of the story though, there’s an easy fix here - exclude the docker subnets from sshuttle.

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Introduction and Prerequisites

I’ve been remote working full time for over 3 years now.

In that time I’ve had to work with a number of clients who restrict access to their internal systems via IP Address whitelisting.

As a developer who often works from different locations and countries this can quickly become problematic.

A paid for solution is to purchase a Dedicated Static IP VPN from a reputable provider like NordVPN. and ask the clients IT team to whitelist your new Dedicated Static IP.

This is something I’ve been doing for a while and whilst the initial set up is a little fiddly, (You have to set up 2 accounts and get their team to link them together) its worked flawlessly for me.

However if you have the following:

  • SSH access to a device in a location with a Static IP (Perhaps you get one from your ISP or your office has one)
  • You use Linux or OSX (Sorry windows guys I don’t think even with WSL this will work).

Then you can use the super handy command line tool SSHUTTLE to route all (or some) of your traffic through that device.

Lets take a look at getting it working…

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Last year I began working at a new startup - NX Technology.

As a start up with limited funding we’re constantly looking for efficiencies and ways to get the most out of what we already have whether that be in hardware or software.

Whilst previously I’ve set up and self hosted a gitlab instance at NX we needed to get things up and running asap so we decided to use the gitlabs free tier.

At the time of writing the bronze tier comes with unlimited private repositories and 2000 gitlab ci minutes using gitlab’s shared runners.

One of the things I love about this is that once those minutes are up you can either pay for more or use your own runners to process jobs for your projects.

We have an old -nothing special- server which we’ve set up a gitlab runner on that will handle jobs for us along with gitlab’s shared runners and when our free minutes run out all jobs will run through that server.

Since most of the time when you’re pushing code to gitlab your laptop will be on, you can use your development laptop to help out too!

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In preparation for Laracon EU in a couple of weeks i figured I’d need to take a device along with me - paper and pen would probably have been fine but Laracon looks to be huge and i dont want to be unprepared, plus you always see rows of silver lids and glowing apple symbols in the photos from developer conferences!

I do almost all of my work on a Dell Precision 7710 which dual boots Ubuntu for development purposes and Windows for my photo editing. I also have a Surface Pro 4 which i use for note taking and photo editing on the go - I’ll be writing about how I keep all of my photos in sync in a future post!

Neither of the above are Macbooks but whilst the Dell Precision runs Ubuntu and anything else I can throw at it, it is HUGE and not ideal to take well … anywhere! So I figured I’d try and get a development environment set up on my Surface Pro 4 instead.

I’d heard of setups using Homestead / Vagrant / Virtualbox before, but since I was using Ubuntu, I’ve never had any need to explore it any further so this really is a guide for first timer noobs. The official Laravel Homestead guide appears to be geared up mostly for Mac users, Windows users will need a bit more help which is where I’m hoping this post will help.

Anyway by the end of this guide I’ll have a Surface Pro 4 running Laravel Homestead and fingers crossed you’ll have a Windows device doing the same thing too! This has been a really long introduction, lets get to it!

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Author's picture

Talv Bansal

Full Stack Developer, Part Time Photographer

Head of Software Engineering