100 Days of Learning: Day 1 – Notion and faas-cli

Photo by Filip Baotić on Unsplash

Today I decided to first take a small detour by learning about using Notion. Why? So that I can take better notes and share it with other people. I am really glad I did! Notion is the tool I have wanted all this time. Seriously give it a go.

In fact Notion is so good, that I am convinced it has just become my default note taking app as well as where I write my initial blog posts on.

Here is my Log book


Quick summary of what I discovered

  • Block based editor
  • Type / and then you can choose a block type (e.g. Heading 2, bullet list)
  • Pages can have sub pages (infinitely)
  • Highlight text to get a styling menu
  • Blocks can be reordered by dragging the :: (well actually 6 dots)
  • You can build templates to make it easier to add new pages
  • Can do Kanban boards with the Task List template
  • Has the concept of a Database view. Spreadsheets++
  • Can import markdown, html, csv etc.
  • Powerful Sharing and permissions are available
  • Can Export to markdown, PDF etc. <— LOVE THIS!

Installing faas-cli on my Mac

First need to spin up the Ubuntu instance I created yesterday

$ multipass list
Name                    State             IPv4             Image
faasd                   Stopped           --               Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
$ multipass start faasd

Check the faas-cli documentation on various ways to install it. I prefer to use brew on my Mac so will be using brew

$ brew install faas-cli


$ faas-cli version
  ___                   _____           ____
 / _ \ _ __   ___ _ __ |  ___|_ _  __ _/ ___|
| | | | '_ \ / _ \ '_ \| |_ / _` |/ _` \___ \
| |_| | |_) |  __/ | | |  _| (_| | (_| |___) |
 \___/| .__/ \___|_| |_|_|  \__,_|\__,_|____/

 commit:  6b5e7a14a598527063c7c05fb4187739b6eb6d38
 version: 0.13.6

The nice thing about multipass is that the instance will be restarted and still use the same IP address.

$ multipass list
Name                    State             IPv4             Image
faasd                   Running      Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

You will need the password for the admin user to use with faas-cli

Following on from yesterday’s configuration I will be using SSH to connect to the instance.

$ ssh -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa -o PreferredAuthentications=publickey ubuntu@

Cat out the password and save it somewhere locally on your computer. I am saving mine to "~/Learning/faasd/password.txt"

ubuntu@faasd:~$ sudo cat /var/lib/faasd/secrets/basic-auth-password ;echo

Set the environment variable OPENFAAS_URL so that faas-cli knows where the faasd services is located. For now I will just enter this into the current terminal session but will add it to my zsh setup later.


Setup faas-cli to use the password.

cat password.txt | faas-cli login --username admin --password-stdin

Calling the OpenFaaS server to validate the credentials...
WARNING! You are not using an encrypted connection to the gateway, consider using HTTPS.
credentials saved for admin

Calling your FaaS

Yesterday I deployed the ASCII Cows function. So lets see if it is still available and if we can invoke it locally using faas-cli

First I consult the help to see if there is an easy way to list the available functions. Running faas-cli help revealed that indeed it is as simple as just using the following.

$ faas-cli list
Function                      	Invocations    	Replicas
cows                          	0              	0

To get more information about the function

$ faas-cli describe cows
Name:                cows
Status:              Not Ready
Replicas:            0
Available replicas:  0
Invocations:         0
Function process:    node show_cow.js
Async URL: 

Lets invoke it!

$ echo verbose | faas-cli invoke cows
 / /      \
* //------\\
  ^        ^
  Cow jogging

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