Thursday, February 04, 2010

My New Home Server

Back on January 24th I mentioned that I'd ordered the components for a new home server.  I received the parts from Tiger Direct in a timely manner and the box has been up and running for around a week now.  The server consists of the following components:

  • Intel D945GCLF2 Atom motherboard, with a 1.6 GHz dual-core Atom 330 CPU
  • Apex MI-100 ITX case
  • Kingston 2048MB PC5400 DDR2 667MHz RAM
  • Western Digital 320 GB hard disk
After putting it together I first installed 64 bit CentOS 5.4.  I found it to be a bit unstable when running X11, so I blew away the disk and installed 32 bit Debian Lenny.  I figured that with only 2 GB of RAM, having a 64 bit OS wasn't going to offer any significant advantages.  I'm pleased with Debian.  So far it's been stable and its package management is top shelf.

To get the OS installed I used an LG USB DVD burner.  You could also make a bootable Linux USB stick for the install on similar hardware.  See Unetbootin for an easy way to do that.

I named the new machine, due to its size and shape.  Compared with the MSI Wind barebones system I was also considering it's a little noisier, but not what I'd call, "noisy."

Currently, shoebox is setup as a LAMP box hosting The Shooters' Bar, my list of pro-RKBA attorneys, as well as a "parking" page for  I've also used it as an SFTP site for a project at my gun club.  It's handy having an Internet-accessible server at home again.

Shoebox's small ITX format is great for my needs.  I currently have it on a separate IP space from the rest of my home network, but a similar box, maybe with two hard disks in it, would be a good choice for a SOHO file server/NAS box.

1 comment:

Al Sande said...

Sounds interesting, Dave...

I built up a new LAMP server as well over the Christmas break to host a small Joomla site that serves mainly as my private test bed - but it's virtualized (under VMWare Server running on an Ubuntu 8.04 LTS box) and accessible only inside of my network and externally via Hamachi. My goal was to take at least one PC out of the loop, so this machine is running three VMs - the LAMP server and a couple of XP Pro instances - one to service my growing collection of webcams and the other to serve as my main work machine - Office, accounting apps, etc.). With the combination of VNC and the VMWare remote console, it's proven to be a real advantage for me here.

I'm also playing around with low power boxes similar the one you built, except mine (an Asus eeeBox) is running my "TV" and does well for the most part. I do have another on the way here, though - an ACER Revo with a bit better graphics so an curious to see what the difference that makes.

The low prices of hardware drives me crazy these days! But, it's a much better type of crazy than was brought on by the $100 per meg RAM did 20 years ago, though...

Thanks for the updates - I always enjoy reading about your excursions into the technological world (I just don't comment much!)