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Thread: Noob Looking to Learn!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    18

    Re: Noob Looking to Learn!

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckHook View Post
    Unfortunately, most server cases will eat up your budget with the case alone. I understand the attraction of building a super-cheap budget system. There is a real challenge to it, and it's especially satisfying to actually pull it off. This challenge was what drove me to assemble my own super-cheap system so long ago.

    A few general observations, and then we had better get on to Ubuntu -- after all, it's supposed to be a beginners' forum and not about hardware.



    Your problems may be due to nothing more than a wonky disk. It is very advisable to run a disk diagnostic utility on each disk that you intend to use on your future file server.



    If you stick with low price PC cases, choose a case with plenty of HD slots and then populate only every other slot. This will give them room for air circulation. Then, before spending a penny on any component, Google each component with a query along the lines of: "Is [component] compatible with Linux?"

    Now, the Linux discussion:

    A super-cheap budget system doesn't need a powerful processor, motherboard, video card or sound subsystem. And since this is not an enterprise server, it doesn't need much memory, a killer I/O subsystem or redundant power supply either. Keep in mind that such a system will commit suicide if any single component fails but, hey, you know that going in.

    The good news is that, conceptually, your project can be done on a super tight budget. However (there's always a "however"), the Linux side is more challenging, and this is not because of Linux itself (which is more than up to the task) but because of the learning curve for new users. The problem with a bare bones base system is that it will choke to death on the overhead of a graphical interface. This is one of the reasons why Ubuntu Server Edition does not come with a GUI. But the Linux command line interface is so obscure and intimidating to new users that it sets new users, no matter how dedicated and well-meaning, up for failure. At least, this was my initial experience trying to do what you're doing.

    My best advice is as follows: before spending a dime on anything, turn your existing system into a pure linux box now. As is. No dual boot, no Windows safety net, no wussing out. You mention that you have two other computers, so I'm assuming that you can install Linux on this machine that you were planning to convert anyway. This is your school. Your Linux University. Your Linux Temple. As such, you will not allow yourself to fall back to the GUI. You will open up terminal with every session and you will experiment, explore and fix your inevitable mistakes using nothing but the command line.

    A good book about the command line interface can be found here:

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/linu...es/TLCL/09.12/

    The PDF is free to download, and it covers almost everything you will need to know to get started managing your server.

    A few weeks of butting your head against the Linux command line in your spare time will provide you with priceless data, mostly about yourself. If you find that you cannot get your head wrapped around the commands in the book (which progress from basic to intermediate), then running an ultra-cheap Linux server is not realistic. At that point, you will have to increase your budget and build a machine that can run a GUI-based server. You may even decide to stick with Windows, but the point is: you will know. And you will not have spent a dime to get there.
    Thats good to know. Im building a machine that can handle windows 7. Ubuntu GUI shouldnt be a big deal, should it?

    I only have two machines, both dual boot mac/windows 7 for that elusive tool for android or game. I would be building a basic system from the ground up. See the shopping list above.

    Yes, I need to go through said list and make sure its compatible with linux. Got it! Thanks!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    417
    Distro
    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: Noob Looking to Learn!

    I've always found Psychocats (http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/index) to be an excellent resource for a lot of things Ubuntu related. Lots of good stuff for beginners too.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    18

    Re: Noob Looking to Learn!

    http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/whichbuntu

    Ok... I was unaware that Ubuntu Server didnt have a GUI AT ALL! I thought there was a flavor that did. So... there isnt a way to make a Ubuntu file/media server using a GUI?

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    19th Hole
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Noob Looking to Learn!

    Ubuntu Server Edition is total overkill for your purposes. You should not even think of using it. It is true that it lacks any GUI whatsoever, but this is not because of concerns about overhead. The sort of system that Server Edition is designed for can easily support a GUI. However, in high-end servers, GUIs are avoided because they introduce needless complications and security risks.

    The short answer to your concern is: if you plan on building a system that can run Windows 7, then using Ubuntu Desktop Edition (complete with its GUI) is perfectly fine for a home server. My original post was referring to a super-cheap system that may not have the resources to support a GUI. you have since made the clarification that your system will not be that cheap.

    You should be aware, though, that any machine acting as a server will eventually require you to do things on the command line. It probably won't be much, but even some of the simple troubleshooting that new users ask us about on these forums require the command line.
    Last edited by DuckHook; October 10th, 2012 at 05:52 AM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    18

    Re: Noob Looking to Learn!

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckHook View Post
    Ubuntu Server Edition is total overkill for your purposes. You should not even think of using it. It is true that it lacks any GUI whatsoever, but this is not because of concerns about overhead. The sort of system that Server Edition is designed for can easily support a GUI. However, in high-end servers, GUIs are avoided because they introduce needless complications and security risks.

    The short answer to your concern is: if you plan on building a system that can run Windows 7, then using Ubuntu Desktop Edition (complete with its GUI) is perfectly fine for a home server. My original post was referring to a super-cheap system that may not have the resources to support a GUI. you have since made the clarification that your system will not be that cheap.

    You should be aware, though, that any machine acting as a server will eventually require you to do things on the command line. It probably won't be much, but even some of the simple troubleshooting that new users ask us about on these forums require the command line.
    So this:
    http://linuxhomeserverguide.com/serv...VirtualBox.php

    is total over kill? Thats what I was hoping for! I see windows serves with a GUI. Command line isnt a big deal, as long as I know what to put in and get out of it. But basically, I want to torrent from it, stream data to the game consoles and other machines, and back up to it. Wonderful!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    19th Hole
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Noob Looking to Learn!

    Quote Originally Posted by jediknight36 View Post
    So this: phpVirtualbox is total over kill?
    Yes. Killed forty-two times over.

    I see windows serves with a GUI.
    ...which is at the heart of the difference between the Linux philosophy versus the Microsoft philosophy. Suffice it to say that the Linux preference for no GUI is what arguably makes Linux servers that much more robust. (I am just repeating the standard line in the interest of recapping history--so no flames please)

    Command line isnt a big deal, as long as I know what to put in and get out of it.
    "Knowing" what you are putting in (as opposed to just blindly following a recipe) was the whole point in my long post about learning the command line. You will note that the link you pointed to for phpVirtualbox requires extensive use of the command line.

    basically, I want to torrent from it, stream data to the game consoles and other machines, and back up to it. Wonderful!
    You can (and should) do that in a simple computer with the standard desktop version of Ubuntu. No need for virtual machines (Virtualbox), dual boots, multiple OSes and other needless complexities. Half of the support requests on this forum result from people making their configurations overly complicated. Keep it simple and you will keep yourself happy.

    BTW, Virtualbox is a fabulous and extremely powerful app. However, I strongly suggest that you refrain from exploring it until you have become proficient with Ubuntu, for the same reason that you should refrain from running until you have learned how to walk.

    Good luck!

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