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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lebanon New Hampshire
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    114
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    home server

    Hello everyone. I am building a home server and need a few questions answered before I decide on my OS. I am using a gigabyte E350N Mini ITX motherboard, 4 gigs of ram, 5TB of space on a hot swappable system. The box is a Chenbro SR30169T2 (not that it matters all that much but wanted to inform you fully). I have been going back and forth between Ubuntu Server and FreeNAS for the build. All I want to do is use it for file sharing and dumping. I am not planning on running a mail server or anything else on it, just simply need a place for networked storage and thought that since one of my desktops is Ubuntu and it works slick that the server software would work equally as great. I have 4 systems in my home that would be accessing the server; a PowerPC mac, my Ubuntu desktop and two windows laptops running Win7 Ultimate. The first question I have is would this be "difficult" to set up? I could probably just use the Samba file server to do what I need it to do right? I know that everyone's interpretation of difficult is completely different and I am no slouch to the IT world. I have some experience in Linux but I would say it's not my strong suit. I also wanted to know if I could use it to stream things like movies over my network? I have wifi capable TV and network attached blu-ray player that doesn't have a problem finding my 1TB external that is attached. Do you think that it is even necessary to run Ubuntu Server for such a small set up? What sort of RAID setups can I run with UServer? I don't want to over-complicate this as I need it to be easily accessed by my wife if I am away on business. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lebanon New Hampshire
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    114
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Building home server and need help

    I should also add that both of our iPhones need to be able to transfer data to this central source of data. Typically we would back up our finances to it as well as maybe store all of our iTunes media on it so as to free up all of our other computers internal storage. Thanks again.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lebanon New Hampshire
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    114
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Building home server and need help

    Ok so one more thing to note. My reason for bringing up RAID is data redundancy. My hard drives are 2x WD Caviar green 2TB and 2x WD Caviar green 500gb. I know I can also add in two 2.5" drives, one for OS and another for log files and such. I do not want to lose my data as some is basic and others are complex work files. If I run RAID I can have multiple copies and restore a bad drive if necessary right? I know the best way is to run a backup off site, but I am curious if what I have mentioned could work. Remember I am looking for redundancy. Multiple copies of the same files so drives can be swapped and data recovered if needed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    21

    Re: Building home server and need help

    I would look into running Lubuntu. You can run a samba server. This has GUI for wife to use and is very lightweight.
    I have personally used this setup for about 2 years. I had this setup in my lounge room running XBMC straight to the TV and serving files via samba.
    All my kids and wife had no troubles using XBMC or lubuntu. I'm pretty sure you can stream using XBMC too.

    I have no idea about iphones tho sorry

    Another option would be to use ubuntu server then install lubuntu-core (This will give you the basic lubuntu without all the games etc).

    Hammo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lebanon New Hampshire
    Beans
    114
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Building home server and need help

    I have XBMC running on my laptop and I love it. I didn't think to run it on this. That has a pretty nice GUI and is easy to use. It also supports Air Play for iOS devices so that is something to think about. What about some sort of redundancy setup? Would RAID work with the drive setup I spoke about?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    132

    Re: Building home server and need help

    Here is a guide for RAID setup on Ubuntu Server 12.04 if you decide to go with it:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/12.04/server...tallation.html

    There is software in the App Store for accessing servers using the smb protocol. I tried one of them on my iPad 2 for connecting to my Ubuntu Server 12.04 file server and it worked pretty well. You might want to peruse in the App store and see if any of those might fit your bill for your iPhones. I seem to recall being able to stream movies and look at photos right off my server on my iPad after I logged in from my iPad but it has been awhile since I have done this. I don't have as many workstation as you but I have a file server, 1 workstation and a wireless network printer which supports Windows, Mac, Linux and printing from iPad and this has worked pretty nice. I also have the file server setup as a samba PDC for Windows machines that I tested with a Windows XP system last summer. I no longer have that box though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lebanon New Hampshire
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    114
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Building home server and need help

    Thanks for the link. It is pretty useful. I found a few apps on the App Store that may serve the purpose that I need. I wonder if I can use ReaddleDocs for the same thing. It allows me to connect to any FTP server via WIFI. I am curious about how to set up my server to send me emails if there is a drive failing or maybe if it gets hot? Can I do that? I am also interested in running a wifi enabled web cam so that I can see around my house when I am away. Would this setup be able to do such a thing?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    132

    Re: Building home server and need help

    1. I had never heard of ReaddleDocs, so I installed on my iPad to test. It found my ftp server and I was able to log into it under my account and view the folders and files on the ftp server. So it looks like it works fine.

    2. I found this link here, it's a little outdated but it might fit the bill. I probably should set this up myself on mine:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Smartmontools

    3. I will do some searching about the webcam. I have never done this on my lan myself.

    Later:
    You might want to take a look at zoneminder and see if that might fit your needs:
    http://www.zoneminder.com

    There is a build for Ubuntu in the Software Center.
    Last edited by ranger12; March 6th, 2013 at 03:04 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    97

    Smile Re: home server Freenas or Ubunut Server

    I actually have both setup on 2 different machines. I can tell you Freenas was easy to setup and configure. You can share files via samba, have ftp, setup raid on disks. And last time I checked you could run Freenas off a flash drive. It took me without much Linux experience about 10 minutes and I was up and running. (setup of devicename, eth0, groing to another pc on nethwork and running gui to setup raid/shares/services.

    Freenas Box:

    5U rackmount - 16 bay Nas w/ 16 250gb sata Drives. 2 3ware raid controllers using two raid 5 arrays with 1 hot spare drive (each array about 1.3tb) Bought it at an auction. Its LOUD when running.

    Ubuntu Server:

    Full Tower PC using onboard Sata ports (no raid card) 3x2tb WD green drives (one 2tb drive on the way) booting off a 8gb flash drive (it works but it slows booting down and sudo apt-get stuff). I will be able to use 2 more 2tb drives before I have to get a card for more raid ports. Its quiet. I often forget its running.

    Now you don't NEED a raid controller BUT I would recommend it.

    I just setup Ubuntu Server 12.10, Mdadm (software / fakeraid), smart monitoring, ssmtp, samba, webmin (from a novice point of view it took me 4 days to get it working right). Some people frown on webmin but it made adding users/shares simple.

    That being said I would say that Mdadm has the ability to "grow" RAID array size especially in RAID5. Freenas at this time does not. Sure Freenas has ZFS pools where you can add a drive to the existing pool.

    But mdadm has a few simple commands to add a drive to an array and "grow" it. Or replace smaller existing array drives with bigger ones (one at a time) then resize array to use new max hdd space.

    Best thing I can offer you is to install virtual box on a machine and download both Freenas and Ubuntu Server and mess with them in a virtual drive and see what you like.

    With either way you choose you can use RSYNC to backup data to either Freenas or Ubuntu Server.
    Last edited by grunge09; March 6th, 2013 at 03:27 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Beans
    132

    Re: home server

    I agree, it might be a good idea to download both and set it up in a virtual machine and see which one you prefer.

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