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Thread: Converting desktop into server

  1. #1
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    Post Converting desktop into server

    I am thinking to convert my 5 year old desktop as server with 1TB Internal SSD SATA which has 6GB/s. My mother board Asus H81MC has the hard drive capacity limit up-to 6 GB/s.Will it be more enough if I add 1TB Internal SSD beucase I am about to install Ubuntu Server on itPlease Guide me...Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: Converting desktop into server

    Hello!

    What do you intend this server's purpose to be?
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  3. #3
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    Thumbs up Re: Converting desktop into server

    I'm running an Ubuntu server with a 500 GB NVMe disk, which I use for various stuff like DNS, Unifi Network, Docker etc. This is more than enough if you don't require handling large amounts of data.

    My standard installation, with swapfile and 4 GB of docker containers and data consume less then 5% disk space. Under most circumstances I'd say any desktop is perfectly capable of being turned into a server.

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    Re: Converting desktop into server

    You don't need to "convert" a desktop into a server. Just install the packages you need and off you go. As QIII says, what do intend this server's purpose to be? A web server? DNS? File sharing? A database server?
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    Re: Converting desktop into server

    Quote Originally Posted by weirdygeekpsych View Post
    I am thinking to convert my 5 year old desktop as server
    Quote Originally Posted by weirdygeekpsych View Post
    Please Guide me.
    Hard to guide when you did not specify anything other than "server."

    Here is my guide on how to setup a production server that is ready to be deployed in just about any role. The server has no desktop GUI and most all interaction with it will be through a telnet application (like PuTTY) via SSH and command-line. Life on a server console will be much better if you are familiar with a text editor. I use VI (or VIM) which is old-school but very quick-n-efficient once you get used to it. Others prefer text editors such as nano. It will be up to you what you use but I'd recommend spending some time learning how to be proficient with whatever you choose.

    You might want to consider turning this physical box into a virtual environment host...so you can create multiple, separate servers and utilize the hardware much more efficiently.

    If it were me, I would install Proxmox and then upload the ubuntu server ISO image to an ISO container. Then create a virtual machine and attach the ISO image to it and install Ubuntu Server that way. You could then deploy as many separate virtual machines as your host server could handle.

    Just some ideas to contemplate while you think of what kind(s) of services you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
    You don't need to "convert" a desktop into a server.
    I think what he means is that he is going to re-install that machine which was previously used as a desktop (OS was not specified and probably irrelevant if set on installing Ubuntu Server).

    LHammonds
    Last edited by LHammonds; August 27th, 2020 at 03:42 PM.

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    Re: Converting desktop into server

    Quote Originally Posted by LHammonds View Post
    I think what he means is that he is going to re-install that machine which was previously used as a desktop (OS was not specified and probably irrelevant if set on installing Ubuntu Server).
    If it's just to handle a couple of services like Samba, I really don't see the need for a full re-installation. Plus we have no idea about his or her skills at the keyboard. Being thrown into a text-only world can be pretty disconcerting unless you're experienced.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Converting desktop into server

    SATA-3 is 6 Gbps, not 6 GBps. There is a 8x difference. Correct units are important.


    Fast NMVe SSDs in a fast PCIe gen4 m.2 slot could get to 32 Gbps.

    For home users, 100 Mbps is almost always sufficient throughput, so I wouldn't worry. It isn't like the system is an enterprise DB server with 10,000 TPS workloads.

    If you say what this server needs to support AND post a more complete overview of the hardware, you'll get better answers. For the overview, inxi -Fxxz output would be good. Really, for most home server needs, a raspberry pi v2 with a USB2 external HDD is sufficient for everything, except as a backup server.
    Last edited by TheFu; August 27th, 2020 at 10:54 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Converting desktop into server

    Quote Originally Posted by LHammonds View Post
    Here is my guide on how to setup a production server that is ready to be deployed in just about any role.

    @LHammonds can I ask you something? In your server guide, you define 5 logical volumes. Why do you think this is necessary - and supplementary, is disk space really an issue anymore? Isn't this making things overly difficult to manage, compared to just having a single larger volume for everything? I don't really understand what the benefits are, care to elaborate? Thanks
    Last edited by ameinild; September 14th, 2020 at 09:19 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Converting desktop into server

    Quote Originally Posted by ameinild View Post
    @LHammonds can I ask you something? In your server guide, you define 5 logical volumes. Why do you think this is necessary - and supplementary, is disk space really an issue anymore? Isn't this making things overly difficult to manage, compared to just having a single larger volume for everything? I don't really understand what the benefits are, care to elaborate? Thanks
    I have been burned every time I setup a server in atomic configuration (everything in 1 partition). Stuff gets bad when the OS cannot write to the root partition. Most things that tend to grow are not OS-related...they are application-related. Specifically log files under the /var can go wild if you enable some services to debug in verbose mode and forget to turn it off...or a database script gets stuck in an infinite loop doing an operation and chews up disk space like its going out of style (happened 3 weeks ago and was called a once-in-a-blue-moon event).

    By breaking off partitions that "might" go wildly out of control such as /home, /var and /opt, you can limit the effect of a service/script that goes haywire and causes the system to fill up. If your MariaDB databases are located in /opt and /opt is its own partition, the filling up of /opt will NOT cause the system to become unresponsive. Sure, the database service will like fail but you will be able to SSH into the console and diagnose/fix what is wrong. You are not guaranteed that you can even SSH into the system if the root partition becomes full. The entire OS will become unstable and if you are NOT physically near that system with console access, you might be looking for another job before it is all said and done.

    Of course, I am speaking from a professional standpoint where it is your JOB, not a hobby. If this is a personal website and you sit at that server several times a week, you probably won't have an issue or can spot the issue by seeing that particular server on a regular basis. I have been able to manage over 100 servers by myself. The servers themselves (or my Nagios monitor) will email/txt me BEFORE things start going south.

    If I am good at my job, NOBODY knows my name and my company wonders why they pay me. This is my goal...and I have found that an atomic partition design will NOT allow me to attain that goal. If a service starts to go down, I need immediate access to resolve it quickly...and isolated partitioning aids greatly in this goal.

    I also manage Windows servers and use a similar design. OS is on C:, Apps and TEMP are on D:, data is on E: and above. Over time, space on C: will not get change except for updates to the OS itself. D: will not change much either unless something out of control writes to the TEMP folder. We only have to worry about space consumption and growth on E: and if E: gets full, it will not affect our ability to connect to the server and manage the volumes.

    LHammonds

  10. #10
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    Re: Converting desktop into server

    Thanks for the clarification. I totally understand how this makes sense in a professional production setup - and I also get that you agree with me for a personal hobby server, it probably isn't going to be an issue.
    I guess every setup has its place, and my point was also the one that you touched upon: Often you'll be able to spot the problems before things go south, if you setup sufficient monitoring (for instance of abnormal logfile growth).
    Still, it's good to be aware of pros and cons of the different setups.
    Cheers mate!
    Last edited by ameinild; September 15th, 2020 at 04:02 PM.

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