Building a new home linux server

I’ve recently decided to build myself a new home server (media server, backup server) and bearing in mind that it’s going to be on most of the time, I’m going to be using parts that use less power and are suitable for my needs.

It needs to be:

  • Reasonably inexpensive to run.
  • Small and unobtrusive.
  • Nice looking (not your typical beige box) as well as being reasonably quiet.

Case

The case has to be able to accommodate 2 standard 3.5″ hard drives (I’m going to be using software RAID 1). I don’t need a CD/DVD drive in this case (just as well since there isn’t space to fit one), thankfully, I’ve already got a perfectly good desktop PC and laptop  for doing all my day to day stuff.

After muchchenbro trawling hardware websites and me changing my mind on numerous occasions about the specification, I decided to buy a Chenbro ES30068 Mini-ITX Server Case from LinITX.com.

My initial thoughts after getting the case were “Geeze that’s heavy for a small case!” and it is rather weighty. Saying that, the build quality is good and it’s a nice looking case. However, I’m still not convinced that I couldn’t have bought a cheaper case that was just as good. Still, it’s small and unobtrusive so I can live with it.

Motherboard

I decided to buy a Jetway JNC91-230-LF ATOM 1.6GHz Mainboard from  LinITX.com after reading reviews of what’s on offer at mini-itx.com. It’s also a really nice looking motherboard (if your into pretty motherboards 🙂 )

Memory

Memory was supplied by Crucial.com, one stick of “2GB 240-PIN UNBUFF DIMM 256Mx64 DDR2 PC2-5300” for £20, I had no idea that memory was so cheap these days.

Hard Disk

I did a bit of research then decided to buy 2 x 1Tb Western Digital Green drives, the main reasons for me, is that these drives draw less  power and were quite a bit quieter than the other products available. You can read a full review of the drives at the Toms Hardware website.

Software Raid Setup

I installed Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Server and chose the  “Guided LVM Setup”. I also installed LAMP (Linux Apache Mysql and PHP), Samba, SSH Server, and E-Mail (Internet Site) which I probably won’t need, but just in case  :).

After doing that,  I followed the instructions provided here on how to set up Software Raid 1 on a running LVM (Logical Volume Manager) system.

Heres another howto that I’ve written called Setting up a static IP on a linux box. I’ve written this mostly as a reminder to myself, but feel free to use it if it helps.

References:
Ubuntu.com Advanced Installation – Software RAID 1
Linux Raid – Linux Raid Wiki

3 thoughts on “Building a new home linux server

  1. Billy if you went to the thought of doing a raid 1 then I hope you bought those two disks from different suppliers and different batch numbers. Cos if your gonna get a dodgy disk from a batch then its probably the whole batch that’s dodgy… And you’re more likely to loose both disks.. (aka waist of time having a raid) LOL…

  2. Chris Smith :

    Billy if you went to the thought of doing a raid 1 then I hope you bought those two disks from different suppliers and different batch numbers. Cos if your gonna get a dodgy disk from a batch then its probably the whole batch that’s dodgy… And you’re more likely to loose both disks.. (aka waist of time having a raid) LOL…

    Yep, I did check that before I put them in 🙂 different batch numbers thankfully.

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