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#1 2012-08-07 14:21:41

manasij7479
Member
From: Kolkata@India
Registered: 2011-10-20
Posts: 29

Tips for using Arch for a home 'Server'.

I plan to transform my old desktop (Intel Core 2 duo, integrated graphics and 2gigs of memory) into a server of some sort connected to my router and always at hibernation or sleep.
It'll mainly run a ftp server and other tools as required.

I have a few questions, which I hope will not trigger flamewars.

1.Would it be a good idea to have it boot from a pen drive and mount the 1Tb disk only when asked for ?

2.Regarding waking up from sleep or hibernation when contacted over the network, how do I make this process as 'automatic' s possible ? Is this possible at all for hibernation?
(I'd like to avoid 'sleep' as it'd need manual intervention every time I switch off my main power supply, which isn't very often but not never either. )

3.This should be an stfw type of question, but I'm really confused about which way to go for a remote desktop connection.
So, I'd like to hear any experience, positive or negative, on that matter.
Note that my main machine will have an extra monitor,on which I'd like to ocassionaly 'see' the server.

4.What would be the ideal filesystem for the 1 Tb auxillary disk ? (No RAID, as my data isn't important enough to only get half or 2/3rd of the space .)
I'll have offline backup of the irreplacable data, anyway.

Last edited by manasij7479 (2012-08-07 14:25:34)

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#2 2012-08-07 14:52:28

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,316

Re: Tips for using Arch for a home 'Server'.

I use Arch on an atom board as a file server and to watch movies with XBMC.

1. Make sure it has more than 2GB RAM or you might run into /tmp related problems. It works, but I had better results with an additional SSD. It's faster, but not essential.

2. See if your mainboard supports "wake on lan" (see the bios), then have a look at the package wol in community.

3. I use ssh for most of the tasks. If I really need a gui window, I use xpra to open a remote window, not the whole desktop (use the winswitch xpra from the AUR).

4. There is no ideal filesystem for a certain size, it depends on what kind of data you store. This is the STFW question you were talking about.

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#3 2012-08-07 15:29:54

fiddlinmacx
Member
Registered: 2011-03-02
Posts: 74

Re: Tips for using Arch for a home 'Server'.

- You don't need to avoid 'Sleep'. There is a hybrid-sleep shutdown that Sleeps but also saves the system state (like Hibernate) and therefore can recover nicely from a power outage.
- Ssh will do what you need. You probably won't have a gui anyway. Check out 'screen'. It's a wonderful way to keep track of multiple terminal sessions in a single terminal. Get a good 'hardstatus' line for your .screenrc though. It's essential.
- You probably won't know the difference with respect to filesystem with an older computer and a 100mbit LAN connection (even less so with wireless) so just use the recommended Linux filesystem. If you're worried about interrupted writes at all use ext4, otherwise use ext2 so the journaling part of things doesn't cause a slowdown.

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#4 2012-08-07 23:20:48

PReP
Member
From: Sweden/Sala
Registered: 2010-06-13
Posts: 347
Website

Re: Tips for using Arch for a home 'Server'.

I have an c2d server aswell, and it works nice with arch.

. If you do not have eletricity-bills-issues, why not just have a normal partition on a harddrive?,
anyways, you could mount the drive as 'noauto' in fstab, and just manually mount (with or without a handy alias) when needed,
or as a step in a usage-script.

. +2 for wake on lan, as long as you do not switch the power off completely (sudo halt works nice here)

. ssh, scp, and if needed nfs (but it depends) are nice things)

. screen is handy aswell.

. I just have ordinary ext4-systems here, that works fine here, does not really slow down a c2d i bet.


#1 Main: Intel Core i5 2500k (Sandy) @ 3.9 Ghz, 8 GB DDR2-XMP RAM @ 1600 Mhz, Geforce GTX 570 (Gainward Phantom) - Arch Linux 64-Bit
#2 Server: Intel C2D E8400 @ 3.6 Ghz, 3 GB DDR2-RAM @ 802mhz, XFX GF GTX260 XT -ArchLinux 64-bit.

<- Server Homepage: http://prep.mine.nu ->

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#5 2012-08-08 00:19:35

Zancarius
Member
From: NM, USA
Registered: 2012-05-06
Posts: 207

Re: Tips for using Arch for a home 'Server'.

manasij7479 wrote:

3.This should be an stfw type of question, but I'm really confused about which way to go for a remote desktop connection.
So, I'd like to hear any experience, positive or negative, on that matter.
Note that my main machine will have an extra monitor,on which I'd like to ocassionaly 'see' the server.

I second/third/forth screen. Ask yourself if you really need a GUI for a server--chances are, the answer is a "no." Screen is handy because you can detach it from anywhere and then resume right where you left off. ctrl+a followed by "d" to detach, screen -r to resume (or -rd if you need to resume and detach a running instance). GUIs are mostly overkill for this use case, IMO.

I have a very similar setup with a cheapish AMD CPU, large disks, and a fair amount of RAM running mostly as a file server/router/miscellaneous box (NFS/SMB, also as a web server, IPv6 gateway, and other odds and ends). I have one of the monitors of my desktop plugged into it in the event I actually need to see it (rare, but can happen if something occurs with the network).

I think you'll find after some experimentation that it's a lot easier to manage and run than you might expect. The same drawbacks that apply to Arch desktops apply to servers as well, probably more so: Regular maintenance updates aren't likely to happen depending on how you use the server, so you need to keep up on the news and bookmark important entries for whenever you do have time to update it. Be extra sure to update it only when you have an hour or two to spare, particularly if you come to rely on that machine to be up and running.

Perhaps the more serious drawback of having an always on (or almost always on) server is that you'll find far more uses for it than you originally anticipated. smile


He who has no .plan has small finger.
~Confucius on UNIX.

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