Distribution recommendations for home server?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by -=rjh=-, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. -=rjh=-

    -=rjh=- Guest

    Got a shiny new 300GB drive here, it will be used in my home fileserver
    upgrade.

    What distributions are best for this? The easier it is to set up, the
    better, but I also want long term support - updates etc.

    Just needs to offer basic fileserving functions, but will also run
    Slimserver, a media player, webmin, etc. Web, mail, ftp, nfs, etc.

    I've used Suse, Mandrake, SMEServer in the past but wondering what else
    I should consider currently. I could chuck on Debian, Slackware, etc but
    wondering if it is worth checking out a distribution aimed specifically
    at servers.

    Something as easy to install as SME Server but more configurable and
    standard would be good.

    For example, is CentOS (rpm) worth a look (top of my list)? tinysofa
    (deb) (last release over a year ago)? What else?

    Too darn many Linuxes, ain't it great!
     
    -=rjh=-, Apr 7, 2006
    #1
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  2. -=rjh=-

    Allistar Guest

    -=rjh=- wrote:

    > Got a shiny new 300GB drive here, it will be used in my home fileserver
    > upgrade.
    >
    > What distributions are best for this? The easier it is to set up, the
    > better, but I also want long term support - updates etc.


    I don't know what you mean by "easy", but I find Gentoo Linux easy to
    install. There's not much hand-on time spent on the install, but it can
    take quite a while to finish (as it compiles everything). The only thing
    you need to do that's slightly tricky is manually partitioning of your hard
    drives and possibly configuring your kernel (although the installer will do
    that for you).

    The reason I suggest it is because updating it is a piece of cake, the
    Gentoo devs tend to release new versions of things quite quickly compared
    to other distros, and you'll get no "dependency hell".

    > Just needs to offer basic fileserving functions, but will also run
    > Slimserver, a media player, webmin, etc. Web, mail, ftp, nfs, etc.
    >
    > I've used Suse, Mandrake, SMEServer in the past but wondering what else
    > I should consider currently. I could chuck on Debian, Slackware, etc but
    > wondering if it is worth checking out a distribution aimed specifically
    > at servers.


    Another advantage of Gentoo is that yo are in complete control over what
    gets installed. If you want it just for a server you could avoid installing
    any GUI, for example.

    > Something as easy to install as SME Server but more configurable and
    > standard would be good.


    Probably excludes Gentoo then.

    > For example, is CentOS (rpm) worth a look (top of my list)? tinysofa
    > (deb) (last release over a year ago)? What else?
    >
    > Too darn many Linuxes, ain't it great!


    Indeed.

    Allistar.
     
    Allistar, Apr 7, 2006
    #2
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  3. -=rjh=-

    Shane Guest

    -=rjh=- wrote:

    > Got a shiny new 300GB drive here, it will be used in my home fileserver
    > upgrade.
    >
    > What distributions are best for this? The easier it is to set up, the
    > better, but I also want long term support - updates etc.
    >
    > Just needs to offer basic fileserving functions, but will also run
    > Slimserver, a media player, webmin, etc. Web, mail, ftp, nfs, etc.
    >
    > I've used Suse, Mandrake, SMEServer in the past but wondering what else
    > I should consider currently. I could chuck on Debian, Slackware, etc but
    > wondering if it is worth checking out a distribution aimed specifically
    > at servers.
    >
    > Something as easy to install as SME Server but more configurable and
    > standard would be good.
    >
    > For example, is CentOS (rpm) worth a look (top of my list)? tinysofa
    > (deb) (last release over a year ago)? What else?
    >
    > Too darn many Linuxes, ain't it great!



    Debian, my $deity I really have joined the dark side
    http://groups.google.co.nz/group/nz.comp/msg/a1bd9b44281a27de?hl=en&

    (How the hell you can run SME is beyond me (I hated working with it, all
    that expand_template BS!))
    And Id argue there isnt enough Linux distros!


    --
    Rule 6: There is no Rule 6.
     
    Shane, Apr 7, 2006
    #3
  4. -=rjh=-

    thingy Guest

    -=rjh=- wrote:
    > Got a shiny new 300GB drive here, it will be used in my home fileserver
    > upgrade.
    >
    > What distributions are best for this? The easier it is to set up, the
    > better, but I also want long term support - updates etc.
    >
    > Just needs to offer basic fileserving functions, but will also run
    > Slimserver, a media player, webmin, etc. Web, mail, ftp, nfs, etc.
    >
    > I've used Suse, Mandrake, SMEServer in the past but wondering what else
    > I should consider currently. I could chuck on Debian, Slackware, etc but
    > wondering if it is worth checking out a distribution aimed specifically
    > at servers.
    >
    > Something as easy to install as SME Server but more configurable and
    > standard would be good.
    >
    > For example, is CentOS (rpm) worth a look (top of my list)? tinysofa
    > (deb) (last release over a year ago)? What else?
    >
    > Too darn many Linuxes, ain't it great!


    Personally I run Debian, this is for its quality, hence stability, it
    might loose on config but the hundreds of days uptime it gives meets my
    needs. Ie you plan to configure something when it suits you, a barfed
    system means you have to fix it now. Also I would not run a single drive
    if you are looking for a fit and forget solution.

    regards

    Thing
     
    thingy, Apr 7, 2006
    #4
  5. -=rjh=-

    aum Guest

    On Fri, 07 Apr 2006 11:57:27 +1200, -=rjh=- wrote:

    > Got a shiny new 300GB drive here, it will be used in my home fileserver
    > upgrade.
    >
    > What distributions are best for this? The easier it is to set up, the
    > better, but I also want long term support - updates etc.


    Debian. Period.

    > Too darn many Linuxes, ain't it great!


    Yes, too many distros - there's debian/stable, debian/testing,
    debian/unstable, debian/experimental ...

    --

    Cheers
    aum
     
    aum, Apr 7, 2006
    #5
  6. -=rjh=-

    Dave Taylor Guest

    -=rjh=- <> wrote in news::

    > Too darn many Linuxes, ain't it great!


    Since you already knopw about Contribs.org. look at this:
    Clark Connect Home Edition

    http://www.clarkconnect.com/info/compare.php

    It came highly rated from another poster on the NG.

    --
    Ciao, Dave
     
    Dave Taylor, Apr 7, 2006
    #6
  7. -=rjh=-

    shannon Guest

    -=rjh=- wrote:
    > Got a shiny new 300GB drive here, it will be used in my home fileserver
    > upgrade.
    >
    > What distributions are best for this? The easier it is to set up, the
    > better, but I also want long term support - updates etc.
    >
    > Just needs to offer basic fileserving functions, but will also run
    > Slimserver, a media player, webmin, etc. Web, mail, ftp, nfs, etc.
    >
    > I've used Suse, Mandrake, SMEServer in the past but wondering what else
    > I should consider currently. I could chuck on Debian, Slackware, etc but
    > wondering if it is worth checking out a distribution aimed specifically
    > at servers.
    >
    > Something as easy to install as SME Server but more configurable and
    > standard would be good.
    >
    > For example, is CentOS (rpm) worth a look (top of my list)? tinysofa
    > (deb) (last release over a year ago)? What else?
    >
    > Too darn many Linuxes, ain't it great!


    I have slimserver alienbbc mplayer icecast samba and all the usual
    server stuff on debian.
    These days I would probably start with Ubuntu or Ubuntu server to do the
    same thing, or maybe knoppmyth if I had a tuner card.
     
    shannon, Apr 7, 2006
    #7
  8. On Fri, 07 Apr 2006 11:57:27 +1200, -=rjh=- wrote:

    > For example, is CentOS (rpm) worth a look (top of my list)? tinysofa
    > (deb) (last release over a year ago)? What else?


    Use CentOS if you know RedHat and want to install a Gnome focussed distro.

    Use SuSE 10.1 (to be released in the next week or so) if you want a
    mainstream KDE centred distro.

    Use Debian if you have a broadband connection and want the ability to
    upgrade your system using apt.

    I suggest that you use SuSE.


    Have A Nice Cup of Tea

    --
    Martin Taylor, GM of platform strategy at Microsoft: "We found
    that the Linux environment provided about 15 percent more end
    user loss of productivity." - *provided MORE loss of productivity*
     
    Have A Nice Cup of Tea, Apr 7, 2006
    #8
  9. -=rjh=-

    Murray Symon Guest

    On Fri, 07 Apr 2006 11:57:27 +1200, -=rjh=- wrote:

    > Got a shiny new 300GB drive here, it will be used in my home fileserver
    > upgrade.
    >
    > What distributions are best for this? The easier it is to set up, the
    > better, but I also want long term support - updates etc.
    >
    > Just needs to offer basic fileserving functions, but will also run
    > Slimserver, a media player, webmin, etc. Web, mail, ftp, nfs, etc.
    >

    [snip]

    I've just set up a tiny headless server dedicated to Slimserver.

    I used Debian Sarge (stable) and it required virtually no changes from
    the default base install. (I just added ssh for headless operation).
    It was very, easy & hassle-free.

    There is a Debian package archive set up by Slimdevices, see their wiki:

    http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?DebianPackage

    so you only need to add a line to your /etc/apt/sources.list to be able
    to install it and upgrade it by default using apt or aptitude.
    By default it sets slimserver up as a service (aka daemon). From there
    it could be configured & controlled via a remote web browser.

    Murray.
     
    Murray Symon, Apr 7, 2006
    #9
  10. -=rjh=-

    Robert Cooze Guest

    -=rjh=- wrote:
    > Got a shiny new 300GB drive here, it will be used in my home fileserver
    > upgrade.
    >
    > What distributions are best for this? The easier it is to set up, the
    > better, but I also want long term support - updates etc.
    >
    > Just needs to offer basic fileserving functions, but will also run
    > Slimserver, a media player, webmin, etc. Web, mail, ftp, nfs, etc.
    >
    > I've used Suse, Mandrake, SMEServer in the past but wondering what else
    > I should consider currently. I could chuck on Debian, Slackware, etc but
    > wondering if it is worth checking out a distribution aimed specifically
    > at servers.
    >
    > Something as easy to install as SME Server but more configurable and
    > standard would be good.
    >
    > For example, is CentOS (rpm) worth a look (top of my list)? tinysofa
    > (deb) (last release over a year ago)? What else?
    >
    > Too darn many Linuxes, ain't it great!

    I have used e-smith SME server I have had some good results out of
    slackware and only ever configured the thing out of mc's edit

    --
    http://cooze.co.nz home of the RecyclerMan aka Robert Cooze

    / __/ / / / / /__ / / ___/ / __/ / / / |/ / /__ /
    / / / /_/ / / /_/ / _-' / __/ / / / /_/ / / /| / _-'
    ___\ ____/ ____/ /___/ /____/ /_/ ___\ ____/ /_/ /_/ |_/ /___/
     
    Robert Cooze, Apr 7, 2006
    #10
  11. -=rjh=-

    -=rjh=- Guest

    thingy wrote:
    > -=rjh=- wrote:
    >> Got a shiny new 300GB drive here, it will be used in my home
    >> fileserver upgrade.
    >>
    >> What distributions are best for this? The easier it is to set up, the
    >> better, but I also want long term support - updates etc.
    >>
    >> Just needs to offer basic fileserving functions, but will also run
    >> Slimserver, a media player, webmin, etc. Web, mail, ftp, nfs, etc.
    >>
    >> I've used Suse, Mandrake, SMEServer in the past but wondering what
    >> else I should consider currently. I could chuck on Debian, Slackware,
    >> etc but wondering if it is worth checking out a distribution aimed
    >> specifically at servers.
    >>
    >> Something as easy to install as SME Server but more configurable and
    >> standard would be good.
    >>
    >> For example, is CentOS (rpm) worth a look (top of my list)? tinysofa
    >> (deb) (last release over a year ago)? What else?
    >>
    >> Too darn many Linuxes, ain't it great!

    >
    > Personally I run Debian, this is for its quality, hence stability, it
    > might loose on config but the hundreds of days uptime it gives meets my
    > needs. Ie you plan to configure something when it suits you, a barfed
    > system means you have to fix it now. Also I would not run a single drive
    > if you are looking for a fit and forget solution.


    I've run raid before, and I had considered it for here, too, but decided
    against it since I'd need to backup data anyway, I'd invest the cost of
    a second drive into backup (in this case, an external hdd).

    And anyway, it will only be two or three years before I upgrade the
    drive to 1TB :)
     
    -=rjh=-, Apr 8, 2006
    #11
  12. -=rjh=-

    Steve Guest

    On Fri, 07 Apr 2006 17:06:03 +1200, Have A Nice Cup of Tea wrote:

    > On Fri, 07 Apr 2006 11:57:27 +1200, -=rjh=- wrote:
    >
    >> For example, is CentOS (rpm) worth a look (top of my list)? tinysofa
    >> (deb) (last release over a year ago)? What else?

    >
    > Use CentOS if you know RedHat and want to install a Gnome focussed distro.
    >
    > Use SuSE 10.1 (to be released in the next week or so) if you want a
    > mainstream KDE centred distro.
    >
    > Use Debian if you have a broadband connection and want the ability to
    > upgrade your system using apt.
    >
    > I suggest that you use SuSE.
    >
    >
    > Have A Nice Cup of Tea


    I wouldn't, because it's just too different. The one that you've missed
    off the list is the most popular... (k)ubuntu. I'd also look at Fedora
    Core 5 ( CentOS is great, but I don't really think you need an enterprise
    grade version for your setup ), which I'm playing with on my lappie at the
    moment. The redhat'esque distros offer yum, which has the same
    functionality as apt, so that's not really a reason to choose either.

    I'm personally running out of options trying to find a stable 64 bit os (
    debian wouldn't even start gnome! ), but with 32 bit, it's much simpler.

    My usual advice is to use the distro the bloke who you're going to ring
    for help uses, but in this case, I don't expect that'll apply.

    My $0.02,

    Steve
     
    Steve, Apr 8, 2006
    #12
  13. -=rjh=-

    Steve Guest

    On Fri, 07 Apr 2006 12:47:51 +1200, aum wrote:

    > On Fri, 07 Apr 2006 11:57:27 +1200, -=rjh=- wrote:
    >
    >> Got a shiny new 300GB drive here, it will be used in my home fileserver
    >> upgrade.
    >>
    >> What distributions are best for this? The easier it is to set up, the
    >> better, but I also want long term support - updates etc.

    >
    > Debian. Period.

    Even 6 months ago, I would have agreed. Now with the latest press and my
    etch experiences... no more.
    >
    >> Too darn many Linuxes, ain't it great!

    >
    > Yes, too many distros - there's debian/stable, debian/testing,
    > debian/unstable, debian/experimental ...
     
    Steve, Apr 8, 2006
    #13
  14. -=rjh=-

    Allistar Guest

    Have A Nice Cup of Tea wrote:

    > On Sat, 08 Apr 2006 14:38:26 +1200, Steve wrote:
    >
    >> I'm personally running out of options trying to find a stable 64 bit os (
    >> debian wouldn't even start gnome! ), but with 32 bit, it's much simpler.

    >
    > Well, in my experience as a long(ish) term AMD64 Linux user, I've found
    > SuSE 10 to be excellent as a desktop OS. I go a week or more without even
    > logging out (yes - locking the desktop, but not logging out). Today
    > (actually about an hour ago) was the first time in weeks that I shutdown
    > that box, and that was so I could pull that box out and vaccuum inside it.


    I'd expect way more uptime than that. I run Gentoo here and my PC runs for
    60 odd days at a time, I only reboot to upgrade the kernel or when the
    power goes down - never because of a software fault.

    > (There are a couple of construction sites about half a block from my home
    > and they're kicking up a lot of dust.
    >
    >
    > Have A Nice Cup of Tea


    Allistar.
     
    Allistar, Apr 8, 2006
    #14
  15. On Sat, 08 Apr 2006 14:38:26 +1200, Steve wrote:

    > I'm personally running out of options trying to find a stable 64 bit os (
    > debian wouldn't even start gnome! ), but with 32 bit, it's much simpler.


    Well, in my experience as a long(ish) term AMD64 Linux user, I've found
    SuSE 10 to be excellent as a desktop OS. I go a week or more without even
    logging out (yes - locking the desktop, but not logging out). Today
    (actually about an hour ago) was the first time in weeks that I shutdown
    that box, and that was so I could pull that box out and vaccuum inside it.

    (There are a couple of construction sites about half a block from my home
    and they're kicking up a lot of dust.


    Have A Nice Cup of Tea

    --
    1/ Migration to Linux only costs money once. Higher Windows TCO is forever.
    2/ "Shared source" is a poison pill. Open Source is freedom.
    3/ Only the Windows boxes get the worms.
     
    Have A Nice Cup of Tea, Apr 8, 2006
    #15
  16. On Sat, 08 Apr 2006 15:55:58 +1200, Allistar wrote:

    >> Well, in my experience as a long(ish) term AMD64 Linux user, I've found
    >> SuSE 10 to be excellent as a desktop OS. I go a week or more without even
    >> logging out (yes - locking the desktop, but not logging out). Today
    >> (actually about an hour ago) was the first time in weeks that I shutdown
    >> that box, and that was so I could pull that box out and vaccuum inside it.

    >
    > I'd expect way more uptime than that. I run Gentoo here and my PC runs for
    > 60 odd days at a time, I only reboot to upgrade the kernel or when the
    > power goes down - never because of a software fault.


    Yes - I was describing simply logging in and out of the desktop.

    And the last time I rebooted was because of a lightning storm we had and I
    shut everything down and unplugged my TV, telephone and everything.


    Have A Nice Cup of Tea

    --
    Martin Taylor, GM of platform strategy at Microsoft: "We found
    that the Linux environment provided about 15 percent more end
    user loss of productivity." - *provided MORE loss of productivity*
     
    Have A Nice Cup of Tea, Apr 8, 2006
    #16
  17. -=rjh=-

    -=rjh=- Guest

    Re: Distribution recommendations for home server - answer

    -=rjh=- wrote:
    > Got a shiny new 300GB drive here, it will be used in my home fileserver
    > upgrade.
    >
    > What distributions are best for this? The easier it is to set up, the
    > better, but I also want long term support - updates etc.
    >
    > Just needs to offer basic fileserving functions, but will also run
    > Slimserver, a media player, webmin, etc. Web, mail, ftp, nfs, etc.
    >
    > I've used Suse, Mandrake, SMEServer in the past but wondering what else
    > I should consider currently. I could chuck on Debian, Slackware, etc but
    > wondering if it is worth checking out a distribution aimed specifically
    > at servers.
    >
    > Something as easy to install as SME Server but more configurable and
    > standard would be good.
    >
    > For example, is CentOS (rpm) worth a look (top of my list)? tinysofa
    > (deb) (last release over a year ago)? What else?
    >
    > Too darn many Linuxes, ain't it great!
     
    -=rjh=-, Apr 8, 2006
    #17
  18. -=rjh=-

    -=rjh=- Guest

    Re: Distribution recommendations for home server - answer

    -=rjh=- wrote:
    > Got a shiny new 300GB drive here, it will be used in my home fileserver
    > upgrade.
    >
    > What distributions are best for this? The easier it is to set up, the
    > better, but I also want long term support - updates etc.
    >
    > Just needs to offer basic fileserving functions, but will also run
    > Slimserver, a media player, webmin, etc. Web, mail, ftp, nfs, etc.
    >
    > I've used Suse, Mandrake, SMEServer in the past but wondering what else
    > I should consider currently. I could chuck on Debian, Slackware, etc but
    > wondering if it is worth checking out a distribution aimed specifically
    > at servers.
    >
    > Something as easy to install as SME Server but more configurable and
    > standard would be good.
    >
    > For example, is CentOS (rpm) worth a look (top of my list)? tinysofa
    > (deb) (last release over a year ago)? What else?
    >
    > Too darn many Linuxes, ain't it great!


    Oops.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, I've tried Ubuntu Server (which looked
    promising, but failed to install correctly and I really couldn't be
    bothered sorting it).

    CentOS was my final choice (for now, anyway) and it installed and
    configured fine, but not being used to RH I find it a little strange.
    I've installed Webmin, so have a point and click interface so now I'm happy.

    BTW, I have never found the Webmin interface particularly appealing, so
    I installed a new theme, pretty much picked at random. It is called the
    "StreeFree Tiger Theme" and it looks awesome, definitely Web2.0 with
    rounded corners, and graduated tints etc :) And, surprise, written by a
    NZer (David Harrison - he's done a really good job).

    http://www.stress-free.co.nz/content/view/141/2/

    I figured that both CentOS and Ubuntu Server are mainstream enough to
    have ongoing support for a while yet, and since this is a server so
    should never really be played with once it is up and running, I figure
    it doesn't really matter which I use - my previous servers all run for
    years with no changes and uptimes of a year or so.

    Another distro I found after I'd finished configuring my system is
    Openfiler, built on CentOS and looks damn interesting -
    http://www.openfiler.com/about/

    But, I haven't found anything that even comes close to SMEServer for
    ease of installation and use *provided* you have only basic
    requirements, (but I didn't have time to look at ClarkConnect).


    cheers all.
     
    -=rjh=-, Apr 8, 2006
    #18
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