My Ubuntu Server project

Chat about Linux in general

My Ubuntu Server project

Postby AK Dave on Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:37 pm

I picked up a used Dell Dimension 8300 for dirt cheap and I'm going to turn it into a server at home. I need to source some DDR 400 ram because 512mb is probably not enough, and I need to source another drive (or two) as I'd like the completed project to be running on a RAID1. My plan is to use Ubuntu Server as the OS and set up the system with a software raid

Uses for the server:
Home LAN networked file server
Common storage for iTunes media library
Common storage for DVD/avi library
unattended torrent server? probably not

Hardware specs:
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/s ... /specs.htm
Linux software RAID how-to:
http://www.howtoforge.com/linux_software_raid

Drive options:
I can use SATA or Ultra-IDE. The SATA may be faster, but SATA-1 is cheaper.
500gb IDE = $73 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136111
1tb SATA = $88 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822145233

I think I'll be better of with the SATA in the long run, and they're definately cheaper. The onboard controller won't support the high speed throughput that the drives are capable of. Serving files to no more than 5-6 desktop & laptop computers should not be taxing at all of a server, so maybe the 512mb ram will be sufficient.
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: My Ubuntu Server project

Postby exploder on Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:07 pm

That is a pretty nice setup! You should be ok with 512 mb of RAM. Post back your progress, I would like to know how it goes.
exploder
Level 15
Level 15
 
Posts: 5871
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:50 am
Location: HartfordCity, Indiana USA

Re: My Ubuntu Server project

Postby AK Dave on Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:22 pm

The box I picked up has a 3.0Ghz P4 and a 250gb SATA drive. I plan to toss that drive into an external enclosure as there will not be a place to keep it internal once I drop in a pair of 1TB drives to soft-RAID. Came with an nVidia GFX 5200, a pair of spare Dlink NICs, and a SB-Live for $75. Kinda hard to pass up. Some of that is unnecessary for this project, and so will provide donor parts to other projects.

I think that at this point I'm going to do a server install on the hardware as-is, bring it online, and play with it live. Then swap drives and do it all over again for real.
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Re: My Ubuntu Server project

Postby exploder on Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:51 pm

That is an excellent deal on that machine! Not a thing wrong with the hardware specs. You are going to have a nice server when you get done!
exploder
Level 15
Level 15
 
Posts: 5871
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:50 am
Location: HartfordCity, Indiana USA

Re: My Ubuntu Server project

Postby AK Dave on Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:08 pm

I don't have the drives that I need yet, but I did an install of Jaunty Beta over the weekend on the 250gb SATA that I do have. No softRAID. I'm very pleased. The Jaunty Server crew has made this an excellent server distro. I was basically able to bring a samba fileserver online with minimal effort. As soon as I finish my taxes, I'll know what my budget is for the drives, but I expect to snag a pair of Seagate 1.5TB drives which Amazon has for ~$125 ea (free shipping). Thats well under budget.
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Re: My Ubuntu Server project

Postby AK Dave on Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:01 pm

Two developments:

1. I've decided to go with FreeNAS (www.freenas.org) instead of Ubuntu Server. I think it better suits my specific needs.

2. In breaking down the hardware to prep for the next stage, install and soft-raid of the big drives, I realized that the onboard SATA controller on the motherboard only has 1 port. Not 2. Just 1. So now I have a conundrum:

A) Source a 2-port PCI SATA-300 controller card
B) Skip the soft-raid entirely, use just one drive on the onboard SATA-150 port

I don't like (B). I really want to do (A). The bonus, to me, is that in being "forced" to install a SATA card I can use SATA-300. Big bonus. The downside? Money. I'm on a tight budget dictated by my wife.

I need advice on a PCI SATA-300 controller card with 2 ports (more is unnecessary) that will work. I don't need high end. I don't need 3ware. I still plan on soft-raid, so I don't need hardware accelleration. Does anyone have a favorite or preferred BUDGET controller card?
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Re: My Ubuntu Server project

Postby dlkreations on Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:28 pm

Usually Newegg.com is the place I go to for both work and personal purchases. They have a good selection of cards that may suit your needs. Good luck!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... er&x=0&y=0

As for your RAM purchase, you can get a pretty good deal on that site as well, though 512MB would be sufficient as exploder said for what you're going to do with the server.
Image
It's perfectly OK to express an opinion, but refrain from foul and stupid language
- Husse
User avatar
dlkreations
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 790
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:40 pm
Location: Orange County, California

Re: My Ubuntu Server project

Postby AK Dave on Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:04 pm

I don't need ram. The 512mb is sufficient, especially with FreeNAS.

I know how to search and browse Newegg, although I never buy from them. Their "free shipping" bait doesn't apply to me, and their standard rates for shipping make their hardware too expensive. Same hardware, same price from Amazon, usually with free shipping to me, thats the way I go.

In that price range between $12.99 and >$149.99, is there a SPECIFIC card that you recommend?
Do you have a favorite or preferred budget controller card?
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Re: My Ubuntu Server project

Postby dlkreations on Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:33 pm

No one was debating that you couldn't search on your own. Was lending a helping hand. Your reply seemed a bit ungrateful.

Unfortunately I do not have any need for RAID as I primarily use a laptop. However I have never been done wrong by Newegg in all the years I have been purchasing from them. But in your case, Google is your friend. Since you are so adamant about giving that advice to others, find some reviews.
Image
It's perfectly OK to express an opinion, but refrain from foul and stupid language
- Husse
User avatar
dlkreations
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 790
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:40 pm
Location: Orange County, California

Re: My Ubuntu Server project

Postby AK Dave on Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:10 pm

dlkreations wrote:No one was debating that you couldn't search on your own. Was lending a helping hand. Your reply seemed a bit ungrateful.


I'm sorry for my lack of gratitude. I was asking if anyone had a specific card recommendation.
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Re: My Ubuntu Server project

Postby AK Dave on Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:27 pm

Upon further review, I realized that the motherboard does indeed have two SATA ports on it. What freakish mutant motherboard would only have one? Beats me. But I found the other port. It was hidden, skillfully disguised, right next to the port I'm already using. I don't know what I was thinking. My wife accuses me of trying to milk the project for more hardware, and I plead "guilty as charged".

Anyways, a pair of 1gb drives with the onboard SATA controller will be a good place to start. Later on, I can go nutz by yanking the CD drives out of this old tower and converting the 2x5.25 bays into a 3x3.5 enclosure. Put all that in a seperate raid on its own controller.

Time for some casemod skillz to come to life. The 3.5" hard drive bay in this tower uses rails, as does the 3.5" floppy drive bay, but the floppy bay has slightly different internal dimensions and slightly different rails. So if I can make it work, I can leverage an extra hard drive bay out of the stock case. I think it is all in which set of rails I use.

Replace internal 3.5" drive with this:
http://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-CRW-FLP2- ... 451&sr=8-7

Swap 5.25 bays for this:
http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-iCage ... 06&sr=8-11
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Re: My FreeNAS Server project

Postby AK Dave on Tue May 05, 2009 2:26 pm

I brought the NAS online this last weekend. I decided I needed to fire it up with the hardware on hand before dropping a dime on anything new.

Currently running:
FreeNAS 0.69.2-4583 (latest stable) booting embedded from a USB thumb drive
Pentium-4 3.0ghz w/ 512mb
single 250gb WD drive as a single unencrypted UFS volume
services enabled: cifs/smb, nfs, rsync, uPnP, DAAP, transmission, UPS

I had a hiccup early on with power-daemon freezing the entire system. At the time I was also running full power save features on the WD drive as well as AES encryption. Something in that combo was fatal, and even after disabling power-daemon I would still get intermittent lockup of the filesystem. After one hard lock where the drive would no longer accept its own decrypt key, I reformatted to an unecrypted volume and remounted without power management. Its been smooth sailing since then with 36hr uptime as of this report.

I threw 50gb of music and 50gb of video on the NAS and enabled DAAP as an iTunes server. As soon as the database was built, I was able to pull up all of the music fully indexed and streaming to any device in the house. iTunes loves it, Banshee loves it, Rhythmbox loves it, I'm loving it. Before the crash I was toying with WMP on an XP box as a uPnP streaming video client, and I need to go back and try that again. It seemed to be working before. I want to look at Elisa as a linux media center client, as the nVidia card I have for the linux media center box can handle DVI->HDMI output quite nicely. Mint+Elisa would be so much cleaner for me to setup than MythMint.
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Re: My FreeNAS Server project

Postby AK Dave on Thu May 07, 2009 12:43 pm

My new drives showed up at home yesterday while I was at work. A pair of Samsung Spinpoint F1s (1Tb each) and a new controller card, plus some necessary cabling. First thing when I walked in the door I had the packaging open, the server disassembled, and I was dropping in the new hardware.

I spent the next 10 hours trying to fix it.

The presenting symptom was that the computer had become amazingly slow. It took me 15 minutes to boot the first time, and when I finally saw some stats on the server another half hour later the CPU was pegged. It wasn't logging any errors. Wasn't logging much of anything. I could still ping it, I could pull up shares, of course transfer rates were waaaay down, but it was a puzzle. I ended up systematically pulling everything down to a bare motherboard, one stick of ram, and a thumbdrive and still the same problem. I tried resetting it to the pre-install config. Same problem. No combination of hardware gave me back my system. Was it hacked, something running amok? Was this little bit of LAN and WAN traffic I was detecting caused by me, caused by normal processes, or somehow had my server been rootkitted and botnetted? I dropped the uplink, I pulled the boot drive and tried a fresh OS from CD. I tried everything I could think of.

Then I said, you know it acts like an IRQ conflict but its not getting logged. What else acts like an IRQ conflict but doesn't throw IRQ errors? A BIOS conflict. So I played with BIOS settings, rebooting, tweaking, rebooting. Keep in mind I hadn't had to mess with the BIOS before.

What else could it be?

I pulled power, pulled the CMOS battery, watched some TV, put it all back together the way it SHOULD be with the extra NICs and the new controller card and everything exactly how I wanted it. Then powered it up and went into a factory fresh BIOS screen, identified my drives, disabled what needed disabling, and the system booted just as quick as it always had. I was back.
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Re: My Ubuntu Server project

Postby dlkreations on Thu May 07, 2009 2:43 pm

I've sometimes noticed that walking away from something for a while when getting frustrated at stuff and coming back later really helps me too. I usually just go have a smoke and think about it for about 5 minutes until a bright light pops up in my head. Glad you got it fixed.

Now open up a port so I can get some of your tunes and movies :P
Image
It's perfectly OK to express an opinion, but refrain from foul and stupid language
- Husse
User avatar
dlkreations
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 790
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:40 pm
Location: Orange County, California

Re: My Ubuntu Server project

Postby AK Dave on Thu May 07, 2009 5:49 pm

Pulling the CMOS battery was an act of desperation inspired by the fact that I couldn't find an option to "reset settings" in the Dell BIOS options. It was 3am by the time I got it buttoned back up. Left it on top of my wife's worktable instead of stashing it back underneath, because to do THAT step I would need to take it offline again to restring the power cable back to the APC.

I did a RAID1 of the Spinpoints, and I'm keeping an older 250gb WD online as well. That gives me a full Tb of usable space, even after everything I lost to formatting and filesystem requirements.
User avatar
AK Dave
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK USA

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Return to Chat about Linux

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest