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My All-in-One home server

 One day not to long ago I realized that my sweltering office was heating the entire house. It was so bad that our basement, that used to be very cool and temperate had become a sauna. My family room is in the basement so everyone was suffering.

I decided to assess what I had running and what I could combine or collapse into a single PC. I decided that these 3 boxes could be combined into 1.

  1. Tower PC, AMD XP 1600: for my samba server. It had IDE 5 drives in it. 1 for the OS and 4x160GB in a Software RAID5 setup.
  2. Tower PC, P4 2.8GHz Hyperthreaded: for my remote access SSH server and VNC. I used it as my SSH entrance into my network and for bittorrent (legal linux ISO files only )
  3. Tower PC, AMD X2 64 6000 running Windows 7, with VirtualBox for running my McAfee ePO server. This used to be my main workstation and was only sitting here running the Virtual Machine.

 I had my eye on the AMD X2 64 6000, since it was the fastest, had 8GB of RAM and it’s case has room for 9 or 10 3.5inch hard drives. It’s motherboard also has 4 SATA ports and IDE…perfect!

  1. backed up the SAMBA server’s RAID5 to a 750GB SATA drive. Then grabbed all of the config files I’d need (smb.conf), my custom scripts and checked crontab for my user and root to verify I got everything for my automation
  2. exported the VM for ePO from my AMD X2 64 Win7 server and copied it to the 750GB SATA, backed up any stuff that I neglected to move when I upgraded to my new workstation (Core i7)
  3. backed up the files I downloaded via bittorrent (I’d need those Linux ISO’s shortly)

Once I was sure I had everything that I wanted backed up. I pulled together all the large drives from the multiple PCs. This gave me an extra 3 500GB SATA drives then I remembered that my brother-in-law had gifted me a 500GB drive for Christmas. 4 drives=3 drives for RAID5 with a hot spare.

I also dug out an 80GB drive I had laying around for the OS in the new box.

I grabbed the latest Debian AMD64 netinst iso, burned it to disk and booted the “new” server. We’ll call it Centurion, after those creepy Cylons in the new Battlestar Galactica series.

I installed Debian, just the core OS, I didn’t install any extra packages except SSH client and server.

Once Debian was installed I added these packages:

  • Raidtools
  • MDADM (for the software raid)
  • SAMBA
  • pyTIVO (so I can stream videos to my 4 TIVOs in my home)
  • xTightVNC
  • blackbox window manager
  • Virtualbox

 At this point I created the Software RAID 5, imported all my backups to it, setup SAMBA for network file shares, and imported my Virtual Machine into Virtualbox (which required creating a br0 ethernet interface for network access for the VM. I can cover that if anyone has questions).

1 server now doing the work of 3. The temperature is back to normal. I suspect the 3CPU’s, their power supplies and the 5 IDE drives in the old SAMBA box were doing most of the heat generation.

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