Angelos Italianknows Blog

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Creating a Media Server for home


Well recently I've managed to blag myself a nice little HP Microserver (N40L) for home server use from http://www.check.co.uk. Its a nice little server, not too powerful, not very noisy  and integrated raid 0 & 1.. Perfect me thinks..

Until now I've been running my trusty old Joggler running Xubuntu with a USB Hub connected to a printer, harddrive(s) and keyboard/mouse combo.. It worked well, but wasn't really powerful enough to do media transcoding , fast file transfers etc...

So now the Microserver... Which Distro??

Initially I thought Id try Amahi or OpenMediaVault, Amahi is now built on top of Ubuntu, which means I can install other products easily, and OpenMediaVault is built on debian.. I also tried Zentyal, which again is installed on Ubuntu Server 12.04LTS, and installs everything.....

Eventually after rebuilding the server many times I've settled on... ... Vanilla Ubuntu and installing the products manually. Why??


  • Amahi
    • Nice product, easy setup however most things I want it to do I need to "Pay" for a add on, even though the add-ons are opensource and free.. Now the way it works is that yes the add-ons are free, but the payment is to pay someone to write the packager and maybe a UI to administrate it, also to support the project itself.... Now Im not against that, or paying, but not when I can do it just as easily myself... 
  • OpenMediaVault 
    • Didnt go for this in the end as it was based on Debian, and I kinda like the idea of being Ubuntu based simply for the software centre support etc... 
  • Zentyal
    • I really liked this install, it had different versions (office, gateway etc) but no "home" install. The closest I could use was "office", however that wanted to install LDAP etc, something I dont need at home... Also when I tried to install it Samba wouldnt install properly (something to do with mismatched versions/dependancies...), I spent some time on trying to fix it and then gave up....
So yes eventually I settled on basic Ubuntu 12.04LTS(although I might upgrade that to 13.04 when its released soon)..
Current set of products installed
  • Ubuntu Server 12.04LTS, better than Ubuntu Desktop as it has less desktop software installed
  • Ubuntu Desktop , need this so when you VNC you have a gnome desktop or something 
  • VNC Server, for remote desktop
  • WebMin,  simple admin tool for adding users, groups, samba shares etc
  • Samba, for network sharing to windows devices
  • Oracle Java, needed by software like Serviio
  • Serviio, DLNA software, works a treat!, also needs a collection of renderers decoders etc installed
  • ssh-server, Already installed I believe,  but needed for ssh access
  • lm-sensors, to monitor the machine
  • ssmpt, simple emailer
  • Apache, already installed as part of server, but need to configure a "admin" landing page..
Future products
  • Squeezebox server
  • Maybe LTSP, Linux terminal Services, instead of VNCServer
  • transmission bit torrent client

My next blog posting will detail what software I installed, and basic configuration. Virtually all of it requires nothing more than a collection of apt-get's and the hardest bit was ensuring you have all the "pre-requisites" installed.. Thankfully simply googling "Install Product X" was sufficient for this..

The blog posting will almost certainly simply contain a list of headings, a link to docs to install that component and then some notes... I'm half tempted to write a script which will do all the apt-gets , installs etc....




No comments:

Post a comment