Skip to main content

*BSD vs Linux for Home Server

I have a few simple needs for my home server - it needs to be stable, functional on older hardware (P4 2GHz with 1 or 2 GB of RAM) and run a few simple applications:
  • rtorrent (for... ahem... legitimate torrent requirements)
  • irssi - the bestest IRC client (and the one I've spent ages getting a nice config file for)
  • screen (for teh awesomeness!)
  • SSH - for remote work, and for sshfs so I can rsync and backup data remotely
  • and a bit of storage space - 100GB is nice
  • nagios - monitoring work sites as required
  • DHCP
  • DNS
Currently I'm running Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS on a P4 3GHz USDT HP that has a noisy fan in it and I'm going to migrate back to my Dell P4 2GHz box that I was running before. It has a slower processor, is quiet and reliable. It's also more power efficient than the current one. I've been considering getting my hands on an Atom powered box or the like with very low power requirements for home. After all this server really doesn't have to do a lot or work - it just needs to chug quietly away and provide the basic services I need. So why change?

Well several reasons I guess. Security is the big one. Reliability is the next one. A rolling distribution would be handy too - one with easy, in place, headless upgrades.

Most Linux variants will support the apps I listed, as will FreeBSD and DragonFly BSD, my two preferred BSD variants (even though I've had great success with OpenBSD on my Sun Blade - see earlier posts). I'm thinking FreeBSD may be the option to go with, so I'm playing with it under VMware Player at the moment. DragonFly's HAMMER files system is mighty attractive though, so I'm thinking very carefully about this choice. I'll keep notes on my adventure as it goes forward.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Windows 10 Enterprise Eval - gotchas

After an annoying turn of events where my Windows 10 Enterprise USB drive failed, attempts to install Win10 onto a computer failed miserably. I turned to the net and managed to get my hands on Microsoft's Windows 10 Enterprise Evaluation. I have an enterprise key so I thought - cool! Here's the opportunity to get it going and to then upgrade the license later. Full install, patched etc and all is swell. Except when I try to upgrade. I straight up tried changing the licence key only to get a variety of errors, most of which are pertaining to the activation system being unavailable. The I try this: https://winaero.com/blog/upgrade-windows-10-evaluation-to-full-version-easily/ but it doesn't work either. Next I'll try this: h ttp://www.edugeek.net/forums/windows-10/174594-upgrading-windows-10-enterprise-90-evaluation-full.html And if all else fails, in goes the bootable USB I've now created. If only I'd had this in the first instance I would not be writing t

Plone - the open source Content Management System - a review

One of my clients, a non-profit, has a lot of files on it's clients. They need a way to digitally store these files, securely and with availability for certain people. They also need these files to expire and be deleted after a given length of time - usually about 7 years. These were the parameters I was given to search for a Document Management System (DMS) or more commonly a Content Management System (CMS). There are quite a lot of them, but most are designed for front facing information delivery - that is, to write something, put it up for review, have it reviewed and then published. We do not want this data published ever - and some CMS's make that a bit tricky to manage. So at the end of the day, I looked into several CMS systems that looked like they could be useful. The first one to be reviewed was OpenKM ( www.openkm.com ). It looked OK, was open source which is preferable and seemed to have solid security and publishing options. Backing up the database and upgradin

Fixing a black screen after doing a Kali Linux update

Kali Linux is a rolling Linux distribution designed for security and penetration work. You can find details on it here: www.kali.org . We run this excellent product for a range of different security work and it's been great. I built the image in VMplayer, then shared it to the team and we've all been at it since. A recent update broke it though - black screen, no network and completely unresponsive. There are lots of posts about similar things - mostly to do with graphics adaptors, however, we found that executing the following at a root prompt fixed it. But how to get to the root prompt from a blank screen? Linux has a number of terminals available to the user - most of us use the graphical one to do our day to day, but you can access a command line prompt without much trouble. Simply hold CTRL-ALT and then F2 or F3 down at the same time and it drops you to a command line login. BOOM. Time to fix it up. For me, and for the other fellas in the team, all it too was to