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Optomizing Linux File and SSH server


pritchard9
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I've turned a friends old PC into an Arch Linux server, mainly a file and SSH server, messing a little with XAMPP as I'm wanting to learn some PHP.

Anyways, everyone likes to improve their machines. As do I. Since I'm a bit of a noob, I'm not sure about what speeds I should be getting with my setup, so I'm going to outline my setup and some speeds, and hopefully I'll get some replies from more experienced people, maybe with tips on making things faster.

My main rig is an old Dell Latitude, with a 54mbps miniPCI wireless card. This SSHs into the old PC I got from a friend. It's running Arch Linux, with SSHd and vsftpd running, aswell as MPD for some music loveliness.

The server has an Edimax band N wireless PCI card. The original driver I had installed from the Arch repo refused to work on Band N, so I downloaded and installed the newest driver straight from the Ralink website.

"iwconfig ra0" shows that the bitrate is around 130mbps on the server, and 54mbps on the laptop.

I ran iperf, connecting the laptop to the server, to get some real world results. Heres the output -

[ 3] local 192.168.1.68 port 58120 connected with 192.168.1.70 port 5001

[ ID] Interval Transfer Bandwidth

[ 3] 0.0-10.0 sec 11.3 MBytes 9.44 Mbits/sec

When I download files from the server to my laptop, now (after updating the driver) im getting about 2MB/s. Uploads are about 1MB/s.

Any ideas? I recieved the server with only 128MB RAM. It's still only got 128. Im in the process of buying 1GB for it. Will this increase speeds at all?

How can I increase these speeds, in a nice budget-friendly way? Any ideas?

Thanks.

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First of all, you need to work out where the bottle neck is. The tool called top is a good place to start.

Also, what are the spec's of the machines? I'm feeling charitable and have access to a bunch of kit a few gens old that will be sent to a 3rd world country and landfilled soon.

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Wow, thanks for the fast reply!

Well the latitude laptop is rocking a 1.8Ghz P4 mobile, with a small 30GB HD (hence wanting a file server). It runs pretty well, even if it is single core.

The server is a little rough.. Its a 667Mhz Intel Celeron, with a 120GB IDE drive, capped at ATA66 thanks to the motherboard. I was going to shove in another 80GB drive, but its old and has taken a few knocks in it's time. Last time I checked it wasnt working. Everything was corrupt, and formatting didnt help. The reason why I haven't saved up to splash the cash on a cheap barebones kit is because this was originally just a project, which I've now grown pretty close to :)

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Chuck the celeron system, I had one until recently and when they die, they die. Linitx sell a Atom 330 mobo with 2 DDR slots for £69. Will be dramatically better and cheaper to run. Add a laptop HDD, SATA RAID card, up to 4x 3.25" HDD's over time and 4GB of RAM, job done.

As for the laptop, what model is it and what spec? Does it take EIDE disks and DDR?

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Atoms aren't the best thing if your looking for a performance system, a sempron will outperform an Atom, but the Atom will use less power. Novatech do a Intel E5200, 2GB of RAM on a G31 bundle for £100, this will be a lot more powerful, but will use more power. Cost wise its about the same. Atoms are great little chips for systems that don't do much but are on all the time, and not much else.

The laptop is shit, insure it, leave it on a bus and get a newer one.

FYI, the stuff I'm getting rid of is actually incompatible due to it being newer than that stuff.

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Thanks VaKo for hinting at Top.

Just used it over SSH, and instantly found my bottleneck - RAM. Its constantly swapping, as the 128 megs of DDR loveliness just arent enough. I'll order that 1GB DDR that i found, nice and cheap at £10. That should ease things up a little. Might save up to replace OldBetty though. Definately looking into using that Atom 330 set you linked me to.

Thanks.

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