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Toaster Firmware?


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I have been running a web site through my own internet connection for a while now. Initially I had been running Apache/PHP right on my desktop computer, but once VMware released their free server virtuallization I started using a LAMP in a VM. This is a nice cheep setup, but leaving my desktop computer on 24 hours is annoying me (loud fans) and eating a lot of power.

So I want to get the server off of my desktop and start using a mini box. I'd like to hear some suggestions for firmware. Something that can be used as a web server and a file server, preferably on hardware that can use an external hard drive.

I have already looked at OpenWRT and NSLU2-Linux. Are there any others that I should know about? Any user experience?

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Just get a cheap, slow, headless box with passive cooling. Stick a small distro or win98 on it. Should do the job plenty good. That way if you get bored of your web server you can use it as file server or game server and so on.

Specialist hardware is so inflexible.

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See if you can turn up a microATX P3 system. I have a few of them (Fujitsu Scenics) and there awesome for tiny headless boxes that just run a few services on or off your network. Just max out the RAM and its like having your own local VPS. The great thing about the P3's? Most company's are moving to newer XP systems and ditching there old NT/2K desktops, so there easy to beg/borrow/steal.

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