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Best os for a simple media server


armadaender
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I'm looking to turn my old box into a video/audio server for use over a home network. I was wondering if any of you guys and gals had any good ideas/suggestions for a OS that would be appropriate for this simple need in any price range.

All of my computers boot win xp at the moment but I have used Linux a lot before so running something along those lines isn't out of the question. Also, I'm trying to steer clear of just running a ftp program on the box because after much trial and error trying many of those, all I got was a headache.

Thanks

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Use Gentoo, it's the best operating system for such things. ( I use it for a mediastation, too )

The best thing: the distri is fast and very small. The installation takes some time, but that is unimportantly. Best distri ever and I tested muuuuch :o

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Hell, if it boots and has network access use it. Linux would probally be the better choice, but a headless XP box + remote desktop works just as well IMO.

That's was something that I was considering. That or Win server 2k3 with remote access but I figured I would ask to see if there were any other ones that I may not know about that are easier to use and better than windows as server 2k3 would be extreme overkill for my purposes.

Thanks for the input.

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That's was something that I was considering. That or Win server 2k3 with remote access but I figured I would ask to see if there were any other ones that I may not know about that are easier to use and better than windows as server 2k3 would be extreme overkill for my purposes.

Thats exactly what I'm using, plus it has apache on it for a quick and dirty webserver. Works fine with 1268hrs+ of uptime on the clock...

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I personally find that WinXP does the job for me... it does pretty much everything I need media-wise, but I guess it's down to personal taste...

Na, the thing is: try to install xp on an old box. it laaaags, and laaags and it isn't very nice, if you let it run for long time with servers (ram)...

if you'll use Windoze, then use a server version... But Linux is verrry much better :)

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as someone said before knoppmyth is pretty good, i prefer centos i used to run that on my server until it died :/. You can pretty much use any linux distro,well most of the big ones should have all the libarys etc all you need really is mythTV and just install tthat

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  • 3 weeks later...

Would these different config options work for a complete media environment? I've got 200+ GB of various types of media: DVDs, CDs, avi/mpg/divx vid files, mp3/mp4/wmv audio files (ok, the wmv files need to be converted, I know), etc. I want to be able to access these files from ANY OS (though I'm mostly running OpenSuSE and WinXP) in my house. I've got wifi and hard wire to every system, but I'm not sure of the best way to build the complete media environment.

Note: I don't care about hooking the network to my cable box. I can do that later.

Has this already been covered in a previous episode?

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Maybe this is more of a (gasp) makezine thing, since I'm looking for a smaller hackjob. The best thing for me to do seems to be to get the home network stable, then establish one system as a repository, then make sure it's got a fat NIC for data transfer.

Is anyone else interested in this kind of thing? If not, I'll quit posting about it. Heh.

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Linux all the way.

Main repository server specs:

Intel P4 3.0GHz 800MHz FSB (fastest the MoBo can support)

ASUS PSCH-L server MoBo

Promise FastTrak S150TX4 SATA controller

2x WD 200GB PATA HD

9x WD 200GB SATA HD

Antec TruPower 2.0 550Watt PS

APC BackUPS CS 650

A 5MB section of diskspace is kept unused on the disks. This space becomes a RAID1 array on the 2 PATA harddisks, which is used to boot the machine (you cannot boot off of a Software RAID5 set).

Linux Software RAID5 over the remaining space on all the harddisks, giving me just shy of 2 TB of diskspace.

The plan is to put this in a closet, and have fanless Mini-ITXes around the house that will run completely off the main server, so they won't need harddisks or CD/DVD drives. Add a low-power PSU (since there's not much to power anyways) and you end up with a machine that has *NO* moving parts. It will be VERY quiet. :)

The problem I'm currently having, though, is that one (and each time a different one) of the SATA drives randomly and inexplicably turns itself off after a while. I'm working with WD to see what might be causing this, but so far they're annoyingly slow to respond (and when they do respond, they expect you to respond in under 4 days or they will assume the issue has been resolved).

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Linux all the way.

Main repository server specs:

Intel P4 3.0GHz 800MHz FSB (fastest the MoBo can support)

ASUS PSCH-L server MoBo

Promise FastTrak S150TX4 SATA controller

2x WD 200GB PATA HD

9x WD 200GB SATA HD

Antec TruPower 2.0 550Watt PS

APC BackUPS CS 650

Makes my 1ghz athlon 500GB PATA RAID5 server look pathetic ;-)

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Frankly, I hadn't even considered RAID, which is just a stupid oversight on my part. *Of course* I'll want a RAID setup for something of this size! (Sigh.)

Maybe I can make some modifications to my Slackware system. I'll have to double check the specs and start shopping for hardware - I think I'm going to have to go for the recycled hardware option just because of the cost involved, but now I've got a better idea of what kind of configuration I want overall. (Thanks, Cooper!)

Do you already have the Minis, or is that a future acquisition? I've never worked with those before, so I'm curious about their performance.

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I've gotten 2. Performance isn't overly significant for me. They should be able to playback DivXes, which according to some reviews I've read, they can. If they suck at it, well, I'll just use something else as media center and use these puppies as proxy, ftp and bittorrenting machine and DNS, NTP, database and Asteriks machine.

RAID is a requirement, since if that machine fails, *ALL* machines on the network will fail. So I just splurged when it came to this box. The ITXes are fairly cheap.

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