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Old 12-30-2009, 10:27 AM   #1
teek5449
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Realistic expectations.


New to Linux, or soon to be new to Linux and have a question before I take the plunge. I have tried a search of this forum and similar ones with little concise answers. I have specific needs that I want out of a new Linux box. I will be building a fanless (except an exhaust fan) box that I would like to serve a few purposes.

Somewhat in order of importance:
1: NAS
2: local web server
3: lightweight HTPC
streaming web videos (anime in particular)
will be displayed through my TV
4: 10 foot interface for the HTPC interface (remote control)
otherwise I already use a KVM switch for the interface
5: print server

The machine will stay running 24 hours a day and the HTPC features will only be used occasionally but the other features will need to remain stable and active otherwise.

This may seem like a tall order and I have no problems digging in a doing what I need to do to get all the features installed and running smoothly. I would describe my technical capabilities as above average and I have been programming in various languages for years so I have no issues with complex installations, etc...

My main question is this: Is this possible for Linux to do what I am asking of it in a single environment or is this pushing the limits of what one machine can handle? basically I want a (one set up) set it and forget it system that I can just let run in the corner and when I want to to pop my TV over and hit a button on a remote and be watching a streaming video.

I can do all this now with a Windows box but Linux is much less resource intensive and since I will be installing on a fanless motherboard looking for power savings (24 hour a day system and all) I think that Linux is a much better solution for my needs.

Thank you in advance for your help.
 
Old 12-30-2009, 10:48 AM   #2
paulsm4
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Yes, of course.

Just Google for "Linux HTPC", or "Linux Media Center", and you'll find *lots* of hits.
 
Old 12-30-2009, 11:03 AM   #3
teek5449
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsm4 View Post
Yes, of course.

Just Google for "Linux HTPC", or "Linux Media Center", and you'll find *lots* of hits.
I agree that there are tons and tons of hits on "Linux HTPC" but do these links also address my other concerns? I am looking for real world experience from people who have tried, successfully or not, to accomplish my desired outcome.

I know I can set up Linux to act as a print server, or as a web server, or as a HTPC, or as a NAS, or as a ....

My question is more focused on the successful combination of all these requirements in a stable setup.

Again... thank you for your quick response and I am still looking for a more direct answer to my question. Believe me I am sure that this is one of those, "OMG how could he not know this there are so many different posts on this and it is so obvious" questions and I answer these types of posts all the time on my more knowledgeable subjects but since I have very limited experience in the *nix field I need some guidance here
 
Old 12-31-2009, 09:44 AM   #4
teek5449
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Registered: Dec 2009
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Well, it looks like no one has tried this... or at least posted about it online. I have always found tons of links about one or my requirements or another bot not all together. Since there were no replies here with a successful result combining all my requirements i must assume that it is not possible. i have looked into FreeNas and similar solutions but they are all used for streaming to another box. Looks like Linux is just not capable of this... hate to use windows for this solution but since it can handle it I guess I have no choice.

Thanks again for any help that was provided.
 
Old 12-31-2009, 10:14 AM   #5
rich_c
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I run a modest desktop that also serves as a file/print server as well as being used to run remote apps from so from that point of view, I can attest that you can set up a very versatile box. Although I have no experience of exactly the configuration(s) you want, I'd say it's worth a go!
 
Old 12-31-2009, 10:25 AM   #6
worm5252
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Here is your list and what you will need.

1: NAS Samba
2: local web server Apache web server
3: lightweight HTPC
streaming web videos (anime in particular)
will be displayed through my TV
4: 10 foot interface for the HTPC interface (remote control)
otherwise I already use a KVM switch for the interface
5: print server CUPS and Samba

As you can see you really only need 3 programs and whatever else it takes for your HTPC capabilities. Unless your web server is getting a lot of traffic, or hosting a plethora of features like Databases, email, PHP, Perl, etc, you are going to be fine. Samba, Cups, and Apache are very low resource servers until you start adding on a ton of features or ramping up the traffic.

Here is what I have. I have an OLD Dell Dimension 4100 desktop. It is I think 9 or 10 years old. Here are the specs, 866MHz Intel Pentium II CPU, 512MB RAM, 2 Hard Drives (1x 40GB, 1x 120GB), 128MB Video. I have this machine sitting in the corner as a headless unit, so the Video card is not even in use. I don't think I even installed video drivers for it as I do not run a GUI. This machine has SAMBA (File Server for Windows, and Print Server), CUPS (Back end for Printer Services), APACHE (Web Server), PHP (Web Server Addon), MYSQL (Database Server), NAGIOS (Server Monitoring), NFS (File Server for Linux Machines), and SSH (For remote administration). This machine does just fine, but it is not a fanless unit, I have a CPU fan and an Exhaust Fan. All parts are stock parts from Dell or equivalent. So I do not have anything crazy like memory modules with heat spreaders, or a crazy heat sink for my CPU. That should give you an idea of what 1 stand alone box can do.
 
  


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