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Old 11-20-2012, 04:40 PM   #1
plusminus1
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Registered: Nov 2012
Location: Germany
Distribution: Debian
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what knowledge is needed for setting up a good homeserver?


hey guys, found my old eeeBox B202 I forgot I had a while ago and decided I'd like to make homeserver/multimediabox with roughly these features:

- Stream Video to a different device
- SAMBA server (all my videos, mp3s, docs, etc. would end up on this machine)
- hook up some speakers and use it as a jukebox
- VPN to it
- some sort of LAMP configuration (started messing around with ruby)
- if possible, run video on a connected screen

now I'm not asking for any tutorials or anything like that, more like a guideline of "stuff" i have to look into, seeing is that i'm a complete Linux newb. and if my goals are realistic.

My first research results show me i can play music from the terminal but i can't seem to find the same for video.

The specs of the eeeBox are:

Processor : Intel Atom N270 (1.6 GHz, FSB 533)
Memory : 2GB DDR2
VGA : On-board Intel GMA 950, 1600 x 1200 max resolution

any help would be greatly appreciated
(if I wasn't clear enough or forgot to add some important information I'll gladly add it )

Thanks
~plusminus1
 
Old 11-20-2012, 05:05 PM   #2
markush
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Registered: Apr 2007
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Distribution: Slackware
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Hello plusminus1, welcome to LQ,

that should be no problem, take it as a learning experience. Which distribution do you want to use? I would recommend Slackware which will run smoothly on this hardware. Also we have a very knowledgeable and helpful community here at LQ http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/slackware-14/

As of tutorials, we have our new SlackDocs here: http://docs.slackware.com/start and if you need additional help, ask in the forum.
Most of your requirements are not that difficult to achieve, just do it and have fun.

As of Slackware, it is a very clean distribution which can easily be adapted to your requirements.

Markus
 
Old 11-20-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
tekhead2
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Well there are many way to do all of those things and more with a Linux box. First off you should probably research and figure out what Linux distro you would be most comfortable with. Typically most fist time users have good experiences with Ubuntu or Mint. I think Mint is far more polished and has more things enabled out of the box.

For the video streaming the question comes to mind , what kind of streaming? What kind of devices are you streaming to, there are many solutions and many types of protocols to stream with, such as DNLA or UPNP. Personally I use subsonic because it has an android application and it will play videos in a browser via flash plugins. If your streaming to a PS3 or other set top box you may want to try mediatomb. Do you need to do any transcoding? Usually most set tops and devices only do MP4 H.264 and I'm lazy and would rather leave all my movies in MKV and just have my server make it play nice on the devices.

Samba can be easily setup with any Linux distro , that pretty standard now.

As for audio nearly any default Linux install will make a nice jukebox, of course that depends on your definition of jukebox, you could use Amarok or Rythmbox and get similar to Itunes type functionality

For VPN I suggest using OpenVPN that is nearly standard on all Linux distro's as well and will require a special software client for Windows, I would shy away from PPTP as its been hacked

Connecting to a screen or to a TV with HDMI? Playing videos from Linux is very easy and you have your choice of video players, my personal favorite is Mplayer followed by VLC

LAMP is pretty standard as well there are packages to install the entire stack in Ubuntu and its pretty easy to install, but will take years to master lol

You mentioned you have an ATOM processor, I have an ATOM machine at home and I'm very happy with it as a desktop machine, but for all the things your wanting to do, you may have some slowdown as I think that processor is only a single core. As for RAM you may want to invest some money and get more. Your going to be doing a lot of things on this box and it will work , especially if you don't run a full desktop, and just run console only.
 
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:32 PM   #4
plusminus1
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Registered: Nov 2012
Location: Germany
Distribution: Debian
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@markush
thanks for the quick reply hadn't put any thought into which distro yet, seeing that i just came from windows ( have messed around with linux before [ubuntu, arch until i broke something big and nothing worked anymore -.-...]) I have now installed Lubuntu onto my main computer (ASUS 1015-PEM netbook) my follow up question to you is would it be wise to mess with 2 distros at once?

@tekhead2
yeah its an older model of the ATOM cores (2008, i think one of the first models) and yes its single core that's why i was thinking along the lines of a terminal only install, lie i mentioned I've read of ways of outputing music through the terminal, is there a way i can do the same with video? can Mplayer or VLC do this? the screen i'd be attaching is an older Samsung Syncmaster 931BF (i'm guessing about 15")
I'd mainly be streaming SD quality video (.avi) to my PS3 and maybe my tablet (Samsung Galaxy tab 7"+).
The problem with the ram is that I have already installed the max amount of ram that fits into the box....
 
Old 11-20-2012, 05:45 PM   #5
markush
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I suppose that Ubuntu or Mint will not run properly on an Atom CPU. Therefore I would recommend a distribution which by default comes without a gui (or one can install a lightwight WM like fluxbox for example).

Markus
 
Old 11-20-2012, 05:49 PM   #6
tekhead2
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You can play video console only but you have to use framebuffer , so when you boot up you have to supply a vga flag in the kernel section of your lilo config, since you probably don't know what resolution you will want its best to just use vga=ask then hit the space bar to see the modes and pick one that seems close to the resolution you have on the screen in Windows. There are many applications to play music from the terminal as well, personally I use mp3blaster, but there are many many more. Setting up VLC to run over framebuffer has been difficult and I think it would be best to stick with Mplayer, Mplayer is awesome you can tell it what type of video output you want via the -vo flag, so if your running in framebuffer you would use "mplayer -vo directfb filename" you can also use svgalib which I think has better performance. For fun you can even use aalib which will out put your videos in glorious full color ASCII lol that would be "mplayer -vo aa filename" . The trick is to get the framebuffer working first. I definitely suggest sticking with Slackware now since your going to be running in console only with framebuffer. You'll know your in framebuffer when you see a penguin icon at the top left corner of the screen. As for streaming there are many choices and if your doing just AVI videos you will probably need to transcode them for the PS3 this is where mediatomb comes in, as for android there is a very good media player called mxplayer and it will play just about any video, and I think that mediatomb will send to android as well.
 
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