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Old 05-22-2006, 10:30 PM   #1
forrest44
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help me build a 24/7 Slackware box


Well I'm going to be setting up a computer that I want to run constantly, as part of a low power FM radio station.

All it needs to do is run a script specified in a crontab file every 2 hours, which will change some sound levels using alsactl, play a sound file, then change the sound levels back again.

It needs to keep running permanently. Apart from power cuts, what sort of uptime can I expect? A year?

What hardware would you reccomend? I'm sure a second-hand 800MHz Dell Optiplex or something like that would be fine - what do you think?
Should I use a 2.4 or 2.6 kernel?
Any tips on what I can do to prevent crashes/lock ups and make it more stable?
 
Old 05-22-2006, 11:26 PM   #2
pnellesen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forrest44
It needs to keep running permanently. Apart from power cuts, what sort of uptime can I expect? A year?

What hardware would you reccomend? I'm sure a second-hand 800MHz Dell Optiplex or something like that would be fine - what do you think?
Should I use a 2.4 or 2.6 kernel?
Speaking strictly from my own experience, that hardware should be fine, though you may want to consider making sure you've got a top-of-the-line power supply in it, and a decent UPS along with it. I've got an 833MHz Optiplex that, in well over a year, has not shutdown or otherwise been out of service unless I have deliberately done it myself. I'm hosting an (extremely) tiny website, email server, and I run some BOINC daemons in the background when I'm not using the machine. Personally, I'd go with the 2.6 kernel; I seem to have had better luck with my sound apps when I switched from 2.4 to 2.6.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 03:08 AM   #3
fotoguy
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A good idea too would be to invest in a good quaility switch, not the cheap $20 switches you can get. If it needs to be up for long periods you also need good network devices.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 03:50 AM   #4
MS3FGX
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I would probably go with 2.6, since I find it is a bit faster, and you are probably going to have better sound hardware support for your needs.

Beyond that, I think every Slackware machine is a 24/7 machine, so just get your kernel installed, make sure you aren't running any services you don't need, put good quality passwords on all accounts, and let it run.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 05:21 AM   #5
forrest44
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Thanks for your replies

So do you know if Dell have good PSUs in their Optiplexes??

By a switch, do you mean a networking LAN switch or a power point in the wall?


Cheers
 
Old 05-23-2006, 06:08 AM   #6
fotoguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forrest44
Thanks for your replies

So do you know if Dell have good PSUs in their Optiplexes??

By a switch, do you mean a networking LAN switch or a power point in the wall?


Cheers

Yeah sorry I mean a LAN switch. I had trouble in the past with poor quaility switches, when uptime is critical you can't go past good quaility hardware.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 06:29 AM   #7
forrest44
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So to do what I want to do, would I just let the computer boot to a runlevel 3 login prompt and never log in, but just let the cron daemon run the tasks in the crontab file?
 
Old 05-23-2006, 06:46 AM   #8
fotoguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forrest44
So to do what I want to do, would I just let the computer boot to a runlevel 3 login prompt and never log in, but just let the cron daemon run the tasks in the crontab file?

Basically that what you want to do, let cron do it's job. But don't forget to admin the server, like logging in regularly to checking log files and do backups, maybe even sending log files to an email address that you regularly use.

You don't have to log in locally to admin the server, you can use ssh, MidnightCommander (if installed), remote desktop or if you use a windoze machine you can use a program called Putty.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 07:05 AM   #9
Wim Sturkenboom
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If 24/7 is important, I would seriously consider two boxes. Will reduce your downtime when a processor gets fried or a HD crashes.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 07:09 AM   #10
prozac
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yah and if its always online, you would consider hardening the security of your boxen too. tight firewall, rootkit detectors, and antivirus would all add up to make your machine secure. let cron run them periodically and send you mails about the status or just store a log file.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 09:32 AM   #11
pnellesen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forrest44
Thanks for your replies

So do you know if Dell have good PSUs in their Optiplexes??
Can't speak for ALL Dells, but the one in my machine (which I bought from a used computer shop) hasn't given me any problems. I had an older 300MHz Dell a while back, and it never gave me any problems either.
 
  


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