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Old 11-08-2005, 01:10 AM   #1
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Registered: Nov 2005
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New user: Want to set up a linux media file server/myth box

Some general background

I've recently decided to build a new PC geared toward performance and because of that I've opted to purchase either 2 WD Raptors or Seagate cheetah's and configure them in a raid configuration. Because these drives lack ideal capacity and thier cheapest prices I've decided to turn my old(er) rig into a media file server so that loosing the HD capacity is not that big of a deal.

The PC is I plan on turning into a the file server has the following stats

P4. 2.53ghz
1gb pc2700
ATI AIW 9600xt
1 WD 80gb Caviar 7200 8m
1 WD 80gb Caviar 5200 4mb(i think) it's a 3yr old drive but still going strong
IDE controllers
Cheap Intel board
10/100 on-board ethernet
Runs 24/7 Very stable, pretty fast, and I've never had a problem with it

Eventually I plan upgrading the overall capacity with cheap 500g hard drives and adding a 10/100/1000 pci network card to increase it's functionality.

What I need help on is a convenient way to set this up, other than throwing Windows on it and sharing the drives.

What distro should I use?

I don't have a whole lot of Linux experience but am not beyond leaning and very interested if a Linux option is best suited for my needs

I'm obviously interested in performance of the server getting the files to be quickly. The server will be hosting mostly larger media files.

The number of computers that will need to access the server will mostly be between 1-4, with 1(mine) possibly using it fairly often. They will all be running widows xp.

So far I know that I'll need Samba to share out the files to the windows machines but after that I'm lost and not sure where to after that.

Any advice, suggestion would be much appreaciated.

Old 11-08-2005, 02:53 AM   #2
Registered: May 2004
Posts: 34

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You have pretty much a good idea. Any common distro supports samba, so you shouldn't have any problem with any.

Remember that if what you need is speed, just disable everything you don't need so the computer focuses JUST on what you need.

If you cannot decide which distro best fits for you, give a chech to

If you want a results oriented distro, try anything from the BSD family.
Old 11-08-2005, 11:58 AM   #3
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Oregon
Distribution: Kubuntu.
Posts: 848

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If you are new to linux, and have never setup this type of system before, I'd recommend either Mandriva, or Suse, as both of these are geared for ease of use. Mandriva would be my first pick, as it has a fairly comprehensive set of configuration tools that will handle all of the hard stuff (but you can also get at the config files easily enough). Ideally, if you have an old spare drive (at least 10G), use it as your OS drive, then the other drives can be dedicated to storage. Since the drives aren't completely uniform in speed, and you want to be able to install new drives in the future, I'd suggest configuring them as logical volumes using LVM. This way, adding another drive is as simple as plugging it in, marking the partition as an lvm drive, and adding it to your existing lvm pool. As with any type of raid system, though, it can become a problem if one drive fails, but that is usualy rare these days.

I have a server running this way (Dual PIII Xeon 550, 128M memory, 1 10G boot drive, 1 40G LVM drive, and 1 80G LVM drive), and it has been running flawlessly (up 401 days). I am getting ready to add another 100G drive to it soon, but I use it primarily for ISO's (Mandriva, Suse, CentOS, Fedora so far), and of course, MP3/Ogg files (~60G). The biggest problem I have ever encountered with this situation is space in the case (it only has 2 HD bays, and 1 3.5" floppy bay). I ended up ducttaping the boot drive to the top of the CD-Rom, with a piece of cardboard in between.



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