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-   -   Ideas for a low cost, low power, low noise web server/torrent box (

alecjtaylor 01-06-2012 07:51 PM

Ideas for a low cost, low power, low noise web server/torrent box
Hi guys,

I'm looking to build a small, low power, really low cost server to host my personal website and also serve torrents.

I've seen people hacking pogo plugs, but I'm not sure you can run torrent clients on these.

Any ideas for similar, low cost, solutions would be most welcome!

(I'm UK based if that helps at all)

Thanks for any advice


T3RM1NVT0R 01-06-2012 08:07 PM

@ Reply
Hi alecjtaylor,

Did you check the following site:

alecjtaylor 01-07-2012 05:09 AM

I was hoping to find a physical solution, rather than a hosting plan. Thanks for the idea though.


sovietJesus 01-07-2012 05:18 PM

I would personally recommend buying a slightly older, used pc. Since it's a server, you won't need a monitor, 3D graphics card, sound card, mouse, etc. Actually, the cheapest method would to buy the basic parts, and build your own PC, (with only the minimal hardware you would need, i.e. networking devices, etc.) You could probably get it as small as a laptop.Then you could install a minimal distro, such as Slackware, Debian, Gentoo. Of course, you do need to know what you're doing. I don't know of any cheaper method that would work well for servers, and I would strongly advise against using smaller devices (like ARM devices). Of course, you haven't really specified how "low cost" you mean.

Soul_keeper 01-07-2012 09:50 PM

what is your budget ?

"really low cost" could mean $100, $400, $1000 ?

brazos(like e-350), i3, llano, and i5 could potentially do what you want. Also older/used/discount hardware like suggested above is an excellent choice if "really low cost" means say $100.
It's more of a price/preference thing imo.

SuperTico 01-08-2012 04:19 AM

Something like this will suit you just fine.

wpeckham 01-08-2012 05:44 PM

Or you could
If you check the website for DSL (Damn Small Linux) you will find links for the DSC (Damn Small Computer). This is basically a small low-power computer in a case the size of some home routers. Connections are network and USB, and you can have it pre-loaded with DSL as the OS.

From DSL you can run several simple web servers. For a web site and torrent links you only require static pages, and an external USB drive mounted read-only would suffice for your data. (You can easily load changes to your pages either by remounting rw, or during downtime by mounting it on another machine.)

I would prefer to re-purpose old existing hardware, but if that is not an option you might consider a cheap minimal system like this.

snowpine 01-08-2012 06:04 PM

^--- DSL is dead and obsolete

I recommend a used netbook such as an ASUS EEE PC, with a decent hard drive. This will give you a small, energy-efficient server with built in battery backup and a small screen and keyboard.

jefro 01-08-2012 06:42 PM

The base atom or some of the amd product may be as good a choice as any. They can run pretty cheaply like 20Watts normal loads down to a few watts at idle or less.

wpeckham 01-09-2012 11:54 AM

DSL is not dead, and not obsolete. IT is not changing very often as it has met (and exceeded) its design goals.

The other project with similar goals is the TinyCore family, but DSL has lower memeory requirements than TinyCore and can often run well on older hardware that TinyCore does not support as well.

Either is a good option, as they can be configured and installed so as to be VERY secure (booting from read-only media or files, for example) and powerful for the size.

The recommendation "ASUS EEE PC" is not a bad one, depending upon the OPs resources and budget.

snowpine 01-09-2012 12:11 PM

Damn Small Linux website has had the exact same Damn Small Computers listed for sale at the exact same price for the past 3+ years. The site is dead and not being updated, if you click Buy on one of these Damn Small Computers who knows if it even will be delivered? (And the prices are terrible by 2012 standards... $399 for 800mhz/512mb???) The OP can do better for his/her hardware needs; for example a Sheevaplug provides superior specs to DSC for about $99.

(Whether or not DSL is still recommended as an operating system is a separate topic; I personally would never use it as a sever because 1) it is abandonware; 2) therefore there will never ever be any security updates or bug fixes.)

alecjtaylor 01-09-2012 01:44 PM

Hi guys,

Thanks for the ideas, its been really helpful.

I think I'm going to go with either a second hand Atom board or a sheevaplug. Not really seen the sheevaplug in the UK but I'm sure ebay can help.

DSL is a great distro but I only use it for a live boot environment on my usb drive. Its not as cutting edge as a standard desktop environment but I would't call it dead, that is a little harsh to DSL. I'll probably stick with either Debian or a Debian based distro on the server as that is where the install base and support communities are.

Thanks again for your help.


brianL 01-10-2012 06:01 AM


Originally Posted by alecjtaylor (Post 4570358)
. Not really seen the sheevaplug in the UK

Get one, or look at the alternatives, here:

entz 01-10-2012 06:26 AM

well actually i myself would be interested in how exactly you intend to provide a stable/reliable internet connection to host your websites on a home computer?

i believe you're aware that most ISP do frequently change their IP's and stuff (not to mention possible downtimes) case you didn't get a fixed IP with 99.99% guaranteed uptime then you've a problem !

the rest is a piece of cake , either use some old P/P2/P3 computer or buy an intel Atom + a compatible motherboard + 512MB of RAM + HDD/flash drive + power supply (you could use a laptop AC adapter for an atom processor anyways always check the voltage,amperage and wattage values before doing anything)

and btw Ebay is your friend :)

alternatively , you could use your android phone (if you've one) as a webserver or torrentbox !!
install a couple of apps and you're running ......from technical perspective that would be the easiest !!

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