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Old 04-13-2008, 03:03 PM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2008
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A beginner building a svn/trac/backup server

I wasn't really sure if I should put this thread here or in the Linux - Hardware section but since I have never installed Linux before I figured that it the thread belongs in here.

Hello, my old windows base file server recently died due to hardware failure so I have been looking into building a Linux based server.

I was planing on having the following on it:
  • Subversion (I want to be able to reach my code when I am traveling, I will probably store a few documents in here to)
  • Trac (As the web front end to svn and for the ticket system)
  • Apache (For a few personal password protected pages like shopping lists etc)
  • PHP
  • Mysql
  • Something that will let me share my files to a Windows computer and possibly a web front end for it (WebDav? Samba?)
  • Firewall for the computer, possibly even for the entire local network of 6 computers but this is not necessary.
The specs I was looking at is the following.Since I haven't used Linux before I have no idea how much CPU power or Ram amount I need and so far I haven't been able to find any guides that tries to answer that question. This of course means I have a few stupid questions lined up
  1. Is the above components good enough?
  2. Should I get another fan? It will stand in a well ventilated and slightly public area so I don't want it to make to much sound.
  3. Are there any good guides that can tell me what the common hardware pitfalls are? Something like what RAID/network cards that tends to cause problem? I have already found the HCL guide,
    nice work by the way.
  4. I will need a someway to backup things from the server, should I go for a RAID 1 solution or should I simply buy a NAS and do weekly backups to that?
  5. If I go for a raid solution, would something like a SiI3132 be good enough? I know there are some issues with it but I can get it brand new for $10 so I pretty much expect to get the quality I pay for.
  6. Can anyone recommend a good server distro for me (a linux newbie that knows his way around low level c code)? I would prefer a distro that can be configured remotely (all of them probably can do this) since I don't plan on having a monitor attached, I am not scared by the commandline so a full fledged remote desktop client is not required.
  7. Any good books that deals with Linux configurations?
Let me know if I made the post to long and if I should split it up in several threads instead.

Thank you for your help guys.
Old 04-14-2008, 11:26 AM   #2
Registered: Nov 2007
Location: Georgia, USA
Distribution: FreeBSD
Posts: 274

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Well, I can't help with every question, but I think I can point you in the right direction with a few.

Depending on the load of the server, that might actually be pretty strong. Running Linux without a GUI is pretty lightweight. I'm working on setting up a server with a 1GHz CPU and 512MB RAM. In testing, it's been perfect.

As for backing up, I would personally say RAID 1. More control over the environment and cheaper.

As far as distros go, you'll probably hear a wide variety. CentOS, Debian, and Slackware will probably be at the top of the list. My personal vote is Slackware. After first using it, I fell in love.
Old 04-14-2008, 10:41 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Pennsylvainia
Distribution: Slackware / Debian / *Ubuntu / Opensuse / Solaris uname: Brian Cooney
Posts: 503

Rep: Reputation: 30
For a headless box, I would suggest Debian, Slackware, Ubuntu server LTS, or Centos.

Your hardware is defiantly massive overkill I like it
My server is a dual xeon with 2gb of ram, but the only reason it is so high spec is because I won it on ebay for 500 bux about two years ago
With the specs you are planning on building, you can have fun running virutal servers on top of your real one if you like.

Whatever Distro you choose, make sure to set up automated upgrades as well as the automated backups you spoke of.

You may wish to consider software raid. It is very easy to set up, (especially with ubuntu's alternate install disk) and you can do some very cool things that cant be done with hardware raid with it. For example, It is possible to take a pair of software raided drives and move them to a newer, faster server without a reinstall. It is also possible to intentionally "break the mirror" for the pourpose of testing out major software chages, and booting off whichever side you decide to keep to resync the box.

As far as the extra fan, It might help, it might make no difference at all. It cant hurt unless you put it in in a really stupid way


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