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relen
2005-04-20, 08:36
Until now I've been running SlimServer 6 on my existing RH7.2-based file-server box, but thanks to an unexpected gift I now have a Celeron 1.3GHz CPU I could dedicate to it. This being the case, and with Linux distros being largely inexpensive, what would be a good distribution and version to be running?

I have a bit of RedHat experience going back a few versions, but I wonder in which environment SlimServer is happiest, most stable, easiest to install and get all the bits working on, offers best performance etc?

The White Box version of RHEL (http://www.whiteboxlinux.org/) appeals but I'm open to suggestions (or I wouldn't be writing this:)).

Thanks!
--Richard E

pfarrell
2005-04-20, 09:17
On Wed, 2005-04-20 at 08:36 -0700, relen wrote:
> I have a bit of RedHat experience going back a few versions, but I
> wonder in which environment SlimServer is happiest, most stable,
> easiest to install and get all the bits working on, offers best
> performance etc?

I think this is mostly a personal preference thing.
What you have experience with.

My SqueezeServer is running on a Mandrake 10.1 system.
Works great. Easy to setup. Mandrake has RPMs like RedHat
and a better RPM interdependancy control.

About $10 from cheapbytes.com


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

max.spicer
2005-04-20, 11:03
SlimServer works fine on Debian, but it's more of a pain to set up as there are no official (or unofficial?) Debian packages for SlimServer. You therefore have to download the tar.gz file, extract it to somewhere and craft or Google appropriate startup scripts. On Redhat or other distros that support RPM, this will all be done for you.

rkuenzli
2005-04-20, 16:27
Have a look at http://contribs.org for the SME server. It's based on RH7.3 and you easily can setup a secure server within half an hour. I use it happily since years and can recommend it.

For slimserver 6 you need the perl-package from Michael Herger (you find it on this site).

relen
2005-04-20, 16:38
That's an interesting suggestion: I've had very helpful discussions with Michael Herger and used his Perl upgrade kit successfully on my current RH7.2-based server. The trouble with my current 7.2 server is that I would have to tack on a bunch of things to give me some features I want (eg a modern web browser that displays the SS control surface), and that has taken me to dependency hell before now, so I wonder whether a 7.3-based server solution would really be the best bet as I can imagine I will have to do the same kind of upgrades. However it would certainly be familiar.

All the comments posted have been really helpful, BTW. Thanks!

--Richard E

Dan Sully
2005-04-20, 17:50
Personally I suggest everyone stay away from the dead end SME/RH7 series distros.

Debian is good, any version. Gentoo is good if you like compiling everything.

Mandrake & FC are about equal amounts of evil.

* relen shaped the electrons to say...

>That's an interesting suggestion: I've had very helpful discussions with
>Michael Herger and used his Perl upgrade kit successfully on my current
>RH7.2-based server. The trouble with my current 7.2 server is that I
>would have to tack on a bunch of things to give me some features I want
>(eg a modern web browser that displays the SS control surface), and that
>has taken me to dependency hell before now, so I wonder whether a
>7.3-based server solution would really be the best bet as I can imagine
>I will have to do the same kind of upgrades. However it would certainly
>be familiar.

-D
--
<iNoah> you know, most free operating systems come preinstalled with their own high horse.

quick_snack
2005-04-22, 02:53
I have two instances of slimserver installed on my Ubuntu desktop.
Slimserver 5.4.1 and 6.0.1 each in different directories.
Slimserver 6.0.1. still has some glitches and when I am tired of testing en probing I only have to stop the server, change some environment vars and start the daemon again.
For installation I used the tar.gz file wich offered me complete freedom of where I put the files. The scripts I use were offered here on slimfora.
I am pretty content with this situation.
I used Mandrake 10 too. It seemed a little faster in picking up commands from my remote.

relen
2005-04-25, 03:19
After some considerable thought and research, including considering suggestions made here (thanks!) I eventually went for Fedora Core 3. I had seen one note about a problem with FC3, but thought I'd try it and see: as it's a dedicated machine I could run it up, see how SS behaved and if it didn't, try something else.

The longest part of the operation was downloading the disk images, quite honestly, and I left a machine downloading them overnight. Install was a doddle, although the way kudzu disappeared when it was doing something was initially confusing.

Having come from an RH7.2-based system in which the OS was largely hidden under a custom GUI server front-end, and only having had real experience of raw Linux with version 5 of RH and an earlier Slackware distro before that, I felt as if I had come straight from the Stone Age to modern life. If FC3 is typical of a "modern" distro, all I can say is that Linux has come of age and is ready for the ordinary user's desktop.

I installed the release version of Slimserver, 6.0.1 trunk, and it came up with no problems. I was intending to continue ripping CDs from Windows with EAC and therefore defined my big hard drive (removed from the previous server, which has now gone back to being a multi-platform file server) as an SMB share, but in fact FC3 came with a bunch of tools including an app that rips to FLAC directly and does an excellent job. I also installed EasyTag to clean up tags.

I'm running an SB2 (hardwired) and an SB1 (wireless), plus various SoftSqueezes on different machines around the house from time to time, wired and unwired.

The only problem I am having is that occasionally Live365 (playing on the SB2 - haven't checked this on the others) hangs the server: all players stop and I have to restart Slimserver from the Services configuration panel. Other internet radio sources don't have this problem.

Only trouble with this machine is that in addition to running it to serve audio, it behaves so well that I am finding myself using it as a desktop machine...

--Richard E

mherger
2005-04-25, 03:58
On Mon, 25 Apr 2005 12:19:03 +0200, relen
<relen.1o1hrb (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:

[..]
> The only problem I am having is that occasionally Live365 (playing on
> the SB2 - haven't checked this on the others) hangs the server: all
> players stop and I have to restart Slimserver from the Services
> configuration panel. Other internet radio sources don't have this
> problem.

This should have been fixed in the latest nightly.
(http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1247)

> Only trouble with this machine is that in addition to running it to
> serve audio, it behaves so well that I am finding myself using it as a
> desktop machine...

Now that's a serious problem :-)

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
StringEditor Plugin (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

Patrick Dixon
2005-04-25, 11:44
I eventually went for Fedora Core 3. I had seen one note about a problem with FC3 ... That was probably me, but most of my problems were down to me not really knowing what I was doing, combined with running FC3 on a 266Mhz Thinkpad 770e. It's all tickty-boo now, thanks in part to the tolerance of people round here ;-)

If FC3 is typical of a "modern" distro, all I can say is that Linux has come of age and is ready for the ordinary user's desktop.Hmm, not quite sure about that. I think Windows is much more 'friendly' for the ordinary user, and the Mac probably even more so (I'm not a Mac user) - in fact maybe it's the Mac that's actually unix's coming of age?

relen
2005-04-25, 11:54
My primary workstation is a Macintosh, so I tend to agree with you. In particular, there aren't the high-end design apps and digital audio workstation packages yet on Linux that I need, and not having an Apple server, I wouldn't 'waste' a desktop Mac on just being a file server: I don't have any lying around like I have x86 machines.

But for a lot of 'normal' 'office automation' applications - the things you'd use a Windows machine for - I think I would rather be on the Linux box than a Windows machine.

--Richard E

pfarrell
2005-04-25, 15:32
On Wed, 2005-04-20 at 17:50 -0700, Dan Sully wrote:
> Mandrake & FC are about equal amounts of evil.

While I don't want to have this degrade into a "my distro is great,
you are a loser for using distro Y", I do think that a little more
discussion of this would be useful.

So let me share my personal experiences with distros and SlimServer
in specific, and then come more general comments.

First, for the first 18 months or so that I ran a SlimServer,
it ran on an ancient PC, P2-500mHz. The box had a 1990 or 91 vintage
RedHat, probably version 6 or 7. It worked great.
I had some problems with streaming FLAC -> PCM over wireless,
but once it was wired, it was perfect. It ran for months at
a time, maybe even six or more months without being touched.

A good friend of mine convinced me to try Mandrake 10.1
when I had to replace the CPU/motherboard because the
fans got clogged up with dust over the years of neglect.
So I did a standard Mandrake install from $10 CDs from CheapBytes,
did the upgrades over the net since the disks
were burned, and installed slimserver 5.4.something.
Works great. No problems at all. Highly recommended.

Meanwhile at my day job, I had to try to setup a RedHat ES3 server
(actually six of them) and found that RH ES3 had an ancient and crudy
version of MySql, which I tried to update, breaking Tomcat or
Apache or something else, which led me into RPM interdependancy
hell.

Since then, I've installed Mdk 10.1 on three more computers in my house.
On an ancient laptop, it wasn't happy. I switched to Knoppix.
On a modern desktop that I use as my main machine, it
was neat, clean and easy. Then I installed 10.1 on the dual Xeon
processor system that hosts my domains. It installed easily.
But when I tried to use three nics, have it do NAT masquerading,
firewalling to two different ISPs (one DSL and the other Cable)
it got all wacked out. As I tried to "fix" it, I quickly entered
into RPM interdependancy hell.

So my experience tells me that Mandrake is a fine distro if
you want to run a simple configuration with the versions
of all the tools you want from "the supported" distribution,
than. And I expect that any of the RPM based distros are essentially
the same.

But if you want something weird, like my main server, with
all sorts of security, networking, and utility interdependancies,
any RPM based solution is not a path to peace and tranquility.

For most folks hosting SlimServer, this is not an issue.
The SlimServer requirements are pretty modest. But
for a front line server, as Dan said:

>Mandrake & FC are about equal amounts of evil.

YMMV, etc.

Pat


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

Jack Coates
2005-04-26, 08:44
Pat Farrell wrote:
> On Wed, 2005-04-20 at 17:50 -0700, Dan Sully wrote something silly:
>
> While I don't want to have this degrade into a "my distro is great,
> you are a loser for using distro Y", I do think that a little more
> discussion of this would be useful.
>

usually it isn't, but whatever :)

> So let me share my personal experiences with distros and SlimServer
> in specific, and then come more general comments.
>
> First, for the first 18 months or so that I ran a SlimServer,
> it ran on an ancient PC, P2-500mHz. The box had a 1990 or 91 vintage
> RedHat, probably version 6 or 7. It worked great.

I bought my first version of RH in 1996, and it was 5.2.

> A good friend of mine convinced me to try Mandrake 10.1
> when I had to replace the CPU/motherboard because the
> fans got clogged up with dust over the years of neglect.
> So I did a standard Mandrake install from $10 CDs from CheapBytes,
> did the upgrades over the net since the disks
> were burned, and installed slimserver 5.4.something.
> Works great. No problems at all. Highly recommended.
>

this is what I use, though I've kept the kernel backported to the 2.4
version that was in Mandrake 10.0. I've been upgrading this installation
with urpmi ever since 9.0, and moved the hard drives into a new system
after I had a CPU fry. Try either trick with a Windows server platform.

> Meanwhile at my day job, I had to try to setup a RedHat ES3 server
> (actually six of them) and found that RH ES3 had an ancient and crudy
> version of MySql, which I tried to update, breaking Tomcat or
> Apache or something else, which led me into RPM interdependancy
> hell.
>

RHEL's goal is stability above all else, and it is pretty much frozen at
release date. This is because they're actually selling a support
contract, and the support people need to know what they're dealing with.
Nothing wrong with that, as long as you realize what you're buying.

> Since then, I've installed Mdk 10.1 on three more computers in my house.
> On an ancient laptop, it wasn't happy. I switched to Knoppix.
> On a modern desktop that I use as my main machine, it
> was neat, clean and easy. Then I installed 10.1 on the dual Xeon
> processor system that hosts my domains. It installed easily.
> But when I tried to use three nics, have it do NAT masquerading,
> firewalling to two different ISPs (one DSL and the other Cable)
> it got all wacked out. As I tried to "fix" it, I quickly entered
> into RPM interdependancy hell.

The key here is to recognize when you've gone past what the pretty UI
tools can do... stop using drakconf, read the documentation at
http://www.shorewall.net, and configure Shorewall by hand. Also, always
use urpmi, never use rpm directly, and you'll stay out of dependency
hell. I've done exactly what you describe with Mandrake. Shameless plug,
I also maintain updated Shorewall RPMs for Mandrake.

>
> So my experience tells me that Mandrake is a fine distro if
> you want to run a simple configuration with the versions
> of all the tools you want from "the supported" distribution,
> than. And I expect that any of the RPM based distros are essentially
> the same.
>
> But if you want something weird, like my main server, with
> all sorts of security, networking, and utility interdependancies,
> any RPM based solution is not a path to peace and tranquility.
>

It can be, but the tools are there for shooting your foot off. The most
important thing to realize when approaching any complex IT project is
that it is going to be complex. Maybe imagine that you're using an
unfamiliar power tool and that mistakes will cost you flesh. Read the
documentation, ask questions on user groups, and have a backout plan for
restoring the way things were before you started hacking.


--
Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org: It's a Scientific Venture...
Riding the Emergency Third Rail Power Trip since 1996!

pfarrell
2005-04-26, 10:13
On Tue, 2005-04-26 at 08:44 -0700, Jack Coates wrote:
> Pat Farrell wrote:

> > Meanwhile at my day job, I had to try to setup a RedHat ES3 server
> > [snip]
> > Apache or something else, which led me into RPM interdependancy
> > hell.
>
> RHEL's goal is stability above all else, and it is pretty much frozen at
> release date. This is because they're actually selling a support
> contract, and the support people need to know what they're dealing with.
> Nothing wrong with that, as long as you realize what you're buying.

I groked that, but the boss insisted on both using RHES3 and using
MySql 4 and the latest JBoss, which you flat out can't do and
keep it supported. I even offered that since we weren't getting
support, we should not pay for it, and waste it on beer and pizza
for the developers.

> > was neat, clean and easy. Then I installed 10.1 on the dual Xeon
> > processor system that hosts my domains. It installed easily.
> > But when I tried to use three nics, have it do NAT masquerading,
> > firewalling to two different ISPs (one DSL and the other Cable)
> > it got all wacked out. As I tried to "fix" it, I quickly entered
> > into RPM interdependancy hell.
>
> The key here is to recognize when you've gone past what the pretty UI
> tools can do...

Yes, I knew that the GUI tools made moderate jobs easy.
What I didn't know is that they would break tweaks after
you made them by hand. Without telling you.

The moral of that story is that good tools warn you that
they are simplistic.

> Also, always
> use urpmi, never use rpm directly, and you'll stay out of dependency
> hell.

Aside, can you use urpmi on downloaded RPMs?



> I've done exactly what you describe with Mandrake. Shameless plug,
> I also maintain updated Shorewall RPMs for Mandrake.

yes, and I'm using yours with much success.


> It can be, but the tools are there for shooting your foot off. The most
> important thing to realize when approaching any complex IT project is
> that it is going to be complex. Maybe imagine that you're using an
> unfamiliar power tool and that mistakes will cost you flesh. Read the
> documentation, ask questions on user groups, and have a backout plan for
> restoring the way things were before you started hacking.

True enough, but the user-friendly tools are more than just not
capable of doing complex things, if you touch them after doing
a complex setup, it can break your hand-tweaked stuff.
+that+ was not something that I expected.




--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

jimwillsher
2005-04-28, 12:46
As was to be expected - 20 different answers :-)

Or make that 21....

I've been running it very happily on my CentOs server for over a year now. CentOs (www.centos.org) is free, and is built from the RHEL source RPMS. The current version, CentOs 4, is RHEL 4.

The server is situated in my loft and serves up a number of websites, therefore it's in 24x7 and is ideal for hosting my 3000 MP3 files.

Definitely recommended.


Jim