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JJZolx
2005-08-20, 15:02
I'll be putting together a small Linux server to be used mostly for SlimServer. I'll probably also run Apache and MySQL on the box for doing some work-related web development. I have a ReadyNAS 600 with 872GB of storage for music, so the server will only need a boot disk.

I've been a little out of touch with server hardware lately and I've never built a Linux server. What's a good hardware platform, both in terms of the CPU and the chipset? I've always had the best luck in the past building Windows systems using Intel chipsets, but if some of the AMD supporting stuff these days is good then I'll gladly go that way for a better CPU value.

I'm not looking for the cheapest system, nor the fastest - it will definitely be single CPU. With the need for just a single HDD, I'd like to keep it small, maybe along the lines of a Shuttle XPC.

gharris999
2005-08-21, 09:25
What have been your thoughts about the ReadyNAS 600? I just got one of these last week and upgraded it to a gig of RAM. So far, I've been very disappointed with trying to run SlimServer on it. Infrant really ought to say that it provides only "limited support" for slimserver, since the version they make available to run on the box is semi-crippled.

I just put together a linux server running Fedora Core 4 using an old Pentium III box I had sitting around: ASUS CUSL2 mobo, Pentium III 800mhz, 512mb PC 133 ram. Running Slimserver using MySQL as the database backend, the performance is completely acceptable, even with a pretty large music library (>12,000 tracks.) I need to conduct some more tests, but I think that by throttling down the CPU fan, I can make the box pretty silent.

I built 3 systems around the Shuttle XPC SB65G2 P4 barebones platform late in 2003. They worked just fine for WinXP, but I have no idea how well the Shuttle components work with linux. While I was please by the compact form-factor of the boxes, I was disappointed by how noisy they ended up being.

JJZolx
2005-08-21, 09:58
What have been your thoughts about the ReadyNAS 600? I just got one of these last week and upgraded it to a gig of RAM. So far, I've been very disappointed with trying to run SlimServer on it. Infrant really ought to say that it provides only "limited support" for slimserver, since the version they make available to run on the box is semi-crippled.
Not so much crippled, but certainly limited. No ability to install plugins is the worst limitation. No custom skins, no ability to run beta versions, etc. I hadn't planned on running SlimServer on the NAS, so I'm not exactly disappointed. I figured it might be too slow for my tastes and wasn't terribly wrong. The time for a library scan would is an issue. The thing just isn't terribly quick at general computing tasks, but I wonder if they don't set application task priorities to be low in deference to tasks managing the disk array. I put 512MB in mine and I'm realizing now that was overkill, as the device doesn't appear to be memory bound in any way and I won't be running any applications on it.


I just put together a linux server running Fedora Core 4 using an old Pentium III box I had sitting around: ASUS CUSL2 mobo, Pentium III 800mhz, 512mb PC 133 ram. Running Slimserver using MySQL as the database backend, the performance is completely acceptable, even with a pretty large music library (>12,000 tracks.) I need to conduct some more tests, but I think that by throttling down the CPU fan, I can make the box pretty silent.
I have a couple CUSL2s at work that we'll probably be giving to charity or recycling soon.


I built 3 systems around the Shuttle XPC SB65G2 P4 barebones platform late in 2003. They worked just fine for WinXP, but I have no idea how well the Shuttle components work with linux. While I was please by the compact form-factor of the boxes, I was disappointed by how noisy they ended up being.
Thanks. Noise isn't really a factor for me, but size is. I'd like to set it on a shelf with the NAS, a UPS, and a wireless router.

gharris999
2005-08-21, 11:42
Re the ReadyNas: I've been able to install plug-ins by configuring the RadyNas with just a single disk, installing "their" slimserver on it, then yanking the disk and hooking it up to another linux system and mounting the 1st ext3 device. Slimserver is installed at /usr/share/slimserver...something. I copied plugins to the plugins directory and set the permissions and ownership on the plugin files. They seem to work just fine.

When I say "crippled"...if you look at the convert.conf file that they install, it has almost all the file type other than MP3 * * and flac * * are commented out. And the "File Types" page in Server Settings is just plain missing! So, you can't transcode ogg, wma, etc. to mp3. They also don't install any sort of flac executable, so you can't even stream whole-album flacs to the SqueezeBox2.

I have yet to dig into the slimserver daemon start file to see if I can up the priority for slimserver. As it stads, yes, a rescan of my library on the ReadyNAS brings slimserver to it's knees. The squeezeboxs lose connection during the rescan.

Idealy, I'd love to be able to run MySQL as the database back-end on the ReadyNAS for slimserver. With a gig of ram, I wouldn't think that would be asking too much. But Infrant seems to go to great lengths to deny owners of their product the abiltiy to do a root login via SSH, even though the platform seems to be Debian running on some sort of spark cpu.

All in all, the ReadyNAS as a platform for slimserver is a BIG disappointment. My purchase of one, intending it for this single use, was, in retrospect, completely inappropriate.

JJZolx
2005-08-21, 13:36
Re the ReadyNas: I've been able to install plug-ins by configuring the RadyNas with just a single disk, installing "their" slimserver on it, then yanking the disk and hooking it up to another linux system and mounting the 1st ext3 device. Slimserver is installed at /usr/share/slimserver...something. I copied plugins to the plugins directory and set the permissions and ownership on the plugin files. They seem to work just fine.
Wow. That's one way of doing it, I guess. That's an awful expensive single disk attached storage device. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that.


When I say "crippled"...if you look at the convert.conf file that they install, it has almost all the file type other than MP3 * * and flac * * are commented out. And the "File Types" page in Server Settings is just plain missing! So, you can't transcode ogg, wma, etc. to mp3. They also don't install any sort of flac executable, so you can't even stream whole-album flacs to the SqueezeBox2.
I knew the transcoding to flac wasn't included, although they're looking into it. I would think they'd run into the same licensing issues with distributing flac that Slim Devices faces. I wasn't aware that those other file types were disabled. Let's face it, though, the ReadyNAS seems to be a bit underpowerd for SlimServer - asking it to transcode on the fly is surely going to eat its lunch.


I have yet to dig into the slimserver daemon start file to see if I can up the priority for slimserver. As it stads, yes, a rescan of my library on the ReadyNAS brings slimserver to it's knees. The squeezeboxs lose connection during the rescan.
I've had some problems running backups on the ReadyNAS using their backup software. I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to use the device _only_ for that which it was originally designed - RAID5 network attached storage, and disable all their applications.


Idealy, I'd love to be able to run MySQL as the database back-end on the ReadyNAS for slimserver. With a gig of ram, I wouldn't think that would be asking too much. But Infrant seems to go to great lengths to deny owners of their product the abiltiy to do a root login via SSH, even though the platform seems to be Debian running on some sort of spark cpu.

All in all, the ReadyNAS as a platform for slimserver is a BIG disappointment. My purchase of one, intending it for this single use, was, in retrospect, completely inappropriate.
I don't think the OS on the box will ever be opened up. Infrant may have bit off more than they should have by installing SlimServer on the ReadyNAS, although it might be adequate for some Squeezebox users.

gharris999
2005-08-21, 23:02
The the expensive single drive enclosure: yes. But I'm assuming that I can add additional disks "on the fly" so to speak. That said, I may just sell the damn thing on ebay and stick with the software raid I've got now with WinXP, or move to linux on that box.


Given the fact that the ReadyNAS OS is debian, don't they have open-source obligations? Don't they have to publish their tool-chain? Also, I wan't aware that there was any issue with SlimDevices distributing the flac executables. They've been included in all the releases since 5.x, haven't they?

Dan Sully
2005-08-22, 10:22
* gharris999 shaped the electrons to say...

>Given the fact that the OS is debian, don't they have open-source
>obligations? Don't they have to publish their tool-chain? Also, I
>wan't aware that there was any issue with SlimDevices distributing the
>flac executables. They've been included in all the releases since 5.x,
>haven't they?

FLAC is completely free, and we have been distributing binaries.

http://flac.sf.net/

-D
--
<jwb> "I am POWERBOOK thy god. Thou shalt have no other laptop before me"
<gage> and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and the hills shall melt

JJZolx
2005-08-22, 10:36
* gharris999 shaped the electrons to say...
FLAC is completely free, and we have been distributing binaries.
Sorry. Yes, I was thinking of LAME. Since the user has no means of installing an MP3 encoder for SlimServer on the ReadyNAS, then obviously they have no way of transcoding to MP3 for streaming. And since they also don't include a version of FLAC then all the server can do is the formats that the SB or SB2 natively support.