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eeyssjr
2005-11-12, 12:39
I'm thinking of getting another Squeezebox after selling my one a while ago.

I bought alot of kit (SB, 300GB harddrives, PC for server etc.) last time round to get a nice hassle free setup - but it never worked out so i sold the SB.

Problems basically revolved around the complete lack of ability of WinXP to run a 24/7 server without dying after <24 hrs. It was ridiculous. Fresh install SP1 became unusable in very short time running slimserver. eg. Worked at night before, by morning slimserver lost connection. You get the idea. SP2 was worse - really, really worse (IExplorer just dying consistently on certain webpages).

Annnyways....the old brain is thinking of trying all over again.

But what i'm wondering is if anyone else has successfully run a 24/7 (or just reliable for a week or so at east) server on WinXP for their Squeezebox. Or do you all restart the box on a daily basis? I'm sure those with linux boxes have done this, but i don't have the time patience anymore to do the config it takes like i would have a a while ago.

Should i schedule a restart nightly? to keep it running OKish. I can't tell you the number of times i have gone to the garage to restart a the box that is non-responsive.

I'll looking at the linux, but in all honesty, it seems to much hassle to get it running completely right. Samba setup, network config, mounting drives, getting them to automount etc and the general maintanance required. seems too much - and will it be stable anyway?

So i guess my question is how best to run a server which is really stable and hassle free for squeezebox?

I like the look of this new TS-101 NAS - the Download Server it has - anyone know if that will be like, say, Getright, or more like Bittorrent instead? And you can add extra USB storage, that is very good, future proof.

Any advice / help appreciated to help restore my confidence in this before i shell out the wonga all over again.

MrC
2005-11-12, 12:59
The base XP system is stable enough. However, you entirely at the mercy of poor quality software that is added after the fact. This includes driver software, and malware that finds its way onto system during user's surfing. Its less about the OS, and more about what get's added on.

Inexpensive systems are typically inexpensive for a reason: cheap commodity hardware, poorly written drivers, and poor support. That's not to say that there aren't good quality, inexpensive systems. There are.

If you want a stable system, spend a little time learning about the hardware you are purchasing. Obtain hardware from reliable, support-oriented mfgs. who provide updates to their drivers, software, etc.

About keeping an XP system running - although it does crash from time to time, my XP system is generally up 24x7, and runs for weeks/months before I choose/need to reboot.

eeyssjr
2005-11-12, 13:15
Thanks very much for the info.

This helps because firstly i needed to know if a stable XP server is even possible.

When you say base OS install, i assume you mean a SP1 install? I will be using the basic SP1 XP Pro install.

I have always been careful with hardware selection - this is not a cheap box either. Abit mobo generally considered one of the best for stability. Matrox graphics again, stable. No sound card. This is a bare but quality system (it used to be my desktop machine - 2GHz Athlon).

I am going to rebuild it with a fresh XP Pro install. And leave it at that, just as a file server with no slimserver, no nothing - and see how it goes. I do have to use a Netgear rangemax wireless card though, that driver may be dodgy.

It won't take long to see if the box can stay up for long enough(!).

pfarrell
2005-11-12, 13:21
On Sat, 2005-11-12 at 11:39 -0800, eeyssjr wrote:
> I'll looking at the linux, but in all honesty, it seems to much hassle
> to get it running completely right. Samba setup, network config,
> mounting drives, getting them to automount etc and the general
> maintanance required. seems too much - and will it be stable anyway?

I can't speak to slimserver on XP, never tried it.
But this is a snapshot from my slimserver box

(beatles)/home/pfarrell> uname -a
Linux beatles.pfarrell.com 2.6.8.1-12mdk #1 Fri Oct 1 12:53:41 CEST 2004
i686 AMD Athlon(tm) 3000+ unknown GNU/Linux
(beatles)/home/pfarrell> uptime
15:22:33 up 146 days, 3:27, 2 users, load average: 0.16, 0.18, 0.11

Seems to me that 146 days should be enough, that is five months or so.
The box has been essentially untouched since October a year ago.

Look at the slimserver CD. it is really easy.

I can't say what is too much of a hassle for you, but
there is a *nix list and we've gotten a lot of folks
up and running

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

MrC
2005-11-12, 13:44
By base install, I mean installing Windows (SP whatever, SP2 is probably best), and then all the latest updates from M$oft.

Then, its prudent to update key hardware drivers to the best available. Install your A/V software as desired last.

If you have wired ethernet, use it instead of your wirelsss card to test out your stability. There are far fewer components. And if you do use your wireless, be sure you have all the latest Windows patches.

Like PFarrel, I too am a *nix guy. It is clear in my mind that there's much more stability in the *nix camp. There are plenty of people who will help you either way you go.

Re: My linux system which is a mail, web, ftp, mailing list, SSH, DNS, etc. server:

12:46:42 up 149 days, 4:07, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

It would have been over 1 year, but I had to move my equipment to move a large desk.

mac
2005-11-12, 14:01
I run my Apache web server and Slimserver on XP Pro SP2 and it's up 24/7. The only time I ever reboot is when doing maintenance upgrades.

eeyssjr
2005-11-12, 14:02
146 days is somewhat a dream. Having said that in linux if a process does fail its easy to restart that specific process - in windows this often isn't the case, the whole box has to go down.

I am (and have to an extent already) seriously considered the linux route. I used SlimCD today and it is good no doubt. My gripes revolve around my lack of use of linux which make it frustrating. I can see how the writer of the version has tried so hard to make than less of an issue for windows users.

My music is on a 300gig drive that is NTFS. My question is whether that is compatable with linux - i read it will be read only for NTFS (?). Another music drive is FAT32 - so linux will be OK with that straight off? I can't go and reformat the NTFS drive either - its got all the music on it! So i need to buy another 300 gig drive to sort that one out.

And i want to mount the drives so that they're always there, no remapping needed.

ALso would need to get the wireless card working on it (the box will go in the garage) - netgear rangemax are windows only drivers, so have to get some porting software to sort out that, which is not ideal situation and may not work.

These are small barriers to entry which make it less attractive.

pfarrell
2005-11-12, 14:17
On Sat, 2005-11-12 at 13:02 -0800, eeyssjr wrote:
> 146 days is somewhat a dream.

Not with the right OS :-)

> Having said that in linux if a process
> does fail its easy to restart that specific process - in windows this
> often isn't the case, the whole box has to go down.

Depends on the process. When I was writing deep C code to
munge with the Windows file system, when I'd screw up, it
would be bad. But even my Win2K box runs months at a time
when I'm just using Word and Excel. I'm pretty sure that if
I was writing the same kinds of code on Linux, I could
foul it up completely as well.


> I am (and have to an extent already) seriously considered the linux
> route. I used SlimCD today and it is good no doubt. My gripes revolve
> around my lack of use of linux which make it frustrating.

There is a learning curve. Can't deny that.


> My music is on a 300gig drive that is NTFS. My question is whether that
> is compatable with linux - i read it will be read only for NTFS (?).

NTFS support is read only, most of the time. And trying to make
it writable is not something that folks new to Linux should even think
about.

Partition Magic (for Windows) can convert the partition to EXT3 for you.
Non-destructively, and all that.

> Another music drive is FAT32 - so linux will be OK with that straight
> off?

FAT32 is OK, but I'd only use it short term. Once you jump to linux,
I'd have Partition Magic convert that partition as well.

Then again, 300GB disk drives are about $70, and you can always use
it for the next 500 CDs or so that you get.

> And i want to mount the drives so that they're always there, no
> remapping needed.

Samba is the trick for that. It is fairly easy to setup, at
least no worse than a Windows Domain controller, and once it
is done, you can ignore it. I use Samba precisely so I can
rip using EAC and transfer the files using mindless drag and drop.

But you don't strictly need it, you could just use sftp
or an equivalent.

> ALso would need to get the wireless card working on it (the box will go
> in the garage) - netgear rangemax are windows only drivers, so have to
> get some porting software to sort out that, which is not ideal
> situation and may not work.

Run wired ethernet? I wouldn't not recommend having two wireless hops in
your network if you can avoid it.



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

MrC
2005-11-12, 14:17
PFarrel and I just emailed each other talking about the long uptimes of these systems. One of his has remained up for 1.5 years. I've experienced this with many servers as well.

Linux can read NTFS; write support is still experimental.

You'll probably want to have a backup copy of your files - you worked hard to get them. So one more large HD would be useful and adviseable in any event.

How about a PCI ethernet card for wired networking (if you don't have one in the system; I suspect you do)? That way, you avoid the linux wireless issue altogether. And then, if you must have wireless, get a wireless AP for the garage and bridge it to your other AP in the house (maybe one in the garage would be sufficient for you).

JJZolx
2005-11-12, 14:18
But what i'm wondering is if anyone else has successfully run a 24/7 (or just reliable for a week or so at east) server on WinXP for their Squeezebox. Or do you all restart the box on a daily basis?

Any advice / help appreciated to help restore my confidence in this before i shell out the wonga all over again.
I'm running SlimServer on Windows XP Pro SP2 without any problem whatsoever and reboot the machine rarely. It's running on my everyday PC, running all manner of software - Apache, MySQL, Microsoft Office, my email client, newsgroup readers, Photoshop, games, EAC, flac, LAME, foobar, WinAMP. Memory sometimes gets a little tight, as I have only 1GB and having 15 browser windows open, plus my email client, a spreadsheet or two, Agent newsgroup reader, plus SlimServer with MySQL usually pushes things to about 850MB. But SlimServer seldom misses a beat and I never lose connections to my SB2.

The machine specs are: P4 3.0GHz, 1 GB PC3200 ECC RAM, two Western Digital 200GB 7200RPM SATA drives. My music library is on a ReadyNAS 600 on my 100GBit lan.

Because I'd like to free this machine up, and because I may be upgrading it I'm in the process of building a dedicated server that will run SlimServer, MySQL, Apache, most likely running Linux.

andreas
2005-11-13, 06:15
eeyssjr wrote:
> I'll looking at the linux, but in all honesty, it seems to much hassle
> to get it running completely right. Samba setup, network config,
> mounting drives, getting them to automount etc and the general
> maintanance required. seems too much - and will it be stable anyway?

Well, once you get everything up'n'running, you can sit back, enjoy
your music, and forget about the server...

Sure, configuration of all services and features can be a little
tricky, but it has all been done before by someone else, so
if in need of help, you can always trust you friend google
to find the answer for you or at least point you in the right direction!
that's what I do all the time anyway ;)

/andreas - waiting for his SB3, to replace his original SLiMP3!

Ps.
And to add to Pat's reliability stats:
simply@bender ~$ uptime
14:04:24 up 295 days, 1:09, 1 user, load average: 0.32, 0.30, 0.16

my all-in-one firewall/mail-/slim-/mysql-/samba-/webserver!

Ds.

eeyssjr
2005-11-13, 10:30
Yes, will be buying a new SB3 at some point soon. wIll give the old WinXP fresh build server a go. If its not happening, i will have no choice but to get down with the linux!