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autopilot
2006-03-28, 00:22
Want to keep the cost to a minimum, as it's only for slimserver + increacing my Linux skills. Appart from a large HDD, what would people recommend as the minimum specs?

Thanks, Dom.

snarlydwarf
2006-03-28, 00:44
Mine is serving just under 10k tracks (it should hit 10k sometime in the next few days though if the post office cooperates..) with a P2/400 and 256M of RAM. I am using mysql (for no real reason other than I know it and can play with it... I use it to figure out what doesn't have musicbrainz tags, what needs album art...), but don't have X or anything installed on the machine, just a quickie debian net-install.

The needs for Slimserver are really pretty low since an aging p2 handles it just fine.

The 'learning linux' part would be trickier, depending on how much you wanted to use a gui. X11/KDE/Firefox/etc all start taking a good amount of memory. If you can deal with an ssh session, though, the needs are pretty low.

pfarrell
2006-03-28, 11:50
dangerous_dom wrote:

>> Want to keep the cost to a minimum, as it's only for slimserver +
>> increacing my Linux skills. Appart from a large HDD, what would people
>> recommend as the minimum specs?


I would think that anything you could buy new would be fine.
I ran 600+ CDs on a P2-500 for years, and replaced it because
I forgot to check the fans and the CPU burned out. I replaced it
with a motherboard that I had laying arround, I think it is about
a AMD 1800+, it works fine.

More memory is good, 512 is probably a practical minimum
as much because it is hard to buy less than that these days.

With a large library, I'd put a gig of ram on it just because it
is so cheap.

Starting from scratch, I'd use a modest drive for the OS
and put all the tunes on a second or third huge drive.
I think my current 730 CDs fits on less than 250 GB FlAC


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

jonmyatt
2006-03-28, 14:08
Want to keep the cost to a minimum, as it's only for slimserver + increacing my Linux skills. Appart from a large HDD, what would people recommend as the minimum specs?

Thanks, Dom.

Go for it. I've a 2-ish Ghz P4 here with a cheap 40-odd quid ASUS motherboard, and I expect it to last me a good few years. My server ran just fine with 256Mb of RAM for a year or so, I only increased it as I'm now running more than just slimserver on it, but hey, RAM's cheap these days anyway. So is disk space. I've gone for a mirrored setup using md (i.e. software RAID) as I'm also using the server as backup storage for my windows PCs. It's actually pretty straightforward to set up RAID. I'm using Fedora Core 4 which seems pretty reliable and easy to use to me, but then I've not used anything else. As another poster said, small HD(s) for OS and huge one(s) for music is a good plan. Good luck!


Jon.

rudholm
2006-03-28, 18:04
If you're going to be doing any bit-rate limiting on playback, you'll need more CPU than if you didn't (since the server has to decode and simultaneously re-encode your music in real-time). But aside from that, you really don't need much.

kkitts
2006-03-29, 08:18
I built a system recently that is working just great - performace is fantastic - I only have about 12,000 songs though - recorded in 230kbps mp3. I'd say that this was a "deluxe" system - but you might take the specs and put in a smaller disk drive and/or a slower CPU and you'd still be fine:

I could likely have put it together much cheaper - perhaps by getting a smaller disk or doing the "rebate" thing - but I've tired of filling out rebate forms! ;-)

I spent (at newegg.com):

Shuttle SK21G Short Form Factor PC (just the case) $179.00
512M: $31.00
AMD Sempron 3000 CPU: $85.00
WD 320G HD: $119.00
Asus DVD: $23.00

Total: $437.00

I can't recall all of the shipping charges - some of the items shipped free and some had a smal charge - but it was reasonable.

I thought about just using some old disk drives that I have on hand. I have an old ATA 80G drive and a USB 80G drive and some older drives. I could have cobbled together enough disk space by using multiple old drives in a larger case. Actually, my previous version of this system was a Pentium II/266 wich used some disk space actually SMB mounted from another windows system!

Kevin

DevilsAdvocate
2006-03-29, 11:34
I put together a mini-itx box, although mine runs XP (already had a license) there are Linux builds.

Fanless MII - approx 70 - ebay
http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/mainboards/mini_itx/epia_m2/
512MB - 25 ebay
160GB Disk - Samsung Spinpont approx &70-80
Also had a PCMCIA wireless card hanging around

Sits in a nice silverstone case
http://www.silverstonetek.com/products-lc05.htm - approx 90

And is quiet as a mouse.

Regards

JJZolx
2006-03-29, 12:54
Want to keep the cost to a minimum, as it's only for slimserver + increacing my Linux skills. Appart from a large HDD, what would people recommend as the minimum specs?
"Minimum" means different things to different people. You could get it to run on ridiculously low spec'd hardware - even a Pentium (original) and 128MB of RAM, but there's almost no reason to do so when you can buy a PIII at a flee market or from a neighbor for a few dollars.

I'd say if you're going through the classifieds, look for a minimum PIII 700, with 512MB of RAM (add ram if needed, it's very inexpensive). They should be fairly abundant right now in the used computer market. Do some research if you can on the system's motherboard and make sure that it can read large hard drives.

And don't forget another drive for doing backups of the music library. Maybe the same drive you use internally, except in an external USB or firewire enclosure.

eq72521
2006-03-30, 09:05
Do some research if you can on the system's motherboard and make sure that it can read large hard drives.

I've been wondering about this issue myself as I consider buying some older hardware to put into use as a server. Researching the mobos can be tedious and still not turn up results. If one *did* get a mobo whose onboard IDE controller couldn't handle >137GB drives, could that problem be solved by installing a separate PCI EIDE or SATA controller? Would large drives installed on that controller work OK?

kkitts
2006-03-30, 09:25
This is always a fuzzy area for me. It seems that I've installed hard drives before that were not supported by the bios by installing "Max Blast" for Maxtor hard drives. I think that you can usually break past the barriers with the right software.

Incidentally, I've installled a Promise ATA100 PCI card that came free with a Maxtor drive in both a Windows 98 Pentium Pro system (used with a 200G drive) and I installed the same Promise ATA100 PCI card on a Pentium II 266 system using SUSE 10 Linux (with the same 200G drive by Seagate) and it worked fine in both systems. So, I'd say, yea - if you can find one of those old cheapy ATA100/ATA133 promise PCI IDE cards you can probably get it to work.

I've not really done any timing tests to determine if the ATA100 promise card performs better than the onboard PII ATA66 IDE controller. I actually have drives attached to both onboard IDE controllers as well as the Promise ATA100 card on my system. Everything "just works" under SUSE 10 linux.

Kevin

hifisteve
2006-03-31, 02:40
I started off with the intention of building a 'cheap as chips' music server for my SB3 but (as usual with me) I've ended up completely rebuild and upgrading my main PC instead. Problem was is was SOOO noisy that I could stand to leave it switched on all the time.

I've now got a good spec PC with future upgrade-ablity which is very nearly totally silent so I can just leave it switched on.

Can't emphasise enough the need for having a duplicate of all your ripped music, I'm using x2 320Gb WD drives with RAID1. The though of having to re-rip 700 cds would having me looking for a train to jump under....

NWP
2006-03-31, 03:00
If you do choose to go the cheap route, check out retrobox.com. A friend just bought a PIII there for $64.

eq72521
2006-03-31, 09:56
Can't emphasise enough the need for having a duplicate of all your ripped music, I'm using x2 320Gb WD drives with RAID1. The though of having to re-rip 700 cds would having me looking for a train to jump under....

As has been said here in other forums, *don't* rely on RAID as your only backup. If you lose both drives at the same time or the controller, you're in big trouble. Make sure you back up to some other medium that resides outside the server (separate HD(s), DVDRs, etc.)

lnxguru
2006-04-02, 17:03
I can't add much about hardware requirements -- P II or better and 128MB RAM is _more_ than enough for most home set ups. You don't have to start with a huge hard drive if you use LVM but it is usually better to go with fewer drives from a power/heat perspective. And to repeat earlier advise -- do not depend on RAID for protection. I use DVDs for backup and have been looking into USB 2.0 drives.

If you want to practice your Linux skills you could use telnet/ssh for command line or consider using a remote X server. Cygwin and Hummingbird(commercial) have X servers for Windows. The power and RAM you'll need for this will depend on what else you're going to do with this box but you won't need any monitor/mouse/keyboard attached.

Just some thoughts,
Rich

cjhabs
2006-04-02, 18:47
Cygwin and Hummingbird(commercial) have X servers for Windows.

Xming is a free X implementation for PC - maybe built on Cygwin - not sure.

Habs

Robin Bowes
2006-04-02, 18:55
lnxguru wrote:
> If you want to practice your Linux skills you could use telnet/ssh for
> command line or consider using a remote X server. Cygwin and
> Hummingbird(commercial) have X servers for Windows. The power and RAM
> you'll need for this will depend on what else you're going to do with
> this box but you won't need any monitor/mouse/keyboard attached.

I would add: don't bother with a remote X server - use VNC.

R.

stinkingpig
2006-04-02, 19:51
Robin Bowes wrote:
> lnxguru wrote:
>
>> If you want to practice your Linux skills you could use telnet/ssh for
>> command line or consider using a remote X server. Cygwin and
>> Hummingbird(commercial) have X servers for Windows. The power and RAM
>> you'll need for this will depend on what else you're going to do with
>> this box but you won't need any monitor/mouse/keyboard attached.
>>
>
> I would add: don't bother with a remote X server - use VNC.
>
> R.
>

meh. Each has its place. VNC's performance is horrible, but it is easier
than X. It's probably a point of interest that the most popular page on
my website is this one:
http://www.monkeynoodle.org/comp/remote-x-cygwin-howto

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

rudholm
2006-04-02, 21:10
Robin Bowes wrote:
> lnxguru wrote:
>
>> If you want to practice your Linux skills you could use telnet/ssh for
>> command line or consider using a remote X server. Cygwin and
>> Hummingbird(commercial) have X servers for Windows. The power and RAM
>> you'll need for this will depend on what else you're going to do with
>> this box but you won't need any monitor/mouse/keyboard attached.
>>
>
> I would add: don't bother with a remote X server - use VNC.
>
> R.
>

meh. Each has its place. VNC's performance is horrible, but it is easier
than X. It's probably a point of interest that the most popular page on
my website is this one:
http://www.monkeynoodle.org/comp/remote-x-cygwin-howto

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

You might want to give TightVNC a try, it sports some performance improvements over the original AT&T version.

Also, your howto seems to improperly characterize VNC. Perhaps I'm mis-reading but you seem to imply that the VNC viewer and server trade packets continuously regardless of activity. That isn't the case, they only trade packets when there are events to share (such as mouse movements or screen updates). An idle VNC session uses no bandwidth.

Additionally, you indicate that a VNC context is limited in size and pixel depth to the specs of the video card attached to the server hosting it. This is not the case, VNC contexts can be of arbitrary dimesions and quantity regardless of any video hardware that may or may not be attached to the hosting computer (given enough memory, of course).

One possible exception would be if a user was using VNC to share screen 0, but that's not a common use and certainly not appropriate for the scenario you describe in your howto.

Robin Bowes
2006-04-03, 05:48
Jack Coates wrote:
> Robin Bowes wrote:
>
>> lnxguru wrote:
>>
>>
>>> If you want to practice your Linux skills you could use telnet/ssh for
>>> command line or consider using a remote X server. Cygwin and
>>> Hummingbird(commercial) have X servers for Windows. The power and RAM
>>> you'll need for this will depend on what else you're going to do with
>>> this box but you won't need any monitor/mouse/keyboard attached.
>>>
>>
>>
>> I would add: don't bother with a remote X server - use VNC.
>>
>> R.
>>
>
>
> meh. Each has its place. VNC's performance is horrible, but it is easier
> than X. It's probably a point of interest that the most popular page on
> my website is this one:
> http://www.monkeynoodle.org/comp/remote-x-cygwin-howto
>

Horrible compared to what?

I run it on a LAN (100Mb/s) and performance is "like-I-was-on-the-machine".

I run it over the 'net (256kb/s uplink) and performance is perfectly usable.

In what circumstances do you find that native X performs better than VNC?

R.

lnxguru
2006-04-03, 06:23
The performance of X is actually very good from my experience. VNC is definetly easier. Both will be negatively impacted by "busy" desktops.

Of course with Linux/Unix you don't have to run full desktops -- WindowMaker of Fluxbox are lightweight. Telnet/ssh are even lighter.

pfarrell
2006-04-03, 06:33
lnxguru wrote:
> The performance of X is actually very good from my experience. VNC is
> definetly easier. Both will be negatively impacted by "busy" desktops.
>
> Of course with Linux/Unix you don't have to run full desktops --
> WindowMaker of Fluxbox are lightweight. Telnet/ssh are even lighter.

I'm a little surprized about this whole thread.
While most of my computers are some flavor of Linux,
and my Slimserver is running on Mandriva, I very
rarely use an X-window into it. Mostly, I ignore it
completely, it runs and works. When I do stuff, it
is nearly always with an ssh shell.

All the graphical GUI stuff is nice for some people,
but hardly needed to manage a SlimServer.

And I hardly ever manage mine, it runs Samba, I
rip files on Windows and drag and drop them
onto the SlimServer, and I'm done.

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

lnxguru
2006-04-03, 06:44
Agreed, but the OP also wanted to use his SS to learn Linux. I rarely go graphical on my SS and I use NFS for accessing my music files.

But this thread does seem to be getting away from the OP and he seems to be elsewhere.

Rich

stinkingpig
2006-04-03, 06:53
rudholm wrote:
> ...
>> meh. Each has its place. VNC's performance is horrible, but it is
>> easier
>> than X. It's probably a point of interest that the most popular page on
>>
>> my website is this one:
>> http://www.monkeynoodle.org/comp/remote-x-cygwin-howto
>>
>> --
>> Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org: It's a Scientific Venture...
>> Riding the Emergency Third Rail Power Trip Since 1996
>>
>
> You might want to give TightVNC a try, it sports some performance
> improvements over the original AT&T version.
>
>
I have.
> Also, your howto seems to improperly characterize VNC. Perhaps I'm
> mis-reading but you seem to imply that the VNC viewer and server trade
> packets continuously regardless of activity. That isn't the case, they
> only trade packets when there are events to share (such as mouse
> movements or screen updates). An idle VNC session uses no bandwidth.
>
>
I haven't watched Tight with a sniffer, but AT&T VNC definitely polls.
> Additionally, you indicate that a VNC context is limited in size and
> pixel depth to the specs of the video card attached to the server
> hosting it. This is not the case, VNC contexts can be of arbitrary
> dimesions and quantity regardless of any video hardware that may or may
> not be attached to the hosting computer (given enough memory, of
> course).
>
>
That might be a new feature, but it's still not as cool in my mind than
X. Anyway, VNC has its place and I'm sure that Tight offers lots of
benefits that I didn't notice the last few times I tried it. It was
still a lot slower than RDP or X, so I didn't care to hang around and
find out what those benefits were.

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

bobharp
2006-04-03, 07:00
Want to keep the cost to a minimum, as it's only for slimserver + increacing my Linux skills. Appart from a large HDD, what would people recommend as the minimum specs?

Thanks, Dom.

What codec (flac, mp3, ogg, etc.) will you use? Drive size keeps increasing and is staying relatively cheap. Search the forums for backup solution that will fit your needs and set up your disk(s) accordingly.

stinkingpig
2006-04-03, 07:06
Robin Bowes wrote:
....
> Horrible compared to what?
>
> I run it on a LAN (100Mb/s) and performance is "like-I-was-on-the-machine".
>
> I run it over the 'net (256kb/s uplink) and performance is perfectly usable.
>
> In what circumstances do you find that native X performs better than VNC?
>
> R.
>

MS-RDP and X are both faster in my experience on the LAN. Remotely, X
falls off fast, but RDP is still the quicker solution. I've used RDP
successfully by Webexing from Berkeley to Dallas and RDP'ing from Dallas
to Tokyo, while I've had VNC be unusable between a DSL line in Berkeley
and a DSL line in San Jose.

I'm sure I was just unlucky and there are many users happily using VNC
over three cantenna wireless links and a strand of electrified barbed
wire from Seattle to Chicago, but I went seeking alternatives and found
them. I've had to use VNC at a couple of customer sites in the last few
years and it doesn't seem to have improved, but I'm sure the latest
version fixed anything.

To get vaguely back toward topic, this is maybe illustrative of the
issues some people have with product quality.

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

stinkingpig
2006-04-03, 07:07
Pat Farrell wrote:
> lnxguru wrote:
>
>> The performance of X is actually very good from my experience. VNC is
>> definetly easier. Both will be negatively impacted by "busy" desktops.
>>
>> Of course with Linux/Unix you don't have to run full desktops --
>> WindowMaker of Fluxbox are lightweight. Telnet/ssh are even lighter.
>>
>
> I'm a little surprized about this whole thread.
> While most of my computers are some flavor of Linux,
> and my Slimserver is running on Mandriva, I very
> rarely use an X-window into it. Mostly, I ignore it
> completely, it runs and works. When I do stuff, it
> is nearly always with an ssh shell.
>
> All the graphical GUI stuff is nice for some people,
> but hardly needed to manage a SlimServer.
>
> And I hardly ever manage mine, it runs Samba, I
> rip files on Windows and drag and drop them
> onto the SlimServer, and I'm done.
>
>
I ran Linux on server and laptop for years before I bothered to get it
working, and I don't use it now :) Sure, you don't usually need it, but
when you do it's handy (DrakConf and YAST2 come to mind, both are
clunkier in their ncurses implementations).

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

rudholm
2006-04-03, 09:05
rudholm wrote:
> ...
>> meh. Each has its place. VNC's performance is horrible, but it is
>> easier
>> than X. It's probably a point of interest that the most popular page on
>>
>> my website is this one:
>> http://www.monkeynoodle.org/comp/remote-x-cygwin-howto
>>
>> --
>> Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org: It's a Scientific Venture...
>> Riding the Emergency Third Rail Power Trip Since 1996
>>
>
> You might want to give TightVNC a try, it sports some performance
> improvements over the original AT&T version.
>
>
I have.
> Also, your howto seems to improperly characterize VNC. Perhaps I'm
> mis-reading but you seem to imply that the VNC viewer and server trade
> packets continuously regardless of activity. That isn't the case, they
> only trade packets when there are events to share (such as mouse
> movements or screen updates). An idle VNC session uses no bandwidth.
>
>
I haven't watched Tight with a sniffer, but AT&T VNC definitely polls.
> Additionally, you indicate that a VNC context is limited in size and
> pixel depth to the specs of the video card attached to the server
> hosting it. This is not the case, VNC contexts can be of arbitrary
> dimesions and quantity regardless of any video hardware that may or may
> not be attached to the hosting computer (given enough memory, of
> course).
>
>
That might be a new feature, but it's still not as cool in my mind than
X. Anyway, VNC has its place and I'm sure that Tight offers lots of
benefits that I didn't notice the last few times I tried it. It was
still a lot slower than RDP or X, so I didn't care to hang around and
find out what those benefits were.


No, null-event alerting/polling is simply not part of how RFB (the protocol VNC uses) works, it's not a question of whose implementation we're considering.

New feature? Not at all. VNC runs independent of any video hardware on the server, always has. vncserver requires no X11 server because it *is* an X11 server. vncserver doesn't even know if any local display hardware exists. In Windows this wasn't the case because that OS traditionally only supported one user context at a time so when you shared a session with VNC, you were sharing *the* desktop (which, obviously, was tied to a video card). But under unix-like OSes, this has never been the case. In fact, getting VNC to share the contents of screen 0 (i.e. the local video display) is something people have been trying to work out in recent years. Eventually, RFB will be implemented by hardware-based X11 servers as simply another modular extension.

What were the particulars of the VNC setup(s) you experimented with?

I'm curious because RFB is far more lightweight than X11 so performance is generally better over less-than-robust links. That was part of the whole point of VNC. So if you're seeing other results, I'm curious what the specifics were. I'm also curious because your use of vncserver seemed to be tied to the physical display somehow.

stinkingpig
2006-04-03, 09:17
rudholm wrote:
....
> No, null-event alerting/polling is simply not part of how RFB (the
> protocol VNC uses) works, it's not a question of whose implementation
> we're considering.
>
> New feature? Not at all. VNC runs independent of any video hardware
> on the server, always has. vncserver requires no X11 server because it
> *is* an X11 server. vncserver doesn't even know if any local display
> hardware exists. In Windows this wasn't the case because that OS
> traditionally only supported one user context at a time so when you
> shared a session with VNC, you were sharing *the* desktop (which,
> obviously, was tied to a video card). But under unix-like OSes, this
> has never been the case. In fact, getting VNC to share the contents of
> screen 0 (i.e. the local video display) is something people have been
> trying to work out in recent years. Eventually, RFB will be
> implemented by hardware-based X11 servers as simply another modular
> extension.
>
>
ok.
> What were the particulars of the VNC setup(s) you experimented with?
>
> I'm curious because RFB is far more lightweight than X11 so performance
> is generally better over less-than-robust links. That was part of the
> whole point of VNC. So if you're seeing other results, I'm curious
> what the specifics were. I'm also curious because your use of
> vncserver seemed to be tied to the physical display somehow.
>
>

Mandrake Linux client, Windows 98 and XP servers. This was before
rdesktop existed as an option, which is what I use now in these
situations. I haven't used Xvnc server more than once or twice, because
there's really no need.

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

geoffb
2006-04-04, 10:38
On 4/2/06, Jack Coates wrote:
> Robin Bowes wrote:
> > lnxguru wrote:
> >
> >> If you want to practice your Linux skills you could use telnet/ssh for
> >> command line or consider using a remote X server. Cygwin and
> >> Hummingbird(commercial) have X servers for Windows. The power and RAM
> >> you'll need for this will depend on what else you're going to do with
> >> this box but you won't need any monitor/mouse/keyboard attached.
> >>
> >
> > I would add: don't bother with a remote X server - use VNC.
> >
> > R.
> >
>
> meh. Each has its place. VNC's performance is horrible, but it is easier
> than X. It's probably a point of interest that the most popular page on
> my website is this one:
> http://www.monkeynoodle.org/comp/remote-x-cygwin-howto

I'm surpised that nobody's mentioned NX (or freenx). I'm not
particularly experienced with linux, so maybe it's just a different
form of remote X, but it worked flawlessly for me when I set up a
MythTV box recently. It seems pretty efficient, even ssh-tunnelled
through my bandwidth-restricted work-to-home connection.
I used the NX windows client, and the FreeNX server.
NX here: http://www.nomachine.com/
FreeNX here: http://freenx.berlios.de/

Cheers
Geoff

chiphart
2006-04-04, 13:13
Geoff B wrote:
> I'm surpised that nobody's mentioned NX (or freenx). I'm not
> particularly experienced with linux, so maybe it's just a different
> form of remote X, but it worked flawlessly for me when I set up a
> MythTV box recently. It seems pretty efficient, even ssh-tunnelled
> through my bandwidth-restricted work-to-home connection.
> I used the NX windows client, and the FreeNX server.
> NX here: http://www.nomachine.com/
> FreeNX here: http://freenx.berlios.de/

...let me toss in another positive vote for NX. We use(d) it
here at work and were shocked at how fast, nice it is. We
haven't battle-tested it yet, so YMMV.

--
Chip Hart - Pediatric Solutions * Physician's Computer Company
chip @ pcc.com * 1 Main St. #7, Winooski, VT 05404
800-722-7708 * http://www.pcc.com/~chip
f.802-846-8178 * Pediatric Software Just Got Smarter.
Your Practice Just Got Healthier.