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randytsuch
2006-10-17, 11:50
So, here is the story of my $60 music server. Kind of a diary/guide to save other linux newbies some of the pain I went through.

I decided to build a dedicated music server to store my songs, and to run slimserver on.
It will live in my garage, and I will turn it on and off as needed. It will be “headless”, no monitor, keyboard or mouse.

Hardware
OK, it was only $60 because I had bits and pieces of stuff around, including a mid tower case, with a generic power supply. I also have some hard drives I have bought on sale at different times. Also had some RAM, left over from when I upgraded my current home PC.

What I needed was a MB and Processor. So, I did some research at the slim devices forums, and at silentpcreview. Looking for something cheap, low power, with enough horsepower to run as a file server and slimserver.

I decided on this via based system
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813185043

It is cheap enough, and I think it will do what I need it to do. It also has two Ram slots, two PCI slots and supported USB 2.0. The VIA boards I saw, were more expensive, and did not have all of this. They either had one ram slot, or were USB 1.1, or $100 more expensive.

This CPU is supposed to be equivalent to around an 500-800 MHZ PIII, so it is not a high performance platform. On the net, I saw people running CC on some very old machines, so if you have an old PC around, then you could just try that. The only reason I did not try to use my old Celeron 450 is that it no longer remembered it's BIOS settings, so I did not have any faith that it would boot up all the time, without some intervention. And for $60, it was worth it to me not to screw with that.

OS
For my OS, since I wanted to run headless, and do not know linux, I looked for something easy, other than windows.

At the slim devices forums, I found this
http://www.clarkconnect.com/

It is free for the “community edition”. Linux based, but has a GUI interface. Lots of support from web pages and forums, and people are already running slimserver on it. Plus, you can control it remotely, from another PC, so it is ideal for a headless server.

From the clarkconnect site, download the community edition ISO file from here
http://www.clarkconnect.com/downloads/isos.php

You need to burn it to CD as a bootable CD. There are free utilities to do this, google for burning a ISO CD to find one.

Building the PC
So, first I put together the PC. I had an extra mid tower case, with PS, that I used. I also had a 512 and a 256 meg stick of DDR RAM to use. The 512 stick was a higher speed than Chips calls for the MB, but it worked fine. Normally, it is fine to go with faster RAM. Since the processor is already installed, it is pretty easy to put this together. Just hook up the Power Supply (you only need a PS with a 20 pin connector), install the RAM, and connect the jumpers from the front of the PC for the LED’s, power switch, ETC. Also, connected two internal USB ports to the front of my case.

At this point, I just installed a small hard drive, and a CD rom drive, on the same IDE port. HD was master, CD slave, both were set to Cable Select (CS).

Hooked up monitor, KB and mouse, and it worked .

Then, I went into the BIOS setup, and found the page with the boot drive order. I set the CD rom to be the first boot device, and the hard drive as the 2nd.

Installed my bootable CD with clarkconnect 4.0 on it, and it booted up.
There is a CC installation guide here
http://www.clarkconnect.com/help/pdf/CC-Quickstart.pdf
It is for the older version of CC, but basically the same.

Followed the instructions, and installed CC to the hard drive. It ends up overwriting the hard drive, so don’t have anything you want on the hard drive.

First time, I decided to install everything, and the installation failed, had a problem reading the CD. Then, I tried again, this time I did not install the Email and SPAM programs (won’t use this for email), and the installation worked. I have no idea if the stuff I did not install had anything to do with the success.

Removed the CD, and PC booted from the HD now. I connected the PC to my Ethernet switch (I am not going to run this wireless right now, I will run a wire from the switch).

Then, I tried to talk to the CC PC from my XP PC. You just run explorer, and type in
https://192.168.10.1:81/admin/
using the ip address found on your CC PC instead of 192.168.10.1

It did not work because I was using the DNS server address, instead of the PC address. The PC address is the IP address under eth0, or something like that. Once I figured out the address, I could talk to it no problem.

Putty

With the explorer interface, you are limited in what you can do. To cause some real damage, you need a console interface. I used putty, can be found here,
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/

Download it, I just dragged it to my XP PC’s desktop, and double click to start.
It comes up, with a box for the Host name or IP address. Just type in the IP address for your CC machine. You can save this, so you only need to do it once. Click open, and a new window will open, asking for your username. Type “root”, then the password you entered during the CC installation.

Now, you have a console, where the “real” linux people live.

Installing Slimserver
It is easy to install slimserver from putty, type in
rpm -Uvh http://www.slimdevices.com/downloads/SlimServer_v6.5.0/SlimServer_v6.5.0.noarch.rpm

This will load in the latest version (6.5) of slimserver. For older versions, find the web address for it, and substitute it in.

Once slimserver is installed, you can find it using your Win machine, on explorer by typing in
http://192.168.10.1:9000
using the ip address found on your CC PC instead of 192.168.10.1
This will bring up the familiar slimserver start page.


Adding another HD.
I opened up my machine, and added another drive. I actually ended up swapping in a 60G drive for the “linux” drive, and added a 250G drive for the “data” drive.

Since I swapped to boot drive, had to reinstall CC, which is pretty easy, especially after a few times. I probably ended up doing 4-5 installs before I was done.
Then, I tried to use “fdisk” to set up the 2nd hard drive. When I rebooted my CC PC, I had screwed up the boot drive, so had to install CC again. Not sure what I did.
When I reinstalled CC this time, on the partitioning screen, instead of “Use Default”, I selected “I will do my own partitioning”.

After a few screens, the disk partitioning screen showed up. I picked the non manual option, where the program told you what to do, and just let it do everything. It ended up creating a partition called
/dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00
That was almost 300G. It was the 250 gig drive, plus what I had not used from the 60G drive.

Setting up the HD.
To use my 300G partition, I needed to mount it.

From the putty interface, typed “df”, and I got the following information.

Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00 297798360 1064600 281606416 1% /
/dev/hda1 101086 8975 86892 10% /boot
none 371156 0 371156 0% /dev/shm

Use the following to make a directory called “/mnt/hd”.
mkdir /mnt/hd

Now “mount” it. You have to mount it to use it. This command maps the directory you just made into the large data partition.
mount -t auto /dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00 /mnt/hd

Use cd to go to the new directory.
cd /mnt/hd

You need to mount if every time you use it, or automount it. I have not tried to automount it yet, that will come soon.
Now, to move stuff between the XP and CC machines, download winscp. This adds a graphical interface to putty, and shows you the directory structures for both machines. Makes it easy to transfer files or directories.

I am not sure if you need to set up samba to use winscp. I had already set samba up before I tried winscp. If it works, great, otherwise, the CC web interface program has some built in samba support, so you can use this to set up shares.

Oh, and to turn if off, go to “system” then “tools” in the CC web program, and there is a place to turn off, or reset the CC PC.

I placed my PC on top of a cabinet, in my garage, so I can’t reach the on/off switch. So, I built a little cable, cut off the connector from the HD LED, which I don’t need, and soldered a switch to it, with about 5 feet of wire added. So, I have a switch I can reach, to turn on the PC.

Hope this helps someone. I am sure this is some details I left out, but this should get someone through the big steps. And, I am quite happy with the results. For the money spent, I have a pretty nice NAS, that will be easy to expand later, and seems easy to support and work on.

My one minor disappointment is noise. It is not as quiet as I would have liked, but since it lives in the garage, not a big deal. I am not sure if it is PS fan, or CPU fan that is noisier, but I may replace the PS with a "free" Fry's rebate one, when it gets here.

And, the one issue with the CPU that I saw at a Newegg review is that the heatsink is glued on , and hard to remove. If you do remove it, you can replace with a big passive heatsink, and if you have a quiet PS, this thing could be basically silent. It may be easier to remove before you ever power up the system, if you know you want to change it, but that might void the warranty.

And thanks to Pale Blue Ego, Ramage, water, stinkingpig and Patrick Dixon for offering help on this thread,
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28638


Randy

tscales
2006-10-17, 14:42
Fantastic run down - I'm still stuck on Samba (in Fedora C5 - Swat won't install)

Did you need to creat a user to get to the Linux box or do you just log in as root? Did you have to tweak your XP box's at all?

Are all the boxes behind a router (linksys prolly)?

-tim

randytsuch
2006-10-17, 16:54
Did you need to creat a user to get to the Linux box or do you just log in as root?

Hi Tim,

I did not create another user account, did not figure that out yet, I just log in as root. I can do more damage that way ;).



Did you have to tweak your XP box's at all?


Did not really tweak XP. Only thing I did was set my music directory for sharing, with no protection, and read/write access, although my CC box does not really need to write here. Other than that, just loaded winscp onto my xp machine. BTW, with winscp, you may not need samba.


Are all the boxes behind a router (linksys prolly)?

-tim

I have a Motorola wireless router. I also have a wired SB2, wireless SB3, the wired CC PC, 3 wireless XP PC’s and 2 wireless laptops, which are connected to the router at one time or another.

Randy

tscales
2006-10-18, 07:16
well,

I tried creating a user - created one, but the password doesn't work and I can't seem to reset it. whats the default?

Samba doesn't seem to be running at all - I can see my XP pc from the Fedora machine but not the other way.

I can't seem to get any additional RPMs to install - either by running the "installation application" in fedora or but tryin to run them at the terminal prompt.

I think I may be having the worst possible installation experience around. where do the RPM files need to be located to run them with a command like...

rpm -Uvh samba-swat-3.0.7-2.FC1.i386 RPM

I was able to successfully install slimserver from the URL rpm - how do I run it? It said "installation successful" but i have no idea where it is or how to turn it on.

Thanks for all the help.

-Tim

snarlydwarf
2006-10-18, 08:26
as root:
passwd username

Will change the password for username.

randytsuch
2006-10-18, 10:10
I was able to successfully install slimserver from the URL rpm - how do I run it? It said "installation successful" but i have no idea where it is or how to turn it on.

-Tim

I actually don't know how to get at slimserver on my CC PC (well, I haven't tried yet)

I do this:
Once slimserver is installed, you can find it using your Win machine, on explorer by typing in
http://192.168.10.1:9000
using the ip address found on your CC PC instead of 192.168.10.1

So, as long is you know the IP address of your unix machine, this should bring up slimserver, if it is running.

For your other problems, you need someone who knows more about Linux than I do, which is probably most of the people who hang out here.

Randy

tscales
2006-10-18, 10:37
I actually don't know how to get at slimserver on my CC PC (well, I haven't tried yet)

I do this:
Once slimserver is installed, you can find it using your Win machine, on explorer by typing in
http://192.168.10.1:9000
using the ip address found on your CC PC instead of 192.168.10.1

So, as long is you know the IP address of your unix machine, this should bring up slimserver, if it is running.

For your other problems, you need someone who knows more about Linux than I do, which is probably most of the people who hang out here.

Randy

Cool - how can I check the ip address on the linux box?

Thanks - I feel like my questions are too 'stoopid' for the real pros here - I have been reading everything I can get my hands on, but the learning curve is tough and I'm suspicious the install didn't go very well - I don't think SMB and NMB are running properly, or SMB may not be running at all. I just had a friend tell me about the 'man' command that gives you a MANUAL. Thats bad, when you don't even know where the manual IS let alone read it.

tscales
2006-10-20, 09:52
Well,

I threw in the towel on Fedora Core 5 and gave ClarkConnect a try last night. Installation was a breeze and I was managing the linux box with my XP laptop almost instantly. Turned on some services - made a few auto-start on reboot.

Then I wanted to install slimserver with the following command, via Putty.

rpm -Uvh http://www.slimdevices.com/downloads/SlimServer_v6.5.0/SlimServer_v6.5.0.noarch.rpm

And I got an error message that it didn't exist or wasn't there or somrthing - I attributed it to me typing soemthing in wrong - tired double checking the syntax and url - still no luck. So I downloaded it copied it over to the root directory on CC with winscp. Tried to do a rpm -Uvh (then file name) no luck. Tried YUM INSTALL SLIMSERVER ...no luck.

Anythoughts? tips?

MillmoorRon
2006-10-20, 13:44
I installed ClarkConnect with no problems.

Connected to the CC PC with Putty from my Windows PC OK.

But when I downloaded the SlimServer RPM it says Perl-XML-parser required (or something like that)

What did I do wrong?

tscales
2006-10-20, 15:36
I've read that the latest version of SlimServer has some Perl dependancies - maybe try and older version?

MillmoorRon
2006-10-22, 05:46
I got it working by installing the missing perl modules (found method on CC site!) and got my Squeezebox to connect OK.

However, in the CC web interface the Slimserver service says Stopped!

Is this normal?

djfake
2006-10-22, 07:03
I recently built a new machine (much like the one this post started with) to replace my older celeron FC2. I installed FC5 and had no problems.

Here's couple of points:
1. Turn off SELinux BEFORE you install slimserver; it doesn't work with Slimserver.
2. You can access slimserver from the command line as root:
# /sbin/service slimserver status
3. Your music directory(s) need permissions of 755. Remember, Slimserver creates another user "slimserver" to operate.
4. Be sure the firewall has ports 9000/U and 3483/U/T open.
5. I installed slimserver with:
# rpm -ivh SlimServer_6.5_v2006-10-15.noarch

Again, FC5 is a nice OS, and has the right version of Perl already installed.
c

blackbear
2006-10-22, 17:26
...
However, in the CC web interface the Slimserver service says Stopped!

Is this normal?

I have the same issue with CC 4.0 It seems like some kind of bug. Also, 4.0 seems to confuse SlimServer's MySQL with its own, as far as the web admin interface is concerned.
CC 3.2 handled both these things perfectly.

randytsuch
2006-10-22, 22:52
I have the same issue with CC 4.0 It seems like some kind of bug. Also, 4.0 seems to confuse SlimServer's MySQL with its own, as far as the web admin interface is concerned.
CC 3.2 handled both these things perfectly.

I only remember it saying stopped for me the first time I brought it up. So far, 4.0 is working fine for me. I do think more people are running 3.2 with slimserver, and if I had problems with 4.0, I would probably role back to 3.2.

Randy

tscales
2006-10-23, 09:26
Hey,

I had CC4.0 up and running, but began having lots of problems when I installed slimserver and softsqueeze - after a while it was doing some very confusing things. So, I installed a fresh version of CC3.2 and eveything looks okay - installed the perl dependancies, installed an older version of slimserver, then upgraded (I don't know why)

I got eveything working, I guess but for a while I couldn't get softsqueeze to connect. I could see my files in the slimserver web interface, but couldn't play them. I adjusted the network settings in softsqueeze and now I can connect and see the files, but softsqueeze "can not open them"

Anythoughts?

randytsuch
2006-10-30, 19:11
Hey,

I had CC4.0 up and running, but began having lots of problems when I installed slimserver and softsqueeze - after a while it was doing some very confusing things. So, I installed a fresh version of CC3.2 and eveything looks okay - installed the perl dependancies, installed an older version of slimserver, then upgraded (I don't know why)

I got eveything working, I guess but for a while I couldn't get softsqueeze to connect. I could see my files in the slimserver web interface, but couldn't play them. I adjusted the network settings in softsqueeze and now I can connect and see the files, but softsqueeze "can not open them"

Anythoughts?

Hi Tim,
Any luck getting it going? Sorry I don't know what to tell you here, it is beyond my knowledge of CC, and I don't use softsqueeze on my CC PC. But, you may be better off going back to 3.2. Seems like people have better luck with 3.2 and slimserver. I just used 4.0 because it is the latest.

I do have the problem in 4.0 where it says slimserver is not running. I did not notice before because I normally just use winscp. I even made a custom command in winscp to turn off my CC PC, it is the equivalent of typing "shutdown -h now" from putty, which will turn off the PC.

Randy

tscales
2006-10-31, 10:37
Well,

I'm optimistic that when i do hook up a squeezebox this problem will go away, but it doesn't bode well for my purchase.

I like CC3.2 and it is working flawlessly compared to cc4.0 - got all my data (music) transferred to the CC box without a problem (minus a few corrupt folders) and am able to browse to the CC box from any XP machine in the house - woohoo!! As far as "can not open file" I'm guessing softsqueeze doesn't have the correct permissions, so I tried to mess with the SSH connect tab of softsqueeze, but I can't seems to get anything there to work.

Aside - winscp has been telling me to run disk-check - how do I do that?

randytsuch
2006-11-01, 23:39
Well,

I'm optimistic that when i do hook up a squeezebox this problem will go away, but it doesn't bode well for my purchase.

I like CC3.2 and it is working flawlessly compared to cc4.0 - got all my data (music) transferred to the CC box without a problem (minus a few corrupt folders) and am able to browse to the CC box from any XP machine in the house - woohoo!! As far as "can not open file" I'm guessing softsqueeze doesn't have the correct permissions, so I tried to mess with the SSH connect tab of softsqueeze, but I can't seems to get anything there to work.

Aside - winscp has been telling me to run disk-check - how do I do that?


Hi Tim
You could try this command for disk checking, but I have not seen winscp ask to check my disk, so I am not sure if this will help
http://www.ss64.com/bash/fsck.html

BTW, I run a SB2 and a SB3 from my server with no problems. I am quite happy with my setup.

Randy

dick
2006-11-06, 06:19
This thread has inspired me to attempt building a CC server and put slimserver on it so thatnks to you guys.

I've set up a 500MHz PIII with 256Mb RAM and 2 HDDs (will leave one to host the server s/w and will eventually replace the other with a 500Gb beast for the flac files). I have installed CC 3.2 and set it up on my network.

As a Linux newbie I apologise for the dumb question but how do I install the mising Perl module?

TIA

randytsuch
2006-11-06, 11:07
This thread has inspired me to attempt building a CC server and put slimserver on it so thatnks to you guys.

I've set up a 500MHz PIII with 256Mb RAM and 2 HDDs (will leave one to host the server s/w and will eventually replace the other with a 500Gb beast for the flac files). I have installed CC 3.2 and set it up on my network.

As a Linux newbie I apologise for the dumb question but how do I install the mising Perl module?

TIA

See this thread from the cc forum
http://www.clarkconnect.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=fun&Number=86991&Searchpage=1&Main=86991&Words=%2Bslimserver+%2Bperl&topic=&Search=true#Post86991

I think the 2nd post will help you.

Randy

outsider
2006-11-21, 12:57
Randy, excellent write up!
I wish I could have the patience to sit down and document things I've done.

Anyway, just a few words that might help regarding the installation, and overall setup for others that are considering this.

Why did you choose the Clark Connect version of linux? The reason I ask is because since that OS is mostly an internet gateway and server, it likely has a lot of software running (mainly to do with mail servers, web servers,firewall, bandwidth managers...) that you don't actually need.
Maybe something like Puppy linux or Damn Small Linux be a better fit for this?

Secondly, I wasn't 100% clear on how you joined the 2 drives to get a 300gig partition. But it is what I think, where a partition is spanned between the 2 drives, I would strongly recommend against that.
Reason being is that if either drive fails, you loose all your data. Statistically, you're worse off this way then just using the one drive to store your data.

I personally have slimserver running on a SuSE 10.1 linux box. There is no graphical interface installed (almost any linux flavour can be installed without a graphic display), and I have 4 250gig drives in a RAID 5 array, where I have redundancy if one drive fails.

tscales
2006-11-21, 17:34
Randy has been a great resource.

I chose Clark Connect cuase I wanted my server to run head less (since I only have one monitor and am sick of switchin the cables around) and you can very easily, thru the web interface, turn off the web serve email serve and FTP server if you don't use them.

Its a pretty nice web-gui in my opinion. Am I speaking accurately Randy?

-tim

outsider
2006-11-22, 05:39
Hey, as long as you're happy and comfortable with it, that's what's important.
Every version of linux can be run headless. There's nothing special about clarck connect that any other linux suite can't do.
Just out of curiosity, the web-gui that you use... What is it Webmin?

randytsuch
2006-11-25, 23:29
Hi
Sorry, have not been here lately, so I did not see you post before.

Mostly I picked Clark because I saw some people here recommend it. They said it was pretty small, did not take a high horsepower machine to run, and you could easily run it headless.

There may be better versions of Linux to do what I am doing, but Clark works for me, and I am happy with it, so I have no plans to try anything else.

I tried to install some other linux a while ago, but it did not boot up, and I had no idea why, so I gave up on it. Then I stumbled upon a post here recommending clark. Said it could run headless, and did not need a high powered machine to run it.

I made the boot cd, installed clark, and it just worked, no problem. It does have a lot of capabilities that I am not using, but I have most of those turned off, so it does not eat up resources to run them.

Clark has a default program called webconfig that lets you run the clark machine from another PC. You just type in the clark's address/admin, and log in, then you get access to a set of screens that let you monitor and control the clark machine.

webmin is a more powerfull version of webconfig, but I have not tried it.

I actually now use winscp most of the time to control my clark machine. It makes it easy to transfer files from my windows PC to my clark PC.

I did span two drives to make the 300g partition, kind of by accident. And, I see how it would reduce reliability. But, I am using this PC as a music server, so I am not keeping any files on it that I do not have elsewhere.

But, it should be pointed out for others, who may not have their files backed up somewhere else, and would be SOL if the clark drive died.

Randy

tscales
2006-11-28, 11:34
Puzzle me this...

So i guess my server crashed - okay - I go to reboot, it doesn't start up so I check out the BIOS. My CD, Floppy and both drives come up as "Unknown Devices"

I'm curious if its apower supply thing?

-Tim

randytsuch
2006-11-29, 23:35
Puzzle me this...

So i guess my server crashed - okay - I go to reboot, it doesn't start up so I check out the BIOS. My CD, Floppy and both drives come up as "Unknown Devices"

I'm curious if its apower supply thing?

-Tim

Hi Tim,
Bummer. Not sure if it's a power supply, since it does come up. When I had a bad power supply, nothing happened, but if your supply is marginal, weird things could happen.

Could also be a motherboard problem. Not sure what else would cause your problem. You could try to reset your bios to the default values, and see if that does anything.

Randy

tscales
2006-11-30, 09:16
How do i reset the Bios?

randytsuch
2006-12-03, 22:44
After you enter the Bios, there is usually a way there to reset everything to the default values, whatever it started with.

But, make sure you know what everything is set to before you reset it, so you can restore all the settings if you need to.

Randy

tommypeters
2007-01-25, 07:10
I'm just about to build a music server based on a Micro-ATX MB and a 2,66GHz Celeron D processor, 512MB - 1GB RAM, S-ATA drives.. The MB has built-in GBit Ethernet and VGA, S-ATA, USB2 and other normal stuff. It's main use would be as a NAS running Slimserver, might also double as a file server for the "HDD Challenged" computers at home.

I'm not decided yet, but it may find a third use as my wife's "Internet Computer" - she would just need a web browser. It would then replace her slow, old, current computer. The MB can take an AGP graphics card, and I have one spare if I (she) need better graphics than the built-in.

Based on this info, do you recommend to have Linux, FreeBSD/FreeNAS or WinXP (don't have a spare license for any Win Server op)? If it's only to be used as a music server/NAS I guess the only caveat I know of is S-ATA hibernation. You might know of many more...

I have worked with Unix many years ago, in recent years only Windows...

randytsuch
2007-01-26, 21:40
I'm just about to build a music server based on a Micro-ATX MB and a 2,66GHz Celeron D processor, 512MB - 1GB RAM, S-ATA drives.. The MB has built-in GBit Ethernet and VGA, S-ATA, USB2 and other normal stuff. It's main use would be as a NAS running Slimserver, might also double as a file server for the "HDD Challenged" computers at home.

I'm not decided yet, but it may find a third use as my wife's "Internet Computer" - she would just need a web browser. It would then replace her slow, old, current computer. The MB can take an AGP graphics card, and I have one spare if I (she) need better graphics than the built-in.

Based on this info, do you recommend to have Linux, FreeBSD/FreeNAS or WinXP (don't have a spare license for any Win Server op)? If it's only to be used as a music server/NAS I guess the only caveat I know of is S-ATA hibernation. You might know of many more...

I have worked with Unix many years ago, in recent years only Windows...


The main reason I picked the ClarkConnect version of Linux was that it was easy to set it up in a "headless" configuration. Makes for a good server, my machine is on top of some shelfs, in my garage. Basically no maintenance, once I got it set up and running. So, if it is just a file server, CC will work fine.

The part of the equation I don't know how to answer is setting it up as your wife internet machine. I am sure you can do it, but it is something I did not do. I also wonder how "user friendly" it will be, compared to winXP. I would worry about this part the most, and make sure it will be easy for your wife to use.

Randy