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DLloyd
2007-09-19, 17:33
Hello,

I'm currently running SlimServer on my Windows Vista PC, which is not an ideal situation, so I'm planning on building a dedicated Linux SlimServer box instead.

So basically, a keyboard-less, mouse-less, monitor-less small form factor box who's sole purpose is to do a good job of running SlimServer.

The hardware I'm thinking of using for this is a Shuttle XPC Barebone PC (model SD37P2 V2), with a spare Intel Pentium D 830 Dual Core (3.0 GHz) CPU that I have, probably 2 GB of 667 MHz memory, a cheap fanless video card (Radeon X1050), an Intel Intel PRO/1000 PT Desktop Adapter NIC, DVD-ROM drive (and floppy ?), and two Samsung SATA 300 500GB hard drives.

The chipset on the SD37P2 V2 motherboard is Intel 975X & ICH7R, which will give me a terabyte of hardware RAID 0 storage.

Does this sound like a reasonable spec. for a Linux SlimServer ?

Is 2 GB of memory sufficient ?

And probably the most important question I have right now, which distribution of Linux should I be looking at running ?

Any advice gratefully appreciated !

pfarrell
2007-09-19, 17:55
DLloyd wrote:
> The hardware I'm thinking of using for this is a Shuttle XPC Barebone
> PC (model SD37P2 V2), with a spare Intel Pentium D 830 Dual Core (3.0
> GHz) CPU that I have, probably 2 GB of 667 MHz memory, a cheap fanless
> video card (Radeon X1050), an Intel Intel PRO/1000 PT Desktop Adapter
> NIC, DVD-ROM drive (and floppy ?), and two Samsung SATA 300 500GB hard
> drives.
> Does this sound like a reasonable spec. for a Linux SlimServer ?
>
> Is 2 GB of memory sufficient ?
>
> And probably the most important question I have right now, which
> distribution of Linux should I be looking at running ?

First things first, this is way overkill for a SlimServer.
For years, I ran on a P3-500. My current system is a single AMD 1800 and
its is fine.

2GB is wonderful, but 1GB is probably enough. Now if you fill the whole
terabyte, too much is not enough.

Distro selection is religious. One you love I might hate. My number one
rule is find a buddy who likes a distro and will help for a beer or two.
Use that one. Buy your buddy a beer or two.

I have been using Mandriva, because my buddy used it years ago. I do not
recommend it, the Mandriva folks have made some packaging decisions,
like not including any developer tools by default, that make it harder
to install the SlimServer than it should be, and harder than on nearly
any other modern Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.).


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

Mark Miksis
2007-09-19, 18:52
And probably the most important question I have right now, which distribution of Linux should I be looking at running ?

The most popular distos around here seem to be Fedora and Ubuntu. If you're new to linux, you'll get more help on these forums if you choose one of these.

mflint
2007-09-20, 01:33
The hardware you describe is /easily/ up to the job.

I run SlimServer (and a load of other stuff) on a small PPC box (the KuroBox). It's only 266MHz with 128Mb RAM, but happily services a library of 3700 flacs.

With 20 times the processing grunt (if a simplistic comparison can be made between x86 and PPC) and 10 times the memory, you should be fine ;-)

Matthew

jaysung
2007-09-20, 03:12
Hello,
I would strongly discourage you from using raid0 for the following reasons:
1. if one disk fails everything you ripped in hours is lost!!!
2. the additional speed achieved by software raid when writing is arguable.
3. The additional speed when reading is not needed at all when reading and streaming to dozens of slimplayers. So why have it?
Buy another disk and go for raid5 as easy to setup.

I would choose debian for it is a simple aptitude install slimserver when having a sources.lst file configured correctly.

nobspangle
2007-09-20, 03:22
first off I would agree with jaysung on not using RAID 0. Using RAID 0 with two disks doubles your chances of disk failure.

In your first post you mention hardware RAID. The intel SATA chipset RAID is not true hardware RAID and is unlikely to work in Linux. This isn't a problem as Linux has fantastic software RAID support.

If your case will fit 3 disks I would go the RAID 5 route.

If your case won't fit 3 disks either use RAID 1 or just install the disks separately you then just need a static link to allow slimserver to see both disks as one library.

I run Gentoo on my server, once you have Gentoo up and running installing slimserver is as easy as


emerge slimserver
rc-update add slimserver default
/etc/init.d/slimserver start

sdonham
2007-09-20, 07:54
I'm running a PII 400 MHz PC with Fedora 6. It works perfectly with slimserver and over 1,000,000 Flac tracks. It's headless (no monitor) so I don't have the overhead of running a graphical interface.

If you're new to Linux, I recommend Ubuntu because it just works out of the box with minimal fuss.
If you're interested in getting down and dirty with Linux and learning a few things, Fedora will give you many chances to trouble shoot (i.e. you need to tweak a few things before getting slimserver to work).
Lastly, if you REALLY want to know Linux inside and out and understand the internal working of it, then Gentoo is best bet. If you choose Gentoo though, don't expect to have your system working 100% for about a week (depending on how much time you can spend compiling packages.). It takes a great deal of time, learning and patience to get Gentoo set up perfectly but many consider this time well spent.

I agree with the others, scrap RAID 0, go with RAID 5 or 1. Overall, if you don't want a monitor attached, you could get away with just a Pentium 200 with 512M RAM - your proposed system is overkill (like using a jack-hammer to remove a bottle cap).

Mark Lanctot
2007-09-20, 08:42
Also - why the gigabit networking card?

If you were to go gigabit, the Intel cards are the best consumer cards you can get. However, you'll still achieve no more than about 225 Mbps - nowhere near gigabit for consumer-level switches and assuming a gigabit adapter built into a motherboard on another PC. To get true gigabit, you have to get the very expensive enterprise-level switches and NICs. Also even if you did get gigabit speeds, a PCI-based card would saturate the PCI bus before you'd saturate the gigabit connection (heck most hard drives can't sustain true gigabit speeds!)

SlimServer/Squeezebox won't benefit from gigabit - it works perfectly fine even with ancient 10 Mbps connections. About the only thing you'd need it for is transferring lots of lossless music files back and forth. And even that is probably not worth the investment if you'll only get 225 Mbps. Transferring a CD's worth of lossless compressed music files over 100 Mbps doesn't take a whole lot of time, 30 seconds or so. Does the ~15 seconds saved per CD really justify the extra cost?

Finally, Linux software RAID (mdadm) works like a hot damn! Completely seamless, completely trouble free. Set it and forget it.

sataylor56
2007-09-20, 08:48
I'm running a Celeron 433MHz with 512MB of memory and a 500GB drive. I store my files in FLAC format and it runs just fine. I decided on Xubuntu as it has the Xfce window manager that needs less horsepower than the full Gnome or KDE interfaces of Ubuntu or Kubuntu. I rarely ever connect the keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Once I had to reconnect everything after a power failure to get it back up again. Also, I have to reconnect if I need to do any maintenance, although that could be done from a remote SSH log-in I suppose. I have a large and very quiet fan on the CPU and the rest of it is passively cooled. I have the box tucked away under my desk and hardly even notice that it is there. I also keep all my music backed up on another system with a RAID 5 disk setup.

Mark Lanctot
2007-09-20, 08:56
One more thing - RAID is *not* a backup.

What if you accidentally deleted something you really needed? What if you get a virus? RAID would happily copy everything over automatically.

With a manual backup using an external hard drive in a USB/Firewire/eSATA enclosure you don't lose anything until you specifically make a backup, and even then only if you've specified to delete files you deleted on the master.

RAID 5/RAID 1 will help you recover in the event of a disc failure, but if your files are deleted/corrupted/overwritten it won't help. And once you do get a replacement disc, likely under warranty from a manufacturer, rebuilding the array is probably comparable to the time it takes to copy a backup onto a replacement HDD. You'll be operating in degraded single-drive mode until then, just like a non-RAID environment.

reverber
2007-09-20, 10:24
DLloyd wrote:

> Does this sound like a reasonable spec. for a Linux SlimServer ?


First things first, this is way overkill for a SlimServer.


I agree.
Mine is running on an AMD K7 700 with 750M of RAM.
I am using Debian stable because that is what I installed on it about five or six years ago (was it Hamm or Slink?). I have never had to do a clean reinstall since I got my system set up back then (it took me a few tries to get it right). I have even copied it to a bigger drive with no real problems I can remember. Updates/upgrades go without a hitch. Any apt-based distro will give this to you, but IMHO, Debian has the smallest/lightest installation footprint out of the box.

Cody

jimflanagan
2007-09-20, 23:46
DLloyd wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I'm currently running SlimServer on my Windows Vista PC, which is not
> an ideal situation, so I'm planning on building a dedicated Linux
> SlimServer box instead.
>
> So basically, a keyboard-less, mouse-less, monitor-less small form
> factor box who's sole purpose is to do a good job of running
> SlimServer.
>
> The hardware I'm thinking of using for this is a Shuttle XPC Barebone
> PC (model SD37P2 V2), with a spare Intel Pentium D 830 Dual Core (3.0
> GHz) CPU that I have, probably 2 GB of 667 MHz memory, a cheap fanless
> video card (Radeon X1050), an Intel Intel PRO/1000 PT Desktop Adapter
> NIC, DVD-ROM drive (and floppy ?), and two Samsung SATA 300 500GB hard
> drives.
>
> The chipset on the SD37P2 V2 motherboard is Intel 975X & ICH7R, which
> will give me a terabyte of hardware RAID 0 storage.
>
> Does this sound like a reasonable spec. for a Linux SlimServer ?
>
> Is 2 GB of memory sufficient ?
>
> And probably the most important question I have right now, which
> distribution of Linux should I be looking at running ?
>
> Any advice gratefully appreciated !
>
>
>
>From my experience, your 2gb ram should be more than enough. I am
running slimserver on my linux workstation, an Athlon 2500 with 1.5gb
ram. Until I started running slimserver this box only had 500mb ram, I
added 1 gig cause it was a bit slow. But I also boot into runlevel 5
with KDE, and I can say that Firefox alone eats lots of ram, with lots
of tabs open. With this setup I use my desktop as I normally would and
slimserver never bobbles.

I do like running slimserver much better on linux than on windows.

Balthazar_B
2007-09-21, 07:26
I guess I should put in a plug for the way I decided to do things. In my situation, I'm serving music up for both home (SlimServer) and portable (iPod/iTunes) applications. What I did was to get a NAS (in this case, a ReadyNAS) to hold a very large and growing music library. Because the NAS is highly and easily expandable, independent of any workstation/OS/applications I run, can be backed up separately, and can be used for other functions (e.g., file storage/backups from my workstations, print server, etc.), it made sense to focus the functions of storage on an entity separate from the other computers.

I use the NAS to hold my FLAC files (800GB and growing). I rip CDs from a Windows workstation simultaneously to FLAC and to M4A AAC stored on the workstation (I find the latter the best sounding compressed format, at least to my ears) and backed up to the NAS (which is in turn backed up to other media stored offsite). I run a Ubuntu-based Slimserver (incredibly stable) as a headless box controlled via the NoMachines NX client/server (free version). My Ubuntu box is overengineered for Slim, but it was pretty cheap to put together given how inexpensive the major components are, and it's almost silent (I keep it in a closet nonetheless).

I like the idea of componentization, so that Slim, music ripping/iTunes, and storage all run independently, which makes it simple to make changes to one part of the system without impacting the others. I could go to another music management system (so long as it supports FLAC -- although even then I could transcode to WAV, etc.) without screwing up my laboriously ripped source files, or change my Windows workstation without Slimserver noticing anything different. So it works for me.

erland
2007-09-21, 10:34
And probably the most important question I have right now, which distribution of Linux should I be looking at running ?

Have you installed and configured Linux before ?

If not, listen to Pat's advice, choose a distribution which you have some friend that runs who can help you when you get in trouble. I say "when" because, you are, it's just a matter of where it happens. Some people are lucky with their installations, but my experience is that there is always something that will require some work. It might be some hardware in the box or it might be some default behaviour that isn't like you want it.

If you don't know any Linux friend that is able to help you, I would personally choose Ununtu. The main reason is that it is simple to setup and their installation packaging works so you don't get dependencies problem unless you are doing something really special and finally their discussion forums are very active.

If you aren't experienced with Linux I would also suggest that you install the desktop installation and connect a monitor and keyboard during the installation. Setup everyting as you like it and when you have everything working, start to think how to make it work without the monitor or keyboard. For a beginner it is a lot easier to use the graphical configuration tools while the more experienced users tends to like vi and manually editing of the text configuration files.

peterw
2007-09-21, 11:17
As somebody who's used Linux for over a decade, at home and at work, I second pretty much everything Pat and Erland wrote. Pat's beer rule is absolutely right. If none of your friends are good with Linux, you might look for a local Linux User's Group, and see what its users tend to use.

I'd cautiously recommend Ubuntu. It's run very well on a few systems for me, but lately I got burned by it (sorta). I upgraded my Slimserver system (more RAM, bigger disks, but everything else the same) and moved from an old Fedora Core release to the latest Ubuntu. Darn system started crashing for no apparent reason. Turned out I needed to change some kernel boot arguments to keep the system stable with Ubuntu. Sound like a pain? That's why you should follow Pat's beer rule.

-Peter

DLloyd
2007-09-21, 17:28
Hello Everyone,

Thank you all for the replies !

My only experience (so far) with Linux is that I can spell it, and "Overkill" is my middle name :-)

As far as the choice of hardware...

I already have the spare 3.0 Ghz Pentium D, so I'm building the box around it (along with a spare DVD-ROM drive). The bare bones small form factor PC costs $380 (plus $88 for 2 x 1GB Samsung DDR2 800 MHz memory, $33 for the Radeon X1050, and $9 for a USB keyboard for the Linux installation).

We are running a gigabit Ethernet network at home, and are using the Intel PRO/1000 PT Desktop Adapter in both of our PCs. For $35 this NIC card can't be beat IMHO ! (And I'd rather use it than the Broadcom BCM5789 on the motherboard).

Total cost (excluding hard drives) = $ 545, compared to the other two options I have been strongly considering: $ 300 for the TS-201, and $815 for a diskless ReadyNAS NV+ (1 GB ram).

Yes, this is probably overkill for running SlimServer, but if for some reason Linux does not work out for me then I can always install Windows on the box.

As far as storage goes, this will give me a terabyte of hardware RAID 0 storage. (Small form factor = two disks max). The PC also has an eSATA port for future expansion if needed.

I rip all of our CDs on my PC and keep a copy there, and also back the rips up to our USR8700 NAS. So having the music on the Linux/SlimServer box means that there are three copies of my precious rips, so I'm not quite so concerned about having a possible drive failure....

DLloyd
2007-09-22, 17:38
So I think I'll use Debian, along with the Samba Debian Package and the Apcupsd daemon (as our power was out this morning....).

reverber
2007-09-25, 20:19
So I guess I get the beer? ;)

Let me know if you have any questions about Debian. It *may* take you a couple of times to get the install done right (Debian's install isn't pretty, but you only have to do it once), but don't get discouraged. I recommend you stick with Etch/Stable until you are a bit more comfortable with Linux.

Cody

DLloyd
2007-09-27, 19:10
Yes, thank you very much Cody, some virtual beer for you !

So far I have downloaded and burned the DVD iso images for Debian etch, so now I'm just waiting for the hardware to arrive....

As far as the partitioning of the drive, I'm thinking of using 250 MB for /boot, 2 GB for the Linux swap (the same as the amount of RAM), and then the remainder as one large ext3 formatted partition for /var, /usr, /tmp, and /home.

The Samba, Perl, APCUPSD, and also the Bastille packages seem to be bundled with Debian.

reverber
2007-09-28, 05:35
Yes, thank you very much Cody, some virtual beer for you !

So far I have downloaded and burned the DVD iso images for Debian etch, so now I'm just waiting for the hardware to arrive....

As far as the partitioning of the drive, I'm thinking of using 250 MB for /boot, 2 GB for the Linux swap (the same as the amount of RAM), and then the remainder as one large ext3 formatted partition for /var, /usr, /tmp, and /home.

The Samba, Perl, APCUPSD, and also the Bastille packages seem to be bundled with Debian.

Woah! You are not one to do things halfway, are you? ;) For future reference, one can always download the net install image, which is much smaller and gets your system kickstarted to the point where it can download the rest of what you need from the internet.
What I usually do is get a minimal base system set up, install ssh, and then do the rest remotely from a terminal.
During setup, you will have the opportunity to choose what kind of box you are building. I usually just deselect all of the choices to get the smallest install. Of course, you may want to do a desktop install just to play around with it. You can always revert or re-install if you want.
The Wiki has instructions for getting the Debian Slimserver packages.
The book "Running Linux" used to be on my desktop all of the time (until I passed it on to a friend). Get a copy.

Cody

bernt
2007-09-28, 06:22
I currently trying out SlimNAS. It's very easy to install and use.
Haven't tried RAID on it but it look like it's easy to setup.

If you only need a headlees server this is the easiest way.
It's even easier than installing XP and a lot faster.

mudlark
2007-09-28, 07:27
We are running a gigabit Ethernet network at home, and are using the Intel PRO/1000 PT Desktop Adapter in both of our PCs. For $35 this NIC card can't be beat IMHO ! (And I'd rather use it than the Broadcom BCM5789 on the motherboard).




Hi,
I use the same NIC with kubuntu (debian based). It uses the intel e1000 driver. See intel site.

I had problems with Wake on Lan not being active. If that happens then install ethtool and use the following at a console.

sudo ethtool -s eth1 wol g

I can't remember whether Debian uses sudo, but that allows access to configuration files as root. -s tells the system a change is coming, eth1 is the add on card ethernet interface identity. (eth0 would be the onboard ethernet interface) wol....... , g magic packet.

good luck,

Mike.

reverber
2007-09-28, 09:45
I can't remember whether Debian uses sudo


It does after one does this:
apt-get install sudo

;)

Cody

mudlark
2007-09-28, 14:15
It does after one does this:
apt-get install sudo

;)

Cody

Thanks for that old chap!

DLloyd
2007-10-10, 14:25
Hi,

Thanks for all the replies.

So, two weeks after ordering it, the PC arrives. I assembled the hardware a few days ago and have been trying to get Debian running ever since....

Firstly, I stand corrected. The Intel ICH7R chipset does not provide hardware raid 0, so I have been experimenting with the Debian software raid instead.

I now have three SATA drives installed, a spare 250 GB drive I had laying around, plus the two 500 GB drives.

I installed Debian from DVD and partitioned the disks as follows:

First drive (250 GB)

50 GB /
50 GB /boot
50 GB /tmp
50 GB /var
50 GB /usr

On the two 500 GB drives, I created two 1 GB swap partitions at the beginning of each disk, and configured the rest as raid 0, and used this for /home (this is where the rips will live).

Now, when the system boots it sits there for a while "Begin: Waiting for root file system...", and then displays an error message:

Check root= bootarg cat /proc/cmdline
or missing modules, devices: cat /proc modules ls /dev
ALERT! does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

BusyBox v1.1.3 (debian 1:1.1.3-4) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.
/bin/sh: can't access tty; job control turned off

Problem mounting the partitions ??

Any ideas please ?

PS. I installed GRUB.

Robin Bowes
2007-10-10, 14:53
DLloyd wrote:

> So, two weeks after ordering it, the PC arrives. I assembled the
> hardware a few days ago and have been trying to get Debian running ever
> since....

This is where the mate who knows linux and works for beer comes in...

>
> Firstly, I stand corrected. The Intel ICH7R chipset does not provide
> hardware raid 0, so I have been experimenting with the Debian software
> raid instead.
>
> I now have three SATA drives installed, a spare 250 GB drive I had
> laying around, plus the two 500 GB drives.
>
> I installed Debian from DVD and partitioned the disks as follows:
>
> First drive (250 GB)
>
> 50 GB /
> 50 GB /boot
> 50 GB /tmp
> 50 GB /var
> 50 GB /usr

That's wasting a whole load of disk. It might also cause you problems
because /boot has to be in the first x cylinders of the disk (I forget
what value "x" is).

I'd do something like:

/boot 100MB
swap 2GB
/ 10GB

Then use the rest for whatever.

> On the two 500 GB drives, I created two 1 GB swap partitions at the
> beginning of each disk, and configured the rest as raid 0, and used
> this for /home (this is where the rips will live).

You've had all the "raid 0 is dangerous" advice already I presume? You'd
be better (in my opinion) putting swap on the 250GB drive and creating a
mirror (RAID1) with the 2 x 500Gb disks.

> Now, when the system boots it sits there for a while "Begin: Waiting
> for root file system...", and then displays an error message:
>
> Check root= bootarg cat /proc/cmdline
> or missing modules, devices: cat /proc modules ls /dev
> ALERT! does not exist. Dropping to a shell!
>
> BusyBox v1.1.3 (debian 1:1.1.3-4) Built-in shell (ash)
> Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.
> /bin/sh: can't access tty; job control turned off
>
> Any ideas please ?

Sorry - don't know debian very well. CentOS/Fedora I could help you with.

Good luck.

R.

DLloyd
2007-10-10, 19:37
Hi Robin,

Thanks for getting back to me.

Yes indeed, this is where the mate who knows linux and works for beer definately comes in....

Anyway, after installing Debian for the umpteenth time in three days, I fixed the problem. When I first setup the hardware I selected raid in the BIOS as the configuration for the disks. Turn the setting off in the BIOS, and Debian magically works and I get a login prompt :-)

pfarrell
2007-10-10, 21:42
That's wasting a whole load of disk. It might also cause you problems because /boot has to be in the first x cylinders of the disk (I forget what value "x" is).



I believe the value of X changes. But I also always start with / first and make it fairly small. I generally try to put /var /opt and /home off on another partition, but assorted distros change where they expect to put stuff, and I change distros occasionally, so I only get it right in spirit

I have no idea when X changes, probably with some kernel stuff, or lilo or grub. Details normal linux users don't bother with.

Assuming of course, that any linux users are normal :-)

servies
2007-10-11, 00:43
I believe the value of X changes. But I also always start with / first and make it fairly small. I generally try to put /var /opt and /home off on another partition, but assorted distros change where they expect to put stuff, and I change distros occasionally, so I only get it right in spirit

I have no idea when X changes, probably with some kernel stuff, or lilo or grub. Details normal linux users don't bother with.

Assuming of course, that any linux users are normal :-)
If I remember it correctly, LILO requires the kernel to be on the first 1024 cylinders. About grub and others I'm not sure...

gdpeck
2007-10-25, 16:51
I'm looking at going to a Linux based slimserver as well. I'm just in the experimenting stage, and at this point I plan to install Linux in a virtual machine running in vmware fusion on my imac. This is going to be a dedicated vm that is only going to run slimserver, music ip, and probably samba so that I can get music onto the machine. This machine will not be used for ripping or any other function besides slimserver and music ip. Because of this I want a super small footprint OS if possible. I don't need any desktop apps, and I may not even want a GUI at all, although I might want a web browser. I'm also fairly inexperienced with linux. I know my way around the command line, and can edit (but not create) scripts. I've never installed Linux before. I want to stick with something Debian based since that seems to be the best supported Linux for slimserver. So based on that, what would be an appropriate distro to use. So far XUNBUNTU looks the best, but even it includes desktop apps that I would never use. Any other suggestions?

ChrisNY
2007-10-25, 18:53
If you truly don't need a GUI or other apps, then I would look into Ubuntu server. I installed Slimserver on this and its currently been running for 38 days...Very stable.

I installed it with minimal Linux knowledge with the assistance of this tutorial:
http://www.debianadmin.com/ubuntu610-edgy-lamp-server-installation-with-screenshots.html

reverber
2007-10-26, 09:06
I'm looking at going to a Linux based slimserver as well. ... Because of this I want a super small footprint OS if possible. I don't need any desktop apps, and I may not even want a GUI at all, although I might want a web browser. .. I want to stick with something Debian based since that seems to be the best supported Linux for slimserver. So based on that, what would be an appropriate distro to use.

Um.... Debian?
Disclaimer: I am primarily a Debian user, and don't have extensive experience with the derivatives.
It seems to me that most of the derivatives are geared towards setting up a desktop workstation. With Debian, one can choose a *very* minimal install. Also, there is a non-gui web browser called Lynx that, once one gets used to the interface, is fairly easy to use. Unfortunately, many web developers aren't too good at writing sites that look to good in text-based web browsers.

Cody

gdpeck
2007-10-26, 09:13
If you truly don't need a GUI or other apps, then I would look into Ubuntu server. I installed Slimserver on this and its currently been running for 38 days...Very stable.

I installed it with minimal Linux knowledge with the assistance of this tutorial:
http://www.debianadmin.com/ubuntu610-edgy-lamp-server-installation-with-screenshots.html

Thanks for the link to the tutorial. That was very helpful. I spent a few hours installing and looking at Xubuntu as well as Ubuntu server, which may have refined what I need a little bit. I really like the Xubuntu auto-update, and I think that I will need a GUI and at least a web browser since I'm going to run Music IP on the server and from my research it appears that I have to install Music IP GUI first to configure it to run headless. I don't want any productivity software, media player, or image editing stuff on this build however. So a couple of questions:
1) Can I install Ubuntu server, then add Xfce desktop with just firefox (or even lighter browser)and auto update, without themes, screensavers, games, productivity apps? If so, how do I do that?
2) Is Xfce a good choice for a really light desktop, or should I look at something else?
3) Finally, should I look at other distros for what I want to do? Again this is going to be a slimserver only. I won't be ripping on this machine, so I will need samba so I can rip to this machine. Right now the only plugin I really run is music ip, but I may add more in the future. Maybe I overlooked how to do this in Xubuntu, but it seemed like the only way to get what I wanted was to install, then go into the package manager and remove unwanted stuff. That was a pain and I don't really want to go through it.

Thanks for your help!
George

gdpeck
2007-10-26, 09:17
Um.... Debian?
Disclaimer: I am primarily a Debian user, and don't have extensive experience with the derivatives.
It seems to me that most of the derivatives are geared towards setting up a desktop workstation. With Debian, one can choose a *very* minimal install. Also, there is a non-gui web browser called Lynx that, once one gets used to the interface, is fairly easy to use. Unfortunately, many web developers aren't too good at writing sites that look to good in text-based web browsers.

Cody

Thanks! I'll take a look at it.

reverber
2007-10-26, 23:24
Remember that on any Debian/Debian-derived system, updating is as easy as typing:
"apt-get update" then "apt-get upgrade" or "apt-get dist-upgrade"

Heck, you could even set up a cron job to do it for you...

Cody

pfarrell
2007-10-27, 21:21
Um.... Debian?

My SC7 is running on a pure Debian. I've got two other machines with Ubuntu, one Feisty Fawn the other Gutsy. Plus one machine with SuSE and a couple with Mandriva. I even have one running with an ancient RedHat, before all the Fedora stuff, probably vintage 1999 or so.

I think (IMHO etc) that Debian is a great match for a SlimServer/SlimCenter box. Its got enough GUI that you can approach it, but it doesn't have all the user friendly cruft that Ubuntu has.

eviladmin
2007-10-28, 02:53
1) Can I install Ubuntu server, then add Xfce desktop with just firefox (or even lighter browser)and auto update, without themes, screensavers, games, productivity apps? If so, how do I do that?
2) Is Xfce a good choice for a really light desktop, or should I look at something else?
3) Finally, should I look at other distros for what I want to do? Again this is going to be a slimserver only. I won't be ripping on this machine, so I will need samba so I can rip to this machine. Right now the only plugin I really run is music ip, but I may add more in the future. Maybe I overlooked how to do this in Xubuntu, but it seemed like the only way to get what I wanted was to install, then go into the package manager and remove unwanted stuff. That was a pain and I don't really want to go through it.

Thanks for your help!
George
1. apt-get install xfce4 firefox on ubuntu server (or any ubuntu) installs the stuff you want. You might need to enable some more repositories in /etc/apt/sources.list
2. It's one of the lightest. no need to look into something else (xunbuntu is ubuntu + xfce4 installed from the beginning).
3. A distro is just a collection of software basicly. ubuntu is almost the same as debian. Red Hat / Fedora is a bit diffrent but on a functional level almost the same. One can argue about distributions for a _long_ time.

//eviladmin

ehjones
2007-10-28, 04:43
Apt-get is great, but I prefer to use aptitude for day to day package management. It's really just a frontend for dpkg, just like apt-get is.

The main reason for using aptitude is this: If you install a package that requires particular dependancies then apt-get can install these just fine. However, if you then go to remove the package it can leave these now unused dependancies behind. Aptitude keeps track of unused dependancies and removes them if they're no longer needed. It also keeps a log of all it's actions so it's easy to reconstruct your system if you ever want to rebuild it.

I like aptitude because it lets me try out lots of different packages, safe in the knowledge that a simple command will remove it without leaving any 'bits' behind!

Aptitude has an ncurses GUI, but I find it just as easy to use the CLI, using the same syntax as apt-get (i.e. $sudo aptitude install FOOBAR; $sudo aptitude update; $sudo aptitude dist-upgrade, etc.)

HTH. I hope I'm not teaching anybody to suck eggs ;-)

Mitch Harding
2007-10-29, 16:43
This weekend I moved my main home server from XP Pro to Ubuntu Desktop
7.10 amd64. This server is responsible for running Slimserver and
acting as a file/print server for several Windows systems in my house.
Prior to the switch I was running Slimserver 6.5.x (I forget which).
After the switch I decided to give Squeezecenter 7 a try, since I'd
heard it was becoming pretty stable.

The entire process took remarkably little time. If I hadn't also
moved my library from a 4 disk RAID 5 array to a 2 disk RAID 1 array,
the whole process probably would have taken under 6 hours. (Yes, I
know, RAID isn't a backup solution -- I use it solely because I want
to eliminate downtime in case of a drive failure) The Slim Devices
wiki told me almost everything I needed to know about installing and
configuring SC7 on Ubuntu, and google took care of the rest. Setting
up Samba for the file shares was very straightforward with Ubuntu, as
was printer sharing. I'm amazed at how painless the entire process
was. A few years back I gave Debian a try and found it a lot less
newbie-friendly at that time, but I also was just toying around with
it, whereas this time I was pretty sure I wanted to make the switch.

All of that said, I'm not sure I'd recommend Ubuntu to someone who is
not at least something of a techie. Although new to Linux, I've been
working for IBM as an AIX developer and tester for 8 years, so I'm not
new to Unix. A lot of my time was spent figuring out how Linux does
things as opposed to AIX. If Windows had been my only background,
some of the problems I faced would have been more challenging,
although probably not insurmountable.

As for Squeezecenter 7, so far I'm quite impressed with it. A big
step up from Slimserver 6.5, IMO. The response time from the players
is snappier, although I guess that also may be due to the switch to
Linux. The web interface is better organized and more responsive. So
far I haven't hit any problems. But I run a pretty basic setup on my
server with minimal plugins, so YMMV.

I guess I'm kind of hijacking this thread, since this doesn't help out
the OP any, but I've already typed it, so I'm going to hit send!

Mitch

rov
2007-11-11, 13:11
I guess I should put in a plug for the way I decided to do things. In my situation, I'm serving music up for both home (SlimServer) and portable (iPod/iTunes) applications. What I did was to get a NAS (in this case, a ReadyNAS) to hold a very large and growing music library. Because the NAS is highly and easily expandable, independent of any workstation/OS/applications I run, can be backed up separately, and can be used for other functions (e.g., file storage/backups from my workstations, print server, etc.), it made sense to focus the functions of storage on an entity separate from the other computers.

I use the NAS to hold my FLAC files (800GB and growing). I rip CDs from a Windows workstation simultaneously to FLAC and to M4A AAC stored on the workstation (I find the latter the best sounding compressed format, at least to my ears) and backed up to the NAS (which is in turn backed up to other media stored offsite). I run a Ubuntu-based Slimserver (incredibly stable) as a headless box controlled via the NoMachines NX client/server (free version). My Ubuntu box is overengineered for Slim, but it was pretty cheap to put together given how inexpensive the major components are, and it's almost silent (I keep it in a closet nonetheless).

I like the idea of componentization, so that Slim, music ripping/iTunes, and storage all run independently, which makes it simple to make changes to one part of the system without impacting the others. I could go to another music management system (so long as it supports FLAC -- although even then I could transcode to WAV, etc.) without screwing up my laboriously ripped source files, or change my Windows workstation without Slimserver noticing anything different. So it works for me.

i have a similar setup, or i will when(if) i can get it working! my music is on a linkstation live nas, and i'm in the process of converting an old laptop to be the slimserver. it's a toshiba satellite 4030cdt (300MHz Celeron, 128 MB RAM). i upgraded the hard disk to 100 GB last year (was trying to salvage the old machine for my son, didn't really work out...). so, i've got plenty of hard disk, but not much memory. the machine will be used ONLY for running slimserver (and fiddling with linux :-)). all ripping will be done from somewhere else and copied directly to the nas.

anyway, i spent the weekend downloading distros & playing with them. tried xubuntu, pclinuxos, puppy, damn small-no, and antiX (based on mepis). i ended up choosing antiX b/c it was the only one i could get to work as a livecd on the target machine (downloads & tryouts were on a newer machine). so far i like it - small, relatively fast (for an old Celeron), good tools, synaptic package mgr, etc. plus there's enough there to play with and get used to a linux gui/os.

the main problem is i can't get the nas mounted in antiX. i wanted to use the device name for the source on the mount command, since i only want the music folder on the nas to be mounted. all attempts to mount come up with an error that says the device doesn't exist. the basic syntax i tried is "mount -t xfl //server/share/music /mnt/share/music". i also tried using the UUID, but that doesn't work either. any ideas?

other issues:
1. assuming i get the drive mounted, should i configure slimserver to store playlists on the nas or on the server?

2. the antiX install hung when i tried to manually set partition sizes for root, home, and swap, so i reinstalled letting antiX size the partitions. i want to increase the size of the swap partition, but gparted won't let me. do i need to unmount it first, and will that work? will gparted delete data when it does a resize or move?

thanks in advance for any help...

asteinmetz
2007-11-16, 20:28
I, linux noob, too have tried out a few distros and my impression is that for a dedicated slimserver appliance there is no reason not to use mherger's slimCD live CD (which can be installed on an HD). Why bother with anything else? Pop it in and you are up and running.

Ubuntu is well supported for new users but bloatware (for this purpose anyway).

Clark Connect has some fans, I see. Is it simply because it is designed to be headless? If so, I can see the benefit since I will entomb my slimserver box in the bowels of the closet but after the initial config what's to administer other than SS itself?

The choice seems simple. Am I missing something? Thanks.

Mark Lanctot
2007-11-18, 12:34
The choice seems simple. Am I missing something?

Well, as with any choice in life, what works for you may not work for me.

Michael is pretty adamant that slimCD is not meant to be used full-time. He believes it requires too much reconfiguration to be turned into a server.

With regards to Ubuntu, if you want headless there's always the Server version. And CC is totally headless.

pfarrell
2007-11-18, 12:42
asteinmetz wrote:
> The choice seems simple. Am I missing something? Thanks.

If you are happy with your choice, just pick one and use it.

In any case, you should put your music in a separate partition from the
operating system. Then you can change the OS without touching your music.

I run debian for my slimserver. It does not have all the features that
Ubuntu has, but all Ubuntu is derived from debian. One man's features is
another's bloatware.

I like debian a lot, you may or may not.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

Ron F.
2007-11-25, 22:28
Well, as with any choice in life, what works for you may not work for me.

Michael is pretty adamant that slimCD is not meant to be used full-time. He believes it requires too much reconfiguration to be turned into a server.

With regards to Ubuntu, if you want headless there's always the Server version. And CC is totally headless.

Michael says not to use it full-time, but SlimCD has proven to be the holy grail in my quest for the perfect music server. I have been running it on my fanless and headless nano-ITX machine with a 750 GByte drive for close to six months now. It is always on and playing all the time. The system never has to be rebooted, but I have found that I have to restart Slimserver once a month or so. That's not a big deal - I log in via an ssh session from another machine in the house. I put more flac files on it's drive using smb.

Maybe I don't remember what I had to go through now, but I don't think it was all that difficult to get running.

I put six months of intensive use up against Michael's advice and recommend it.

-Ron

mherger
2007-11-26, 00:18
> I put six months of intensive use up against Michael's advice and
> recommend it.

I know, you've always ignored my advice :-).

But there's one more serious issue why I wouldn't use it as a full time server: I haven't got SC7 to run on it yet. It's base (damn small linux) is rather limited and based on an old kernel. SC7 needs some new libraries which I haven't been able to build for SlimCD (libgd). Thus I'm not sure there will be a SlimCD for SC7 :-(.

Michael

Ron F.
2007-11-26, 10:24
Michael,

Would it be possible to build a SC7 SlimCD upon Damn Small Linux - NOT, instead of DSL? You would have kernel 2.6.

-Ron