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ppmoore
2007-09-24, 09:33
Hello,

My Squeezebox arrived this weekend, and to try it out, I installed SlimServer on my XP machine, and it works like a dream.

But my intention is to install SuSE Linux or freeNAS on an old 800 MHz machine I have, and run SlimServer on that. However, I'll have to upgrade the hard disk, since the original is only 20 GB.

Has anyone any advice as to which brand of hard disk works best? I'm thinking that I'd like to be able to spin down the hard disk when not in use, do all modern hard disks support that? Can Linux support it? What hard disk controller should I use? I think the original hard disk is IDE, should I buy a new SATA controller. (I don't know much about hard disk hardware!)

As well as using the old box to host my music files, I would also like to use it to back up all family's PC. I suppose that this shouldn't be a problem?

How much memory should I install on the box, I think the original PC has 256MB installed.

Many thanks,
Paul

SuperQ
2007-09-24, 12:13
But my intention is to install SuSE Linux or freeNAS on an old 800 MHz machine I have, and run SlimServer on that. However, I'll have to upgrade the hard disk, since the original is only 20 GB.
Personally I recommend Ubuntu Linux. FreeNAS also looks like a good option.


Has anyone any advice as to which brand of hard disk works best? I'm thinking that I'd like to be able to spin down the hard disk when not in use, do all modern hard disks support that? Can Linux support it? What hard disk controller should I use? I think the original hard disk is IDE, should I buy a new SATA controller. (I don't know much about hard disk hardware!)
Seagate, that's it. I don't recommend any other brand of disks right now.

All modern disks support spindown. On Ubuntu you can install the "laptop-mode" and "laptop-mode-tools" packages that will help with spindown setup. Linux has a lot of misc things that access the disk, it takes a bit of tweaking to get the disk to not constantly spin up and down.

Most of the time I recommend not using spin down, it's just causes more wear on desktop disks.


As well as using the old box to host my music files, I would also like to use it to back up all family's PC. I suppose that this shouldn't be a problem?
The best program I've found for this is backuppc. The Ubuntu package is of course "backuppc"

More info Here: http://backuppc.sourceforge.net/


How much memory should I install on the box, I think the original PC has 256MB installed.
As much as you think is cost effective. 512 would be a minimum I would bring it up to.. but it's not worth spending lots of money to max it out.

If you can give me more info about the PC, I could suggest some more details.

mlsstl
2007-09-24, 13:32
You received good advice above, but there is one other thing to check before buying a hard drive. The BIOS of older machines may not support as large a hard drive as you wish to buy. It would be worth checking how large a drive your BIOS will support beforehand.

Also, depending on the make of PC/motherboard, a BIOS update may be available that would help in this area.

No sense in spending money to buy a 300 or 500 GB hard drive only to find out after the fact that your motherboard won't support it.

SuperQ
2007-09-24, 14:11
You received good advice above, but there is one other thing to check before buying a hard drive. The BIOS of older machines may not support as large a hard drive as you wish to buy. It would be worth checking how large a drive your BIOS will support beforehand.

Also, depending on the make of PC/motherboard, a BIOS update may be available that would help in this area.

No sense in spending money to buy a 300 or 500 GB hard drive only to find out after the fact that your motherboard won't support it.

Yea, this could be a problem, but is easy to work around. For one Linux mostly ignores the BIOS disk parameters, I don't know about FreeBSD/FreeNAS. The other option is to go with a SATA card/drive. The SATA cards BIOS will take care of the disk. You don't need an expensive SATA card either, any cheap $20 one from newegg will do.

I've used several of this board with no issues:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815124020

Ron F.
2007-09-24, 20:27
I definitely recommend SeaGate. I am using an external SeaGate FreeAgent 750 Gbyte connected via USB 2.0. I reformatted it as a Linux drive. It has a small footprint, looks nice, does not get very hot, and is extremely quiet.

I am running SlimCD for my music server.

-Ron

verbatone
2007-09-24, 23:16
While I do like Seagates, and basically what I'm telling you is to buy a Seagate, you can also buy Maxtor drives which are basically identical to Seagates. I bought this 500G Maxtor:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144455

that is literally the same drive as a 300G Seagate I bought a year earlier. Identical in every detail (except capacity).

I've read that Maxtor was bought by Seagate and it appears that they're making drives and branding them as Maxtors. My 300G hasn't given me an ounce of trouble. Formatted ext3 on Ubuntu server.

ppmoore
2007-09-25, 02:07
Many thanks to everyone who replied. Some great advice!

In summary:
- Ubuntu linux
- Seagate SATA internal or USB external HD
- For backups, backuppc

I have some more questions:

I don't know if I can use an external HD. The original PC hardware uses USB v1.1. Is it possible to install a USB v2.0 card? I suppose that using an internal SATA HD is a better option, also since it is independent of the PC BIOS version.

I intend to rip my CDs on Windows and then transfer the files to the Linux box. If the hard disk on the Linux box is formatted as Ext3 or Reizer, will I be able to copy and drop the music files directly across to the Linux box. That is, will Windows be able to have a view on the Linux partitions? Sorry, I don't know much about Windows/Linux interworking.

Alternatively, could I use backuppc to automatically copy the ripped music files across to the Linux box, and have them immediately accessible by SlimServer running on the Linux box?

Thanks again,
Paul

mortenb
2007-09-25, 04:01
If you are looking for a disk for your audios, pretty much everything works. Even usb1.1 (12Mbps) is enough to support a few slimserver clients.

When streaming data slimserver uses lame so it needs to be able to read the file in native format mp3 (up to 320Kbps). The rest is done in memory and fetched out onto a network inderface.

Personally I love the Samsung 500GB spinpoint T166 sata, because it is cheap, silent and very cool. seektime is average, but sustained read is high, which is great for streaming. A recent disk can easily write around 50MBytes/s.

Regarding opensuse, use xfs-filesystem with no-logging
(noatime,nodiratime,logbufs=8) for best performance. My squeezebox + flash mp3 player from same directory runs all the time, It doesn't even show up in the rrd-graphs of disk-io, way below 1MByte/sec.

reverber
2007-09-25, 20:12
...along the same lines, are there any filesystem optimizing secrets to share?
I just went straight non-tweaked ext3, but now that I think about it, the filesystem is mainly read-only, so I don't really need journalling, right?

Also, if one stores everything under a couple of directories and as single flacs, are there any configuration tweaks suggested to increase performance?

That is, I want to optimize my filesystem for storing and reading 300MB files efficiently.

And yes, I understand that any performance gains are likely to be incremental, but I installed Linux because I like to tinker.

TIA,

Cody

SlowBart
2007-09-27, 01:59
I intend to rip my CDs on Windows and then transfer the files to the Linux box. If the hard disk on the Linux box is formatted as Ext3 or Reizer, will I be able to copy and drop the music files directly across to the Linux box. That is, will Windows be able to have a view on the Linux partitions? Sorry, I don't know much about Windows/Linux interworking.

Alternatively, could I use backuppc to automatically copy the ripped music files across to the Linux box, and have them immediately accessible by SlimServer running on the Linux box?

Thanks again,
Paul

Paul,

If you use samba on the linux machine your windows PC will see it just like any other windows share.

So you can tell your ripping software to put the files directly onto the linux machine ext3 or resier, whatever. No extra transfer required.

Works like a charm. Just tell slimserver to do a rescan and your done.

Cheers,
Matt.