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View Full Version : Home Server - Vortexbox & MiniITX - Positive Experience



socistep
2009-04-16, 04:32
Hi All,

Like a lot of users as soon as I bought my first SB kit I started looking at a 'server' so that I can run my music 24/7 without having laptop on.

I initially looked at a NAS, the majority of posts are around NAS's on the forums, however I ruled this out, I personally thought that the NAS I was looking at (Qnap) was expensive for the spec. I then looked at mini pc's such as TranquilPC, FitPC etc. and decided on a Mini ITX solution

http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=44

Similar to the above however the 330 processor & cd drive plus added my own RAM/HDD (went for a 1Tb drive), the total cost including the HDD was about 290 of which 1/3rd was storage.

In terms of operating system I looked at Windows Home Server, Ubuntu & Vortexbox - WHS ruled out due to cost, I loaded Ubuntu onto the server and it worked very well. However I'd previously trialled Vortexbox on an old pc and was impressed, the ability to automate ripping/tagging/artwork for cd's is great and is going to make it a lot easier to re-rip my collection into FLAC - its easy to interact with and combined with SrvrPowerCntrl is, for me, an excellent solution, streaming to my Duet & Boom.

As the box has Squeezeplay included I'm going to move it into my office (connect to router via homeplugs) and add some speakers to the box to have enabled another zone.

All in all I'm happy, there is still a fair bit of work to get it running exactly as I like and Vortexbox keeps being improved, new 0.6 version just out. I'd recommend looking at a MiniITX solution for those thinking of home server options

Any questions on the set-up please let me know.

Ian

agillis
2009-04-16, 17:23
Glad it worked out for you. If you want to save yourself building a low power PC and install the software we ship prebuilt 1TB VortexBox appliances to the UK all the time. The cost is about 270 including shipping.

PaulR
2009-04-17, 01:03
It's tempting! Does that price include import tax?

agillis
2009-04-17, 05:52
No you have to pay the import tax yourself. I think it's 15% in the UK so that's another 30 quid.

cliveb
2009-04-17, 05:58
No you have to pay the import tax yourself. I think it's 15% in the UK so that's another 30 quid.
Plus the collection fee that's charged by the carrier. My wife recently had to pay Parcel Force about 13 for the priviledge of them collecting 11 for the taxman. I have in the past had to pay Royal Mail an 8 fee to collect 4 in duty. Wouldn't surprise me if the likes of UPS and DHL charge just as much. They are all bloody thieves.

socistep
2009-04-17, 07:57
Glad it worked out for you. If you want to save yourself building a low power PC and install the software we ship prebuilt 1TB VortexBox appliances to the UK all the time. The cost is about 270 including shipping.

Yeah that looks good, hope you get a fair few orders! A main factor for me was the size of the case so that pushed me towards the mini ITX solution

Gus
2009-04-20, 00:15
I can second the positive experience with MiniITX. I recently bought a MiniITX PC in a Psile case, driven largely by the desire to find something that had low power consumption. Then installed Ubuntu and set it up with Wake-On-Lan and auto shutdown at the same time every evening and it's been great. I'm not familiar with Vortexbox, but sounds interesting...I'll have a look.

socistep
2009-04-20, 07:36
I can second the positive experience with MiniITX. I recently bought a MiniITX PC in a Psile case, driven largely by the desire to find something that had low power consumption. Then installed Ubuntu and set it up with Wake-On-Lan and auto shutdown at the same time every evening and it's been great. I'm not familiar with Vortexbox, but sounds interesting...I'll have a look.

Vortexbox is linux like Ubuntu, based on Fedora, it automates the ripping/tagging process and auto updates squeezecenter, it probably runs at about 75% accuracy for tagging so some manual work required but I can live with that.

The idea is to run in headless as there is no GUI, I interact with it through SSH/Samba, and a bit of understanding on linux is a plus. It could be an option for you but depends on whether you are using your MiniITX box for anything over and above, email, internet etc.

Gus
2009-04-20, 20:40
It could be an option for you but depends on whether you are using your MiniITX box for anything over and above, email, internet etc.

Hmmm. My Linux skills are rudimentary, so probably a non-mainstream-OS-version-too-far for me. Thanks for clarifying though. The automation on the ripping/tagging sounds great.

agillis
2009-04-21, 07:08
VortexBox is based on Fedora linux. ubuntu is the most popular linux for desktops but RedHat (fedora) is the most popular for servers. A NAS is a server so this is why I used Fedora.

Far from non-mainstream RedHat is the most used Linux OS for servers so it's very easy to support because there is a lot of documentation on it out on the net.