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Setting up a Linux Home Server
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  1. #1

    Setting up a Linux Home Server

    Hello all! My name is Matt, and I'm new to the forums, and relatively new to Linux itself. I am currently attending ITT Tech, and after taking both the Linux User & Admin courses (Fedora 12), I realized that I had been fooled into thinking that Microsoft produced the only viable operating system. Linux is amazing! Unfortunately, the 2 classes I took had different levels of users, and we were not able to learn as much as we could have since most people couldn't grasp the concept of a "|"... however! I furthered my knowledge on my own time and am now preparing to setup a Linux Home Server, probably with Fedora 12 (since I already have the CD from school) that will serve as a web server and a file server. I do have some questions though; the computer that the server will run on is a Quad Core (2.8GHz), but sadly, the mobo ram cap is only 2GB. Will 2GB of ram be enough to support a small-ish Photoediting Website, along with a file server that will mainly host pictures? I know I have enough storage space (500GB x 3), I just wonder if 2GB of ram is enough. Also, are there any specific things I should consider (installing, running, etc) while I install the OS and afterwards? Would Fedora 12 work for what I want to accomplish? Also, any tips on setting up the file server would be greatly appreciated (web server is a no-brainer).

    Thanks in advance for any replies!

    Edit: I will be using Samba for the file sharing.
    Last edited by kagesatsu; 04-12-2011 at 03:01 PM.

  2. #2
    I think, your hardware is enough to run your website as you can also define extra memory using /swap that would make your total memory to 4G.

    Samba can be used in file sharing, you might as well try reading it though =)

  3. #3
    So during the install I define the /swap partition as 2GB and the computer will see that as extra ram? Does it work the same as the swap file in windows, meaning after the computer uses the 2GB of physical ram, it redirects overflow to the swap partition, which is slow to access? Is the slow access noticable? Just wanna know how exactly it'll work. And sorry, I'll edit the original post to reflect that I'll be using Samba, but thank you for the tip and info!

  4. #4
    you can check if you have used all your ram using "free -m" where -m is in terms of megabytes.

  5. #5
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    free -m will return a result indicating what is in use and also what is buffered, /swap will be used in case it has to swap out some memory to fit the needed program in the fysical memory, hence "swap" usualy a magnitude of 1.5 - 2 times the fysical amount of ram will be a good setting for /swap, this will provide anough swap to have the entire memory sweapped out while still have enough swap space to handle loading new programs.

    But in my mind, any machine with more than 1Gb ram will most like never use /swap, I've run my desktop with 2Gb ram without any /swap partition at all for a good 12 years, and never encountered problems, however a server is anouther thing, here you're relying on it beeing responsive no matter what.
    There is one instance where /swap is needed, if you're using suspend to disc, the machine will use /swap and in this case it is vital to have it set at more than your fysical ram, as everything that is loaded into memory will be swapped to /swap on suspend.
    Don't worry Ma'am. We're university students, - We know what We're doing.
    'Ruiat coelum, fiat voluntas tua.'
    Datalogi - en livsstil; Intet liv, ingen stil.

  6. #6
    Ok. I've got plenty of space, so I'll just set swap to use 5GB. Any other info/advice is appreciated!

  7. #7
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    I'll give you an example:
    Code:
    > cat /proc/cpuinfo 
    ...
    model name      : VIA Esther processor 1200MHz
    stepping        : 9
    cpu MHz         : 1199.908
    ...
    > free -m
                 total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
    Mem:           882        837         45          0         46        672
    -/+ buffers/cache:        118        764
    Swap:            0          0          0
    As you can see here, this is a server I have setup handling 5 domains with just little under 1Gb ram, it has 670Mb cached, meaning it is reserved but not in use.
    And as you can see I decided not to assign any swap space.

    On another machine
    Code:
    > cat /proc/cpuinfo 
    ...
    model name      : AMD Athlon(tm) XP 1900+
    stepping        : 1
    cpu MHz         : 1603.783
    cache size      : 256 KB
    ...
    > free -m
                 total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
    Mem:           882        837         45          0         46        672
    -/+ buffers/cache:        118        764
    Swap:            0          0          0
    as you can see here, this is another server I have running, which is handling 8 domains, and two of those are extensive picture galerys, the same swap setting the same amount is cached.

    And from the CPU info on my servers I'd say you should be well covered for a home server with your hardware.

    I hae one last one to show you
    Code:
    > cat /proc/cpuinfo
    ...
    model name      : Intel(R) Pentium(R) CPU        G6950  @ 2.80GHz
    stepping        : 2
    cpu MHz         : 1197.000
    cache size      : 3072 KB
    ...
    > free -m
                 total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
    Mem:          3890       3342        547          0        286       1942
    -/+ buffers/cache:       1113       2776
    Swap:            0          0          0
    This is a dual core CPU, the workload of this machine is 15 thin clients running on a Gb network booting and using their programs as beeing distributed from this server, it handles mail/web/nfs/samba/ftp for 3 domains aswell, and like before it uses barely over 2Gb of ram.
    Last edited by redhead; 04-12-2011 at 04:50 PM.
    Don't worry Ma'am. We're university students, - We know what We're doing.
    'Ruiat coelum, fiat voluntas tua.'
    Datalogi - en livsstil; Intet liv, ingen stil.

  8. #8
    Hi Kagesatsu! I think i must be one of the most fortunate guys on earth. I just joined this forum like an hr ago, do u know y? cos i am concludin a linux fundamental class and i hardly understand wat they're sayin but i'm enjoyin the concept of it and i want to be like a pro in the thing. today we did all these netwk stuffs u two are yearnin but no pratical, the instructor said,"this class is only 4 me to introduce u to linux netwrkin and not to actually give u the practical" can u imagine?
    But i told myself i'll netwk the thin myself. In abt 3wks time i'll be adding 2 more pcs to my laptop and try to network them(though rite now all wat u guys are sayin is like gibberish). So pls KAGESATSU, learn it properly and wen the time comes i'll be comin straight to u. Please, assume then that u are teachin a dummy.

  9. #9
    we are using suse linux enterprise. Please don't forget the name FLAME.

  10. #10
    flame, you are so funny to tell as we are saying here is gibberish, we have been working for years using linux as compared to you. we are here to give guides and not tell you the step by step procedure unless people here has nothing to do with themselves just to populate every inquiry there is. Linuxhomenetworking has tons of best tutorials i've been using for several years. And none of them is related to SUSE, unless its fedora or debian related issues! =)

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