- Our Home Server -

We needed a home server which :

  • Had no Microsoft tax on it and is easy to code for...
  • That's LINUX for you. I chose Ubuntu.

  • Is extremely quiet.
  • Got 6 SILENX Ixtrema 9dBA fans installed.

  • Is accessible from the outside.
  • Relatively simple configuration of the Linux ( Ubuntu ) webserver.

  • Has proper and clean security.
  • Linux ( Ubuntu ) with access control, shorewall and spamfilters.

  • Has a webserver and a mailserver running.
  • Linux ( Ubuntu ) with Apache2 and Postfix.

  • Uses non-static IP address ( DSL ).
  • Dyndns client daemon is running.

  • Has a pan/tilt camera attached for remote viewing.
  • Got an old Logitech QuickCamOrbit AF camera,
    modified a kernel USB driver, talked with the
    Logitech people and wrote the http interface.

  • Has a small display to show quick status.
  • picoLCD 256x64 solved that one, see later.

  • Is aware of power outages and can shut down gracefully.
  • Made a cable and wrote program, see later.

  • Is aware when the DSL connection goes bad and can fix it.
  • Solved it with this and my software.

  • Can act as a file server even for Windows.
  • Linux ( Ubuntu ) with Samba.

  • Can act as a DLNA server, so my PlayStation3 can stream movies and music from.
  • Linux ( Ubuntu ) with MediaTomb.

    This is how it looks, a nice "small" box.
    Picked up the enclosure at Fry's for $60.

    Really well-designed, there is easy access to the motherboard.
    Note the primary 32GB solid state drive...

    2 Ultra-quiet fans ( 9dB ) push air through the CPU cooler, but
    they also push air toward the RAID. The Antec powersupply also has
    an ultra-quiet 120mm fan.

    In order to further noise-reduce, I put spongy heat-insulation tape on
    where the metal box touches the frame. Put on an air-filter as well...
    Those black circles are rubber mounting pegs ( to even further reduce noise ).

    The RAID is mounted with this easy-swap rails.
    Note the double-rubber vibration insulation! ( Yes, noise... )

    This is the back of the RAID rails, pushing air in between them.

    After a little hack, the UPS is now talking to the server...
    Since it's a small 700 unit, it lasts for only 10 minutes,
    but at least now the server can gracefully shutdown.

    My favorite picoLCD, a 256x64 display.
    It has a really good support for Linux Geeks, so writing my own buffer
    management with a font-renderer took only 2 hours.

    My monitoring application also stores the framebuffer
    in a png file which is than accessible through the webserver.

    Here are some screenshots on the status page:

    The camera server log and a copy of the status LCD...

    The camera access log and the internet connection maintainer log.

    The UPS status.

    The way I test our RAID1 :
    Assuming the followings:
  • Raid is raid1 from /dev/sdc, /dev/sdd with ext3 fs on /dev/md0
  • Raid is mounted on /raid
  • Test file to inspect for consistency is /raid/testfile
  • mdadm --detail /dev/md0 and cat /proc/mdstat are good basic checks...
    sudo tcsh
    md5sum /raid/testfile
    umount /raid
    mdadm -S /dev/md0
    mount /dev/sdc /raid -t ext3
    md5sum /raid/testfile
    umount /raid
    mount /dev/sdd /raid -t ext3
    md5sum /raid/testfile
    umount /raid
    mdadm -A /dev/md0 /dev/sdc /dev/sdd
    mount /dev/md0 /raid
    all 3 md5 values have to be the same...

    Go back to the Home Project page.