Monday, November 10, 2008

Part 1: Building a Multi-Purpose Home Server

Over the next 6 weeks, we'll be doing a series of posts on setting up a home server. The goal of this server is to be multi-purpose, reliable, and (most importantly) low budget. We will be covering each the following topics:
  1. Selecting & Building the Hardware
  2. Installing the OS
  3. Samba File Sharing
  4. Apache2 Web Server
  5. Subversion Version Control
  6. Hamachi
This week we will be building the hardware system for our server. For a low power system, or for an especially tight budget, you could reuse an old PC. However, we will be building one from scratch, with these specs:
  • 3.0GHz Pentium 4
  • 2x 1GB DDR2 Ram
  • Optical Drive (for installing software)
  • 2x 500GB Hard Drives
  • Supported Motherboard
  • RAID card (optional)
It is generally possible to build or buy a system with these specs for $300-$400, depending on where you shop. When selecting a motherboard, remember to look for on board graphics, number of SATA ports, number of expansion slots, and number of IDE ports. Depending on your needs, between 2 and 4 SATA ports is probably enough. If you end up needing to add more Hard Drives in the future, you can purchase a SATA controller that fits in the PCI-e slot.

That's it for this week. Coming up next Monday, we'll install Ubuntu 8.10 Server on our newly built hardware.

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