I've recently set up a home server using Ubuntu. I thought it might be useful for me to record my experience and any problems / pitfalls / useful tidbits of information I found along the way. It's not been a particularly arduous process, but hopefully this might help someone out in the future.
The hardware I used was a semi-home build; I bought the Intel D525MW motherboard, which has an integrated dual-core Atom 1.66GHz processor, and fitted it into a case along with some RAM and a hard drive. The processing power on the motherboard should be more than enough for what we're asking it to do (see below), and it's low power so that means we can leave it on all the time, and it's passively cooled too. The other advantage is that it's mini-ITX, so nice and small to fit under the stairs where it's going to live. I fitted the board into a cheap no-name mini-ITX case which actually turned out to be decent quality, and added 2Gb Kingston RAM. The hard drive is a Western Digital Caviar Green (low power) 1Tb from a previous NAS setup. There's no DVD drive (what's the point nowadays, really?), and I'm using onboard video and sound.
The software I installed was obviously customised to fit our needs / requirements. I chose Ubuntu as the operating system, because a Mac was too expensive, a Hackintosh was too complicated in terms of finding 100% compatible hardware, and Windows Home Server was discounted for reasons I can't remember right now, but were definitely valid and unresolved. I have a little bit of experience with Linux, but never in an admin role and I've never used Ubuntu before. I have used the Terminal in Mac OS and Linux before, so have some basic competence in that area. I certainly wouldn't class myself as a 'guru' though, so if you're not a Linux whizz then don't worry – if I can manage it, I'm sure you can!
In terms of applications installed, we needed the server to carry out a number of roles:
- File server (including Bonjour for Macs on the network)
- DLNA server
- Web server (including WordPress)
- Repository / eventually CruiseControl
- Time Machine backups
I've therefore split the software section up into a number of posts on this blog, all starting with the letters 'UHS':