Best guide to setting up a linux media server - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-01-2013, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I've searched through the forum, and I haven't found much in the way of current recommendations for a media server setup ie--what distro works best, raid software, etc.

I have a bit of experience with linux some years ago (and dos, cp/m going WAY back) so I don't need the bloat of a gui; at the same time, I'd rather not spend a ton of time configuring things either. I'm looking for something small, secure that will stream mkvs, mp3s, etc and provide access to documents to a couple of windows 8 machines. I'm thinking of snapraid/mhddfs on ubuntu server at the moment, but I'm open to other options if they offer advantages. I have 2 empty, 3TB drives and a 640GB drive to start the raid, and want to be able to add more as required. I need to look through what I have, but I think I might have a 40GB or 80GB drive for the OS--don't have cpu/motherboard yet--hoping I can get my brother's old system (Asus P5E mb --intel X38 chipset, 6 sata 2 ports-- and e8400 cpu)

Any kind of guide to setting things up that would save me time would also be appreciated.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-01-2013, 09:31 AM
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ZFS based servers are pretty highly recommended
  • FreeBSD
  • OpenIndiana
  • FreeNAS

Another highly popular (and developed) community is unRaid

The biggest thing to determine up front is what you expect from the server. If you want it to have **********, PBX, sabnzbd, or Plex then you will have to choose wisely

I personally find Plex extremely useful to have running on a server, and anyone who will tell you that Plex compares to subsonic or any other forked-daadp media server is basically only interested in music. If you try those with full blu ray mkvs (15-50 GB) then you will come back to plex every time. That being said, plex unfortunately doesn't have a bsd port and is debian based

A good ubuntu-server-101-guide is available here. Though the creator is pretty fond of webmin and vim, which may be annoying to more advanced users
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-01-2013, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply.

I've looked a bit at unRaid and Flexraid, but was leaning a bit towards Snapraid based on price and seems to be pretty robust. My needs are pretty basic--we have one Win8 htpc (using XBMC) and another Win8 desktop (will need access to server for pictures and documents mainly). Perhaps down the road we'd be interested in streaming movies to our Nexus 7, but it's really not a priority at all.

I saw that ubuntu server guide (they went with Snapraid I think)--it looks like it'd be a good way for me to get things going quick, just not sure if much has changed in the year since the page was updated.

Do you have an idea of the differences in install size/performance/etc between an ubuntu server/snapraid setup and something like freebsd/zfs?
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-02-2013, 08:55 AM
 
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-02-2013, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quantumstate View Post

Ubuntu is going the wrong direction, and those who admit running it in future will be laughed at or held in contempt

Yeah, I knew that was coming. Surely you're aware that ubuntu server doesn't include a desktop environment nor, by consequence, the infamous 12.10 dash from your link. Also supported till nearly 2018, plus troubleshooting tips are easier for me to find than other distros

I really haven't moved everything to a dedicated server (that does nothing else) just yet, but I lean towards freebsd

Eldar, as to what's changed I'd say not much. Although probably best (whichever route you choose) to follow one of quantamstate's posts around here for using CIFS rather than samba. If your network speed still suffers check on the NICs driver compatibility. Install sizes are all pretty negligible (considering today's storage disk sizes)
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-02-2013, 10:31 AM
 
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-02-2013, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quantumstate View Post

For a hair-raising surprise, try putting in a Firefox addon called "Collusion"
I don't trust Firefox addons tongue.gif

Also, default server install w/ samba and ssh left all these open (tcp)

22
25
53
80
110
139
143
445
993
995

But if you don't forward any ports what is the problem? My router does firewall, ddos, and PoD protection, and the server just sits on your LAN

For remote connection to other machines teamviewer only uses 80 out on both sides
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-02-2013, 02:10 PM
 
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-02-2013, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by quantumstate View Post

You'd best not trust Firefox bare
Firefox has been slower/heavier in my uneducated opinion when compared to chrome, so I switched away from it long ago. Really just antagonizing at that point, and I assume chrome is worse in your opinion
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Originally Posted by quantumstate View Post

When you say 'don't forward any ports what is the problem' I guess you mean through the router to the outside?
Precisely, nothing forwarded outside. Completely dependent on my router's security
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Originally Posted by quantumstate View Post

Having open ports on your LAN assumes your LAN is secure and that the router has no flaws, which I wouldn't accept.
We will agree to disagree at that point. I understand your reasoning, but I have neither the knowledge nor patience to do anything further than live with the consumer grade protection I receive with the router. I typically always learn something in my discussions with you, thanks for that
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-02-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-02-2013, 06:01 PM
 
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-06-2013, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Yeah, I knew that was coming. Surely you're aware that ubuntu server doesn't include a desktop environment nor, by consequence, the infamous 12.10 dash from your link. Also supported till nearly 2018, plus troubleshooting tips are easier for me to find than other distros

I really haven't moved everything to a dedicated server (that does nothing else) just yet, but I lean towards freebsd

Eldar, as to what's changed I'd say not much. Although probably best (whichever route you choose) to follow one of quantamstate's posts around here for using CIFS rather than samba. If your network speed still suffers check on the NICs driver compatibility. Install sizes are all pretty negligible (considering today's storage disk sizes)

Do you mean CIFS instead of SMB, as stated here:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1459171/setting-up-xbmcubuntu-as-server-help-opinions#post_23015235?
or is there some other post I should look at?

Looks like I'll get my brother's system--just have to build him a new one. The motherboard has one PATA port that I can put a 40GB drive on, and put my raid drives on the SATA ports.

I'll probably go with that guide--I'd like to get things set up and settled before too long--I'll post questions as they come up.

Thanks for the help and lectures! smile.gif
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post #13 of 15 Old 05-13-2013, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Dark--would you mind explaining your "CIFS rather than samba" comment? Thanks!
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post #14 of 15 Old 05-13-2013, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eldar3333 View Post

Hey Dark--would you mind explaining your "CIFS rather than samba" comment? Thanks!

My mistake . . . below
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eldar3333 View Post

Do you mean CIFS instead of SMB, as stated here:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1459171/setting-up-xbmcubuntu-as-server-help-opinions#post_23015235?

CIFS port instead of SMB ports for sharing through samba as in the link you listed

I've been looking around (awhile) for a good explanation for the extremely common saying "Use NFS cause itz waaayz faster than samba"

My guess is it hangs over from the days of old where single thread performance was quite limited in CPUs of the time.

Everyone says it has a "Lower Overhead," but that sounds like hogwash. I can see how it has the *potential* to have more overhead-depending on the implementation-since samba can be carrying along 128-bit encryption. However, if you turn off password protected sharing on your LAN (for all your windows boxes) and simply serve up your home media over samba w/o passwords then I'd think they are close to the same. NFS could multi-thread the share for you, but with the single thread grunt of even a G1610 I don't see why 1 thread wouldn't suffice.

For reference, all of my sharing is Windows to Windows with the exception of OpenELEC which has samba server/client bundled along with XBMC and various other packages. Full 1:1 blu ray never has a problem, so as a protocol it's up to snuff. My short foray into using a linux server was ended when samba sharing "from" the server was 1/3 of what I had been receiving before/after switching back to windows. So all the stuff I was going to run in linux on the server got shoved into VMs. I'm ready to get them dedicated again soon, so I'll be going a similar direction as you. I have yet to decide which distro to use, but I now believe my sharing speed woes were either driver support for the onboard realtek NIC or password protection deciphering was not as intelligently implemented in the ubuntu server distro as they were in W7.
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post #15 of 15 Old 05-15-2013, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

ZFS based servers are pretty highly recommended
  • FreeBSD
  • OpenIndiana
  • FreeNAS

I highly recommend a ZFS-based system. For guidance, check out http://zfsguru.com (based on FreeBSD) or http://www.napp-it.org (based on OpenIndiana/Solaris/etc.). Each site has good information.
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