After my success with Raspbian Wheezy on the Pi, I decided to challenge myself to get Linux running on my torrent/file server box running XP. I also ran across a website that really helped me to understand how I wanted to approach my set up (http://linuxhomeserverguide.com/)
The set up that is used on that site mirrored alot of what I wanted to be able to do myself at home. I attempted to duplicate the setup from that site for my own uses, but encountered some issues with getting the virtual machines working the way i wanted. The set up outlined on that site consists of one physical machine running Ubuntu Server 64 bit with 2 virtual machines running Ubuntu server 32 bit (1 media server and 1 web/mail server.)
I took the XP hard drive out of the machine and installed an older 250GB drive that I had laying around and installed Ubuntu Server 12.04 on it. I borked something up when doing the virtual machine set up and had to start from scratch. After evaluating my real needs, I decided to forego the virtual machine route. I realized that my main focus needed to be torrenting using Deluge and Flexget and then serving those files via samba or nfs to my other machines on the network. I was less inclined to go the web/mail server route only because i could not really see a need for it. I have a site hosted via GoDaddy and i’ve been happy with the service for the last few years.
I managed to get the server working with Deluge and Flexget and it was polling my favorite sites to get the stuff I wanted and appeared to be working perfectly. After a week or so of monitoring the system, I realized that i was barely taxing the quad core processor and 4GB of RAM with the torrent part and figured I could utilize that horsepower in other ways. Enter Handbrake.
I have been converting my DVD collection of movies and TV shows for my AppleTV for the last few years using my Mac Mini and it would convert fine. I wasn’t really happy with the amount of time it took to convert a single movie/TV show and it typically taxed my processor quite a bit when it was running, so using my machine while converting was a bit of a pain.
I found a CLI version of handbrake that would run on my server and installed it and was amazed at the speed of the conversions. i’m sure that the quad core and 64bit OS helped with that 🙂
I bought a few 2TB hard disks a few weeks ago and migrated the server to a 2TB internal drive and created more storage space for it. I haven’t yet put the other 2TB drive in the system yet, but i’m planning on migrating the 12TB or so of music, software, audiobooks, ebooks, movies and TV shows to the server as I can. The data is split up among numerous 1.5TB, 2TB and 1 TB drives on my Mini. I’ll have to move data over to the server, convert the drives to ext4 and then move the data back once I have it all on the server. This should help to make the media more manageable as it’ll all be in the same place and not split between my server and my Mac.
All in all, it’s been a fun and educational experience doing this. I can’t wait to see what comes next…