iBook G4 / Cube G4 as a NAS/Server

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bobesch, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #1
    (moved this to PPC forum since my first post got into the wrong place...:oops:)
    #1
    Today I was tempted to buy Tiger-Server.
    First I thought about using my Cube for Tiger/Server-installation, but then some postings here at MacRumors made me leave this idea. Though putting a silent SSD wouldn't be the problem, attaching mass-storage in a reasonable way through FireWire or USB 1.x isn't something to overcome easily.
    Now I think about using an iBookG4 with Tiger/Server to play with as NAS/HomeServer, since it offers two USB2-ports plus one FireWire400-port.
    I also think about power consumption of both Cube and iBook when serving as a server.
    Any ideas about that? Thanks for sharing.
    Merry Christmas,
    Bob
     
  2. bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #2
    #3

    Merry Christmas Bob, Fröhliche Weihnachten. Your signature suggests strong interest in vintage computers, but a G4 as a server? I wonder if it has enough CPU grunt or RAM, and it's network connectivity will be on the slow side, yes? An interesting hobby project though.
    Thanks! You are right, it's a hobby to max out that beautiful old stuff to make it find a place in my common life - not just in a museum. These old machines (Cube, Gooseneck etc.) did serve well as "thin" clients in my office until recently changes in the terminal licensing-system of Windows2008-Server stopped RemoteDesktopClient to work (maybe sometime they'll return to their "old work" with the help of VNC, but currently a set of white Intel iMacs has taken their place...)
    So I thought about that Cube-home-server - silent and with low power consumption. But you are right: it's somehow limited in many fields. The only reasonable option that finally came to my mind, is a huge internal hard disk (e.g. 6-8TB) attached with IDE-SATA-adapter, with small 128GB partition for booting Tiger and an attached second hard drive of same space for regular backups via SuperDuper! fitted in one of these space aluminium firewire-cases that can be fired up and shut down manually (or a timer-plug) to start scheduled backup on connection and eject the disk after the task is complete.
    Could be server as a nice media-server sitting in our living room next to our TV :)


    BTW: this thread was meant to be posted in the PowerPC-Forum. Sorry that I've mixed something up.
     
  3. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #3
    Between the two, I'd probably pick the iBook both for connectivity reasons and lower power consumption.

    Your suggestion of using a large internal HDD is good in theory, although I've personally run into issues with space constraints inside a Cube such that I couldn't use a SATA-IDE converter even with a 2.5" HDD. Also bear in mind that the internal ATA controller in the Cube is handicapped by the 128gb limitation. You can get around this with software, but you will need to be sure your OS is in the first 128gb of the drive.

    If you went with the mSATA option in the iBook(which many of us have done for various laptops) you have the advantage of a faster ATA bus(ATA/100 vs ATA/66) along with no drive size limits(within reason-or at least what's currently affordable in an SSD) and USB 2.0.
     
  4. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    #4
    Plus the ibook has a built in UPS and wireless :)

    Either would be nearly silent, especially with a SSD. I know some of the external firewire enclosures were pretty smart and would not spin the disks endlessly when not being accessed.
     
  5. bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #5
    Thanks for your reply.
    It's a most important information that unfortunatly the most amazing solution of a huge SATA-drive with SATA-IDE adapter seems to be impractical due to lack of space. One can get a 8TB HDD at a reasonable price now - meant as disks for data-archiving, slower than the average disks but just right for my purpose. The 128GB limit wouldn't be the problem if the disk was partitioned previous to the attachment into the Cube, or am I wrong...?
    Ah, sorry for the Cube. Everything counts for the iBook. It's still there as a companion for RemoteDesktop/ScreenSharing :)
     
  6. bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #6
    Oh yes, build in UPS is another interesting feature I didn't think about yet!
    Wifi hasn't been a problem with the Cube since I use that tiny Ethernet adapter from Edimax. But then one USB port is blocked and Wifi has to got through the bottleneck of USB1.
    And I fully agree: SSD is a great hardware upgrade to the books! I love the silence. I've finally attached an SSD upgrade to all of my three "books" (Clamshell, iBookG4, PowerBookG4). If you ever start to enjoy the silence and speed on one device, you can't stand the noise of the hard drive just below your wrist...
    Sending an external disk to sleeping mode is a real issue! I'd rather go with USB2-connection, even if FireWire is more reliable, as long as the external disk can be powered through the USB-wire.
    For something like an 8TB 3,5" disk presumably there won't be an option to power it via USB Y-cable. Do you remember a good choice for an external FireWire-enclosure with a good power-management? I've got a few empty cases but with most annoying fans...
     
  7. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #7
    I have some Macally Firewire 3.5" SATA enclosures that are really nice-they look like a miniature G5/Mac Pro tower. They do only have FW800 ports, but they're easy enough to hook up to an iBook via an 800-400 cable.

    I very highly recommend them, although they do require external power. A Firewire port should in theory be able to provide enough power for a 3.5" drive, although I've yet to see an enclosure that is powered through the port. I have seen plenty of 2.5" drives that are(in fact my LaCie Rugged drive I use as a time machine drive is), but not 3.5".
     
  8. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #8
    Gonna chime in here real quick. I know everyone like using classic Macs, even at the cost of electricity bills, space, and comfortable temperatures (looking at your, PMG5), and even great sums of money, but sometimes, its best to choose something that was meant or is better at doing the task at hand.

    For most of my server needs, I have a Core2Quad desktop with 8GB of RAM and about 8TB of total space (soon I'm redoing the whole server and setting up a giant RAID) spread out on multiple SATA drives. At one point, I had it running OS X 10.5 Server, serving up Netboot images and hosting a Time Machine drive, but I have a Mac Mini G4 doing that now. Soon (as in later tonight) I am moving the G4 downstairs into our soon-to-be finished basement, along with the FireWire 800 LACIE drives attached to it. The wifi coverage will be lots better (since the router is 6 feet away, though the floor) and the drives will be much cooler in the basement environment.

    Anyway, just my two cents :)
     
  9. bobesch, Dec 29, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015

    bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
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    Kiel, Germany
    #9
    Thanks for your answers. One thing I also didn't take into account is the the bottleneck of the 10/100 Fast-ethernet, since only the 15"/17" PB machines sport Gigabit-ethernet - surprisingly already since late 2001.
    The Macally Firewire 3.5" SATA enclosure really does look spacy! - But first I need to fiddle with Tiger-Server on the iBook just to check if's there's enough grey substance left to set up that server-think. I found this posting of 'switon' #2 about advantages of server over the normal OS X installation very helpful.
     
  10. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Elkton, Maryland
    #10
    In all honesty, for the average home server user there is very little incentive to use OS X Server instead of standard OS X. By using vanilla stock Leopard, you still can create "sharing" only accounts and fine tune the sharing options in System Preferences. If you wanted VPN capabilities, you could even use the built in VPN server with the help of a program like iVPN. At the end of the day, most any PowerPC Mac can run OS X Server, but if the additional capabilities are going to waste then there is little incentive to overly complicate the setup.
     
  11. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #11
    I'm using a 12" 1Ghz 1.25GB RAM iBook G4 running OSX 10.5.8 and iTunes 10.6.3. It has a single 2TB Western Digital USB3 hard drive connected via one of the USB 2 ports. I did upgrade the hard drive around 5 years ago to a 160GB one, so the iTunes content comes from the external, the internal storage space on the iBook I use as a home file server.

    1080p Content (rips up to about 3GB in size) starts streaming within 9 seconds to the latest Apple TV 4.

    I download everything via my retina Macbook, tag movies using iDentify and transfer it over to the iBook wirelessly.

    The iBook has been constantly on and not shut down or disconnected from the hard drive in 2 years. B

    Benefits:
    - Very Low power. Cost is in the region of £17.50 GBP per year, measured last year over a period of 30 days then averaged out the annual cost. On 24/7, the machine is set to not sleep.
    - Works with the latest Apple TV 4.
    - Using an old and good machine for a useful task.
    - 'Free' as already had the device.
    - Adequate as a file server.
    - Home sharing iTunes still works with the latest iOS Devices and Macs.
    - Screen sharing still works with the latest Macs on 10.11.

    Negatives:
    - The wireless card can get hot if constantly on for say 6+ hours in a row, I noticed this after 3 months, monitored and then transitioned to ethernet as precaution.
    - My Macbook does any downloading as I find the iBook slow.
    - Transcoding done by the Macbook (Although I do specifically seek out MP4 files which are very commonplace).
    - Not an all in one solution of download/store/stream.
    - The iBook can't play 1080p files itself, it is acting as a terminal/storage device only.

    Overall:
    Would I seek out an iBook to do this with? As with anything it depends on the deal, for me it was a free device and a 'trial' that has worked out well. If I had to pay money then I'd probably go low power intel, maybe even a hackintosh in a cigarette packet type machine. One thing I do recommend is using iTunes 10.6.3, it is solid!
     
  12. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    #12
    Personally, would recommend a G4 Mini. But as you want to use either the iBook G4 or the Cube, I would go with the iBook. I would run the iBook headless(removing the screen) and then using screen sharing to connect to it. It would allow the iBook to slip into smaller spaces for storage. Then I would use either a USB or FireWire hard drive for storage, as the internal drive can be upgraded to 320GB(the max IDE 2.5" drive on the market)
     
  13. for this macrumors regular

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    Nov 18, 2014
    #13
    Can heat be a problem for the iBook for a job like that?
     
  14. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

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    Leeds, UK
    #14
    No problems at all, mine sits on a shelf in a small cupboard and it doesn't heat it up at all. The PS3 on the shelf below does though!
     
  15. bobesch, Dec 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016

    bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #15
    After all the discouraging facts the Cube isn't my choice for trying to use it as a server...
    Surely it will be get in it's place as a "thin" client for screen-sharing some time.
    A mac-mini is a good choice too, but I think the iBook is more energy-efficient (plus I don't owe a miniG4... - got the iBookG4 800MHz for about 30$ for a local private seller and couldn't resist.)
    Guess I don't got with 'Tiger-Server' in the first instance - did try to set up iVPN, but I didn't succeed to connect to it from 'outside" yet. With "Server" presumably I won't succeed either and I have to agree with all the advises here, that with File-/Screensharing most stuff can be done without a special OS X-Server version. Thanks!
    So in the meantime the iBook will run locally now with one (maybe up to three) HDD attached and additionaly hooked up to the phone-line to serve as fax-machine. Screen-sharing can be done locally with the means OS X does provide or with VNC and for remote access I tried out TeamViewer7 with good results.
    Happy New Year!
     
  16. bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #16
    Thanks for your hint about 'iVPN' - it's quite the think I was looking for ... less complicated than 'Server'.
    Unfortunately I didn't succeed to connect to it remotely even if I think I have followed all the necessary steps to configure mac and router. Last night I've found some settings for "redirecting/pass through" in the routers system-settings. I'm gonna give that a try during the next days.
    Greetings and a Happy New Year!
     
  17. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Elkton, Maryland
    #17
    If you are having trouble with it let me know and I can give you a hand on TeamViewer. Here is the port information for iVPN.
     
  18. bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #18
    Oh, thanks for your offer...
    I have a problem to pass by the router.
    If I try to get access via L2TP within the same network everything works and my client get another IP address for the VPN-connection that is different from the Airport-IP-address.
    At my router NAT is enabled. No ports are specifically blocked. My iBook has got a static IP address. This IP-address is defined as standard-server within the router's settings. I've redirected the named UDP ports from public to privat. Don't know, if there's anything I left out...?
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #19
    A couple of points...

    • VPN gives out IP addresses in the same subnet as your router. Therefore, I recommend that you setup your router to have a limited IP range (e.g. 192.168.1.2-192.168.1.199) then you would let iVPN use 192.168.1.200-192.168.1.220 for example.
    • Since the iBook has a static IPv4 address, you must manually forward the ports to the iBooks private address.
    • Use L2TP only as I have had trouble getting other VPN configurations running on OS X in the past.
     
  20. bobesch, Jan 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016

    bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
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    #20
    Limited IP-range: set
    L2TP: set
    My problem is the point to "manually forward the ports to the iBooks private address". I don't have a clou to find that setting within my routers configuration pane...

    These router settings drive me nuts!:eek:
     
  21. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
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    Elkton, Maryland
    #21
    You are going to need to review the list I posted earlier and forward them to the IP address of the iBook. What type of router are you using?
     

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