OS X Home Server, Please Help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DJS1234, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. DJS1234 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #1
    Hi everyone, I'd appreciate some buying advice!

    As the title suggests I'm looking to put a new home server together running OS X. Leopard would be preferable (Only needs to be the client edition I think, could use the server edition but wouldn't need half of it!)

    The roles this server will need to play are as follows-

    1)File sharing
    AFP for the Mac's at home (Macbook and 20"iMac G5 both running 10.5.1)
    SMB for my chipped xbox to stream from and if I ever need to hookup a Windows box.

    2)Download client
    This is the part that rules out a simple NAS/TimeCapsule. I'd like an always on download/upload client for Bittorrent and HTTP downloads (Rapidshare etc) Also to run the Clutch webserver element of Transmission so I can monitor bittorrent activity from the LAN/WAN

    3)Seeing as it's running Leopard I can also backup the iMac to it via time machine (Assuming TimeMachine does indeed have the ability to backup to a Leopard AFP share - I read it somewhere but have never tested it myself)

    Storage for all this will be a couple of external drives I already have (Firewire 400/800/USB2.0 interfaces on the drives)

    Now I don't need overkill here, it'll only be me who ever really accesses the box so please no recommendations for X-Serve's!

    I've had a couple of ideas-

    1)The current base-spec Mac Mini. Great spec for the money, low power consumption and great performance (For the price)

    2)G4 eMac. Cheap to get hold of on eBay. As long as it's the 1Ghz and above model will run Tiger. Has USB2.0 and Firewire400. Cons- uses more power than a mini and has a much larger footprint.

    It'd be great to be able to use a higher end G3 iMac (Snow/Indigo etc) as they were a great form factor and now are just so rediculously cheap! but even with hacking by the looks of things won't run leopard:(

    oh yeah and I'd like it to be as quiet as possible.

    Any other suggestions and all input really appreciated!

    Cheers
    Dan
     
  2. timswim78 macrumors 6502a

    timswim78

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #2
    Have you considered a router with DD-WRT firmware and a NAS drive? I think that it should meet your sharing, downloading, and backup needs.

    You'll save money on the hardware and on electricity.
     
  3. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #3
    I just prefer having a local client to organise files/unpack archives etc etc also I've got a thin-client esque M0n0wall box on it's way to be at the moment for router/firewall duties (To sit upstream from the my ADSL router that will run in modem-only mode)

    Cheers
    Dan
     
  4. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #4
    I could always use a Linksys NSLU2 device to make my hard drive(s) into a NAS (Using the custom Linux firmware of course:cool:) Then a G3 iMac for the downloading client running Tiger (With all the trickery turned off)

    The only concern is things like say I download a large file split into RAR file parts, if I unRAR them on the iMac from the NAS will it copy the files locally then back to the NAS as the extracted file as this would take forever! Also if I move a file from one directory to another on the NAS could it be like a copy/paste (Slow) or a move (Nice and quick)
     
  5. evillageprowler macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    #5
    I've also considered setting up a "server" using a Mac running Mac OS X. My thoughts are that I'd likely use a Mac Mini with external USB storage running RAID-1. While not using the "server" version of OS X, I can still set up the Mini to serve NFS to my network - I found the instructions somewhere by poking around on google, here or apple.com.

    I wonder if TM can be used to backup a logical RAID volume...

    EVP
     
  6. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #6
    the mini is pretty ideal, it is the best idea I've had so far, I just like trying to find cheaper ways of doing it. The thought of a core2Duo 1gb system serving files...

    There's got to be another way! (Maybe not but it's fun looking:cool:)
     
  7. evillageprowler macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    #7
    There's got to be another way!

    My current server is a re-cycled Dell Dimension 2450 with an upgraded P4 and 512MB running FC6. It also has two tuner cards and runs Myth and serves NFS, SMB, HTTP, DNS and NTP to my environment. Very cheap setup.

    Of course, it ain't Mac OS X. But, you can always run Linux on your Mini... :D

    EVP
     
  8. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    #8
    I would suggest a homebuilt Linux setup as well.
     
  9. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #9
    hmmm

    - nslu2 running debian with my 750gb ext.drive attached

    - iMac G3 with another smaller Firewire drive attached that it can boot from and use as temporary storage until the files can be committed to the NAS (Unrar'd etc)

    Sharing and streaming duties off the NAS and local client duties from the iMac.

    A plan is coming together I feel!
     
  10. Yoursh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    MN
    #10
    I would recommend a G4 Powermac. They can be had for fairly cheap if you look around. They go for $150-$300 on my local Craig's list depending on model. It would be more then powerful enough to do what you want. You only have to look out for two things with these. First, early G4's could only see internal drives up to 128GB per dirve. Not an issue if you plan on using external drives, but one of the benefits of a Powermac is to have a system without drives hanging off of it. The other thing is to find one with gigabit ethernet. If you are dealing with large files, you will see the speed difference with a gigabit switch. Basically if you find a 2002 or later model you should be fine.

    Me personally, I picked up a used G4 Xserve off of ebay to use as a home server. I've been running Tiger server but I'm in the process of installing Leopard server. It would be overkill for your case but the G4 age systems can do what you want without any problem.
     
  11. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #11
    Problem with the PM G4's is that they're really loud, I've got a 533MHz Sawtooth and an 800 (I think) Quicksiver kicking around that I have used in the past, they're just a bit too big and noisy for what I'd rather use in the future.

    If noise and space weren't an issue then it'd be a no-brainer!
     
  12. Yoursh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    MN
    #12
    Yeah if space and noise is an issue, the Powermac wouldn't be the best option. I keep my Xserve in a isolated room so noise isn't an issue.(you think a Powermac is loud)

    If you have your sights on a mini, an older G4 model would work too.
     
  13. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #13
    Yeah a G4 mini would be fine, the issue is what they go for second hand! sometimes there's only £100 ($200 US ish) between a G4 and a brand new Core2Duo Intel model that has a year's warranty and I'd rather pay the extra especially given the performance gains on the Intel Mini.
     
  14. dvd macrumors regular

    dvd

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #14
    Haven't tried this myself, but found this an interesting read: build your own

    (Sorry, should have mentioned, my solution is a Linux/CentOS server running netatalk, etc.)
     
  15. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #15
    I wondered how long it would take someone to put together a 'kit list' for a Hackintosh that had hardware with available drivers.

    Still for the money I'd rather go with a Mac Mini (Less hassle and I'm not that bothered about Mac-Pro like performance)
     
  16. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #16
    G4 PowerMac in basement, on gigabit ethernet with wireless N

    Running headless through Apple Remote Desktop. Can be accessed anywhere in the world.

    Otherwise MacMini would work. Put it next to your TV and you can use that with your TV (get NES and other emulators and some controllers and you'll have a cool set up).
     
  17. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #17
    Just remembered the good ol' G4 cube as well!

    Used to have one myself, watching a few on eBay, see what they go for these days
     
  18. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #18
    Just build a cheap linux box, run ubuntu server w/ netatalk & samba for file sharing across your network, rtorrent for downloads, etc.
     

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