what OS do you use on your home server?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sparkie1984, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. sparkie1984 macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Hi guys,

    I am building a home server, going to be running 4 2TB HDD's probably in RAID 5.

    anyway I am not sure what OS to use for easiest compatability with osx

    I would like to use the server for housing my media library for itunes/music/photos/films etc etc so I can stream to an apple tv.

    I would also like to use Time machine on it if I can.

    I am sure I have read that windows home server 2011 has an app that will allow it to work for time machine.

    Will it accept my mac pro connecting to it though?

    Also if I plugged my iphone into the Mac Pro to update it will it work fine?

    Sorry if its stupid but just wondering if the whole mac vs windows thing gets in the way?

    Am I better off running freenas or something?

    Thanks for any ideas
     
  2. Bill.the.Cat macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2011
    #2
    Maybe OS X server? Or is this a trick question?

    Kidding aside, I don't see any problem using OS X. I run Leopard 10.5.8 on an old ATV1 and use the software raid function. It's not blazing fast at file transfer (due in no small part to the external laptop hard drives I have attached through a cheap USB hub) but streams m4v blu-ray rips to an ATV2 just fine. If you are going all out with a new machine it looks like Lion Server is only a $50 addon. If you are only going to use it to store and stream on a local network you don't really need a server OS anyway.
     
  3. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Sorry should of said its not an apple machine
     
  4. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

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    #4
    I have a similar conundrum.

    I was using a Hackintosh, but since moving to the states, I hadn't used it for a while, rebuilt it and updated and it wouldn't boot after.

    My idea is now something along these lines:

    Get an Ubuntu Live USB stick, format my new 3TB drive in EXT4, copy the files from my HFS+ disks (about 2.2TB worth) to the new disk.
    Install Ubuntu Server 64bit onto my computer.
    Set up and test afp/bonjour
    Install Virtualbox and use the Snow Leopard VM I previously set up, this will handle Apple TV sharing duty and syncing my iPad.

    However, in your situation, I think you can put FreeNAS onto a USB stick, set up the disks in a ZFS RAIDZ array and set up AFP sharing. If you add the share to your login items on your Mac Pro, you can specify that as your iTunes Media location, specify it for Time Machine and basically be all set.

    You will need your Mac Pro on in order to share to your Apple TV though...

    And thinking about your situation just reminded me that I have a MacBook with a busted screen at home and I might be able to use that instead of bothering with Ubuntu/Virtualized OSX :D One thing I would say, is that you might need an External or two to backup your RAID data to as well if you're worried about data loss.
     
  5. spencers macrumors 68020

    spencers

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  6. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #6
    Wow, this is an interesting idea. I forgot about installing VirtualBox and then putting SL in it. That might just be perfect for what I want to do. BUT I may want to take it to the next level. I have a FreeNAS running now. Save the configuration, remove the hard drives from the machine, install a new hard drive, install Ubuntu and then. Run SL (maybe even Lion) for serving up iTunes and then install FreeNAS in another VM on the same machine. From there; install the old RAID and have everything work as it was.

    This would be awesome; because the old laptop I'm using now (winXP) running iTunes is DAMN slow (but fast enough to stream videos -- although I think it may choke when I start ripping 1080p format). It would allow me to remove one machine from my setup; that would be nice.
     
  7. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Thanks everyone :)

    cylon: Is freenas ok? how do you find it?

    I am currently working out whether to build a server or buy a homemade server like the HP N36L.

    Either way I guess its irrelevant to what OS i use.

    I see some people use Windows Home Server, does this play nicely alongside macs/time machine?

    I have also heard of unRaid, not overly sure about this OS.

    I don't mind getting my hands dirty, but dont want a system plagued with problems and needing major hacking for my uses.

    Maybe Freenas is the way to go after all then? does it give you the option to spin down disks after use? and I read about it having a different sort of Raid 5, is this the ZFS?


    Sorry for the q's guys, I like to try and get how things are going to work in my head before I start spending out and building
     
  8. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #8
    Got tired of futzing around with my homemade NAS and bought a Synology NAS. Works great.
     
  9. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9
    I know what you mean mate, but I can save a lot of money making my own.

    Plus I get more expandability and the HP server is available with £100 cashback (if its still on when I can afford it) meaning a server for £98 bargain :)
     
  10. Corbin052198 macrumors 6502

    Corbin052198

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    #10
    Ubuntu or another linux distro would probably work the best.
     
  11. mrfrosty macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I use Solaris with ZFS. It rocks.

    Think about what happens when you delete files over the network. Your mirror or raid5 is not going to help you there...........something with snapshots can......Fat fingered f'ups are just as likely as drive failures e.t.c.

    If your afraid of solaris you can get zfs going on ubuntu and such i believe.
     
  12. zacharystern macrumors newbie

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    Jul 22, 2011
    #12
    Please please PLEASE do not build a RAID 5 array with 4x2tb drives. You are in for a surprise when one of the drives fails and you try to rebuild the array.

    See this article:
    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/why-raid-5-stops-working-in-2009/162
     
  13. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #13
    I went with FreeNAS for ZFS support; that is really what I wanted it for. It work OK, and I can't complain, it's been running like a champ for a year or two now. It does spin down the drives as needed and it does keep things parity checked and redundant. I haven't been through a drive failure and it worries me because I'm not really ready for a failure. :( Fortunately I'm at about 1.5 to 2.0 TB on the system and I do have it run a cron job at night to back up to an external drive. So I should be mostly fault tolerant. I hope.

    Please note, that NAS != security. Often NAS systems are NOT backed up or redundant; and thus when they fail, just like any other hard drive, the data is lost forever. NAS means Network Attached Storage, if you really want security you need a system that can back itself up, keep your data secure and checks the drives for failures.

    But I have been hearing that support for FreeNAS is either slowing down or stopping (although they have been saying this for a while now) so be careful there. For me, I'm a little too far in to change now. :(

    Been contemplating going to a drobo for a while; but price has kept me out of that game.
     
  14. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Thanks for the link.

    So what raid would you suggest I use?

    It's a shame as raid 5 seemed to fit the bill perfectly
     
  15. haze macrumors regular

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    Nov 11, 2007
    #15
    I have been looking at Amahi: http://www.amahi.org/. I have a HP MediaSmart Server. It has worked very well in my Apple environment, but Windows stopped supported the Drive Extender feature, so no future updates.

    That is where Amahi comes in. It is essentially the free linux replacement to Windows Home Server with drive extender functionality being replaced by Greyhole. The primary distribution is Fedora, but they do have an Ubuntu distro now, also.
     
  16. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #16
    So you have had success with windows hOme server running iTunes ok?

    I don't mind just paying for windows if it's the best option?

    Linux I am wary of as have no experience what so ever of it.
     
  17. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Sorry to bump the thread but did you get on ok with apple and WHS?

    I have read somewhere that with lion something has changed with time machine etc, therefore meaning we cannot backup time machine to a NAS

    is this correct?
     
  18. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

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    #18
    Then you should go with freenas. As long as you can read pretty minimal directions and use web management pages (like wireless router web consoles) then you'll be fine. You don't have to dive into the command line unless you want to and it's all pretty simple to set up and it's free.

    Also, the Lion stuff, yeah, you'll need a newer build of netatalk for Lion to even see shares in afp. This might put WHS totally out of the equation if they can't upgrade.
     
  19. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #19
    thanks stevie, so using lion I can still use freeNas just fine for everything I want?

    it's just WHS that lion breaks?.
     
  20. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

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    #20
    Seems to be everything when using afp at the moment. I'm going to do some testing when I get home tonight to see if I can get around it at the moment though.
     
  21. sparkie1984 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #21
    Thanks mate, be interested to hear your conclusions :)

    Surely someone will get around it soon. I cannot understand why they'd stop it in the first place..
     
  22. niewiesznic macrumors regular

    niewiesznic

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    #22
    I have tried mac mini as a server, but thats only one HDD and it was to power hungry. I considered few solutions and chose Synology.
    I own 2 of them today. DS210j with RAID1 is for Time Machine and download station/ftp/torrents. Second one, significant faster is for media library, Squeezebox Server, work backup, also RAID1. No problems at all.
     
  23. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

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    #23
    I have OS X server on a custom built PC.

    It works, OK but I would like to switch to an OS that is more supported. Ubuntu looks nice but my RAID card doesnt play nice with the newer versions.
     
  24. haze macrumors regular

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    #24
    I haven't upgraded to Lion, yet. iTunes has been working fine with the previous version of WHS that had Drive Extender. The new Version, Vail, dropped Drive extender, which was the whole reason I went with WHS and the HP MediaSmart Server anyways.

    That is why I am looking to build an Amahi server now since it has Greyhole, which is pretty much a *nix implementation of Drive Extender. Plus, it has other media server goodies. I am just trying to figure which box to go with, Acer (Atom) or HP MicroServer (AMD).
     
  25. charlien macrumors regular

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    Jul 3, 2006
    #25
    Interesting and timely question. I got excited when I heard WHS 2011 supported Macs. There are also beta replacements for drive extender. I spent the weekend playing with a WHS2011 server and decided Sunday night to keep looking for a better option. My biggest reason was there is a lack of support for antivirus on WHS2011. Even MS does not support their AV on it. The DE replacements are still too green. And Lion does not work with it either.

    I'll keep reading these posts. I think I may try Amahi and Ubuntu next.
     

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