Ewen's picture

Hi,

I'm hoping to build a general purpose TKL home server (on an HP Proliant Microserver n36l).

I'd like it to be able to be

  • a web / DB server - LAMP (with MariaDB probably) 
  • windows accessible file server
  • run backups (to local ext hdd) of its own content and that of local PCs
  • possibly be a media server and stream ripped (owned!) movies within the house
  • I'm also vaguely interested in running the Getting Things Done functionality which one of the appliances is optimised for.

Could people advise please on the best way to go about this?

Should I run some kind of VMWare equivalent and a bunch of TKL VMs, each being optimised for these different purposes? If so, what's the best way to go about that?

Or, should I just run a vanilla / core TKL appliance and then install the various utlities and applications on it? If so, could folk advise on how I do that? Can I get the applications here (on TKL) or do I need to venture out beyond TKL and find / download install the bits and bobs myself?

 

Thanks!
Ewen

 

Forum: 
Jeremy Davis's picture

I highly recommend installing Proxmox VE on your bare metal, It's an open source Debian based hypervisor that provides a powerful web UI and CLI tools. It provides KVM (for full VMs of any OS) and LXC (for Linux OS containers). The TurnKey Linux library (in LXC format) is available for download via the UI (or you can install from ISO to a full VM if you wish).

Then install the various appliances you want as LXC containers. There is some redundancy as each is running it's own full OS, but because LXC leverages that host's kernel, you get near enough to bare metal performance, that the only real "wastage" is disk space. Besides, I personally like the redundancy. It means that I can make tweaks to one "service" (i.e. server) without affecting any others.

Ewen's picture

Thanks Jeremy!

That sounds great. I hadn't heard of Proxmox VE but it looks good from an initial scan of their home page.  I have my weekend tinkering sorted :D

I will report back with how I get on (once I do get on) to keep the thread complete.

 

Domhnall Currie's picture

Proxmox looks really cool and so do the benefits of LXC, but I have not been able to get either of them to run for me for love nor money!  I've set up probably a dozen TKL servers and they always go off without a hitch, but I've pulled my hair out with Proxmox and LXC.  I'm not saying don't use them because they both have tons of users and get great reviews, just don't get discouraged if you're just starting out.  :)  Hang with it and don't be afraid to ask the guys here for help.

Ewen's picture

Thanks Domhall,

I will be patient and see how it goes with Proxmox! I have some RAM arriving tomorrow (just to up it to 8GB from 2GB). Once that's installed I'll set to.

Fingers crossed that ProxMox behaves for me - I'm planning on installing that from the ISO file before then adding TKL appliances / VMs. I will report back though on how everything goes.

Thanks!
Ewen

Ewen's picture

Sorry for mis-spelling Domhnall!

 

Domhnall Currie's picture

No problem.  :)  Not sure about that microserver, but I think most HP servers with built in NICs (at least the ones I've used) had proprietary drivers which are not included with Debian.  You'll have to download them from HP or get them off your distribution disks and get Debian to recognize them.  Not difficult and you may already know that, just wasn't sure how "noob" you were.  :)

Ewen's picture

Thanks for this too Domhnall. I am 80% noob on Linux, so I think a potential unresponsive NIC due to a lack of driver would have stumped me. I will grab the driver from HP and will take a look into how to get Debian to recognise them.

I'm still fully intending to report back on how I get on with it all. As yet, this extra RAM has still to appear, so no action just yet!

Thanks again!
Ewen

Jeremy Davis's picture

Yeah unfortunately it's not uncommon for NIC hardware to have proprietary drivers (although wifi is often worse). Having said that, I just did a quick bit of research for you.

According to HP (and a newer version here, plus a few other sources that seem to confirm they used the same NIC across different versions) the "HP ProLiant MicroServer" uses a "Embedded NC107i PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Server Adapter". A bit more searching suggests that apparently the NC107i PCIe NIC is based on a Broadcom BCM5723 chipset. According to Debian (what both TurnKey and Proxmox are based on), that chipset uses the 't3' driver. And the 't3' driver (t3.ko) is bundled in the kernel.

So my quick searching suggests that the NIC should "just work".... Fingers crossed!

If for some reason it doesn't, then before you start trying to install drivers from all over the internet, I urge you to check the "non-free" firmware available from Debian. You'll need to download the deb file onto a USB, then manually mount it and install it. But lets cross that bride if/when we get to it... :)

Ewen's picture

Hi

Thanks for this Jeremy, and for all the digging and research that you've done. Sincere apologies for tardy reply on my part - I have not actually had a chance to sit down and get into the server build yet. Family issued a series of higher priority interrupts! 

I will give it a go on working on the assumption that it'll 'just work' (which would be great) and will report back.

Thanks again!

Jeremy Davis's picture

No problem at all. When you get to it...

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