Rich's picture

Hi, I'm putting together a basic home backup server and trying to decide on hardware, and coming up to some compatibility confusion.

It seems that most hardware compatibility lists I've found in the Debian documentation and elsewhere online are badly outdated, so my question simplified is, which motherboard should I use?

There are some great deals on the Intel i3 Skylake (LGA1151) series right now, but as best I can tell the Intel H110 chipset which would be my first choice requires kernel version 4.4+ while Debian Jessie ships with 3.x. Updating the kernel isn't usually difficult, but I've ran into situations in the past where I couldn't even install, and obviously in this case compiling the kernel for the installation medium isn't an option. (I've been using TKL since 2010 and love the work that the team does)

My needs are fairly basic, if you have any recommendations for an inexpensive motherboard that is available from, supports RAID 10, and is fully supported by the TKL core kernel, I'd appreciate your feedback. Thanks very much.

Jeremy Davis's picture

TBH I thought I'd posted about Proxmox fairly recently but can't find it anywhere right now...

Basically Proxmox is a free open source Hypervisor (somewhat like VMware vSphere). It is lightweight and provides a sexy and useful web UI, plus a powerful CLI. As per TurnKey it's Debian under the hood (PVE v4.x = Debian Jessie) and even includes download for TurnKey LXC containers within the UI (we partner with Proxmox to provide this ease of use). The TurnKey containers run close to bare metal in my experience. It also provides KVM so you can install full VMs (e.g. Windows etc).

FWIW I have an old Core2Duo (probably close to 10 years old by now) with 8GB RAM which is currently running about 10 TurnKey containers smoothly as. I have had up to 20+ containers running on it previously and never had any serious hiccups.

Possibly the most relevant part for you though, is they they provide their own kernel (AFAIK compiled from mainline source)! So even though it's Debian Jessie under the hood, it ships with a 4.4 kernel! :) I have recently just installed the latest version (from ISO "burned" to a USB) to a Skylake board with a z170 chipset and it worked OOTB no problems! :)

Oh, also if I haven't already convinced you, IMO unless you are recycling really old low power hardware, installing a lightweight OS like TurnKey to bare metal is such a waste of your hardware! That's especially the case if you are buying something newer like that! The install I just did was for a local small business who run a Windows shop with about 10x Win10 desktops. THe Proxmox server is an i5 with 32GB RAM but is running 2x Windows Server 2012R2 VMs (under KVM) plus a dozen TurnKey containers (LXC). Even with that sort of load, under normal workday usage CPU sits about 2% and RAM at 30% (mostly used by the 2 Win servers).

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