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I want to build a lightweight linux box for serving up files and media. I am pretty set on my hardware but have some decisions to make else where. For ...
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  1. #1
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    Building a file server/HTPC


    I want to build a lightweight linux box for serving up files and media. I am pretty set on my hardware but have some decisions to make else where. For example, should I stream media, or just make the files available via NFS or Samba? I am guessing that if I choose to stream I will need a beefier CPU, as opposed to say, an atom. I will be accessing the server via a laptop running win7/ubuntu and a win7 desktop. I plan to use ubuntu for the server since that is what I am most familiar with. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    An Atom CPU (or even an ARM) should stream just fine. Network bandwidth and efficiency is the main issue here. I can stream HD video from a 100mbps NAS connection without problems.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Do you think an Atom would be able to stream HD content (in reality, I will probably use the HDMI out on the mobo)? I really want the Atom because of the low power consumption but just not sure if it would be up to that task. Thank you for the reply!

    EDIT: Forgot to mention, I also plan to use this to stream Netflix HD someday (once it works in Linux).
    Last edited by foxcar; 03-07-2011 at 08:43 PM.

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    For streaming media? Either an Atom or ARM at 200MHz or faster will do just fine! The advantage of the Atom is that it will run 32-bit x86 software without recompiling.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Alright, so after doing some more research, it looks like the atom with the Nvidia ION graphics should play HD fine. I was going to install ubuntu server but than I wouldn't be able to watch Netflix. I'm thinking of going with either Xubuntu or Ubuntu netbook to conserve resources. Or maybe I will just install a GUI with Ubuntu server.

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