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I have an HP Pavillion dv9000 notebook that I would like to retire from common use. Instead, I would like to use it as a server for small purposes in ...
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    Notebook with 4GB CF card and an external hard drive


    I have an HP Pavillion dv9000 notebook that I would like to retire from common use. Instead, I would like to use it as a server for small purposes in my home. I want it to be my answering machine, printer server, community forum (for people to share photos when they are visiting) Firefox bookmark synchroniser, skype phone...and a couple of other small things. I am thinking also of installing firewall software on this computer and then connecting my other devices to this computer. The hard drive is in bad shape but I don't want to put any money into this project. I have a CF card - think 4 GB but might be 8GB - an SATA-cf card adapter and an external hard drive. I would like to install the OS on the CF card and install the apps (as much as possible) on the external hard drive. Is this reasonable? Which distro would be best? i have used Linux for a while but mostly as a user and maintainer, or to install some simple software. Once this computer is set up, it will be left on 24/7 with, most likely, no changes made to it.

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Using the CF for the OS is fine, but put the swap space on the external drive. Swap is rewritten frequently, hence can be a problem for flash devices over time. Also, put your log data (/var/log/...) on the external drive as well as any other volatile (frequently written) data.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Thanks! What is the most user friendly distro you would recommend?

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Something lightweight! Since these are servers, most any server distribution will do - I'd recommend something like CentOS - a Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone (100% compatible, but free). It is very stable and is server-oriented. We use thousands of systems with CentOS to run services for 100 million plus users, world-wide, both on hardware as well as in virtual machines. In fact, we are migrating to a fully cloud-based VM environment right now, and run 1000+ servers in that environment at the moment.

    In any case, DO NOT install the GUI. A text-based interface is preferred for servers. More work (study) required, but much lower resource usage!
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Thanks, Gumbi! I have a 10 day holiday coming up...will bury myself in Linux working on it

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    I just looked up the specs on my cf card. It is 45 mb/sec for reading - not sure about writing but will not be doing much of that to the cf card. How will performance compare to using a standard 2.5" 5400 rmp hd? Keep in mind, it will be on all the time - will not have to reboot.

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    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    A good set (if dated) of references Roky. I think pengyou should be just fine in using this for a system / boot drive. My previous comments about frequently written data still stands.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Being a flash drive user myself sometimes. Journaling and /swap stay out of my installs so +1 on the

    My previous comments about frequently written data still stands.
    You gotta remember. I have a couple of eeepcs with ssd drives (crappy ones at that)

    I don't rely on trim support on those.
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