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  1. #1

    Recommened Media Server Requirements

    Hey there,
    I have been wanting to put together a small media server for storing and streaming my music, videos, digital photos, and whatever else I decide to throw on there.
    My question is what should I look for in buying a used computer for allowing sharing of these files over a small home network with 3 clients ( Windows XP for two roomates, Linux for my laptop). Obvious samba would be a requirement, possibly web server capabilities down the road, and I'd like to be able to connect remotely from school/friend's houses from time to time to start downloading a file using bittorrent on the server or ftp files to/from my laptop. I do not want a GUI interface on it as I do not plan on having a monitor for it and will probably just try and find some free space to stick it in.

    So suggestions for CPU speed, RAM, etc would be great. Keep in mind I'm a University student paying about $7000 for tuition alone.
    I'm too afraid to ask which distro would be best, so instead I'll ask a better question:
    Just how minimal is a "minimal" install on most recent distros (MB) and what do they provide?
    I've never done a minimal install. I'm currently using Fedora Core 2 since August of this year, and have possession of Fedora Core 4 but I'm currently happy with core 2 so haven't bothered upgrading yet as I want to back up things before hand. However, I would almost prefer to install a different distro just to take a look the other options out there (Slackware, Debian and Suse come to mind for non-live distros)

    Thanks for any input!

  2. #2
    hi natern,

    i recently set up a media server at home in the same conditions as you.

    I used Debian Sarge on a PIII-500 MHz with 128 MB RAM. It's a desktop PC with embedded audio and graphic chipset. It's an old config quite minimal i would say.

    The system works perfectly ! I use it to share the printer, play vids (using VLC), music (xmms, rhythmbox ...). A VNC server is installed on it for remote maintenance purpose.

    I never experienced any performance issues or so ever for the moment.


  3. #3

    That's good news, thanks!

    Thanks for your feedback, that's good news for me. I can easily get a 450Mhz computer with 64mb ram at a local computer shop, but I didnt know if it would be able to perform well enough. Other than maybe having to upgrade the memory down the road, I think it will do a good job. Any idea if there is any/much work involved in upgrading the memory after linux has been installed? Thanks.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Nottingham, England
    No real work in config terms if you're upgrading the memory. The theory is that the amount of swap should reflect the amount of RAM, but in practice the more memory you have, the less swap you need - so there should be nothing to change. The Linux kernel does not need to be told about the extra memory.
    Linux user #126863 - see

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