Category Archives: Home Network

Home Server – Install Linux from USB

Since I haven’t got a SATA CD/DVD drive to connect to the board to install ubuntu I decided I would install from the USB memory stick. Finding out how to do this when you haven’t got a Linux PC proved to be harder than I thought.

I came across many pages recommend various programmes for doing it, but when I downloaded the current versions they no longer had the option and was just for making LiveUSB installs of linux.

I found a guide here with a manual process for LiveUSB and also a guide here for using Linux to do what I want. So using those I came up with a windows method.

In brief

  • USB memory stick formatted as FAT32
  • Download the iso of the linux you want. I’m using 12.04 Server.
  • Download 7-zip for extracting the contents of the ISO and zip files, if you alrady have a method for doing this then you don’t need it.
  • Download latest syslinux in zip format and extract the contents
  • from the extracted win32 folder in a command prompt run syslinux.exe –mbr –active –install e: where e: is the USB stick
  • Open the iso using 7-zip or your method of choice. Extract the contents of the iso to the USB memory stick.
  • Rename the isolinux folder to syslinux.
  • In the syslinux folder rename the isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg

Home Server – case/psu

The selection of a case and power supply is ongoing. I ruling out cube cases as the location of the Home server doesn’t suit that shape. Most of the mini-itx case I’ve seen come with a 300W psu which way of what I need and also PSU may not be that efficient running at low percentage of there power. So I’ve decided for the PSU to use PicoPSU-80 which is 80W which should be more than plenty. They also claim a high efficiency at low load which is what I’m looking for. I’m putting of the selection of a case for the moment.

Home Server – Storage

I’ve decided to have two drives one for the system and one for the data.

For quietness and low power the system drive will be solid state drive. I could buy a SSD but since I don’t need that much storage or performance for the system drive I’ve decided to use a compact flash card with a sata adapter.

For quiteness and low power ideally the data drive should be 2.5″, but cost per GB is about twice that of 3.5″ drives.  Initial the choice has been made for me as I will use the HD from my dead NAS

I have yet to decide what format I should use for the data drive as I think it might be handy to have it in format that can be read by windows. Since this is a windows home and that would make it easy for recovery if needed. That choice might have a performance penalty so I think I will need to do tests to before I decide.



Home Server

After having my second home nas box die and not being impressed with the speed of them I’ve decided to do something a bit different. I could buy a more of an up market and more expensive, but instead I take the opportunity to build my own.

The requirements I’m setting for it are:-

  • To have good performance
  • Low power
  • Quite
  • Reasonably compact

My first thought was to use a Raspberry Pi as this would definitely meet three of the requirements also I want to have a reason to use a Pi. Performance wise from what I’ve read it looks like it can just about max out it’s network which is a 100Mb, but I would like the possibility of being a bit faster. A down side is that it would have to use an external drive.  It might also be but underpowered if I wanted it to do other stuff as well.

So I’ve decided to go the x86 root. Since I want it to be compact I’ve decided on the mini-itx form factor and for quietness and low power a fanless design. The Intel D2500HN seems to meets the requirements and should have enough performance. I will be using Linux to save costs as it can do everything I want or may want plus I want a chance to us Linux.

The board is ordered which I’m waiting for while I decided on the other componets.