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 Post subject: Netbook as a server?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:56 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:53 am
Posts: 108
Location: Texas
I recently had an old desktop I was using as a small task machine and print/file server go out, and have been thinking of ideas to replace it.

One of the ideas that ran through my head was a netbook. It would be small, quiet, inexpensive, use little power and have the benefit of being portable should I have need of a netbook.

My biggest concern is it would always be on, and I'm not sure a netbook is up to that task. Is that something that would be a problem, or do they run cool enough, even in such a small case, being on for weeks at a time isn't a problem?

I have seen desktop-net books touted as being great for use as small servers, and that is certainly an option, but I do like that I could take a true netbook with me should I want to.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:07 am 
Million Club [PC]
Million Club [PC]
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Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:38 am
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As a file/print server, a netbook would work fine. Only problem is limited expansion. I just went through the process of researching and setting up a server from older hardware, and I ended up going with a big case with a ton of bays instead of using external drives with the small enclosure it was in. I'm glad I have, because I've already got 5 HDDs in it and more will come... I wouldn't be able to use that many externals, especially not with a netbook with 2 or 3 USB ports.

However, the 3Ghz Pentium-4/512MB DDR-533 in my server is plenty fast on Arch Linux (which is, to be fair, MUCH lighter on resources than Windows or even Ubuntu Server), and can serve Samba shares, take on image backups, stream video and music, and act as a DNS server all at the same time without slowing down or stuttering. I just end up running out of network bandwidth first. So a netbook should be fine for the uses you're planning on giving it.

As for the always-on concern, as long as you don't stuff it into a tiny cabinet, you'll be fine. Just run it with the battery removed unless you want to use it on the go. That will help it run cooler. Of course, you can also point a box fan at it too... that will make the battery removal moot and let you use the battery as a UPS.

I do LOVE having a home server though. I can't believe it took me this long to finally get one up. I can access anything I want anywhere in the house, and if a hard drive dies, fixing it is as simple as loading the old disk image onto the replacement. Additionally, using the server for DNS makes general browsing noticeably snappier.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:09 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:53 am
Posts: 108
Location: Texas
Thanks, the netbook sounds like a good option then. The old machine was a 2.8GHz Celeron from the P-IV days and 512MBs of ram so it wouldnt really have big shoes to fill in the performance arena.

Space shouldn't be an issue either. Mostly its used as a print server, files that are put on it are just small things Im too lazy to sneaker.net, like pictures and documents.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:32 am 
Java Junkie
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:23 am
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A nettop is a much better option.

A netbook, like any portable, is not designed to run constantly .. heat may be an issue, depending on the model.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:10 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:53 am
Posts: 108
Location: Texas
Picked up an Asus Eee n450 Atom, 1gb ram, 160 HD.

I agree a net-top would have been ideal, but being on a budget I was trying to kill to birds with one stone. Everything seems pretty much the same as a net-top, except the processor which in is a d410, a dual core as opposed to the single core of the netbook.

Anyways, Ill see how it works, so far the netbook barely gets warm (and even then its only in one spot. I might pick up a little cooling fan, just in case.


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