Which Operating System for N54L?

Leo Levosky

New Member
May 17, 2017
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Hi,

For some years I have been running WHS 2011 on an HP Microserver. It has worked well for serving files and acting as a music server. Now it seems time to replace WHS 2011 and I'm looking for advice on which operating system to choose. The microserver has 16GB ram and five 4TB disks.

For quite a while I have considered buying new hardware and running a virtualised environment with a virtual firewall (pfSense) and all of the other services being virtualised. But I kept going round in circles and finally decided to delay the whole idea. The reason is that I ran out of network ports on my switch and my ISP's router was blocking my SIP traffic. So, I have purchased a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X as a stop gap.

Now I have decided to install a new operating system on the microserver but don't know which to choose. My requirements are:

1. Serve files to Windows, Linux and Mac machines
2. Serve Music to a number of Squeezebox players and DLNA players
3. Download email from the Internet and serve that to various devices

Anyone have any suggestions on which operating system to choose? I was going to use FreeNAS as I like the idea of ZFS but there is no LMS (Squeezebox Server) plugin available. So now I don't know which direction to go.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Leo
 

K D

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Dec 24, 2016
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If synology has a squeezebox plugin, then you can try xpenology. Or unraid.
 

cesmith9999

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Mar 26, 2013
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While it is nice to virtualize the router, I find it a better peace of mind of it being a separate device.

With demise of essentials role I am also looking for alternatives.

Chris
 
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RTM

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Jan 26, 2014
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If I try to read between the lines, it sounds to me like you want something that is packed into a neat solution like freenas, is that correct?

If you are OK with virtualizing and installing each individual service yourself, you could always just install a standard linux distribution, that way you can use KVM (for full virtualization), docker or something else (like LXD on Ubuntu). Proxmox might be a good solution here (it gives you virtualization (KVM) and docker via a web interface), though I cant't really vouch for it, as I have only used it briefly.
 

Leo Levosky

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May 17, 2017
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While it is nice to virtualize the router, I find it a better peace of mind of it being a separate device.
The reason I wanted to virtualise the router is that I like the idea of being able to switch configurations easily and I like the idea of using the hardware for multiple things. But I gave up as I just couldn't find the right hardware for the job at this point in time. I was going to use an old PC but it uses so much power whereas the standard home router is about 5W. New hardware just seemed to get too expensive too quickly. At some point I will play with it and move in that direction but not at the moment. Hopefully, better hardware will come along at a more reasonable price.
 

Leo Levosky

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May 17, 2017
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Or unraid
I've heard about unraid before but never looked at it. Just took a quick look and was surprised to find it's a paid for system. I really want to go open source as I don't want to get locked in with no sensible options. I really quite liked WHS 2011 but then Microsoft just decided to end it. I never understood that as it seemed that Microsoft could have had the whole home server/NAS market to themselves.

I'm not sure what the advantages are of unraid over using ubuntu (or similar) with docker etc?
 

Leo Levosky

New Member
May 17, 2017
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If I try to read between the lines, it sounds to me like you want something that is packed into a neat solution like freenas, is that correct?

If you are OK with virtualizing and installing each individual service yourself, you could always just install a standard linux distribution, that way you can use KVM (for full virtualization), docker or something else (like LXD on Ubuntu). Proxmox might be a good solution here (it gives you virtualization (KVM) and docker via a web interface), though I cant't really vouch for it, as I have only used it briefly.
To be honest I don't know what sort of solution I want. Proxmox has been on my radar for a while. I'm also okay with a straight Linux server. My biggest concern is what the microserver can handle. I notice that many people have upgraded from microservers and I've never been sure if that is because they were not powerful enough for the choices they made after WHS. As long as the solution has a future I'm okay with it and that is why I like companies that have a commercial part but are still open source.

What I don't want is a lot of hassle getting LMS to run. If the microserver can run Proxmox and I can have a small VM for LMS that would be okay. I don't want to go through all the pain of learning Proxmox and configuring it only to find the microserver can't handle it.
 

Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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The older micro servers are hardly powerful machines but running proxmox and a few light weight VM’s or containers is within their capabilities.
Newer versions of Windows should be same.
As a desktop they won’t feel very responsive but as a server will do fine.
 

zer0sum

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Mar 8, 2013
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If I was you I'd run XPEnology and then use the in-built docker system for everything else.
Super easy to get running, and it looks like an LMS container is supported as well :D
 

WANg

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2018
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Hi,

For some years I have been running WHS 2011 on an HP Microserver. It has worked well for serving files and acting as a music server. Now it seems time to replace WHS 2011 and I'm looking for advice on which operating system to choose. The microserver has 16GB ram and five 4TB disks.

For quite a while I have considered buying new hardware and running a virtualised environment with a virtual firewall (pfSense) and all of the other services being virtualised. But I kept going round in circles and finally decided to delay the whole idea. The reason is that I ran out of network ports on my switch and my ISP's router was blocking my SIP traffic. So, I have purchased a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X as a stop gap.

Now I have decided to install a new operating system on the microserver but don't know which to choose. My requirements are:

1. Serve files to Windows, Linux and Mac machines
2. Serve Music to a number of Squeezebox players and DLNA players
3. Download email from the Internet and serve that to various devices

Anyone have any suggestions on which operating system to choose? I was going to use FreeNAS as I like the idea of ZFS but there is no LMS (Squeezebox Server) plugin available. So now I don't know which direction to go.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Leo
Debian with Samba, Plex and fetchmail will do it. That being said, I threw an HP t730 in front of my N40L to serve as a hypervisor and leave the N40L as a dedicated NAS. At least that'll give me more flexibility down the line.