Building a hands-off HTPC/NAS - Printable Version
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- davemex - 2010-07-29 21:31
Mike8913 Wrote:any chance some of the detailed notes you took are in electronic format?
Ok first things first, YES I do have every command from the initial installation through the final completion notated. I was just THAT anal about remembering what I did and I'd be more than happy to share. Right now it is kind of an ugly Google Doc but I will format it! Give me a day or two.
SSH will not give you a GUI, it just lets you use the terminal on another computer. I like it because I can use my laptop on the couch to mess with the server without having to hook up a keyboard etc. Webmin on the other hand does a great job of giving you a GUI. I was also really reluctant to use the terminal only and this was a GREAT solution. It is all used in your browser. You can browse files on the box, move things, delete things, configure things etc. It is VERY powerful. You can even mount/unmount drives. Without this program, Ubuntu server has no GUI. Basically when you set it up you'll have a terminal login and that's it. Don't get too intimidated by this though, you'll quickly find that for doing some tasks that it's a whole lot quicker to just type in what you want than to have to mouse around.
For questionable downloads... Hmm... I have found that with those two services I haven't had to worry much about it. You can use secure authentication with the newsgroup service and the TV source is pretty trust worthy. If you're really concerned about getting nailed for using torrents, just don't re-seed or just pull all the content from newsgroups where you aren't redistributing the data. They typically go after people that are re-sharing the stuff.
I am using my drives in a RAID 5 configuration and I have had no problems with even 1080p data. Remember, on a RAID 1 or 5 you have a great read speed because the server can read from all those different drives at once. You pay for this when it comes to the write speed because on a RAID 1 you have to write all the data twice and on my RAID 5 you have to write it and calculate the parity data for redundancy. So you could get (in theory) a 100Mb read speed but only a 30Mb write...
As for an SSD, that would be the absolute best way to go for the boot drive if you can afford it. I actually plan on building a smaller XBMC only PC later this year and was going to use an Atom 330/Ion board with a 64 gb SSD for the boot drive. I couldn't afford the SSD drive when I first set this up but it will get replaced in the future!
Sorry for the delayed response but I hope this helps!
P.S. I think that link should still be good for the Ubuntu Server setup. It isn't any harder than setting up any OS. It literally walks you through every little option on a graphical interface.
- davemex - 2010-07-30 13:35
Ok for those of you that want the detailed setup instructions for all the applications and tweaks, I put together the "advanced installation and setup" instructions here:
Hopefully at least some of that will be helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions.
Great post!!! - marcozd - 2010-07-30 20:33
Absolutely stunning post.
SO through and very very informative.
Thanks so much for this - I have been wanting to figure a way out to deal with TV shows like you have done for ever!
Fantastic work and thanks for sharing.
Best of luck with your future endeavours and I hope to see any updates you consider posting
- Mike8913 - 2010-07-31 18:41
thank you so much dave, I have been a bit intimidated by the terminal but I'm working my way through it and your instructions are great
I really appreciate it.
- davemex - 2010-08-02 19:10
Glad you guys liked it! I hope the software base works out as well for you as it did for me. I'll keep an eye on the forum in case any questions come up in the future.
- zulemara - 2010-08-03 07:23
I just started researching what I would need for hardware and software to setup a media server. You have added a lot of functionality to the basics of what I want to do, which I think will allow me to expand beyond my original intentions. My question is do you have any aspect of this that will allow me to rip a DVD to the computer? I ask because one of my goals is to take my entire DVD collection and digitize it, then be able to browse and watch any of the DVDs on the computer and thus on my HDTV. Any thoughts on this?
- davemex - 2010-08-03 13:08
zulemara Wrote:I just started researching what I would need for hardware and software to setup a media server. You have added a lot of functionality to the basics of what I want to do, which I think will allow me to expand beyond my original intentions. My question is do you have any aspect of this that will allow me to rip a DVD to the computer? I ask because one of my goals is to take my entire DVD collection and digitize it, then be able to browse and watch any of the DVDs on the computer and thus on my HDTV. Any thoughts on this?
DVD ripping would be a great addition to the project since clicking through the digitized movies on a media server is a heck of a lot easier than having to flip through the collection manually, put the DVD in, etc. I could have put a DVD drive in this case if I had forgone one of the hard drives (you could always just use 2 TB drives instead) or gotten a slightly bigger case (the Chenbro case that I considered has room for all the drives and a slim dvd drive).
The only snag, I believe, would be the software side of things. To the best of my knowledge you would still have to use the command line to rip the DVDs instead of it just happening automatically because it's going to want you to give the file a name etc. Of course the great thing about Linux is that all it takes is for someone else to have wanted to do the same thing you want to do and write up a "how to" or a script. If typing a couple commands in the terminal doesn't bother you I'm sure a little Googling will get you the right commands (I had found this one and some other guides talking about using a combination of mplayer and mencoder). Hopefully that at least sends you in the right direction. If you find a solution that works please let us know! I'll also keep my eyes out in case I find something.
- tophe323 - 2010-08-03 16:15
Great great guide ... but I was so sure I would buy a Zotac Zbox ... and postpone the purchase of a NAS...
But since I read this thread, I'm so not sure anymore
I'm concerned about the case, I'd rather prefere something like the Antec NSK2480 but it can't hold enough disks...
Looks to me that the Rosewill RS-MI-01 BK isn't WAF enough :-(
But great post thanks for the work !
(I used to configure my ubuntu server with HellaNZB, it automaticly check's a folder for nzb files. And I also installed a plugin onto thunderbird to extract nzb attachments of a specifi mail account to that folder - was a great setup also for automaticly acquire movies)
- davemex - 2010-08-03 16:29
It was really hard to find a case that I could squeeze enough hard drives into but still be small enough to hide it somewhere. When I originally bought the case though, money was a big factor in my purchase decision. In the future I plan on swapping it out for this case. as it looks a lot cleaner and has hot-swap bays.
The thing I love about Sabnzbd is that not only will it monitor folders, but it will download the NZB files from an RSS feed, start the download, extract them, sort them based on file type, delete the temporary files and has a plugin for Firefox that will send any NZB files directly to your server, even if you're at work. If it gets any easier I'm going to have to dump these 1 TB drives in favor of the 2 TB ones!!
- zulemara - 2010-08-03 17:49
davemex Wrote:DVD ripping would be a great addition to the project since clicking through the digitized movies on a media server is a heck of a lot easier than having to flip through the collection manually, put the DVD in, etc. I could have put a DVD drive in this case if I had forgone one of the hard drives (you could always just use 2 TB drives instead) or gotten a slightly bigger case (the Chenbro case that I considered has room for all the drives and a slim dvd drive).
cool, thanks for the info! What if I were to rip the DVD to my other computer, then transfer it over the network and put it into the location on the linux box that is needed for it to be read?