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Old 08-29-2012, 02:57 AM
Andrew Lowe
 
Default Lightweight server distro for an old motherboard

Hi all,
Anyone got any suggestions for a lightweight server distro for an old
motherboard? I've got one of the VIA mini-ITX boards, SP13000, and want
to whack something light onto it. It will be working as a file/media
server and will be headless, hence will be fiddled via ssh. Obviously
there are the usual suspects, debian, centos, but does anyone have any
recommendations viv a vis a stripped down distro, sort of like Lubuntu
is to Ubuntu?


Any thoughts greatly appreciated,

Andrew
 
Old 08-29-2012, 03:35 AM
Michael Mol
 
Default Lightweight server distro for an old motherboard

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM, Andrew Lowe <agl@wht.com.au> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Anyone got any suggestions for a lightweight server distro for an
> old motherboard? I've got one of the VIA mini-ITX boards, SP13000, and want
> to whack something light onto it. It will be working as a file/media server
> and will be headless, hence will be fiddled via ssh. Obviously there are the
> usual suspects, debian, centos, but does anyone have any recommendations viv
> a vis a stripped down distro, sort of like Lubuntu is to Ubuntu?
>
> Any thoughts greatly appreciated,

Cripes, you're asking in gentoo-user. Of course someone's going to
suggest Gentoo.

Let it be me...and I'll explain:

1) You can put something like -Os or -O2 in your CFLAGS, whichever
helps your performance case better.
2) You can target your CFLAGS to your exact processor, allowing
generated machine code to be as efficient as possible on your CPU
(which you'll need, if it's a low-power CPU!)
3) You don't have to compile on the mini-ITX board; you can
cross-compile and use binpkgs to install.
4) You can use USE flags to strip out (virtually) any and every
feature you don't use, reducing both your code size, load and
execution time.

If you want to do something lightweight, there's not much better you
can do than with Gentoo.

--
:wq
 
Old 08-29-2012, 03:41 AM
Andrew Lowe
 
Default Lightweight server distro for an old motherboard

On 08/29/12 11:35, Michael Mol wrote:

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM, Andrew Lowe <agl@wht.com.au> wrote:

Hi all,
Anyone got any suggestions for a lightweight server distro for an
old motherboard? I've got one of the VIA mini-ITX boards, SP13000, and want
to whack something light onto it. It will be working as a file/media server
and will be headless, hence will be fiddled via ssh. Obviously there are the
usual suspects, debian, centos, but does anyone have any recommendations viv
a vis a stripped down distro, sort of like Lubuntu is to Ubuntu?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated,


Cripes, you're asking in gentoo-user. Of course someone's going to
suggest Gentoo.

Let it be me...and I'll explain:

1) You can put something like -Os or -O2 in your CFLAGS, whichever
helps your performance case better.
2) You can target your CFLAGS to your exact processor, allowing
generated machine code to be as efficient as possible on your CPU
(which you'll need, if it's a low-power CPU!)
3) You don't have to compile on the mini-ITX board; you can
cross-compile and use binpkgs to install.
4) You can use USE flags to strip out (virtually) any and every
feature you don't use, reducing both your code size, load and
execution time.

If you want to do something lightweight, there's not much better you
can do than with Gentoo.



It had Gentoo on it for ages, and has not been updated in ages. It
takes "years" to do anything, with respect to compiling so I'm just
looking for a simple "point and click", binary download type of thingy
to keep it going. I've been down the cross compile route also - once
bitten twice shy and I don't care how many strides the dev's have made
in recent years, I'm not trying again on principle.


Andrew
 
Old 08-29-2012, 04:42 AM
 
Default Lightweight server distro for an old motherboard

On Wed, 29 Aug 2012 10:57:07 +0800
Andrew Lowe <agl@wht.com.au> wrote:

> Hi all,
> Anyone got any suggestions for a lightweight server distro
> for an old motherboard? I've got one of the VIA mini-ITX boards,
> SP13000, and want to whack something light onto it. It will be
> working as a file/media server and will be headless, hence will be
> fiddled via ssh. Obviously there are the usual suspects, debian,
> centos, but does anyone have any recommendations viv a vis a stripped
> down distro, sort of like Lubuntu is to Ubuntu?
>
> Any thoughts greatly appreciated,
>
> Andrew

Well, if you are only going to need it as an NAS, why not try FreeNAS?
OK, its kernel is BSD rather than Linux, but that shouldn't be a
problem.

Kerwin.
 
Old 08-29-2012, 04:53 AM
Andrew Lowe
 
Default Lightweight server distro for an old motherboard

On 08/29/12 12:42, kwkhui@hkbn.net wrote:

On Wed, 29 Aug 2012 10:57:07 +0800
Andrew Lowe <agl@wht.com.au> wrote:


Hi all,
Anyone got any suggestions for a lightweight server distro
for an old motherboard? I've got one of the VIA mini-ITX boards,
SP13000, and want to whack something light onto it. It will be
working as a file/media server and will be headless, hence will be
fiddled via ssh. Obviously there are the usual suspects, debian,
centos, but does anyone have any recommendations viv a vis a stripped
down distro, sort of like Lubuntu is to Ubuntu?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated,

Andrew


Well, if you are only going to need it as an NAS, why not try FreeNAS?
OK, its kernel is BSD rather than Linux, but that shouldn't be a
problem.

Kerwin.



Thanks, I'll look into that.

Andrew
 
Old 08-29-2012, 11:53 AM
 
Default Lightweight server distro for an old motherboard

On Tue, 28 Aug 2012 23:35:57 -0400
Michael Mol <mikemol@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM, Andrew Lowe <agl@wht.com.au> wrote:
> > Hi all,
> > Anyone got any suggestions for a lightweight server distro
> > for an old motherboard? I've got one of the VIA mini-ITX boards,
> > SP13000, and want to whack something light onto it. It will be
> > working as a file/media server and will be headless, hence will be
> > fiddled via ssh. Obviously there are the usual suspects, debian,
> > centos, but does anyone have any recommendations viv a vis a
> > stripped down distro, sort of like Lubuntu is to Ubuntu?
> >
> > Any thoughts greatly appreciated,
>
> If you want to do something lightweight, there's not much better you
> can do than with Gentoo.
>
Yes, there is. Well, it actually depends on what we are currently
calling "lightweight". Gentoo depends on Python heavily. And it makes
it impossible to use with low-memory systems.
There are a number of binary distributions specially targeted at old
or small systems. As for me, I use DeLi(cate) GNU/Linux on my old PC
acting as a headless file-server and torrent-client. [It has 64 MB of
RAM (tested with 32MB as well), Pentium CPU@200MHz (tested with AMD
K5)]
Before DeLi(cate) I used DeLi itself. It worked fine, but the
developers dropped the support. DeLi(cate) uses Arch package
management system which works very fast. It is also easy to add the
new packages which are absent in repository at the moment.
My impression is that all lightweight distributions are usually
Slackware-based or Arch-based. But of course, there are different
variants of lightweight systems.
Check out these pages, for example:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightweight_Linux_distribution
http://distrowatch.com/search.php?ostype=All&category=Old+Computers&origi n=All&basedon=All&notbasedon=None&desktop=All&arch itecture=All&status=Active

Regards,
Vladimir

-----
<v_2e@ukr.net>
 
Old 08-29-2012, 12:11 PM
Peter Humphrey
 
Default Lightweight server distro for an old motherboard

On Wednesday 29 August 2012 04:41:54 Andrew Lowe wrote:

> It had Gentoo on it for ages, and has not been updated in ages. It
> takes "years" to do anything, with respect to compiling so I'm just
> looking for a simple "point and click", binary download type of
> thingy to keep it going. I've been down the cross compile route also
> - once bitten twice shy and I don't care how many strides the dev's
> have made in recent years, I'm not trying again on principle.

Several people here run Gentoo on tiny boxes. The way I do it is to have
a chroot on my workstation with identical portage config to the tiny box.
First export the packages directory on the target to the chroot on the
workstation, then chroot into it, run emerge and so on to build the
packages. Then ssh to the target and emerge -k.

With my little Atom box the whole operation is quick and simple (since I
learned the routine!). I'm sure it's easier and more reliable than
cross-compiling, if only because it uses just the standard portage tools
with no extra complications.

--
Rgds
Peter
 
Old 08-29-2012, 01:20 PM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default Lightweight server distro for an old motherboard

On Wed, 29 Aug 2012 12:53:47 +0800
Andrew Lowe <agl@wht.com.au> wrote:

> On 08/29/12 12:42, kwkhui@hkbn.net wrote:
> > On Wed, 29 Aug 2012 10:57:07 +0800
> > Andrew Lowe <agl@wht.com.au> wrote:
> >
> >> Hi all,
> >> Anyone got any suggestions for a lightweight server distro
> >> for an old motherboard? I've got one of the VIA mini-ITX boards,
> >> SP13000, and want to whack something light onto it. It will be
> >> working as a file/media server and will be headless, hence will be
> >> fiddled via ssh. Obviously there are the usual suspects, debian,
> >> centos, but does anyone have any recommendations viv a vis a
> >> stripped down distro, sort of like Lubuntu is to Ubuntu?
> >>
> >> Any thoughts greatly appreciated,
> >>
> >> Andrew
> >
> > Well, if you are only going to need it as an NAS, why not try
> > FreeNAS? OK, its kernel is BSD rather than Linux, but that
> > shouldn't be a problem.
> >
> > Kerwin.
> >
>
> Thanks, I'll look into that.

FreeNAS comes *highly* recommended. It isn't cli driven though, it's a
django framework on nginx and runs off a memory stick. Resource usage
is next to nothing and it makes an awesome media server. It ships with
NFS, CIFS and FTP support and has plugins for dlna, firefly and
transmission. With the benefit that you don't have to build any of it,
write a 160M image to a memory stick, reboot, configure storage drives
and away you go.

I would advise that you not use ZFS on an old machine though, ZFS likes
*lots* of RAM. Rather use the FreeBSD default of UFS.

The screenshot is one of mine, a media server running on an HP
Proliant miniserver. No matter what I throw at that thing, it just
keeps laughing at me and asking if that's all I got....


--
Alan McKinnon
alan.mckinnon@gmail.com
 
Old 08-29-2012, 01:24 PM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default Lightweight server distro for an old motherboard

On Wed, 29 Aug 2012 11:41:54 +0800
Andrew Lowe <agl@wht.com.au> wrote:

> On 08/29/12 11:35, Michael Mol wrote:
> > On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM, Andrew Lowe <agl@wht.com.au>
> > wrote:
> >> Hi all,
> >> Anyone got any suggestions for a lightweight server
> >> distro for an old motherboard? I've got one of the VIA mini-ITX
> >> boards, SP13000, and want to whack something light onto it. It
> >> will be working as a file/media server and will be headless, hence
> >> will be fiddled via ssh. Obviously there are the usual suspects,
> >> debian, centos, but does anyone have any recommendations viv a vis
> >> a stripped down distro, sort of like Lubuntu is to Ubuntu?
> >>
> >> Any thoughts greatly appreciated,
> >
> > Cripes, you're asking in gentoo-user. Of course someone's going to
> > suggest Gentoo.
> >
> > Let it be me...and I'll explain:
> >
> > 1) You can put something like -Os or -O2 in your CFLAGS, whichever
> > helps your performance case better.
> > 2) You can target your CFLAGS to your exact processor, allowing
> > generated machine code to be as efficient as possible on your CPU
> > (which you'll need, if it's a low-power CPU!)
> > 3) You don't have to compile on the mini-ITX board; you can
> > cross-compile and use binpkgs to install.
> > 4) You can use USE flags to strip out (virtually) any and every
> > feature you don't use, reducing both your code size, load and
> > execution time.
> >
> > If you want to do something lightweight, there's not much better you
> > can do than with Gentoo.
> >
>
> It had Gentoo on it for ages, and has not been updated in
> ages. It takes "years" to do anything, with respect to compiling so
> I'm just looking for a simple "point and click", binary download type
> of thingy to keep it going. I've been down the cross compile route
> also - once bitten twice shy and I don't care how many strides the
> dev's have made in recent years, I'm not trying again on principle.

There's also DamnSmallLinux but if you ask me that's going too far to
the other extreme. Yeah, it fits inside 50M but cripes, it has to use
weird package management to do it.

If not FreeBSD, then something Arch-based is probably your best step 1.
Arch is a bit like *buntu in many ways, once you've decided to go that
route, there's not really much difference between all the variants.
It's not the base that's resource heavy, it's KDE and Gnome.




--
Alan McKinnon
alan.mckinnon@gmail.com
 
Old 08-29-2012, 01:37 PM
Michael Mol
 
Default Lightweight server distro for an old motherboard

On Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 9:20 AM, Alan McKinnon <alan.mckinnon@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Aug 2012 12:53:47 +0800
> Andrew Lowe <agl@wht.com.au> wrote:
>
>> On 08/29/12 12:42, kwkhui@hkbn.net wrote:
>> > On Wed, 29 Aug 2012 10:57:07 +0800
>> > Andrew Lowe <agl@wht.com.au> wrote:
>> >
>> >> Hi all,
>> >> Anyone got any suggestions for a lightweight server distro
>> >> for an old motherboard? I've got one of the VIA mini-ITX boards,
>> >> SP13000, and want to whack something light onto it. It will be
>> >> working as a file/media server and will be headless, hence will be
>> >> fiddled via ssh. Obviously there are the usual suspects, debian,
>> >> centos, but does anyone have any recommendations viv a vis a
>> >> stripped down distro, sort of like Lubuntu is to Ubuntu?
>> >>
>> >> Any thoughts greatly appreciated,
>> >>
>> >> Andrew
>> >
>> > Well, if you are only going to need it as an NAS, why not try
>> > FreeNAS? OK, its kernel is BSD rather than Linux, but that
>> > shouldn't be a problem.
>> >
>> > Kerwin.
>> >
>>
>> Thanks, I'll look into that.
>
> FreeNAS comes *highly* recommended. It isn't cli driven though, it's a
> django framework on nginx and runs off a memory stick. Resource usage
> is next to nothing and it makes an awesome media server. It ships with
> NFS, CIFS and FTP support and has plugins for dlna, firefly and
> transmission. With the benefit that you don't have to build any of it,
> write a 160M image to a memory stick, reboot, configure storage drives
> and away you go.
>
> I would advise that you not use ZFS on an old machine though, ZFS likes
> *lots* of RAM. Rather use the FreeBSD default of UFS.
>
> The screenshot is one of mine, a media server running on an HP
> Proliant miniserver. No matter what I throw at that thing, it just
> keeps laughing at me and asking if that's all I got....

I will concur that FreeNAS is a good fileserving platform. It's very
probable I'll use it for my storage needs once I've got the time and
coin to assemble a storage box after moving+silly season.

--
:wq
 

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