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Re: [tlug] Anyone running a linux server on a mini-ITX MB or similar?

> ... Has
> anyone set up a webserver on any of these micro architecture
> motherboards? If so do you have any recommendations or tips? 

I ran a micr-home-server for a while. It was a BeSilent, maybe the MS6100, 
( that I picked up from PlatHome a few years ago. 
I also bought a CD-ROM add-on that screwed to the bottom of the main case.

The basic box is completely fanless. It's powered by an external laptop- 
style AC adaptor so, except for the whir of the spinning disk, it really 
was noise-free. And I managed to install Gentoo without a hitch (I never 
really tested the sound, since it was mostly a server, but everything else 
worked OK.

But... these really small cases generally use 2.5" (laptop) disks which, 
IMHO, have a much shorter life than their 3.5" cousins. I also put two 
disks in the box (there were screw holes for a second disk) so I could
setup a s/w raid on one half of each disk and use the second half of the 
second disk for backups.

If you go this route, give the little guy LOTS of air. Even though the 
room in which I had the server running had a window open day and night, 
the following summer saw things get a bit warm and one of the disks died. 
Soon after that, the other disk started exhibiting data errors and, while 
the drive mostly kept working, it was quickly replaced. I'm fairly sure 
the problem was one of heat. There is almost no ventilation in the area 
where the disks are mounted, save for a few slots in the sides of the 
case. All external surfaces of the box became very hot -- to the point 
where you'd not want to leave your hand on the thing for more than a few 

I'm sure there are probably fanless solutions that don't try to pack the 
whole machine into a box the size of a toaster -- but they don't seem to 
be very popular over here. The toasters are more prevalent. But I don't 
feel they are properly designed for 24/7 use. I don't intend to repeat the 
experiment any time soon.

I replaced the server with an AMD64 machine in a huge Lian-Li tower case 
on wheels with plenty of fans. The fanless machine is now my son's WinXP 
game machine -- with a new 3.5" disk housed in yet another expansion bit.

I hope that helps some...

Joe Larabell -- Synopsys VCS Support      US:   Japan: larabell@???

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