Linux Servers on the Horizon

The other idea I was toying with was a Linux based home server. I installed a server here a month or two ago (as a home / office server) and it’s performed rather better than I’d expected. I have it running Ubuntu Server / LXD (containers) and it’s doing all manner of interesting things, including handling my backups and all the backups for and some live websites / single page applications. ( for example)

Looks like this;

It’s the little box next to the mug with the red light on the front.

Specification is;

  • Quad-Core 1.8G CPU
  • 4Gb of RAM (ARM Cortex V8)
  • 1Gb NIC
  • 1Tb M.2 (SATA) Storage at ~ 280Mb/sec
  • Operating temperature ~ 45C, typically silent operation

Currenty it’s running;

  • VCHECK - full-stack Python project
  • ZERODOCS - full-stack Python project
  • BORG - backup
  • Local PyPi mirror
  • Local NPM Mirror
  • Instance of Mail-in-a-Box
  • I’m about to add an S3 clone so I can back this forum onto it with the Discourse S3 interface
  • There’s still more room …

LDX interface looks like this, so essentially it’s running a bunch of containers, each one has it’s own instance of Ubuntu server in it (some running different versions of Ubuntu).

I reckon we could do this for £199 delivered. You could use it as a desktop, indeed there is an 8Gb model with would be better for this, but I’m not totally sold on the graphics drivers just yet. So although it would work (and indeed it can drive two screens) currently it makes a better server.

(yes, it’s a Raspberry Pi in a box, but when you want something silent that draws 3w of power, 1Tb of storage and can handle lots of containers …)

Any thoughts on the Pro’s and Con’s of this? (too expensive?)

I don’t understand all the technical stuff but 3W is amazing for all that power! I can cope with one computer at a time and that’s my limit!
Perhaps I should simply swap my laptop for one of these tiny things, although the separate VDU would soak up quite a lot of power. Worth a thought, though.

Mmm, you can buy some quite low power monitors, but by comparison my workstation drinks between 50w and 150w depending on how busy it is. The Pi can draw more, (say 6w) if it’s busy, but reckon it’s using 1/10th a standard power desktop. (maybe on a par with an LED light bulb).

It is fast enough to run Ubuntu desktop (albeit I’d recommend XUbuntu) and indeed it can run two screens, however I’d be opting for the 8Gb RAM option, and I wouldn’t be expecting flawless Youtube playback. (yet)

If you just want browsing and email (rather than media player), it works fine. I have an older Pi-400 here and it does the job, although it’s a 4Gb version so it starts to get a little tetchy once you open lots of browser Windows :wink:

A little expensive, perhaps, for a Pi 4, Argon ONE case, power supply and an SSD, but I suppose it depends on the intended market. Raspberry Pi tinkerers may prefer to roll their own but people who want a ready-to-run linux server may be willing to pay more.

Those cases really are lovely - I have two on my desk.

Mm, absolutely, anyone up for putting their own machine together will get a cheaper deal. (Same goes for USB keys)

This is aimed at people who want a finished item pre-configured as a home server solution.

Incidentally, its an Argon One M.2 case, the Argon One doesnt facilitate internal M.2 storage :wink:

Ok, so after much research and wasting of time, it doesn’t look like this is going to happen.

After looking under the covers I became a little suspicious after being unable to find anybody else offering (assembled) raspberry Pi servers, and wondered why?. As it turns out we have some legislation in this country referred to as WEEE which applies to anybody producing electrical equipment either in the UK, or for consumption in the UK, or for export, originating in the UK.

If you have to register for this scheme, you immediately need to be dealing in volume and have the capacity to apply 12 months ahead, pay £12k to register, then jump through hoops and make legal commitments spanning many years in to future.

i.e. it’s just another example of legislation killing off small businesses and preventing startups from starting up. So to answer a question that’s been asked on this forum many times in the past; “why is is so hard to buy a Linux PC”, part of the answer is that it’s out of reach for many of the small operators who would like to provide Linux PC’s to the UK market.

Do you have to register if you are assembling a series of components that have already already passed muster in the UK? Well, that seems to be a little subjective. If you were to purchase a bunch of parts, and sell those parts with an assembly fee, technically, according to the letter of the legislation it would seem to be Ok. However, if you were then to stick your own badge on the case, it would immediately seem to fall within WEEE. It’s a bit of a fine line when it comes to risking committing a criminal offence with an unlimited fine.

Before asking myself the question “where did this legislation come from” and looking it up, I already kinda knew what the answer was going to be. Anyone who’s not been living under a rock for the last 10 years knows it too. (although the answer to “so why do we still have it?” is going to be more interesting)

What do we think of this legislation?

  • It’s great, we should protect the environment at all costs
  • We should protect the environment, but not kill business
  • How did we end up here?
0 voters