A friend of mine has decided to put together a home server running Microsoft’s Windows Home Server software. There may be a lot of reasons for using Microsoft’s offering. I’ve also decided to build a home server but I’m going to try CentOS, a Red Hat Enterprise Edition based Linux, instead.
Not being in any rush and rather than downloading the six CDs worth of data, I ordered the CDs from OSDisc.com. I chose them because they support DistroWatch.com and because they are fast and relatively low cost ($11.95USD for the CDs and $4.85 for priority US mail shipping).
In addition, I have learned that I don’t need an enterprise class server from IBM for my home needs. All I want is someplace to store files and maybe, eventually, serve as a host for my website.
As it so happens, a website had a recent article on assembling a $200 PC using an Intel D201GLY2 motherboard, 1GB of Kingston RAM, and a Western Digital hard drive. I’ve decided to substitute a Seagate drive and adding a cheap enclosure but otherwise am following the list above. I’ve ordered everything from Amazon (free shipping, included rather
than NewEgg’s very expensive alternatives for Hawaii) and the parts are starting to come in (although the motherboard is backordered for two weeks).
In addition to the list above, I have an old optical drive laying around that will be used so that I can install the CentOS software.
The Intel motherboard includes the Celeron 220 Conroe-L CPU so this will not be a screamer. And if you are thinking HTPC, think again as the board uses an SiS chipset that is not Linux friendly. That said, it should be good enough for what I want to do – act as a file server and maybe web host.
If that doesn’t work out, all I loose is $200 bucks, which is less than what I pay in hosting costs each year.