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I have a non-professionally/non-commercially purposed server - a 5yo laptop actually - on the www with low traffic, accessed no more than perhaps twice a day, and of course at unpredictable times. Being a laptop and so rarely used, I'd like to conserve power (battery or plugged in) and heat generation while not in use rather than having it on 24x7. Is there a way to awaken a system from a request of any protocol of any kind, load up, and pass the packet to the usual server software stack when up and ready? Is there an OS that can handle this case over any others, by listening on the ip yet still be technically mostly "asleep"? I'm getting discouraged by the apparent need for a special packet to awaken the machine.

I'm rather ignorant on related standards, programmatically altering bios behavior outside the typical interface, hacking routers to force sending this wakeup packet on requests, or other methods. However, any info or leads to obscure methods and standards, hack or otherwise, would be appreciated.

Edit: if this question is more appropriate for, please someone with permission to do so move it there.

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migrated from Jun 19 '10 at 4:56

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

No. Servers are designed to be run 24/7 - which is why laptops are not generally used as servers.

The Magic Packet you're talking about is the standard way of issuing a Wake Up command (WOL), and it's issued to a MAC address, not an IP address. To be listening on an IP address instead of a MAC address, then the operating system needs to be running, which means the machine has to be on.

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So basically in this case, to wake up the machine, the wakeup command must come from the router, modem, or access point in front of the server? – bob-the-destroyer Jun 19 '10 at 2:23
Also, this is a "because we can" situation, meaning because this isn't a professionally driven case requiring equipment more specialized than an atari 64 to run this server, the fact that this particular setup isn't recommended for industry server standards is already understood. – bob-the-destroyer Jun 19 '10 at 2:40
It's not really an industry standard thing. Laptops just aren't suitable for use as servers. A standard laptop isn't even good for a home server, not just enterprise-level servers. And even if you could set it up how you want, do you really want visitors to have to wait for the server to resume to receive a server response? I would recommend removing the laptop case, installing better cooling, underclocking the CPU, and just leaving it on 24/7. Laptops are already low power/heat, so it shouldn't be a problem: – Lèse majesté Jun 19 '10 at 8:10

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