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I am looking to setup a home server. I want it to run a whole bunch of things like a file server, music server, print server, web server, mail server and possibly some other uses like home automation. It will all be just for personal use, not enterprise; so mostly one user. I am wondering if it is a bad idea to run so many things on one? Should I split it up into more then one server, or have a separate nas for backup? Or will it all work fine together. I don't currently have the hardware, I am looking at getting something nice, so hardware shouldn't be much of an issue.

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There is no reason why you shouldn't run it all on one server.

I have one machine which is:

  • Print server
  • File server
  • Web server
  • TV server (MythTV)
  • Router
  • DHCP
  • Virtual Machine Host

And all with 3GB RAM and a 2GHz P4.

If you were running any of these services for resale to people as a business then splitting it down into multiple servers would be a must, but for your own personal use there should be no problems at all.

It is always good to have a separate system for backup, so an additional NAS is a good idea - if possible site it in a different room in the house.

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Cool, mind sharing a little more about your setup? Is it an actual server (as in built for being a server) or just a desktop? What os are you running? – user77325 Apr 19 '11 at 17:01
I am running Ubuntu 10.10 on an old Dell desktop computer that I upgraded with 3 2TB hard disks. – Majenko Apr 19 '11 at 17:02

As per @Matt's answer, but with a possible caveat:

If any of the services you want to run consume close to 100% CPU or are selfish in other ways (eg with Disk I/O) think about popping them on their own server so they don't block other services.

For example at home I have my media file server separated out on its own network, as it sometimes saturates its network and that could upset some of my other services.

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