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I have a machine that is currently dedicated to running my home theatre. It is way more powerful than it needs to be, and spec wise would have no problem running both a few websites and an HTPC

What I wanted to know is that is this was a reasonable thing to expect of a single machine? 90% of the time, all it's power would be just for the web server ( and the odd torrent)

Currently it's running Windows, but I am pretty sure I will have to turn it into a Linux box

Will I run into any problems? Is there anything I need to know before I start? Any prerequisites?

The webserver will be required to run Ruby on Rails sites mainly, but might be called upon to run PHP for Wordpress also.

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closed as not a real question by LawrenceC, Nifle, Sathya Mar 27 '12 at 7:35

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I'm not exactly sure what it is you're asking here for. – KronoS Mar 20 '12 at 16:27

Depending on the size of your website, you may experience load balancing issues, but the problems you experience will be related to most web servers, not just dual-purpose machines. Running XBMC will mostly consume the graphics card and hard drives, not the processor so much, so in most cases you should be fine.

If your website is outwardly-pointing and for public use though, make sure you have the right security in place, you don't want outsiders knowing about all the movies you've downloaded...

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And RAM, lots of RAM....heavily-hit Wordpress instances or larger webapp frameworks (I'm thinking of Django and Pyramid, but RoR might as well) require a fair amount of memory, as do thier database backends. You also might wanna consider putting some of the heavily-hit disk resources on different physical disks (i.e. the drive that you torrent to shouldn't be the same drive that holds your database). – Zac B Mar 20 '12 at 18:41
@ZacB, I completely agree. Physically separating filesystems that have largely different types of use is always a good idea. And definitely RAM always helps... Oracle alone eats up a good 2 gigs or more of memory if you're hosting the db locally. – John Mar 20 '12 at 19:56
Thanks. Oracle eats up more than just memory. Eventually, it eats up your free time, and then starts on your soul... – Zac B Mar 23 '12 at 14:24

No problems at all. My HTPC has an old 45 Watt AMD Athlon X2 with an onboard HD3200 GPU.

It runs XBMC and iMedia together with a Windows virtual server (VM) that acts as a webserver and streaming audio server (Shoutcast). The HTPC will use the GPU to decode h.264 when it supports DXVA or DXVA2. Else, the decoding happens on the CPU and that's not what you want.

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