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I am setting up a server on an old computer (Dell Dimension probably with Pent4 or similar processor and about 1 GB of RAM to back up files with ssh) with lubuntu, and i was wondering what the best choice of backup of these important files would be?

I don't want to use an online service to back it up, so the real question is if I should get 2 large hard drives (1-2 TB) for it.

The other problem is that it may just be too old and unreliable for this sort of thing. So here is what my setup would be:

Pentium 4 at 2.0 GHz

1 GB of RAM

2 120-GB hard drives, 1 for backup IDE (my laptop has a 75 GB hard drive and there are some other files I would want to add)

400 watt TT PSU or 250 watt unreliable PSU

ATX Case

Does anyone have a setup like this that is working well for them? Is this a good idea or should I upgrade my CPU to use SATA and RAID(1-0)? What do other people with older home servers think?

What is the very oldest a "fast" home server with lubuntu or another light distro should be, as a practical question?

I AM NOT ASKING "could be", because that is a non-question. :)

Thank you for your generous help.

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closed as not constructive by Journeyman Geek, Keltari, Karan, Tog, oKtosiTe Mar 18 '13 at 8:48

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
You should check that the machine is capable or recognizing 1TB disks before proceeding - I'm not sure all systems. Also you will probably find the on-board SATA controller is going to be limited to 1.5 gigs, which is very slow by todays standards and will probably be a bottleneck - but at least it means you can get away with WD RED or drives designed for video capture as the performance aspect is not critical. –  davidgo Mar 18 '13 at 7:13
    
To make this question better, try asking "How do I tell if I need to upgrade my home server?" For questions of this type, you should be asking for how, not what. –  DragonLord Mar 18 '13 at 13:53

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This looks okay. You might want a good PSU instead of an 'unreliable' one. And as already suggested, configure your drives in RAID-1 if you want to have some protection against single-drive failure.

My home server is a Pentium 4 with 2GB RAM running Slackware64. I have a couple of 2TB disks in RAID-1 configuration, and I think it's about a 450W PSU. This works like a charm. It is a file server for my home network, a web server, and a firewall/router for all traffic including VoIP. Essentially it's my home gateway. Runs at 0% load pretty much all the time.

I expect it could handle pretty high load before I'd need to consider upgrading the CPU.

Slackware is my Linux distro of choice. I'm not sure how its memory consumption compares to Ubuntu. Because it's specifically targeted at servers, I trust it far more than something targeted at home users.

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Wow. Thank you for the answer. –  Blue Ice Mar 18 '13 at 4:35

If its only for backups and not a file server then all you will need is a gigabit LAN controller. Add a SATA card and be sure to use RAID enterprise type drives if you value your data. Use RAID 1 so that you have a fall back. And use the 400 watt PSU. Check the motherboard capacitors for leakage. This is the cheapest you can go and still have a reliable rig.

You would add more RAM for a file server, CPU is ok it won't be doing any work. There are plenty light linux's you can use like: DSL, Centos, even an updated version of Ubuntu will work.

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