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Sell me on using Linux for my media server.

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JeremyCT

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Location
CT
I've been putzing with Linux on my new media server setup for over a week now off and on. One obstacle after another. First the WiFi wouldn't work. Then pSensor caused system lockups when run for a few hours. Then I had to figure out RAID access permissions because Plex couldn't access my media files. Then figuring out file sharing between Ubuntu and Windows10 (still not solved, but I think I have a solution). Still need to figure out remote viewer for maintenance/updates and UPS shutdowns. And the hard drives run too cool (29-32deg C) because I can't figure out how to control the fans within Ubuntu. Everything in Ubuntu feels like it needs some sort of custom setup just to work. I feel like I could've had this thing up and going in a few hours if I just put W10 on it, used Storage Spaces, and installed a few Windows applicatons.

Is there a compelling reason not to? Can you talk me out of doing just that?

System:
Intel 2600k
Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3P
8 GB DDR3 1600
1x 256GB SSD
3x WD Red
Asus PCE AC56 wifi card
 
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wagex

Chapstick Eating Premium Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
id just put windows on it myself lol esp if you have a key laying around for it. all things server / media ive found much easier in windows.
 

Bishoff

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Location
S. Flori-duh
id just put windows on it myself lol esp if you have a key laying around for it. all things server / media ive found much easier in windows.

^^ This ^^ lol. As you're seeing, it can be a bear to get up and running. The upside is once you do have it working, it works really well, but as soon as you make changes, be prepared to spend lots of time finding the fix.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
I've been using openmediavault and/or freenas for a couple years now. tons of guides on configuration if any settings don't make sense, super up-time, and an easy to follow/use web interface. I haven't bothered attempting to use a linux OS and turn it into a file server, I just use a distro that is made for it off the bat.
 
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JeremyCT

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Location
CT
I installed/booted FreeNAS once in the course of this. It didn't recognize my wifi card. I canned it almost immediately. I don't like working strictly from the command prompt.

I'll give this thing one more go 'round tonight. My extra monitor got knocked over by my dog the other day, so I only have one working screen between two systems. That's adding to my challenges. Research problem on one computer, implement proposed fix on the other. Rinse, repeat.
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
The most compelling reason is that once you get 'round the hiccups you will have a much better system. if you want it to "just work" then either find a distro that is made for it (like Janus67 was saying) or go with Windows. All those custom setup options are the reason to choose Linux :) It is really a matter of taste though. If you tough it out you might find you like the environment.

remote viewer: TeamViewer (you will have to get the .deb from teamviewer.com because it isnt in the repos) or if you dont need a GUI and can work from command line then just use ssh (you might have to install a package to get that working, but it is likely only 1 command)
file sharing with windows: samba and then you can map the share as a network drive if you like.
fans: I dont know what you would use there, but it probably exists. and psensor has never caused any issues for me that I know of
Plex: check into minidlna and see if that meets your needs better. Plex has more features but you still might like mindlna

The altOS section here has knowledgeable folks if you decide to try and make it work. Believe me I understand the frustration, but all that reading and bear wrestling pays off at the en of the project.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
I installed/booted FreeNAS once in the course of this. It didn't recognize my wifi card. I canned it almost immediately. I don't like working strictly from the command prompt.

I'll give this thing one more go 'round tonight. My extra monitor got knocked over by my dog the other day, so I only have one working screen between two systems. That's adding to my challenges. Research problem on one computer, implement proposed fix on the other. Rinse, repeat.

I didn't touch the command line after running the install for freenas or omv. Everything is done via a Web interface gui. Does the server have to be running wirelessly? Can it be hardwired?

Otherwise you may have to figure out how to get the wireless drivers installed (which unfortunately would most likely be via command line).
 
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JeremyCT

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Location
CT
I've been using openmediavault and/or freenas for a couple years now. tons of guides on configuration if any settings don't make sense, super up-time, and an easy to follow/use web interface. I haven't bothered attempting to use a linux OS and turn it into a file server, I just use a distro that is made for it off the bat.

I took this to heart and started looking more seriously at the NAS distributions available. The plug-ins on openmediavault appealed to me, so I went that route. Up and running in a few hours. Setting up Plex was a snap. The only thing that doesn't seem to work at the moment is Windows doesn't see the shared folders via network discovery, but I'll ask about that in AltOS if it really bugs me. FTP access works just fine for putting files on it at the moment.

Thanks for the nudge. Basement was cold for the initial install since the only place I could hardwire it was next to the router, but that's where the box is going to live anyway and thankfully installation was really fast.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
I never really use network discovery, I create a user account for myself and for (example) HTPC.

I create a share under Access Rights Management to create the directory that I want/need. Set the rights there.

Then I create shares using the SMB/CIFS plugin/service. SMB-CIFS.PNG

something like that


Glad you got it up and running, I found their forums to be pretty helpful too if I ran into any major roadblocks (none, really)
 

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Use windows. When something goes wrong, you'll be saying "thank you!!" it might be in a day, in a week, in a year, in two years. Key words "thank you"... :rofl:

Unless you want to be a "student" and really learn linux. Then Yer a better man then me ;)
 
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JeremyCT

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Location
CT
Have you ever tried actually diagnosing Windows networking problems? Not "try this, hopefully it works" type stuff, actually finding the problem and solving it.

I have. It's nearly impossible. I'd rather learn Linux, honestly.