[ubuntu-uk] Home Servers

Tom Bamford tom at entrepreneuria.co.uk
Wed Oct 3 17:11:31 BST 2007

We use old laptops as servers for some tasks, mostly IBM ThinkPads 
because they're very well supported in Ubuntu and because they last for 
years. You don't get the performance you'd expect from a full-size unit 
and expansion/redundancy options are limited, but in this context (home 
networks) they're ideal. Power savings have already been mentioned, but 
note that you can also run an average laptop from AA batteries, solar 
panels, wind turbines etc, making mains power more a convenience than a 


Kris Douglas wrote:
> On 03/10/2007, *Philip Newborough* <mail at philipnewborough.co.uk 
> <mailto:mail at philipnewborough.co.uk>> wrote:
>     On 03/10/2007, Mark Harrison <Mark at yourpropertyexpert.com
>     <mailto:Mark at yourpropertyexpert.com>> wrote:
>     > Darren.Mansell at opengi.co.uk <mailto:Darren.Mansell at opengi.co.uk>
>     wrote:
>     > > I've got a laptop with a broken screen as my home server. Got
>     it for
>     > > free from a family member but they are dirt cheap and fleabay.
>     Its got
>     > > 80GB storage, integrated UPS, (very) low power consumption and
>     with
>     > > speedstep enabled on the CPU and laptop-mode enabled on the
>     hard disk
>     > > its very quiet. Ideal home server even if I say so myself ;).
>     Of course
>     > > it can't do stuff like be a MythTV backend but it streams
>     media happily
>     > > enough. Oh and it has wifi built in so I can put it anywhere
>     with a
>     > > power outlet. (on a shelf somewhere or in a cupboard.
>     > I have a number of mates who install "home automation" stuff (web
>     > control of lights, multi-room audio and so on.)
>     >
>     > Quite a few of them have moved to laptops for the "home control
>     servers"
>     > because of their ability to handle short power outages gracefully!
>     >
>     > For my home servers, I use some Via ITX stuff from
>     www.linitx.com <http://www.linitx.com>
>     >
>     Talking of laptops for servers, I purchased an old and quite battered
>     Satellite Pro laptop from  a local place that deals with redundant
>     City Council equipment. I paid £50 for it and use it to run Ubuntu
>     server 6.06 LTS. I've had it about a year now, it runs my cron jobs
>     [the main reason I bought it] and SSH server so that I can connect to
>     my home network when at work. It's battery holds just enough charge to
>     keep it going through a power cut -- which beats having to get an
>     expensive UPS.
>     --
>     ubuntu-uk at lists.ubuntu.com <mailto:ubuntu-uk at lists.ubuntu.com>
>     https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-uk
>     https://wiki.kubuntu.org/UKTeam/
> I've always thought about that, think of the money you could save and 
> the space you could save if you used laptops as servers, you can stack 
> them 4 high and have all you need. They have batteries for backup and 
> you can get 250gig drives for them, what more could you need? Oh yea, 
> integrated display , keyboard and mouse.....
> -- 
> Kris Douglas
>       Softdel Limited Hosting Services
>       Web: www.softdel.net <http://www.softdel.net>
>       Mail: kris at softdel.net <mailto:kris at softdel.net> 
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