Ubuntu on Mac mini as server

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at gmail.com
Thu Jan 12 14:22:48 UTC 2006

On 1/10/06, Bob Nielsen <nielsen at oz.net> wrote:
> On Jan 10, 2006, at 6:22 AM, john levin wrote:
> > Not tried it myself, but have heard that the mac mini is ideal for
> > using as a linux server. In fact, some webhosts specifically offer
> > minis with linux (eg: http://www.positive-internet.com/dolphin/
> > dolphinmini.html).
> >
> > The main problem with the mini vis-a-vis linux was with the
> > soundcard; not a necessity for serving, and I believe most of these
> > problems have been sorted out.
> >
> I set up a Mac Mini to dual boot OS X and Ubuntu 5.10.  I haven't
> tried any sound applications but was disappointed to find out that
> the built-in AirPort wireless port uses a Broadcom chip for which
> there is no Linux driver  (there is an effort to create one--see
> <http://linux-bcom4301.sourceforge.net/go/links>).  Unfortunately
> ndiswrapper only works on Intel-based boxes.  I'll probably try a USB
> wireless adapter but have not yet done so.  It should make a good
> server,  With the FreeBSD underpinnings of OS X, this could be done
> without installing Linux.  A lot of the same applications which exist
> in Ubuntu can be installed on a Mini using Fink or Darwinports (I'm
> using mine as a desktop networked with some Ubuntu boxes rather than
> as a server, but have installed Pan, Pysol, OpenOffice.org, mc, etc.)

Airport Extreme (802.11g)... I thought they had got it working on PPC
Linux. Terrasoft (YellowDogLinux) is frenetically working on getting a
beta of the driver out (I guess there are enough desperate people out
there happy to try anything, even if it's alpha or beta).

And, using it as a server is a wise move -- the cost savings in
electricity are phenomenal (as was recently discussed on
YellowDogLinux's mailing list ;-).

Apparently (according to someone's measurements with a watt meter) the
Mac mini apparently draws a paltry 18 W idling (as little as some
clock radios), and 32 W with optical drive running. Over two or three
years, the Mac mini running 24/7 you can save $100s (or Euro100s ;-)
on your electricity bills (am curious to know what a rack-mount XServe
consumes... of course, and XServe is many times more expensive than a
Mac mini ;-)


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