Low end PC as home server, what package should I install?

Robert Sweetnam robert at ops.sweetnam.eu
Wed Feb 20 00:43:14 UTC 2008

-----Original Message-----
From: ubuntu-users-bounces at lists.ubuntu.com
[mailto:ubuntu-users-bounces at lists.ubuntu.com] On Behalf Of Kent Borg
Sent: 19 February 2008 20:03
To: Ubuntu user technical support,not for general discussions
Subject: Re: Low end PC as home server, what package should I install?

NoOp wrote:
> Install the standard desktop version (Gnome/Ubuntu or KDE/Kubuntu -
> whichever you are most familiar with).

Alternatively, install a GUI version, but don't actually *run* the GUI 
when you are not logged in doing maintenance. Even when not logged in 
GDM will take a lot of RAM. 192 MB is a decent amount of RAM for running

Samba, NFS, a lightly loaded web server, etc. But when running a GUI 192

MB is only just maybe barely enough RAM.


If you only happen to have the install media for Ubuntu Desktop then by
all means install what you need to. However it would be best to set your
runlevel to 3 which is full multi-user with networking and some

This will ensure that in the event of an unexpected reboot that your
machine will boot up 'console only' i.e. no graphical display or window
manager etc running in the background. It should also ensure that your
network services such as Samba etc. will still run on booting.

You can do this by the following steps:

Make a backup of /etc/inittab

Edit /etc/inittab and somewhere in the first 5 lines is an entry for the
default runlevel. On my machine it looks like this:

# The default runlevel.

To make runlevel 3 the default, change the 5 in the example above to 3.

If access to X is needed then at a console on the physical machine you
can simply enter the command:


Provided X has been configured. Which is likely if you use the desktop


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