Best Hardware Recommendation for Ubuntu Server 12.04

David Fletcher dave at
Tue Sep 25 08:08:05 UTC 2012

On Mon, 2012-09-24 at 11:37 +0200, Amichai Rotman wrote:
> Hello All,
> I have a small LAN with a File Server running an old version of Linux
> (which I did not install). The current server is very old and about to
> "die"....
> The server serves 4 WinXP machines and a network printer, and is used
> to share a few document folders and an application data folder.

I know it's not the same environment, but when I wanted a server for
home use I decided to roll my own, choosing parts for low power
consumption and reliability. It's one of those Atom boards that takes
12V only rather than an ATX supply, with everything soldered down apart
from the memory, with an Aztec open frame SMPS built into a custom built
case, an expensive Papst cooling fan which, running slow, should last
for many years, and a Samsung 1TB eco hard drive.

My philosophy is to keep it as simple as possible so long as it's up to
the job. This little server of mine has been running 24/7 for over two
years now apart from power cuts with no problems or down time.

I was wondering about putting RAID into this machine but it's probably
OTT for a home system, and looking at the specifications for hard drives
they have ridiculous MTBF figures these days. Apart from which, chatting
to friends at the LUG, it's a fact that the more hardware you put into a
system the more power it consumes and the shorter will be the MTBF for
the entire system.

I decided better to run it 24/7 and protect the power supply. I believe
computer hardware is a bit like a car engine in that the worst thing you
can do to it is keep turning it on and off, so if the power consumption
is low then protect the power supply and leave it running. I've got a
Belkin Gold series socket block that sits between the wall socket and
everything else, and protects the phone and cable type internet
connection too. Then an APC UPS.

We used to have failed telephone answering machines on a regular basis,
but since the current one was connected via the UPS and surge filters,
it has lasted for more years than I can remember, so my final advice for
what it's worth is,

Keep it as simple as possible
Use as few parts as possible
Install high quality parts
Protect the power and network connections from surges and down time


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