Looking at options for having a test server at home

Discussion in 'Servers and Control Panels' started by steve00, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. steve00

    steve00 IPB Skinner

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    Currently using Xampp on my PC (Windows) as a test server but am looking to find other ways of having home server.

    Ideally something that is not using my PC for its resources (e.g perhaps some kind external hard drive connected to my router ... if that is possible)

    Do not want to use another PC as server due to space and cost

    So am hoping someone can give me some help and suggestions on what options there are to setup at home (and how easy to setup), would I need to install an OS on the external hard drive or any other help/suggestions/ideas appreciated

    Have read that appears some external hard drives (e.g. MyBook) are not powerful enough to run as a server.

    Am a complete noob to all this other than as said installing Xampp on home PC

    Thanking in advance
     
  2. Matthew S

    Matthew S Adherent

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    You can't install an OS on an external hard drive, per se. You still need a computer to actually do things. That will require some money and some space. But, it needn't be overly costly, or huge. Try something like this. It will definitely work with any Linux distro you throw at it, it will run headless (no monitor), and it's not very big.
     
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  3. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    Well you have a few choices the first is what you are doing now. Second is install virtualbox and only run the server when needed. Third buy a cheap PC 300 dollars should do the trick. Four buy a NAS like Synology at least 8GB ram (1200 dollars at least) then run Docker. Five rent a server external. As you see one and two are cheap but will cost resources the other options will cost money. I would go for a cheap PC like Matthew says its cheap and you only need power cord and network connection. Only when you install you'll need a screen until if you run Linux at least you install SSH with Windows it takes a little longer until you can run without screen.
     
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  4. steve00

    steve00 IPB Skinner

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    So would something like this be of any use (smaller than having PC case in home)

    Am on limited budget but looking at something to run Xampp on a seperate device connected to router

    So are you saying I can use a PC (no monitor) and access it on router with my current PC (to start/stop server e.g. Xampp)

    Assume the PC option would be a faster option than a NAS drive or am I wrong (obviously depends on the PC specs)
     
  5. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    The Synology you linked is off no use that system can't handle much. Only the Plus Serie from Synology are of use for this.

    A pc can handle more at the same time then a NAS (or you'll need to buy top of the line). Synology is great to have i run lots of stuff on it including Docker and not a issue. If you go for PC just install LAMP (Linux) and learn it a bit then you can do more then a NAS. Reason i went for NAS Synology is RAID 5 with backups on disk i have very good protection with losing information. The PC linked is very good to have dont forget Synology is soled excluding HDD so you'll need at least one so its 60 dollar cheaper then PC. Install on PC Linux and then virtualmin and you emulate what you would have on a VPS only now you are alone.
     
  6. Ummagumma

    Ummagumma Adherent

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    I used a very old PC for this, made it almost barebone so it was efficient. I even ran a gaming server admin tool from it and a web host.
    If this is not an option for a really old PC then what about Digital Ocean droplet? They're as cheap as chips to get going on.
    https://www.digitalocean.com/pricing/

    My current way of doing it though is I dropped IIS from the OS SSD and installed Xampp on a separate SSD and run all tools from there. Just easier to be honest.
    But from 5 US dollars a month, DO droplet is a viable thought?
     
  7. Paul M

    Paul M Dr Pepper Addict

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    Why do you need it at home ?

    You can get a remote VPS for $2.50 a month, thats all I do (from Vultr).
     
  8. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

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    You can also get an arm SOC and use it as a server. They're small, cheap and very energy-efficient, so you can keep them powered on all the time and carry them around.

    The RaspberryPi family is widely supported by server software and other niche software, so they may prove more compelling than clones (which may on the other hand be slightly cheaper or more fully-featured).

    This in theory.
    If you want the convenience without the trouble of managing infrastructure, any cheap VPS will work better unless you need to work on networks not connected to internet.
     
  9. steve00

    steve00 IPB Skinner

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    I assume that is not managed (wouldn't know how to manage one) ?

    Only using as a test server to test a few things (skins for IPB, etc) so no one else would have access

    Did find this and apparently can install apache,php,mySQL on it so assume can run as a web server ?

    Really appreciate everyone's input
     
  10. Ummagumma

    Ummagumma Adherent

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    By having a home server, can I ask, is this for your own development and tests only or to share things too?
    What are you trying to achieve?
    You can use FreeNAS on an external drive if only for a NAS etc.
     
  11. Ummagumma

    Ummagumma Adherent

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  12. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    That NAS can run as a webserver but it will not be fast. But the advantage is that you can run Raid 1 and have a few addons installed. It supports domainnames but its hard to configure on the other hand there are tutorials. If you have images at home you can use an add-on that makes a site on the fly and shows your images when you drop them in the correct directory. If you have a smart tv you can access the NAS and stream movies to your tv. It’s expensive but you can do a lot with it. The only thing is that you’ll need to install external sources to get lots of stuff but there tutorials for that its 15 min work.
     
  13. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    Which will frequently be less than what you pay to have a simple bare-bones PC running 24/7.
    Simple to figure out how much it costs to do it at home.
    Say your system consumes 200 watts for the PC and your electrical cost is 0.12 per KW
    24 * 30 = 720 (hours) a month (on time)
    (0.200 KW * 720 hours * 12 cents per KW/h) = 1728 cents ($17.28)

    It's much cheaper to get a VPS @ $2.50 or even $10 (for a better one) than paying the increase in electricity - plus you don't have to worry about hardware costs.

    And simply use CentOS and CentMin and you have a great setup. Pretty much hardened already against hacking - short of using crappy passwords.
     
  14. radu81

    radu81 Fan

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    have a look at serverpilot.io ;)
     
  15. sean8ing

    sean8ing Neophyte

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    I once had an entire site running off a cell phone complete with a dynamic IP DNS updater. Was a fun project and it was cheap since it was old phone.
     
  16. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    I second the suggestion for using a Raspberry PI. It can use an external hard drive, and once you have it up and running with the OS on the SD card, you can make changes so it will boot from the hard drive instead. I use on here for a home server.
     
  17. steve00

    steve00 IPB Skinner

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    Sorry guys but Raspberry Pi looks too complicated for me (looked at a few video tutorials and seems mostly all command line stuff)
     
  18. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    Linux servers are always command line that is why they made control panels. Why not do the following get https://store.docker.com/editions/community/docker-ce-desktop-windows if you are running windows 10 after that get https://hub.docker.com/r/jallegri/virtualmin/ and run image you now have hosting and control panel. If you are not on Windows 10 but lower then get https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Download_Old_Builds_5_1 get version 5.1.34 for windows newer version is not yet ready. Download unbuntu lts in the mean time when done go to https://www.howtoforge.com/tutorial/ubuntu-lts-minimal-server/ use it to install linux after that go to https://www.virtualmin.com/download.html follow instructions and you are done. If you find it to complicated PM me when i have time i can assist with team viewer its not that much work.
     
  19. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    I use the GUI on my Raspberry PI, no different than doing it with any other Linux for the most part.
     
  20. steve00

    steve00 IPB Skinner

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    Sorry but not sure I follow

    I already have XAMPP running on windows 10 on home PC

    What am trying to do is have a seperate setup to run XAMPP from instead of using my home PC so can do other things on PC without XAMPP using PC resources (have always used windows (and way back even DOS) but Ubanti, Linux etc just confuse me with all command line stuff.

    With Xampp just run the .exe file, upload html/php page(s) etc to folder and access web page, phpmyadmin etc via browser, no command line for anything (not that I have come across as yet)
     
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