Home Server build - recommendations on hardware and OS please.


Active Member

Im looking to build a home server to achieve the following:

Home business environment to:

- share documents between 3 machines
- run subversion software
- run some web based business applications (either over Java or PHP using MySQL dataserver)
- allow access to files over the internet

And also use it to serve up media throughout the house. Specifically:

- Media server for PS3.
- Itunes server
- Slimserver
- Generally allow access to media content from the various PCs

The server has to be able to run in RAID mode to backup the business content (media content not so important).

I currently have SYnology NAS for my media and file sharing needs, however it is not powerful enough/lacking the ability to run as a proper server for the business applications I require (plus Slimserver is way too slow).

My question is:

Which hardware and OS would you recommend. The following are my hardware requirements:

- Low power usage
- Quiet
- Small Form Factor

thanks in advance


Novice Member
A prebuilt FS Econel for £130 might be a good start, then add a couple of drives. Supports RAID 1

Or you could build yourself, e.g.
Coolermaster Elite 330 Black Case With CM eXtreme Power 460W PSU 
Gigabyte GA-73VM-S2
Intel Celeron Dual Core E1200
Corsair 1GB DDR2 675MHz/PC2-5400 
Samsung SH-S203D/BEBN 
Samsung Spinpoint 750Gb or 1Tb drives

or the AMD solution:
Gigabyte GA-MA69VM-S2 690V
AMD Sempron LE-1100

That case / PSU is really cost effective at about 50 quid.

The AMD board supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1 but the Intel board would need an additional PCI card. I guess there are plenty of other Intel boards which would support some RAID but I wasnt particularly worried for my setup.

If you want to pay a bit more, I have just gone with the Silverstone TJ08 case with a Corsair 520W PSU which is a great Small Form Factor solution. The Antec NSK1380 and 3480 are also good choices.

OS wise, I'd recommend Ubuntu 8.04 or obviously Windows Home Server if youd like to pay the £90. I'm actually amazed at how easy Ubuntu is to use.


Active Member
Couple of questions re. Windows Home Server:

1) Whats the max number of computers I can connect to the server?
2) Can I install any apps on the machine I would be able to on XP (eg. slimserver, Itunes, Java, web servers, Twonky, etc)?
3) Can this OS run as a normal Windows OS as well with a desktop?
4) Can I do this all remotely?

thanks in advance


Active Member
1) 10
2) Usually, but as you won't be logged on to the server most of the time, you'll want apps that run as a service, or are able to be ran as a service. There's a tutorial on the internet on how to run uTorrent as a service, and there's an add-in to let you run any executable as a service.
3) Not really, no. Its not designed to do this and you could very well end up breaking it. They recommend only using it via the WHS Console. I occasionally use the desktop, to do stuff like flashing the bios etc, but generally I just leave it alone to do its thing.
4) Once you've installed it on the pc, its designed to be controlled completely remotely. WHS isn't really targeted at self builders, so it isnt expected that the end user will ever need to logon to the machine directly. The connector software that comes with the OS is installed on each client, and you use it to connect to the home server.


Distinguished Member
The server has to be able to run in RAID mode to backup the business content (media content not so important).

Just a quick note, RAID does NOT backup your data, nor is it a backup for your data.

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Sky Glass, Epson Laser Projectors plus Home Cinema Subwoofers and More…
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom