Home Servers

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This is a guide to configuring a quick Debian Home Server, made to be accessed anywhere on the Internet. It is made for use with old laptops and ARM dev boards, since both computers save power.

Running a home server is a very useful way to gain experience before managing actual dedicated server blades in the cloud.

Why run a Home Server?

  • Personal Cloud - It's time to make your own cloud. And you'll probably be all the better for it.
  • IRC Bouncer - Stick around and get all the chat history and private messages using an IRC Bouncer.
  • Torrent Seedbox - If you're in college, you had better avoid using p2p on their guarded networks. Take the responsibility on yourself by downloading from a home seedbox.
  • You could also get a real seedbox which has protections against reports.

When to move to a real Server

  • Redundancy and Reliability - Old hard drives are definitely at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to reliability, so make backups. Building systems to increase redundancy requires a RAID array (which may require a lot more than just 5-6 SATA ports), and reliability demands ECC (error-correcting) RAM.
  • Public Websites/Datacenters - Unless your server is at a small business building, public websites or data hosts should not be served from your house (unless you want your ISP to raise your bill).

Home Server

Guides to configuring Debian home servers.

Installation

  • Debian Netinstall - Barebones system with only what you need.
  • Crunchbang - God Save the Crunch. Minimal Desktop Debian, with BunsenLabs and CB++.
  • CentOS - What if Red Hat Linux was free?

Network Configuration

  • Port Forwarding - To remotely access a server on the open internet, you must port forward the services.
  • Static IP - You should set a static IP for a server within the router DHCP subnet.

Remote Access

Services

  • Torrents - Torrent Servers
  • IRC Bouncer - IRC Bouncers are critical to idling on IRC servers and receiving private messages.
  • IRC Bouncer#Quassel - Effective, elegant, and powerful IRC client for multiple platforms, including Android.
  • IRC Bouncer#ZNC - Great for Palaver (iOS).
  • Web Server - Which web server is right for you?

Storage

Misc

Dedicated Server

Guides for configuring and setting up a true CentOS dedicated server/VPS.

Testing

Always thoroughly test your dedicated server before you use it.

  • Memtest - Test the sanity of your memory (especially non-ECC)
  • Hard Drive Test - Test the reliability of your hard drives.
  • Speed Test - Test connection speeds and peering worldwide, as well as read/write speeds.
  • Stress Test - Test the overall performance of the computer.

Networking

  • Hostname - The hostname is related to your server's primary domain.
  • Firewalls - Easy firewalls with FirewallD.

Services

  • Web Server - A production dedicated server has a more complex web server design.
  • Rsync Server - Rsync Servers are a reliable way of transmitting and syncing data across the internet, without resending what was already synced
  • Rsync with SELinux

Account Management

  • Handling Admin Privileges
  • King in the Mountain - Create an emergency root account with a special SSH key put in a safe place.
  • Sudo - Give certain trusted users administrative (root) privileges, which are revokable.