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Rebuild Options - Which OS?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm once again rebuilding my home server. I've had a delay in upgrading the HDD subsystem (DOA drives from the Egg) so I've thought about completely starting from scratch again.

I'll be using it as a file server (going to start playing with ZFS), Ampache music server, basic Apache web server (to familiarize myself with it only), newsreader server, and on occasion a small minecraft or Source-based game server.

So, I have a couple options for the OS and I would like some input:

1) Debian (Squeeze) - Very familiar with this. Can get everything set up quickly, and maintenance would be easy. One downside is ZFS performance since I'd be using the patched kernel module, so while better than FUSE is still not as quick as proper ZFS deployments.

2) Red Hat - Similar ground as above, but I've not used Red Hat in a while and this would be good practice.

3) FreeBSD - As far as I know everything will work on this without much/any fuss. To be honest, never been interested in BSD since it and Linux are so very similar on a wide variety of areas. Would have native ZFS, but see below.

4) Solaris (some variant thereof) - Native and latest ZFS, as opposed to BSD which doesn't have the latest builds. Never used Solaris before and have been wanting to learn. Would be difficult at first I think I'd enjoy it overall. Not sure if everything would be compatible though (any input here?).

Specs are simple:

AMD Athlon x4 640
4GB ECC RAM (will be upgrading to 8GB in the near future due to ZFS)
3x2TB Seagate HDDs
2 1GbE NICs (planning on teaming)
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 970 @ 4.0 GHz 1.22 Vcore Asus Rampage II Gene GTX 260 216SP G.SKILL PI 3x2gb DDR3 1600 @ 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
2x 500gb Seagates RAID 0, 1x 500gb non-RAID Windows 7 Professional x64 ASUS 24'' VH242H / Spectre 24'' WS Corsair 750TX 
Case
Corsair 300R 
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Core i7 970 @ 4.0 GHz 1.22 Vcore Asus Rampage II Gene GTX 260 216SP G.SKILL PI 3x2gb DDR3 1600 @ 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
2x 500gb Seagates RAID 0, 1x 500gb non-RAID Windows 7 Professional x64 ASUS 24'' VH242H / Spectre 24'' WS Corsair 750TX 
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Corsair 300R 
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post #2 of 6
I would choose Solaris or a BSD variant. And since you want to learn Solaris, no better time than now thumb.gif
post #3 of 6
FreeBSD's build of ZFS is only 5 versions behind Solaris and out of those revisions the only one that really matters is encryption. If you didn't want encrypted volumes then FreeBSD is up-to-date enough.

Solaris isn't free either and the Express edition is free but only for testing (production systems would need a licence).

Also why would a patched kernel be slower than "proper ZFS deployments"? I've not read much into ZFS on Linux projects beyond the basics, but surely if the drivers are running in kernel space then it's going to be a proper ZFS deployment?

I'd also check the ZFS version available for Linux patching. I'd guess that it would only be the same as FreeBSD (v28) if not worse as that is the latest source Oracle have released.

All in all, I personally I think you are best off with FreeBSD. But ultimately it's what you feel most comfortable with.
Edited by Plan9 - 5/3/12 at 7:17am
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

FreeBSD's build of ZFS is only 5 versions behind Solaris and out of those revisions the only one that really matters is encryption. If you didn't want encrypted volumes then FreeBSD is up-to-date enough.
Solaris isn't free either and the Express edition is free but only for testing (production systems would need a licence).
Also why would a patched kernel be slower than "proper ZFS deployments"? I've not read much into ZFS on Linux projects beyond the basics, but surely if the drivers are running in kernel space then it's going to be a proper ZFS deployment?
I'd also check the ZFS version available for Linux patching. I'd guess that it would only be the same as FreeBSD (v28) if not worse as that is the latest source Oracle have released.
All in all, I personally I think you are best off with FreeBSD. But ultimately it's what you feel most comfortable with.

From what I've read the patched kernel module is still slower than, say, the FreeBSD implementation (why is beyond me). Encryption is something I'm going back and forth on, but I can always just use TrueCrypt. The kernel patch is the same version as FreeBSD's as far as I know.

I'd be using OpenSolaris or something similar since I know straight up Solaris isn't free.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 970 @ 4.0 GHz 1.22 Vcore Asus Rampage II Gene GTX 260 216SP G.SKILL PI 3x2gb DDR3 1600 @ 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
2x 500gb Seagates RAID 0, 1x 500gb non-RAID Windows 7 Professional x64 ASUS 24'' VH242H / Spectre 24'' WS Corsair 750TX 
Case
Corsair 300R 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 970 @ 4.0 GHz 1.22 Vcore Asus Rampage II Gene GTX 260 216SP G.SKILL PI 3x2gb DDR3 1600 @ 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
2x 500gb Seagates RAID 0, 1x 500gb non-RAID Windows 7 Professional x64 ASUS 24'' VH242H / Spectre 24'' WS Corsair 750TX 
Case
Corsair 300R 
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post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboTurtle View Post

From what I've read the patched kernel module is still slower than, say, the FreeBSD implementation (why is beyond me). Encryption is something I'm going back and forth on, but I can always just use TrueCrypt. The kernel patch is the same version as FreeBSD's as far as I know.
I'd be using OpenSolaris or something similar since I know straight up Solaris isn't free.

I think OpenSolaris is dead these days. There's been no major releases since Oracle took over and the dev builds have stagnated for equally as long as well. So you'd have to go with OpenIndiana (an OpenSolaris fork) - but even that would just have the same version of ZFS as FreeBSD.

I've not used OpenIndiana but -to be frank- I found OpenSolaris to be a pile of junk. Hopefully things have improved with OpenIndiana though.

The real issue is Oracle haven't release the source of Solaris 11 - which means ZFS's source (past v28) hasn't been released either.
post #6 of 6
Have you considered using VMs inside of your server? e.g. your server becomes just a VM host where you can try all of these services out separately. The benefits are many, but there is the downside of building the infrastructure (lots of words could go here) for them, and you'll end up spending more on some hardware.

For one thing its more secure if you're going to be opening the socket to the public. I hope you are not. thumb.gif Beyond that though it's a much nicer setup, allows you to keep everything separated, and you're free to make as many mistakes as you want and try experimental things much easier. I'd strongly consider that and purchase some more ram. If you don't now, you probably will end up there soon. thumb.gif

For a server I would of course recommend gentoo as always, but it really it may not be the best fit for it. Beyond that I'd lean towards BSD, and if you don't care about ZFS than debian is a fine choice as well. If you use VMs, just try them all out and see what fits the best.
stable again
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E5-2687W E5-2687W ASUS Z9PED8-WS EVGA GTX 570 (Linux host) 
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stable again
(25 items)
 
  
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
E5-2687W E5-2687W ASUS Z9PED8-WS EVGA GTX 570 (Linux host) 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveHard Drive
EVGA GTX 970 FTW (win7 guest) 64GB G.SKILL 2133 2x Crucial M4 256GB raid1 4x 3TB raid 10 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2x Apogee HD  2x RX 480 2x MCP 655 RP-452x2 rev2 (new) 
CoolingCoolingOSOS
16x Cougar Turbine CFT12SB4 (new) EK FC 580 Gentoo (host) Gentoo (x23 guests) 
OSMonitorMonitorPower
windows 7 (guest w/ vfio-pci) Viewsonic 23" 1080P Viewsonic 19" Antec HCP Platinum 1000 (new) 
CaseOtherOther
Case Labs TH10 (still the best ever) 2x Lamptron FC-5 IOGEAR 2 way DVI KVM Switch 
  hide details  
Reply
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