First, let me start by saying I am amazed at this project. It has seemingly appeared out of nowhere and the feature set of linuxMCE is unparalleled. Although I have yet to see 99% of the features work for myself, I am optimistic.
I have been thinking about a home server for a while now. LinuxMCE has coincided nicely with this thinking and has opened up more potential for this server than I ever thought possible. However I have some questions that are concerning me.
My intention is to build a mini-itx fanless pc (gigabit, SATA II), and put it in the garage along with a network switch. I currently have the whole house wired with a gigabit network. Originally I intended following the guide at http://www.cyberdogtech.com/firewalls/
to create a pretty decent home server. I have already tried following this guide to some extent using an old computer I have, however it is difficult to properly test and it seems like a waste of time setting up properly. I would really like to include many of the features in linuxMCE, but I can see some problems that may arise.
Security - This is probably the most major concern for me. I intend this server to hold all data (documents media etc) for the whole house - and so it is vitally important that this computer is secure. While using the guide at cyberdogtech I could set up the firewall myself and make sure it was configured properly, I see linuxmce uses its own firewall which it configures itself. Would this firewall need further configuration to provide a fuller protection? Could I use my own firewall instead?
Static IPs - I currently assign all network devices static ips. While I could use linuxMCE as a dhcp server, I prefer using static IPs so I know which address each computer is and so when troubleshooting etc I know the numbers to enter to test/ping/whatever a particular machine. Would using static IPs a) be possible with network booting b) work with other network devices?
In some preliminary testing when I setup linuxmce I chose not to use a dhcp server, but I have noticed that the server starts anyway when i run linuxmce. Why is this?
Dual monitors etc - I have a computer in the lounge which contains a matrox p650 dual head graphics card, and has an lcd monitor and an lcd tv connected via hdmi. This dual monitor setup does not work out the box, and so I doubt I could network boot this computer. If I installed linuxMCE on this computer, could I use it as a client and not a core?
Internet dilemna - I have an adsl connection which currently I connect to through a usb modem. The difficulty I am having is that this modem is not easy to get working under linux (speedtouch 330). I have managed to get it working under ubuntu desktop but not server. I would much rather use an ethernet modem due to the ease of setup aspect, but the problems with that are the mini-itx board I am looking at has 1 ethernet port (internal), and 2 pci slots - both of which I intend to use for other purposes, and also it drains a little more power and takes up another power socket. How this relates to linuxmce - if i managed to get the usb modem working, would it be easy to configure the firewall etc to use a ppp connection as external instead of an ethernet connection?
Distro choice - obviously I don't want a gui on the core, but i understand and are prepared to install gnome-core to install linuxmce. should I use Ubuntu server or Ubuntu desktop? And will linuxmce startup with the server (as opposed to running it in a gui) so its ready to go when the server hits the console login prompt?
System space - I was hoping to run the operating system from a compact flash card, seperating it from the large hard drives so that they are solely for media documents etc. How much space does a normal linuxmce core installation consume? To put it more simply, would I need a 2gb, 4gb or greater card?
Web server - linuxMCE installs its own web interface. I am new to web serving, so can I also set up an external website?
Updates - Will it be easy to update the distribution and linuxmce without breaking everything?
mythtv - If I install a tv card in this server, will linuxmce core work as a mythtv backend and serve livetv, allow scheduling etc to mythtv clients?
Climate control - I am about to install a heatmiser heating system in my home, for which I can buy this product
which links the heating system to the network. It appears to have a web interface but I have no idea if it follows any other protocols. Is there any chance this could integrate with linuxMCE?
I probably have many more questions but this is all I can recall right now. Thanks for your time in reading this and thank you even more for replying.