Author Topic: Setting up a media server that will also be a file server  (Read 1547 times)

SloYerRoll

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Setting up a media server that will also be a file server
« on: May 14, 2008, 04:19:54 am »
Hey all,

New to MCE. But not Linux ;)

I did search the forums, but didn't see anything relevant to my specific question.

I'm setting up a file server for my home office so I can grab files from a central location (and SSH in remotely). Eventually, this same build will become my media server as well.

I'm already well versed in hardware. But want to know if it's feasible to configure MCE so it can run as a media server AND file server in parallel.

I won't be beating on this server. It's only going to stream movies to one tv and play music. The data server side of it will be used frequently. But no large file transfers will happen unless I'm working remote and need to send packages to clients.

So my question is:
Is the above possible w/o high levels of configuration? I don't mind getting my hands dirty. But don't want to take on some huge project that will end up just dwindling as yet another thing I haven't completed.

I hope I hear a good answer :D I'm excited to get this OS off the ground. Looks like a blast :-P

Cheers,
-Jon

tschak909

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Re: Setting up a media server that will also be a file server
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2008, 04:58:10 am »
Yes, LinuxMCE automatically maps samba shares for all the media types, and can provide general data storage. UPnP is also exported as well....

You'll find this system is a whole house solution, the first of its kind, and as such, you must set it up in the recommended manner.. two NICs, one NIC going to the modem, the other, to the internal network. The core will then provide file serving, gateway, firewall, VOIP, media director booting, and plug and play operation of NAS, networked tuner, IP phones, etc.

-Thom

SloYerRoll

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Re: Setting up a media server that will also be a file server
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2008, 06:11:45 am »
Many thanks Thom.

I'm sure I'll be in here after I build the server.  ;D

wombiroller

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Re: Setting up a media server that will also be a file server
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2008, 08:04:43 am »
Hey SloYerRoll,

I'm by no means an expert, however just having gone through an install - would make the following recommendations.

If you have existing media and don't plan on editing the attributes of each files via the Web interface (Which is currently not a speedy process) - you may want to be able to browse via filename (which allows browsing via Folders), otherwise it can be tough to get to what you want as the filters can't work on media that has no attributes.

To do this you'll need to Use LinuxMCE's Directory Structure - when you install a new device. This creates new directory structures on your NAS/File server, but it won't delete any data. Once this structure has been created - you can move the media into the appropriate folder and LinuxMCE will be able to find it.

More info is available here:
http://wiki.linuxmce.com/index.php/Howto:_Using_Network_Shares

Cheers,
Adriel.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 08:06:44 am by wombiroller »

SloYerRoll

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Re: Setting up a media server that will also be a file server
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2008, 01:28:03 am »
Thanks Adriel,

I'll definitely look into hat when setting up the media aspect of it.

My next question is along the same lines. But a little more focused:

I want to install MCE but use my machine as a file server for a while while I take my time and compile movies and other things. I have a very fast machine and would rather it do all the heavy lifting and just transfer files over at my leisure.

Any reason I can't just use this distro as a file server and disable the MCE aspect of it until I'm ready to take the next step?

BTW: here's a link to the build I'm using for this machine. I don't see any need to go faster than this since this isn't a gaming machine and I'm only pushing movies and transferring files w/ this machine. The most I'll do is copy a DVD (that I made myself) to the HD from the DVD drive.
https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=11507587&WishListTitle=Jons%27
*I'm going w/ 4GB of RAM unless someone says this distro is lite enough to not need it for my purposes.

wombiroller

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Re: Setting up a media server that will also be a file server
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2008, 02:13:59 am »
I take it the AGP X1650 listed is separate from the LinuxMCE build? You also seem to have 2 lots of RAM listed (maybe have not decided yet), not sure 4GB is needed, I have 2GB of DDR800 and it seems to run fine on a core/hybrid. Other than that I think it should be fine.

Re the file server - I don't see any reason why you couldn't install LinuxMCE and after config simply not add any media (just use the Samba file shares). If it is going to house a large amount of data you may want to make sure you are happy with the build prior moving everything across though. Nothing worse than having to backup a backup  ;)

SloYerRoll

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Re: Setting up a media server that will also be a file server
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2008, 03:54:40 am »
I take it the AGP X1650 listed is separate from the LinuxMCE build? You also seem to have 2 lots of RAM listed (maybe have not decided yet), not sure 4GB is needed, I have 2GB of DDR800 and it seems to run fine on a core/hybrid. Other than that I think it should be fine.
Correct on the RAM. I'm jsut undecided. I've always been big on RAM. Why make the processor work any harder than it needs to.

RE:AGP
A friend recommended this card. It's an oldie but goodie. I've been a die hard NVIDIA fan my whole life. But my friend is a bigger hardware geek than I.
Any recommendations on a sub 100 dollar video card? Remember, I'm not rendering anything. Just running 2D movie files to a large screen. So I'm not pushing the enveloper here. :)

wombiroller

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Re: Setting up a media server that will also be a file server
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2008, 04:26:20 am »
From what I understand I would recommend steering clear of ATI with LinuxMCE (or linux in general). The drivers provided by ATI are not very good and you'll have trouble getting the box to work properly. >:(

I got an older NVida 7300 for this reason, and although I have not been able to get 1080p output as yet, alpha blending @1280 x 1024 seems to run well...  Others may have better recommendations but if you're looking at running a core/hybrid you still need a bit of power for the GUI.

SloYerRoll

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Re: Setting up a media server that will also be a file server
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 05:06:55 pm »
Thanks wombroiler,

I can get an NVIDIA 8500 GS for under 100. So I'll just go that route.  ;)

Thingie

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Re: Setting up a media server that will also be a file server
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2008, 11:23:30 pm »
I store all my media on a different Windows server. I did try (not much) to use the core for storing my media but found it way to complex. Adding new drives and keeping track of individual files took to much of an effort for me. This could be due to the fact I already had my Windows server before I started using LinuxMCE. I have a lot of media and like to keep an overview of my individual files. Using the directory structure of LinuxMCE creates a folder for music, docs, movies, pictures, ... on every disk. I like to use seperate disks for different types of media, one for music, an other for movies, etc. You don't need to use the folders on the disks but they still remain and this bothers me. If you look in the WebAdmin to your files all Windows shares are displayed under 'Other', this gives me a good view of where my files are stored. The files you save under the LinuxMCE directory structure will be displayed in the folders, music, docs, videos, ... So all music files are vissible in the 'music folder', no matter what disk they're stored on. I also found it much easier to add a new Windows share then adding a new disk or folder on the core.
Maybe my experience isn't all correct because I didn't spend much time experimenting with the LinuxMCE folder structure, if it is pleuse correct me. In the end I guess it's everyone's preference how to store his or her files.

grtz

Thingie