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Doubts about Raspi Headless Server

G’day y’all

So I’m thinking about getting a raspberry pi 3 (one with 2 gigs cause it’s cheap and easy to get around here) to make a home files server, a way to make my files available to all my devices in the house.

Won’t stream and all, just want an easy way to upload files from the phone to the storage server, mostly pictures, and if possible I’d like to host some testing environments to make it accessible on my own network, like serving it on the raspi and consuming it on the phone or the devbox.

Is it possible?

Of course. You could do file storage with an NFS drive and testing environments is a very generic way of putting it. It completely depends on what you intend to test. There are limitations - it’s still an ARM chip, so if you’re testing compiled binaries, they have to be compiled for ARM, not exactly the best scenario. Docker containers probably also need to be built for ARM if you want to use those. Not an issue if you’re testing an interpreted language application.

They’ll be either node or php… backend isn’t really my main focus.

I think node has an ARM version… if not I can serve it even with python… if all fails I get to learn to do it in C++… whatever works

About the drive: can it be a standard hdd inside an external enclosure?

Oh you can serve PHP all day, I’m sure php-fpm is even distributed in the standard repo. Node too. EDIT: You’d probably want to install node from the site, I see they have ARM binaries.

It can only really accept USB or SD storage AFAIK. If you can connect the external enclosure via USB you’re golden.

If you’re talking about a Pi4 with 2GB of RAM that should be able to handle easly what you need to do.
My suggestion would be to install NextCloud on it to make your life easy and have an app ready to go that could do backups automatically (I think).
If you have a file explorer on your phone that allows you to connect to SMB I highly suggest it because it’s the fastest way to have network storage on a Pi in my opinion. I tried some options on my Pi2 and only SMB maxed out reliably the ethernet connection.
Also I’d avoid at all costs wifi, even if it’s 5Ghz, improved and all that. I never had luck with Pis and wifi.

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Mm, there’s a thing I remembered about RPI, maybe have a read about this. In the older RPI’s I remember usb devices power consumption to be an issue. If the device is hungry, the RPI VRM’s can’t keep up. Those were the first models, so this might not be an issue. If you run into this, you can use powered USB hubs. So you’ll use external power, but IO with RPI.

The old Pis were using USB 2.0 only and weaker PSUs so that was an issue. Now I think that’s not an issue anymore since the Pi4 is equipped with 2 USB 3.0 and 15W PSU.
One or two 2.5" drives should run without any issue on it.

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