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Home Server -- Coolest Software



Home Server of Maximum Awesomeness

Working on a home server update video, and want to cover all the cool stuff. I plan to do it in two parts – one for the hardware we’d pick and then one for software.

We will cover freenas, obviously, but what else do people actually use? What are the plex alternatives and are there any sites that really show off the capabilities?

Will probably also show off ESXi. If you are running nifty home server/media server/vm host I would love to show off this thread in the part 2 video.

VM's to run at home

I know it might sound lame, but damn, CUPS running on my home server fixes a lot of issues with printing on the network to 3 different kinds of printers (sublimation ink, large format and laser).

If you have a PS3 hooked up for media instead of gaming, PS3 Media Server is also neat


I switched from Plex to Emby. Client app is just more stable on my TV.
Tried a bit Debian based OpenMediaVault before FreeNAS.

What are people using to backup FreeNAS to some cloud service (CrashPlan, iDrive, …?)?


I’m running Fedora 26, with ZFS On Linux combined with LUKS encrypted drives for a 16TB storage pool. Using Plex for media consumption, but the last few version updates have been problematic. That’s really all the system does, besides general file storage.

I’d love to see a more detailed, bullet-proof, cross-platform dropbox replacement. And an email solution that rivals gmail, but isn’t convoluted and complicated.

edit: I’d also like to get into containers and set up a steam cache.


I was going to look to use this as a low power alternative with an RPi 3 and some external HDD’s. For fun of course.


Fedora 26
Running all services in LXC Containers.
List of Containers:
Factorio Server
Unifi Controller
Dokuwiiki(Looking at possible replacement for keeping my technical notes)
Zoneminder(Motion Recording 2 1080p POE cameras) Would like replacement suggestions for this also.

Im thinking of setting up a steam cache server and Tarsnap container for backing up photos.

Looking forward to the videos and seeing what everyone else is running at the house.


I would also like to see openmediavault covered :smiley:

Really good a for lightweight install and go server software


If this is the Level1Linux channel, I’d recommend Proxmox over ESXi. Seeing how VMware is in violation of GPLv2 for Linux.

I’m in the process of switching my server over to Emby, it’s definitely good.

Kolab is what I’ve been using to run my mail server recently.

LXC is nice and we should spend an episode on it, discussing application containers vs OS containers and some functional implementations of this.

Please stay away from docker. It’s too close to “magic configs” for me and I’m constantly fighting people at work about using docker.


docker is amazing though :smiley:


It’s nice in a homelab, but it’s frustrating in production and while the functional problems are reducing, it still has regressive changes and unstable storage drivers.

We use docker in production because that’s the only way the developers will deliver us a product. We have to rebuild containers weekly, regardless if there’s a stable update or not, we also refuse to put or database in docker because if you want to keep your data, you do not put it in docker.

It’s convenient, but convenience comes at a cost.


I do like how lxc works with zfs and creates a new dataset when you spin up a new one. I think docker does this also.


This is some software i use on my home server.
Plexpy: cool way to get metrics out of plex. Handy when you share you plex with people.
Blue iris: good ip camera nvr software

I want to see more of Emby as it looks like a very good alternative to plex.


It is, especially with Plex going the way of the botnet.


LXD is also a possible idea for Containers with ZFS (works well together)

And also Emby as media-server :+1:

At my homeserver I’ve also got some tftpd/ipxe and munin for statistics


ive never had that issue with docker or even heard of people having that issue


I would like to discuss the docker, lxd, lxc further but not sure if we should discuss much further in this thread.


Eh, it’s different when you’re running complex installations in production.

I don’t want to derail the thread too much, but this post outlines a lot of the issues we’ve seen. I know it’s a year old, but it’s still happening.

Let me be clear. I think that docker could be good if they’d be more friendly to companies and would implement complete apis (can we please have the ability to clean images from both registry and hosts?)

The problem is that they are just a bunch of high-school kids playing programmer, building cool software (and it is!), with no plan for long-term support or understanding of the monumental undertaking that some of their “features” is.

I fell victim to the same trap when I said I’d have a alpha release done in a month for a crashplan replacement program. I have about 5 hours a week to work on this project, so there’s no way that’s a realistic goal. I’m still working on it and I’ve rewritten it like 5 times, but this time, I’m taking hints from some existing programs and experienced people and that should help me build a better mousetrap. I think the folks behind Docker are getting to that stage now as well.


lxc+ zfs is awesome. Docker uses this called overlay filesystems which is the summer interns reimagining of the work that went into zfs


Running production business critical DBs in containers was my job. It’s a lot of work :slight_smile: but doable.



I would like to see more options to use your hardware to the fullest. Multiple containers on proxmox would be a good option to use.