Homeserver with Linux

Hi there
This is my first post. I know that this is the software category but I have some questions about the hardware too. Hopefully you can help me to sort out some questions. I am new to Linux but i’am willing to learn and Time does not realy matter :slight_smile:
I’d like to build a homeserver. I’d like to run some virtual machines on it. A plex mediaserver, a webserver for webapps, a postgresql server and a Windows 10 for gaming, 3D Blender stuff and daily use. I read a lot, but I need some advice from experts like you.
I thought about this for the hardware:

  • Threadripper 1950x on a asrock x399m taichi (i’ve allready the case because i like the smal form factor. I know that shoud be the last that you buy but the watercooling stuff fits very well…)
  • 2x HDD for movies (have them at home)(may be one more for RAID5)
  • 2x SSD (have them at home. I thought about keeping them for the sql server)
  • ?x m.2 PCI-E SSD (1x for host, 1x for win vm, may be one for the other vms)
  • 64GB of RAM ECC
  • 1x Nvidia 780gtx (for host and the vms)(have this at home)
  • 1x nvidia 1080ti (for my gaming vm)(would buy one)

For the system I thought about Fedora, because you mastered the passthrou of the GPU to the vm.

So now my questions:

  1. Is there a chance that this can work at all?
  2. Whitch Fedora is the best for that use case (server or workstation)? Like I said I’am new to the Linux world, but i’am used to use the commandline.
  3. How woud you set up the storage? My idea is to manage all the storage on the host and than give it to the vms. Is this a good idea or is it better to pass it to the vms and let it handle by the vm? For the Windows vm i would prefer the passthrough of the PCI-E SSD.
  4. Whitch filesystem would you use. I thought about openZFS and RAID1 for the HDDs and SSDs.
  5. Recommondation for the host os of webserver and databaseserver? I thought about stay with Fedora. Maybe the Fedora Atomic, because the i woud like to use Docker containers.
  6. any recomondation for the network handling? I’ll have a static ip 6 adress for the home. But i want only the webserver be pulic to the ‘world’.
  7. Are 64gb enough for this server? the motherboard is not out yet, but the specs are saying that is the max.

What do you think about my plans. Is it a good idea for the hardware and software? To advanced for a Linux newbe like me?

Thank you for give me some advice.

Sorry for my english, I tryed my best :slight_smile:

greeze Lucas


Sometimes I think it is behind advanced (on scale easy-peasy … piece of cake … advanced … state of art).
I would try to keep it simple as is possible (there is so many other factors).

Probably supported unbuffered ECC DIMM modules have lower speed and bigger latency. That will cost some performace, btw because Infinity Fabric speed is linked to memory clock.

Sharing HW (for private/public access) in time of Meltdown/Spectre?

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Yes, this can work.

Doesn’t matter. It’s all the same underlying distribution, the only difference between server and workstation is the packages that are installed by default.

ZFS is a good choice. Keep in mind that if you’re planning to go for SSD, ZFSOnLinux does not currently support SSD TRIM, so your performance will not be good. If you want an SSD array, go BTRFS, MDRaid or LVM. You mentioned postgresql. If you want to use that on a specific drive, go XFS for that one.

Really depends on your storage requirements.

I use BTRFS with CoW off for VMs, but I’m not sure how reliable it’s going to be in the long run.

I recommend 4 or more drives for ZFS, since it will increase your throughput capacity.

There’s nothing wrong with using Fedora. I have no experience with Fedora Atomic, so I can’t give it my approval, but it might fit for you. As far as my recommendation goes: use what you’re comfortable with. All distributions provide the same software, just packaged differently.

It should be enough. I’m barely using 32GB of ram with server services running, video editing and a windows VM.

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Thank you for the advices.

I heard and read about the importance of the RAM speed for Threadripper. I know the benefits for ECC RAM but i don’t know if it’s matters for a home server. What would you recommande?

I have some other questions I forgot:
Is it possible to run all vm at the same time? So the the Nvidia 780GTX will be shared by the PLEX, SQL Server and the Webserver. Is that even possible with kvm? Is it enough power for the PLEX without passthrou?

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I don’t think ECC is absolutely necessary unless you’re doing work with data that you cannot afford to lose.

It is possible to run all the VM at the same time.

You do not need to assign a GPU to every VM.

When it comes to the services you are mentioning, I would recommend not putting them in a VM, and just running them on your host machine directly. You can turn the services on and off with systemctl.


Thank you very much.
I will thake your advices to build my server.
Hopefully I am welcome to ask here for other advices during the building process :slight_smile:

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Absolutely. If you have any questions, just ask!

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offcourse this project could work, but do you honestly need this level of hardware?
plex server can litterally run of a raspberry pi, because it is GPU accelerated/decoded, NOT CPU.
unless you got some rediculessly large databases, which are used “not locally” e.g. the interwebz.
in which case id suggest going enterprise, else if you’re doing daily builds of a yocto distro.
It is my oppinion you’d be wayyy better off investing in a server with lesser hardware, and just buy a gaming rig
on top of it, since you obviously got some cash to throw at thee problem.
basically most your vms needs could and would very well of a celeron(all at once unless you make em all work 100% constantly),
going threadripper with multi GPU’s and all that jazz is just what in laymans terms is called overkill, and expensive.
And the powerbill man oh man, a threadripper, and 2 GPU’s running 24/7 it aint gonna be cheap, thats atleast 600-1kwh’ish expensive.
id get a desktop, and maybe look at a 8350 from AMD as server, it would do more then serve your cause, and still leave savings on the power bill.
because it litterally does not need a GPU’s to run if you buy the proper motherboard, and it’d still have H.264 acceleration through the onboard GPU
for plex.
rest of your services are well handled by the CPU, even through an older CPU aslong it supports the KV-X instrution sets.
The main reason to go with the rig you suggest would be E-peen, ofc dont get me wrong im all about the E-peen profile e.g. being able to tell your friends
"Hey bro, im gaming on a threadripper, and it is a VM, and i gotz cores to spare", but it is all E-peen, so sort out which is more important, E-peen or money.

My build:
Case: Corsair Obsidian 750D (+ two Noctua 140mm out-take fans), PSU: Corsair RM1000x, MB: Asrock X399 Taichi, CPU: Tr 1950X, RAM: G.SKILL 4x 8GB 3200/CL14
GPUs: ASUS RX 550 2GB (HostOS Xubuntu 17.10x64), ASUS Strix 1080Ti OC (GuestOS1: Windows 10x64 Home or Xubuntu 17.10x64), ATI HD5770 (GuestOS2: Windows XP)
Storages: SSD Samsung 830 120GB (Windows 10 native), NVMe: Corsair MP500 120GB(HostOS), Samunsung EVO 960 500GB (GuestOS Windows 10), HDDs: 3,5" Seagate Barracuda 3TB (Steam/GOG/Origin), Barracuda 1TB(backup)
Periferals: USB 3.0 hub (usb wireless KB/MS adapters, USB audio, USB ethernet), 2x USB 2.0 hub (powered), …

Power compsuption: HostOS Xorg + LG with running GuestOS1 (Windows 10 + Looking Glass host) and GuestOS2 (Windows XP) without any load is 148W

Power compsuption: HostOS Xorg (both GuestOSs are stopped) is 133W.

Power compsuption: Host OS Xorg (editing post) + GuestOS1 (Windows 10 game Kingdome Come: Deliverance [email protected] … GTX 1080TI load 96%) is 370W (output LCD1: HostOS, LCD2: GuestOS1).

Hi there
I know it will be overkill. But for me it’s a hobby to building a computer. For the future i want to go more in the software level. I want to learn about Linux and the whole ‘vm thing’. So I am willingly to spend some money for a future proof homeserver. Also i like the idea of running all from one machine. For me it’s not about e-peen, because none of my friends are in computers anyway. They are more into cars, which are fare more expensive than this. But you are absolutly right, it will also work with a cheaper build and less hardware :slight_smile: