Look! Another distro search!

Ok, I have an old Dell T3500 that I want to use as a media server and possibly router at some point with a W3530 and 6GB of ECC.

This is also my first foray back into the Linux world in… a very long time.

I’m thinking Fedora just because support is good, but hell, change my mind? What would be good for this and why? Or what would be bad?

Well certainly nothing would be horrible. Theres no reason to not use fedora.

Honestly looking at intel ARK, and having some confidence in the Dell T line of desktops from recent playing with them… Do whatever the hell you want with it I honestly don’t think you can do anything bad.

If you like fedora, then go for it.

I don’t know enough anymore to know what I like though, that’s my issue. The last distro I used was Slackware (ok maybe an Ubuntu install here or there for other people) and easily a decade ago.

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Well uhh, use slackware then? At least you know how it works.

I’m weird so I’ll say look at Void linux.

But I’m weird. So expect something weird from it.

If you just want a server ubuntu or fedora will do. For a desktop thats on you my dood.

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Fedora is good, I think you need to add in some of the non-free stuff for better functionality, I’m not super familiar.

Both of my servers run Debian9. Debian is known for a long life span and stable packages.
My primary server runs an NFS file server service, apache php sql for both a proxy and web server, Plex and SyncThing. Probably going to stack zabbix at some point to monitor both servers and my pfSense router.
My secondary server runs Shinobi - a nodeJS based service for recording security cameras.


Would also appreciate input from @SgtAwesomesauce and/or @anon79053375 if y’all are down.

Let’s call this a very simple home media server for now. The router bit I’d have to buy other hardware for and isn’t worth considering for the next month or two.

Check out korora it is Fedora with the non free stuff added. Not a bad route if you want to get up and go fast and have been out of the Linux loop for a while.


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You should try D E B I A N. Easy to use and very stable. With Fedora you have to contend with new releases every 6 months, and potential package instability as a result of it’s bleeding edge nature. If you like bleeding edge you can always try Debian testing or Debian unstable. Testing being the next version of Debian. Unstable being the most cutting edge and least stable. Releases are supported for 5 years so you can be relatively hands off, aside from updates.

@Steinwerks You rang?

I would recommend keeping your data storage and gateway on separate devices.

I need a bit more info about your requirements, but Fedora isn’t a bad choice.

Let me prompt you a bit:

Do you want a GUI?

What applications or services do you need?

As far as data storage goes, are you planning to use an array, and if so, have you decided on a filesystem/volume management tool?

What are your security requirements?

Yes. I’m too much n00b.

Thinking Plex or Emby.

I’m not sure yet, and I’m not sure yet. getting uncomfortable

Well to start with I only want it to access the local network, but all I have is a potato router.

Starting from scratch here essentially.

I’d also say go the Fedora route. I’ve had Fedora as my media / file server for years now and it’s fantastic at that. Fedora is very user friendly, but it has a very fast release cycle (every 6 months I think). I’m pretty sure my server is a release or two behind at this point, and I don’t run updates or reboot very often.

My setup is a ZFS pool (which I need to fix, and I keep putting it off), and Plex. It works very well at that, although I’m pretty sure I can’t do system updates without breaking ZFS. Haven’t tried for a while.

I also have a very small VM for qbittorrent, which I can access from any browser on my network, and also a small VM for clonedeploy, which I don’t use but wish I would.

Ubuntu would also be a good choice. It’s fairly robust as a server OS as well. I would definitely steer clear of the niche distros, as the point of the server is stability.

Maybe better starter questions:

How much drive space is needed?
Do you want backups?
Do you want redundancy to improve uptime?
Write/read speed wanted?


Good thing here is that your best step for securing on a potato router is to keep up to date on firmware and CVE’s.

This is a good answer, we’re getting into the territory where I can help you.

Good, good. Either will work well on most distros, so that’s not really an issue. Either a DEB or RPM based distro will give you native support from the company though.

Everyone starts somewhere and there’s no shame in this. That’s how I started off.

Absolutely. That was going to be my next line of questioning!


I would go with something stable and somewhat LTS like -
Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, OpenSUSE Leap.

Dude, don’t ask a bunch of weird linux people what they think you should use as your distro… It’s like trying to catch a black cat in a dark room without a flashlight, handcuffed to heater.

You say you are getting back into it: Use something that you like and is familiar. You wanna use Fedora? Use it! I like it, I use it since 2 years and it’s cool.

Don’t worry so much about it, do it, use it and then move on :grinning:

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But nothing is familiar! :joy:

It’s the oldest piece of shit at this point. I don’t think it’s had a firmware update in five years. On the plus side, wasn’t affected by the Russians (or at least not on the list).

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Was planning on 2-4TB. Probably 2TB to start but then that scraping bug probably takes hold…

Backblaze and all encrypted. Not going to be a NAS anyway (at least not yet).


Probably not, just playing/learning for now.

Will be streaming over wifi to (almost certainly) one device at a time. Nearly irrelevant IMO. 7200 spinning rust will do just fine.

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My home server is currently running Ubuntu 16.04LTS desktop. I run a 2 TB ZFS pool for local PC backups and media storage, Zoneminder for 1 IP camera, Plex, and a TeamSpeak sever. Once the setup was done, I have had zero issues with it. I do most work o it via SSH, when I want to install something new, for example.

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Yep. I started in 2012 with 2TB, I’m up to 48TB, at 60% utilization. You’re starting down a path best not traveled, my friend. :stuck_out_tongue:

Backblaze doesn’t support unlimited for $50/yr with Linux. You need to use their B2 service, which is basically API compatible with Amazon S3.

So, from what I’m seeing, you’re good with whatever distro piques your interest. I’m going to throw my support behind either CentOS (for longer release cycles) or Fedora (for more bleeding edge and shorter release cycles)

I’d recommend grabbing a 4TB drive since they’ve got one of the best prices per TB.

You’re going to find that once you’ve ripped a couple BluRay TV shows to it, you could have burned up 1TB already.