Many, but somewhat simple new install questions

blithe23
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:16 pm

Many, but somewhat simple new install questions

Postby blithe23 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:35 pm

First; Thank you Amahi and the folks at Amahi for letting me use your program, it looks great.

Second; I am going to do a complete re-install on my desktop of Fedora 14 and Amahi, (and wipe out the test run). So, I am kind of new to Linux and when ever I do installs I guess at the "mount points", What would be the best mount points to choose for my 2 500gig hard drives? I am assuming the first partition on the first drive would be "/" and the second partition on the first hard drive would be swap, but what do I label the second hard drive as, if I want to use it for storage.

Third; How big of a swap is recommended (or would be ideal)?

Fourth; Would it be better if both hard drives where formatted in ext4?

Fifth; Would it be better if my external hard drives were reformatted in ext4?

Sixth; is there a web proxy"program" that I can set up in Amahi? I hope I used the correct words to ask that question. I have heard that you can have a box download and store all the art from the websites that that you frequent, so they will load quicker from then on.

Thank you for your help.
John Z.

P.S. (Seventh) Do you guys leave this type of server running all the time? Or do you turn it off at night?

sag47
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:27 am

Re: Many, but somewhat simple new install questions

Postby sag47 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:12 pm

Second; I am going to do a complete re-install on my desktop of Fedora 14 and Amahi, (and wipe out the test run). So, I am kind of new to Linux and when ever I do installs I guess at the "mount points", What would be the best mount points to choose for my 2 500gig hard drives? I am assuming the first partition on the first drive would be "/" and the second partition on the first hard drive would be swap, but what do I label the second hard drive as, if I want to use it for storage.
For Amahi, if you're going to use it as a server only and not a desktop then I'd say go with the following partition scheme
  • swap = 2*<size of RAM> unless you have more than 4GB, then I just make swap 2GB.
  • /boot = 500MB
  • / = fills up the rest of the space
If you plan on using Amahi as a desktop and a server then go with the following partition scheme.
  • swap = 2*<size of RAM> unless you have more than 4GB, then I just make swap 2GB.
  • /boot = 500MB
  • / = 50GB
  • /home = fills up the rest of the space
All data partitions are ext4.

Mind you, if you're building your own stand alone Linux server I would recommend a different partition scheme. But since this is Amahi, those are the schemes I recommend.

You don't need to label your spare hard drive as anything. You can set it up in /etc/fstab later after you install Amahi. I believe if you add it to greyhole as well it will automatically set it up for you so I wouldn't worry about it for now. In more modern distros, such as Fedora 14, you mount your spare drives under /media/whatever. /mnt is no longer used to my knowledge however the folder is still kept around for legacy purposes (that and I still use /mnt for mounting CD images).
Third; How big of a swap is recommended (or would be ideal)?
The normal convention for swap size is 2*<size of RAM>.

However in recent years I've modified that because RAM sizes can go up to 24GB on user machines (and on my production servers several hundred gigabytes of RAM). So when you get to RAM sizes that large I recommend a swap anywhere between 2GB and 10GB. In your case, and the case of any desktop that's not a professional production server I would just recommend a 2GB swap if your RAM is larger than 4GB.
Fourth; Would it be better if both hard drives where formatted in ext4?
I formatted all of my drives/partitions (including my RAID array) to ext4.
Fifth; Would it be better if my external hard drives were reformatted in ext4?
Not sure what you mean here. Does this mean that you have your drives formatted to something else and that you already have data on those drives? If you're using ext3, then I'd say there's no big deal and just leave them. If you're using ext2, I would personally change it however it still won't hurt you if you keep it that way.

Just don't forget to use redundancy with either greyhole or using RAID.
Sixth; is there a web proxy"program" that I can set up in Amahi? I hope I used the correct words to ask that question. I have heard that you can have a box download and store all the art from the websites that that you frequent, so they will load quicker from then on.
There are many web proxies like that which you speak of. Some are better than others and a lot of times, if the the proxy isn't configured correctly, content can be outdated. I'm just going to cut to the chase and recommend one that I use at my place of work where tens of thousands of users access the net through the same connection.

http://www.squid-cache.org/

You can read the docs to learn the advantages/disadvantages.
P.S. (Seventh) Do you guys leave this type of server running all the time? Or do you turn it off at night?
As of right now my uptime is 30 days since the last time I turned off or restarted my HDA. If you're running DHCP and DNS through Amahi then you should probably keep it on 24/7. Otherwise if you turn it off you lose the ability to connect to the internet dynamically from other computers. If you're not running those services, then do whatever you want as it won't affect anything either way unless you're trying to get content from it.

Hopefully the explanation wasn't too long winded.

SAM

blithe23
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:16 pm

Re: Many, but somewhat simple new install questions

Postby blithe23 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:34 pm

SAM,thank you for the great advice. At the end you said you hoped it wasn't to long winded.... Please, be long winded. Your info is so helpful. While I have your ear, can I get some clarification on some pints you made?

1) You had asked if I was going to use it as a server only or also as a desktop also. At first I figured I might just use it as a server, but now I think I might need it for a desktop also. But how does that work? Do I use the Fedora 14, and if so, will I still be able to use the server? Is Amahi still running in the background?

2) You had showed my good setups for my mount points... Can you help me with a basic Linux question? If / is root (for me) or /home is for me and swap is swap space and /boot is for booting were is Fedora being installed?

Server only
swap = 2*<size of RAM> unless you have more than 4GB, then I just make swap 2GB.
/boot = 500MB
/ = fills up the rest of the space

Desktop and a Server
swap = 2*<size of RAM> unless you have more than 4GB, then I just make swap 2GB.
/boot = 500MB
/ = 50GB
/home = fills up the rest of the space

3) I like the looks of Squid, but I don't understand something... I figure I install it on Fedora, but then how does it work with Amahi.

4) To tell you the truth I am still trying to understand what Amahi is all about... I started installing it because I wanted to do the following...
Simple file storage for other computers in the house, remote viewing to smart phones and other computers of pictures and movies, web proxie to speed internet loading, and a media player like XMBC for our TV (right now I use a Boxee Box), with a remote that will control it.

Thanks again for your help.

User avatar
radioz
Posts: 406
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:07 pm

Re: Many, but somewhat simple new install questions

Postby radioz » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:31 pm

I'll try and answer a few of your questions:
1) You had asked if I was going to use it as a server only or also as a desktop also. At first I figured I might just use it as a server, but now I think I might need it for a desktop also. But how does that work? Do I use the Fedora 14, and if so, will I still be able to use the server? Is Amahi still running in the background?
Fedora 14 works just fine as both a server and for desktop use at the same time. Yes, the server activities will just magically happen in the background. The only thing you might want to keep in mind is that you may want to keep the system running 24/7 so it can serve other computers on your network (if you have them).
2) You had showed my good setups for my mount points... Can you help me with a basic Linux question? If / is root (for me) or /home is for me and swap is swap space and /boot is for booting were is Fedora being installed?
The operating system is installed in '/' (root) and /boot. Swap is space the OS uses while it is running. User files all go in /home.
Each user will have their own directories under /home. So you might have /home/blithe23 and /home/joe ...etc.

Follow his suggestion for disk allocation:
Desktop and a Server
swap = 2*<size of RAM> unless you have more than 4GB, then I just make swap 2GB.
/boot = 500MB
/ = 50GB
/home = fills up the rest of the space
That should work pretty well for you.

I hope that helps.

sag47
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:27 am

Re: Many, but somewhat simple new install questions

Postby sag47 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:52 pm

SAM,thank you for the great advice. At the end you said you hoped it wasn't to long winded.... Please, be long winded.
I will power wind turbines with my expanded speech to any user who wishes to know more!

radioz hits the nail right on the head for your first two questions. I'll elaborate on what radioz said.
The operating system is installed in '/' (root) and /boot. Swap is space the OS uses while it is running. User files all go in /home.
Each user will have their own directories under /home. So you might have /home/blithe23 and /home/joe ...etc.
As far as programs are concerned, all they see is the file structure. Let's say you have the following folder structure on ONE partition. Your programs will see that partitions as having five different folders.

Code: Select all

/opt /boot /usr /bin /home
Now lets say you create five different partitions of varying sizes and mounted them as the following.

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/opt /boot /usr /bin /home
Again as far as programs can tell, all they see is one system with 5 different folders. The program doesn't have to know that they're using 5 different partitions or even 5 different drives. All the program cares about is the file structure. Linux, as I'm sure you've realized, is a little different from Windows in that regard. Instead of seeing those partitions as different drive letters (i.e. C:, D:, E:, etc.) they're all an integrated part of the same system which Linux programs "sees" as one drive. Even though it could be one drive or five drives which make up that system.

Also elaborating on radioz:
Swap is space the OS uses while it is running.
Let me explain to you about the magic of swap space. Swap in Linux is the equivalent of the page file or virtual memory in Windows. It's purpose is to serve as an overflow for RAM. So basically, if you have 4GB of RAM and 2GB of swap space then as far as a program can tell you have "6GB" of RAM to put simply (although that's not technically correct). Swap space is hard drive space which is used to behave like RAM. This is all handled automatically by the kernel (which is the OS). Windows also has a kernel but everyone calls the kernel in Windows... Windows!

Now to answer some of your other questions which haven't been addressed.
3) I like the looks of Squid, but I don't understand something... I figure I install it on Fedora, but then how does it work with Amahi.
I'll be honest with you. I have never used squid but I know what it does. I work for Drexel University and they use squid on their entire domain. Many ISPs use squid as well. I can't tell you its effects on Amahi. Your best bet would be to ask a more advanced forum such as LinuxQuestions.org. Let me tell you, squid and web proxying and caching in general are very advanced topics. Topics in which, O'Reilly and many others have written entire books about. So your best bet is to learn about the technology from a book. It is a topic as intricate as Linux itself.
4) To tell you the truth I am still trying to understand what Amahi is all about... I started installing it because I wanted to do the following...
Simple file storage for other computers in the house
It does that.
, remote viewing to smart phones and other computers of pictures and movies,
It is capable of that since it's on Linux. I have developed my own software on Linux along side Amahi which allows me to do that but again that's a little more advanced.
web proxie to speed internet loading, and a media player like XMBC for our TV (right now I use a Boxee Box), with a remote that will control it.
Fedora has both XBMC and MythTV for using your box as a TV tuner. Remote control setup will be a little more advanced as Amahi doesn't directly support that as part of their official support. Amahi is more of a file server than anything (which I also use as a media server). To find and install that software you can use the following commands in the terminal.

Code: Select all

yum search xbmc yum search mythtv yum install xbmc yum install mythtv
Amahi and Fedora (the base OS of Amahi) can do what any other Linux distrobution can do. Amahi just adds a layer of simplicity on top of Fedora which assists you as a user setting up certain services which would be normally more complicated if you weren't using Amahi.

I hope you decide to stick with it as I have. It's definitely a worthwhile technology and makes home networking more fun in my opinion.

SAM

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