Home Server
Home Server

Building a home (server)

Description
When?

May 2015

Why?

After many years deliberating I decided to build a home server, based largely on HP Microserver’s cashback incentive.

Three main use cases at this point:

  • To act as a NAS, and hold all my files with some chunky storage;
  • To act as an ‘always-on’ gateway into my home network from the internet;
  • To act as an ‘always-on’ server from which I can run outward facing jobs like web scraping and website hosting, when the mood takes me.
Tools and Techniques
  • Plugging in hardware
  • Hacking away at Ubuntu Server
  • Bit of security thinking

After many years deliberating, I finally decided to build a home server, mostly incentivised by HP’s Microserver cashback deal, meaning I could get the main box a bit cheaper.

The server acts as a centralised file store, secure gateway to my network from the internet, and a platform to run some web facing tasks.

It’s built on:

  • HP Microserver Gen8
  • SanDisk Ultra Plus 128GB SSD HD for the OS
  • 2 x Western Digital Red 2TB HD for Storage

I’m running Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS for the most flexibility / hackability. Other notable points are:

  • Using Google Authenticator to provide 2 factor authentication for web facing SSH.
  • NFS for serving media to the network.
  • ‘Lightweight’ gnome-core + VNC server installed for occasional GUI access to the box.
  • Rsync cron jobs for backup of important files.

In my blog post, I’ve outlined the steps I had to go through to get it set up!

Blog Entry