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Looking For Small Inexpensive Linux Server

A few months back I lost my communications server to electronic death. That is part of the reason you don’t see me on IRC much and part of the reason I am desperately feening for Mutt now. I am looking to get a new server or machine that will fit the bill and that bill being cheap and able to run my email stuff (Mutt & OfflineIMAP as well as Irssi). I am desperately cheap now, especially with the holidays, so that is why I am reaching out to everyone in the intertubes to help me out.

I like the looks of one of the ARM boards as they are small enough to stick just about anywhere and not make any noise. Is there a configuration that would suit my needs and not break the bank? I like the small machines from both System76 and ZaReason, but they are to rich for my blood at this time. Of course it has to run Linux and only Linux. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

UPDATE: Thanks to Laura Czajkowski for reminding me that I have a Dell Mini 9 that I can use for this. It has a dead LCD, but I can use an external display to install and setup as it will be headless when up and running. I just need to find the power cord for it now.

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  • Ken

    Try using a TonidoPlug (www.tonidoplug.com).  Runs Ubuntu.

  • One of the HP Microservers might fit the bill (in both senses). They’re cheap, small(ish), come with no OS and are fairly low power.

    By low price I mean £220-odd (not low) but then £100 in cashback. In the UK, you’ve got until the end of December to buy it and the end of Jan to get the cashback form to the people.

    http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/hp-proliant-microserver-n40l-229-98-free-delivery-100-cashback-quidco-dabs-com-1051833

    They do repeat this deal on a regular basis and not just in the UK. If you search Ubuntu Planet, you’ll find a few posts raving about them.

  • Diane

    Logicsupply.com has a wide variety of small low power boards the low end is about $130 though most are about $200 for a mb board. Also some of the wireless routers have usb and openwrt does have packages for mutt. In theory they could also be used as a mini-server.

  • Stephen John Smoogen

    Well the prices I saw on System76 were quite reasonable to what I am used to looking at. What exactly is your price range? I would say at below USD 600 you are going to need to look for 3-4 year used equiptment.

  • Jussi Schultink

    Why ot just buy one of the freescale imx53 dev boars. runs ubuntu fine, and is $150. Link: http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=IMX53QSB&tab=Buy_Parametric_Tab&fromSearch=false

    • Yeah, I have been looking at those. I just don’t know which one to really look at. Total noob with this ARM stuff.

  • Ahh, Laura Czajkowski just reminded me in an email about my Dell Mini 9. It has a bad LCD but that is OK, as I can hook up an external monitor for the install & initial setup. It will be headless and put away so the LCD isn’t an issue. I just have to find the power cord for it.

  • Anonymous

    In the future (now that you’ve decided to use the Dell), you can consider ARM boards mentioned on the Linaro website.

  • Mlabowicz

    I use the Dell mini 9 for this type of thing , and it works great!

  • Jvin248

      Look for an Atom mini-ITX board.  You’ll get the whole system likely with fanless cooling on a single board.  Maybe add some ram.  use an old case you probably have around. 

    This is what I did two years ago.  It silently runs my TV inside an old Pentium-1 desktop case.  Since I had the case, I spent all of $85 on the board, ram, and 4GB USB flash drive that runs Ubuntu (with Enna & XBMC).  So no HDD (or noise) to worry about either.  Store data on another flash drive, ubuntu one or dropbox, or a NAS that sits in the basement.

    I used it in my office for a while since it’s really nice to write without any fan whir.

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