[Novalug] Is this an instant server? What's the catch?
gruntly at gmail.com
Mon Apr 13 12:14:25 EDT 2009
Back in February, Joseph Brinkley posted to the NovaLUG list about a
I put this on hold until after tax season, but now I'm considering
buying one or more of these devices to replace several aging, huge,
noisy, heat-generating, power-sucking servers.
Is this really as easy as that? Can I just plug it into the wall, plug
in an external USB disk drive (I have in mind something needing no
separate power, like the 400GB Western Digital WDME4000TN, details in
link below), connect it to my 100MB LAN, and just load up my
favorite distro, apps and data?
I ask because the docs and the website are aimed at hardware hackers
and it's unclear whether I need to hack any part of this to get it
working as a server. Since I already have an I-opener and a couple of
other boxes gathering dust waiting for me to hack them, I'm hoping for
something that works mostly out-of-the-box (software hacking is ok,
within reason). If some of you have played with this or similar
devices, perhaps you can enlighten me.
Some specific questions, but please raise any other issues that
haven't occurred to me:
1. Am I constrained to using some custom distro the vendor provides,
or can I just install plain Debian stable?
2. I'm fine using ssh once it's installed but I don't see how to
install a distro without some kind of monitor. Is there a way to get a
terminal, or is there some other trick?
3. If this isn't what I hope, can someone recommend another solution?
My performance requirements are modest but I'd love a smaller
 Western Digital My Passport Essential WDME4000TN 400GB USB 2.0
Midnight Black External Hard Drive
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