Richard Freeman on 28 Jan 2010 19:25:30 -0800

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [PLUG] no moving parts

On 01/28/2010 06:19 PM, Bill Patterson wrote:
> Can anyone recommend a computer with no moving parts?  I want one to
> stay on 24/7 and be there to 'wake-on-lan' my other computers only when
> I want them on.  This computer would have to take Debian Linux.

If you're willing to build it yourself this isn't too hard to do - if 
you're willing to accept less-than-stellar performance.

For example, many mini-ITX systems are designed to operate without 
cooling.  They usually involve rather large brick power supplies, however.

The trick is to keep the power consumption way down, and use a CPU that 
is closer to a smartphone than a desktop PC.

I imagine you could do the same in a regular ATX system - but you have 
to find a motherboard and CPU designed to consume very little power.

If you don't need much storage space you can probably find a fairly 
cheap linux-based thin client and re-purpose it.  Forget running debian 
though - you're going to need a very minimal footprint, but you could 
probably get a cron daemon, sshd, and wake-on-lan working just fine.  At 
work I was messing around with some $120 thin clients and they have a 
small linux install (busybox/etc) with 128MB of flash.  You can actually 
do quite a bit with 128MB if you're careful and don't care about GUIs 
(after all, these boxes ran X11 and Citrix).

I like the plug computer idea though - only pain there is that you don't 
get a traditional console which can make setup a bit trickier.  You're 
not going to be installing anything too big on that either, unless you 
network-mount /usr or something (which then necessitates another powered 
on server of some kind).
Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --
Announcements -
General Discussion  --