Richard Freeman on 29 Jan 2010 07:05:29 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] no moving parts

On 01/28/2010 10:30 PM, Bill Patterson wrote:
> The reason for wanting Debian is so that I can have a familiar
> installation interface.  I want a Web server that can issue commands
> like wake-on-lan, which I  know how to do in Debian.

I completely understand.  If you want a fairly traditional install of 
something like Debian server, then you'll want to aim for a fairly 
traditional computer with display adapter, on-board storage, etc.  Some 
of the really compact options like the wall-wart require you to build 
your image separately, or maybe via a usb serial console or something 
(no idea if the default Debian server installer supports this - many 
distros do in some way).

It sounds like you'll want to stick with a fairly traditional computer - 
either an out-of-the-box one designed to be moving-part-less, or one you 
build to be such.

I would take a look at some of the mini-itx options.  I bet you can get 
some of those pre-built with no fans/etc, and a flash-IDE adapater is a 
pretty easy way to get a small SSD with a few GB of storage.  A few GB 
should be plenty for a small Debian install.  I've been using a mini-itx 
front-end for my mythtv system and it is pretty easy to work with if 
you're willing to drag over a monitor and keyboard (mine is diskless and 
uses PXE boot, but it would have been easier still to just put in some 
storage).  The nice thing about these systems is that they are very low 
power but otherwise the architecture is PC-like.

Once you get really adventurous you can flash a linksys router and have 
it do this sort of thing for you.  :)

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