Linux + Solid State HDD = Silent Computer?

Discussion in 'Other Operating Systems' started by IcY_bLuE, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. IcY_bLuE

    IcY_bLuE Member

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    Hi all

    i was currently got a few spare retired computers around and i was wondering if it was possiable to run HDDless computers since they are quite noisy on old computers.

    I read an article from toms hardware saying that you can get small linux distrubtutions that will fit onto cs's and USB flash drives. Since the cost of these are contanstaly falling, i decided to give it a go.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/08/01/knoppix_linux_on_usb/page2.html



    but the only problem is that i also want to use my windows machines as well. I was thinking if somehow using the inbuilt remote desktop function in win xp pro, but not sure how its going to work. if thats not going to work, then is there a linux program that can do the same or not simular stuff?


    thanks
     
  2. SteakTheMooCow

    SteakTheMooCow (Taking a Break)

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    X11 + a Remote login program on a USB disk perhaps?
     
  3. tobes

    tobes Member

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    Have a look at Real VNC it does the same thing and it's share ware.

    Tobes
     
  4. stalin

    stalin (Taking a Break)

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    setup PXE booting (i actually did this this week)

    your computers will boot off of another machine, therefor only requiring a PXE boot capable network card and no HDD or anything.

    http://linux-sxs.org/internet_serving/pxeboot.html this is done to help remote boot/install systems from PXE, but I have setup PXE boot to load from a Linux Terminal Server, and hence will give you full X interface with no HDD etc at all.

    http://www.ltsp.org/ install that on a vm on your windows box and they will be working in no time.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    IcY_bLuE

    IcY_bLuE Member

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    PXE boot, if


    Computer A is running XP Pro
    Computer B (has capable PXE NIC)

    Will this setup work or will i need MS Sever 2003 for this to work? If so how will it be setup?


    With Real VNC, is there a windows server program and a linux client program?
     
  6. mpot

    mpot Member

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    Actually, it's opensource freeware.

    Cheers,
    Martin.
     
  7. Quadbox

    Quadbox Member

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    My gateway/firewall box runs off of a compactflash card. Loads the entire OS image into tmpfs on boot, except for the /var/log partition which it rotates out to compactflash periodically. Effectively that reduces your number of writes, making the life of the card acceptable

    EDIT - It's a PD EPIA system, fanless, in a miniitx case with external fanless PSU. It does have 2 quiet 60mm fans to get some airflow happening, but apart from that it's completely silent
     
  8. Phool

    Phool Member

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    Ive just done the same thing with ipcop. There are available images with the distro adjusted for where it stores stuff to overcome multiple writes wearing out the cf card

    You just go on ebay, buy an ide to CF adaptor, plug the cf card into a windows box, use physdiskwrite prg to write the disk image to the cf card and then transplant into the target system. Boots like a HD.

    Ohh and ultravnc is also nice. I think with some more features thatn std vnc
     
  9. Macka

    Macka Member

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    I run my gateway off a compact flash card. I use monowall, which is designed to run off CF cards, etc. It's an old p133, with a fan at 5v over the heatsink (probably overkill, but it is in the top of a cupboard), and the psu fan which is throttled down (max voltage about 9v) and temp variable, so most of the time is is silent.
    touch wood, its been running flawless for a few years now. Its hooked to a UPS, which has survived 5+hr blackouts, as it would pull buggerall power. The switch and modem are also on the ups, so uptime is excellent.
     
  10. FalconGT

    FalconGT Member

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    look at the LTSP - Linux Terminal Server Project

    I've done what Stalin has done and setup a server with some pxe bootable machines.

    Nice and silent, no drives needed ..
     
  11. muzzymurray

    muzzymurray Member

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    This is similar to what I want to do. I think it would be ideal to unpack a compressed OS image from a flash drive into a ram disk, similar to a cisco router. Did you find any tutorials for this?
     
  12. didi79

    didi79 Member

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    I have used ThinStation succesfully in the past to convert old PC's into thin clients. It's based on linux, it's free, works with RDC (and other), can be installed on almost everything.
    In some cases, it's hard to install, but after a few tries, you should be succesful if you have some Linux-knowledge...

    Keep in mind however that thin client computing doesn't go very well with graphic-intensive software (photoshop, video, games).
     
  13. fo3

    fo3 (Taking a Break)

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    jumping on this thread to ask a few questions myself. First off I'm using a firewall with no hdd at the moment, (coyote fdd), but thats being discontinued :(
    I like my noiseless firewall as it is but recognise it needs to be upgraded sooner or later.
    I was looking at the cf-ide adapters but was worried about a few things.
    First off the cost, $40 for the adapter plus card, anyone found cheaper than that? For that price I'm sure I can find a quiet older drive if I looked hard enough, in fact I'm sure I've got an almost silent seagate 1GB drive. $40+card is a bit much if you ask me.
    Secondly the life expectancy of such a CF card, I've got old quiet hdds that will probably last a few more years with a few rewrites, how long does a CF card last in a firewall caching constant rewrite mode last?
    edit: my firewall is a big massive compaq deskpro 4000. It doubles as a place to sit my dse amp on, so the size doesn't bother me. It barely makes a peep running off ram after the floppy loads, p233 is passively cooled, psu fan is thermally controlled.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2006
  14. Jai

    Jai Member

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    Q1. Dont look at buying from Australia. There are ones on Ebay Aus which are shipped from Hong Kong. You can get three CF adaptors for a buy it now price of 99 cents plus $15 shipping. Absolute bargain. I have made two separate orders of this model and have received both orders very promptly. I have used them in a whole range of systems and never had a drama.

    Q2. CF cards are so cheap. If youre worried about the life of the card simply have one ready for backup with the same image on it! You can buy 256MB ones for $22 wholesale (Kingmax brand - but use Hitachi memory) No dramas with them so far!

    JK
     
  15. Quadbox

    Quadbox Member

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    I mashed together a few techniques from the various diskless howtos around.

    You should not be writing to the CF card except to rotate logs, if at all possible. They do have limited writes, but if you're only writing to them a few times a day for the logs then it's not an issue. Everything else should be run out of ram wherever possible
     
  16. Techneon

    Techneon Member

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    Seriously how loud are 4200 drives when they aren't being used much (ie. cache as much as possible to RAM)?
     
  17. fo3

    fo3 (Taking a Break)

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    old drives just get noisy. All my old drives bar one have really noisy motors now, so just powering them up and having them spinning without doing much makes a lot of noise. My firewall box sits on my desk and I can hear all of my old drives when testing them in it.
    That's why I went to coyote because it runs of the floppy and I could disconnect the HDDs.
    But I think I'll go the CF route now, 1gb CF costs $33 from stonebridge, (or $16 for 256mb), adapters $7 on ebay sound good.
    (edit: I did my own search and didn't even check your link Jai :o Thats a good deal thanks for that, even better than $7 for one inc delivery that I found).
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2006
  18. pcweirdo

    pcweirdo Member

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    I noticed people recommending rotating logs between RAM and secondary storage (eg the CF card) to minimise the number of writes.

    How often does the log rotate? Would a swift shutting-down of the computer destroy any recent log events?

    -pcweirdo.
     
  19. Quadbox

    Quadbox Member

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    Yes, if it's not on the CF card then it'll be lost by a hard-reset / power failure. One of several reasons I'm thinking of sticking the epia, modem, switch and AP on a UPS (anyway, it's annoying as hell when they're down. My main machine's a laptop, shouldnt need to stop what I'm doing just because of a power failure :p)
     
  20. stmok

    stmok Member

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    For a firewall, I use a EPIA PD10000 and a "Disk-On-Module" (DOM).
    (Its like a CF with a CF-to-PATA adapter...But its in a small convenient module that plugs directly into a PATA connection).

    "Disk-On-Module" (DOM)
    [​IMG]

    You plug it into a mobo...
    [​IMG]

    The firewall is setup such that writing to the DOM is only for saving of settings. (firewall rules and other config settings).

    Logs are passed to another PC on the network (my 24/7 PC) via Syslog.

    (sorry about the blurry pict)
    [​IMG]

    The firewall is that black box. :)
    [​IMG]

    I'm trying to refine it, such that I'd be able to use Optus and Telstra Cable simultaneously...Haven't got around to finishing it as I'm working on TV capture on another Linux box! :lol:

    I seriously recommend you get the fanless version.

    NOTE: The EPIA PD-series is being phased out in favour of a new EPIA line that uses the Corefusion solution. (VIA CPU and Northbridge on a single chip).
     

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