Low-Power, Silent Home Server Build
20 Jul 2011

Recently, I decided I needed a home server to be left switched on 24/7. I wanted to use it both as a media (music & video), web, ssh and samba server, and a torrent client. It had to be a low-powered PC, because I have to pay my electricity bills every month. It also had to be as silent as possible, because nobody loves a deep humming in the background during a romantic dinner. After consulting with the wonderful folks at silentpcreview.com, I ended up with this configuration:

(Notice the fanless motherboard and power unit)

As for the power consumption... 29W! That number made my day when I first plugged my wattmeter to my server :D

Finally, here is the software stack that I use:

  • My beloved Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS, because this is a headless server that needs stability before all things. I tried out Ubuntu 11.04 and it made a few impressive crashes right after the first install.
  • Apache HTTP Server, because it's the only web server I feel confident I can handle.
  • Subsonic, which is the only decent music streaming server I have tried.
  • rTorrent inside a screen. Yes, I download stuff.