home server upgrades

At home we have a D-Link DNS-323 and I think it is great. We originally fitted it with a pair of 500GB drives, but a while back I commented that once 1TB drives were available for below $100 I would upgrade. With the pre-Christmas sales that time came…

To perform the upgrade, first I moved the 500GB drives into my PC, which with a little setup of mdadm was able to read them fine. I put the new drives in the DNS-323 and set them up. While I was upgrading I decided to update the firmware on the box, and install the newest version of Fonz Fun Plug – one of the best features of this box is that it lets you add your own startup script, which various people have used to install all sorts of extra software.

To start with I set up the basic ssh, nfs and rsync servers. (I prefer NFS over SMB for mounting the disks on my PC, and we use rsync for backups). I then copied over the old content, which took a long time even over gigabit ethernet.

We use bittorrent a lot, so a new thing I wanted to try out was a bittorrent client on the box – previously my wife has been running one on her laptop which saves files to the box, which has some problems.

Fortunately someone has built Transmission for Fonz Fun Plug so I installed that and it seems to work nicely. It even has a web interface which works similarly to the GUI versions. So now we get to set up torrents and the server will deal with them without us needing to have our main computers on (or at home).

I’ve been quite frustrated with the default firmware on our router, a Linksys WRT54GL, where various things didn’t work, or didn’t work right. So I finally got round to installing Tomato on it. Suddenly things like port forwarding and UPnP work! Another feature I like is that I can set up static DHCP leases with the computer names, and dnsmasq means I can resolve the machines by name. I keep looking at the bandwidth graph too :-)

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