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Which OS for Gen8


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I've jumped into the world or home servers and purchased a Gen8 G1610T.

After looking at some of the tips on this forum and elsewhere I have made a few hardware upgrades by taking the memory up to 12gband I have purchased a i3-3220 CPU.

Also I have a spare 60GB SSD which I can use and I have bought the FDD power adaptor.

At present I have a 3TB WD red drive and will probably add more in the coming months.


My question comes with regards to OS.

My main intention of the server is for data to live there.

I will want to have a space/partition for my music to live so I can cast this across home network devices.

I will then also want a space/partition for videos which will be districuted to PC's, media players and SMART TV's.  I am hoping that I will not need to transcode any of these videos but that is ultimately going to be down to how some of my SMART TV's can handle the files.  I may need to setup the video share as either Samba or NFS and I won't actually know what is suitable until I have done some trials and tested on all TV's (main reason for testing this is a lot of my files are MKV which is not suitable for DLNA but I am not certain one of my TV's can handle anything but DLNA).  Worst case scenario I may need to transcode by Plex or similar.  

The final space/partition will be for general data files and photos, this space will be manually backed up to external hard drives and possibly cloud.


The other main use for my server will be as a torrent client using transmission or similar.


All of my PC's in the house are Windows based (7 & 10) and I want to be able to remote into my server from any of these machines.  Also all my mobile devices are Android based and it would be nice to access the server from these but it is not a necessity.


My thoughts are to run the OS on my SSD and then partition my 3TB as required.


What are peoples thoughts on how I am going about this and does anyone have recommendations on specific OS that I should go for based on similar use?  Bear in mind this is my first foray into home server use.

Edited by SAFC_FTM
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You can do it all With Windows or Linux

Dissadvantage with windows is the license cost if you don't have access to free windows licences (for example many students do get MSDN subscriptions). 

Advantages with windows. The RDP server is very good for remote access and the remote desktop client is built into most windows OS:es. I bet there is an RDP client for android too. SMB filesharing is dead easy and plex is available for windows. 

Linux is free but will require a little more job for a smoth gui based remote access. You actually can install Xfree-rdp and use rdp from windows to the linux box. Samba will take care of the filesharing and plex is available. 


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Thanks for reply.


I can get a student sub for Windows if needed.

From what little knowledge I have though I thought windows was a little memory hungry?


I've been looking a little more and was wondering is Xpenology an option for me?

I'm trying to get my head round the install process though.  Can I actually install Xpenology straight to the SSD and boot from there or do I need to do some command line code to allow it to do this?  Or do I have to install ESXI to allow this?

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I've been using Unraid 6.x since having the server - boots from the internal USB - runs a SSD cache in the ODD and four main drives as set up as 3 data drives and one parity.  Runs Plex in a docker container.  Streams to TV etc and very easy to share drives though the built in web GUI.  

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I have a G1610T with 8Gb running Win7 on a 250Gb SSD. used mainly for torrenting and as a repository for audio and video libraries on 4 x 3Tb WD Reds, Minor video work changing MP4 to MKV containers,


I have a Intel NUC running on a LibreELEC platform with a plain KODI build (no apps) using SMB shares to view on my TV


RDP in from laptops to view content as well


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I run Win10 on mine, on a 128GB SSD, I went this way for the programs I wanted to run there, Plex/Itunes/torrents, storing all the data on the pooled drives. Basically sits in my comms box, and I RDP to it if I need to do anything.

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Virtualization is the way to go.

Throw free XenServer or ESXI on it and gain the ability to snapshot your server prior to an upgrade and backup the entire VM simply. If a patch hoses things just roll it back to the snapshot.


I run several VMs on mine, Plex on Linux server is much more efficient than Windows, 3GB RAM can handle everything I throw at it (and I have a slower CPU than your i3) and also run a few minecraft servers using MineOS.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree with audioeng, virtualization is the way to go.

MS Gen8 is good for that, it only depends how much ($$$) you are able to upgrade it.


I used for testing OMV with KVM running Debian, Win2016Srv, Win7, XPenology, Sophos UTM and Mikrotik. (Xeon 1220v2, 16gb, microsd for OS, 128gb SSD for fast data, 4x 3TB WD for ZFS). In the  development branch (3.xx) is a pain to setup ZFS.

At the moment whole setup is frozen, I need to migrate the base OS to FreeBSD , reconfigure again everything and attach the zpool with all the VMs.. dont know if or how (yet) to make the conversions of the VMs to bhyve .. but hey its still winter.. will find some time. I hope..


Guess my next thing is to check the synergy of Kodi and Plex.

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