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N54L Best OS for Mac Household


welshys
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I've recently got a HP Microserver N54L. I just wondered what OS would be best to install as it will need to 'talk' to mainly an iMac and MacBook Pro.

I want to use the N54L for a few things:

 

  • Plex
  • Sickbeard and Couchpotato (using SABNZB and a torrent application... I use Transmission atm)
  • Backup MacBook and iMac using time machine

 

Ideally I would just have the N54L sat plugged into the router and nothing else... connecting to it remotely from other machines.

 

Any help in realising this NAS dream would be very welcome. My main concern is if I install a windows OS I will have trouble sending across files from my Macs due to differences in the file system.

 

Thanks guys and gals

 

 

 

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I've recently got a HP Microserver N54L. I just wondered what OS would be best to install as it will need to 'talk' to mainly an iMac and MacBook Pro.

 

I want to use the N54L for a few things:

 

  • Plex
  • Sickbeard and Couchpotato (using SABNZB and a torrent application... I use Transmission atm)
  • Backup MacBook and iMac using time machine

 

Ideally I would just have the N54L sat plugged into the router and nothing else... connecting to it remotely from other machines.

 

Any help in realising this NAS dream would be very welcome. My main concern is if I install a windows OS I will have trouble sending across files from my Macs due to differences in the file system.

 

Thanks guys and gals

 

Just done something similar for a workmate - used Centos 6.4 (Redhat Linux) with Webmin as a configuration front end and netatalk installed to provide Apple services (AFP file shares and Time Machine support)

 

The Centos install was a minimal one without a pretty GUI as everything is either managed over SSH or the Webmin webpage.

When installed without GUI, it ran well with only the stock 2gb RAM but we upgraded to 4gb for a little headroom.

 

Whilst I'm sure Windows will do the job, Centos/Webmin/netatalk is all free software!

 

Your other apps all seem to have Centos/Fedora installers available - if they don't exist in the yum repository, try google for installation instructions.

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Thanks for the advice guys... I've already got copies of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server RC2 2008 available to me. Out of them which do you think would be easiest to accomplish what I want? I'm leaning to Windows 7 as I'm familiar with it. Snapper your suggestion seems great but I'm quite new to networking and most of the software you mention I've never even heard of, I think I'd struggle to setup something like that myself.

Does anyone have any experience setting up time machine to work from a Windows box. Still not sure how it will work with different file systems on the Macs and N54L.

 

Thanks again

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Does anyone have any experience setting up time machine to work from a Windows box. Still not sure how it will work with different file systems on the Macs and N54L.

 

Thanks again

 

Alas it doesn't work and never will. Time Machine across a network require AFP file shares which Windows Server doesn't support (there used to be a hack to enable TM to use standard windows SMB shares but that no longer works with the newer versions of OSX).

 

For everything else you will be fine, OSX can attach and mount SMB shares on a Windows server perfectly ok and read and write files to them - you will just need to enter usernames and passwords on the Mac to match those on the Windows server.

 

Now having poured cold water over your Mac backup plans, there are a couple of things you could consider.

 

It is possible to install something like Oracle's VirtualBox and run a second virtual server inside your physical windows server. If this Virtual machine was running a Linux OS and on it you installed netatalk, this would provide an AFP share which Time Machine would see and could use. This is probably massively over complicated to setup and maintain for what you want to do especially if, as you say, you are new to networking.

 

Alternatively you could do what I do which is to set up a share on the Windows server and mount it on the Mac, then use CrashPlan (you need to setup a free account with them), download the application to the Mac and then it can backup files etc. to the share. Now you have to manually mount the share on the Mac and also CrashPlan will only backup files so you can't create a backup which you could restore an entire Mac from but you could set it to backup your users folder which would get your documents, emails, settings etc. I use this day to day but I also have a USB drive which every month or so I connect and make a manual Time Machine backup. In the event of a crash, I can restore the Mac from the last TM backup and then restore my documents from the CrashPlan backup - a bit of a pain but it does work.

 

John 

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If you want something simple to use, you could try Xpenology - its where people are running the Synology NAS DSM software on PC hardware, including N54L. See xpenology.com


 


The Synology DSM software is a simple web GUI that allows shares (including OSX AFP / Time Machine) and various plugs-ins.


 


See the Synology.com website section on DSM for an idea what it can do...


 


 


The Centos Linux method really is easy; I need to make another box up in the same way in the next week or so, so if you can wait that long, I'll document the steps needed.


If you can install Windows and drivers etc, you should be OK :)

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Welshys WELCOME TO THE FORUMS!

 

I know people have suggested Linux based solutions above, and since you have never used them & are new to networking, you feel they are a bit outside of your comfort zone.  I am not going to beat a dead horse to get you to try them but I would like to say that setting up (installing) a base Linux server now a days is just as easy as setting up Windows for the most part (lets not turn this into a sub topic :).   When you get time check them out I think you will be impressed. 

 

Now for your setup above that you would like to get working.  I am surprised nobody has mentioned this already as it does everything you want, is EASY to setup, is rock solid stable, performs awesome on minimal hardware, Loves Macs,  makes a delicious roast with rosemary potato's*, and the answer is....

 

FreeNAS!  Head over to their webpage and check it out.  www.freenas.org .  It is as you may have guessed, FREE, and it is VERY well respected & supported.

 

Help here on the forums regardless of what solution you choose.  

 

 *ok I got carried away with the last part. 

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@FiLiNuX... where do you see that dropdown? I assume it on the admin settings webpage?

 

The only list of plugins I can find (links for the majority of which don't work...) is this... <<< Index >>>

 

One can still find what one needs though... Google is a friend, after all !! If you know of a comprehensive list, please can you kindly add it here... hopefully we can rope our friend into FreeNAS ;p...

Edited by pandemonium
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Hi Pandemonium,

 

I believe Plex (if that is the one that is interesting you) was just released in the 9.1.1 release so if you are still on a older one upgrade.  

 

I think this link will be better at explaining then me.  If it DOES NOT come back and we will hammer it out together.  

 

http://www.freenas.org/whats-new/2013/09/plex-on-freenas.html

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