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WHS to Linux move

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:25 pm
by Quillan
Never posted on this forum before but I can’t find an answer to my problem. I hope this is the right section.

I have a very old WHS (Windows Home Server pre 2011) that automatically backs up three desktop computers round the house, shares data and runs Serviio. It’s now getting very old and cranky, PSU fan noisy, DVD/CD drive no longer works etc. Unfortunately WHS is no longer so I need to create a replacement using Linux because Serviio comes as a Linux version as well as Windows. We use Serviio a lot round the house feeding TV's and tablets. It has become very important for all our video and music needs.

My problem is I have no experience of Linux at all and I would place my computer literacy based on a 1 to 10 score at about 3. I don’t know if I need a desktop or server version of Linux although I suspect it might need to be server. What’s the best “brand” of Linux suitable for me coming from a Windows only environment? What brand does Serviio like the most?

This is a list of things I need it to do.

Run Serviio.
Automatically backup my Windows workstations.
Be able to map a drive on a Windows workstation to a shared folder.
Ability to add a PNP internal HDD when my existing drive(s) get full (drive extender in WHS) and let Linux do the rest without damage to my existing data.

I have an old Dell desktop (Vestro 400 with an Intel Core Quad 64bit processor) which is about 7 years old that I want to use.

Hope you can help me but not to technical and preferably with links to where I get the software from.

Many thanks in advance.

Re: WHS to Linux move

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:23 pm
by atc98092
Linux can be quite daunting for someone without some computer and networking experience. There are many distros (versions) of Linux available, and many try to make it as simple as possible for a newcomer. However, installing/running Serviio adds some complexity. If you want to tackle it, there are some guides available. First , this page ... ticle&id=5, and this page, both which give some setup guidance. For help with choosing a Linux distro, read this: ... ds-2201172

Your other items become more of an issue. Yes, you can install a new hard drive without much effort, but the *nix OSs have different ways of mounting and identifying them. For access to/from a Windows computer, you need SMB support, which most Linux distros come with, but still need some configuration.

As to backing up your Windows computers, I don't know of anything specific for Linux that does that. Of course, all recent versions of Windows have a backup program built in, and can be configured to save the backup to a networked location. Again, that requires ensuring your SMB support is set up.

Re: WHS to Linux move

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:04 am
by Quillan
Hi, thanks for your response.

I was looking around and found something called FreeNAS which somebody in this forum had used and had also loaded Serviio with it as well. It seemed between the two it would do exactly what I wanted. Unfortunately when I looked at the FreeNAS website you need a machine with a minimum of 8gb of RAM (the computer I intend to use only supports 4gb of RAM) which rather defeats the idea you can use Linux or a derivative on Linux on an old machine. The setup of Serviio on FreeNAS seemed to be not that difficult. I think this is the type of thing I should be looking at unless I have miss understood.


FreNAS -

Serviio setup - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3479

PS. The reason I like Serviio is because as I understand it you can transcode from one video format to another inside Serviio so you don't have to mess around with Codex on the devices you want to watch the video on. It works fine with my Samsung TV, tablets and computers. It really is a brilliant product.

PPS. Looking around a bit I found Open Media Vault and there seems to be guide for running Serviio on it. ... all-Guide/

Re: WHS to Linux move

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:25 pm
by atc98092
I noticed that if you use the older 32 bit version of FreeNAS you can get by with 4 gig of ram. That is a high requirement for Linux, as they usually aren't are resource hungry as Windows.

Yes, Serviio can transcode almost anything. But if you have heavy transcoding requirements, such as HD video, lower powered computers might not be able to keep up. Before I upgraded, my test server was a dual core with 4 gig of ram on Windows 7, and occasionally the transcoding couldn't keep up. But that all depends on both the media you have and your player. Interesting that you are using Samsung TVs for players. My JU7100 refuses to play any video that is transcoded. But older sets were fine. I usually use either my Sony BD player or one of my Roku devices.

Re: WHS to Linux move

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:18 pm
by Quillan
I have gone for "open media vault" (OMV) and am in the process of installing it. I am rather hoping once set up I can add a 2tb disk and then transfer all the files from my WHS. Of course the first thing will be to get Serviio working before moving the media. I will keep you informed although I suspect I might have more more OPV and Serviio questions as I go along.

Going down this route it seems I will have to get Windows (10) to backup to OMV instead of OMV instigating automatically the backup so I am going to have to work that out. Any quick tips on that would be healpfull like how to map a drive to the OMV server.

Re: WHS to Linux move

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:28 pm
by atc98092
Quillan wrote:Going down this route it seems I will have to get Windows (10) to backup to OMV instead of OMV instigating automatically the backup so I am going to have to work that out. Any quick tips on that would be healpfull like how to map a drive to the OMV server.

With SMB installed on the Linux box, you should see it from your Windows computer when you browse your network. You can then select the share that's visible and map it the same way you would map to another Windows computer on your network. It has been so many years since I've done anything with Linux that I don't feel qualified advising you how to configure it.

Re: WHS to Linux move

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:02 pm
by Quillan
Well I have spend 16 hours on this now and have given up.

Open media vault work fine on its own. The web based interface is very good and easy to navigate even for a Windows user. The problem is support, it seems there isn't any. Found a good link to installing it (as mentioned) and it was very simple. The problem comes when trying to install Serviio. The information has not been updated since 1.6. There are errors, things that don't work, but that might be because it has not been updated. There is no help from the developer of either OMV or Serviio. It's not like Windows were there are install programs that do everything or nearly everything for you i.e. click on install and off you go. I know it can be done because I had to install Java and Sun does a Linux install file, click on it and 5 minutes later it's downloaded, installed and up and running.

So I have ordered a copy of Windows 10 (pro) and will install that when it arrives and then add Serviio.

Sorry about the complaining but it has really annoyed me. I can see why Linux has never been popular. The biggest problem I think is that developers just can't be bothered to write instructions for their product.

One question and it's a Windows one. In what will be my new server I have run out of connections to install SATA HDD's. In my old server I bought a separate interface board which accepts up to 4 HDD's. It also supports various RAID configurations although I have used as a straight, ordinary, interface board with one drive hanging off it. Because I need to keep the older server running to transfer the data across to the new server when I am finished can I pull out the interface card, move it to the new machine and then attach the drive that I have just copied the data to? Will it see it as the data drive, all the files and folders on it.

Re: WHS to Linux move

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:06 pm
by atc98092
Yeah, Linux was only for techies for so many years, their customer support still lags.

I also have a PCI-E expansion card to connect additional hard drives. Since you aren't using RAID, there should be no issue with just moving the card and drives from the old to new computer. The data on the drives will still be there. If you were using RAID it becomes more troublesome, but you won't have that problem.

Re: WHS to Linux move

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:03 pm
by Quillan
Ha Ha, spoke to soon about the Linus box being good. Just found something on the web that I thought I might try, went to the server and it's stopped. Meanwhile my WHS only stops when I turn it off which is hardly ever or there is power cut. It longest ever uptime way just over 2 years.

Thanks for the Windows info, I feel a bit more confident now. Did you mention you run your Serviio on a W10 box and if so is there anything I need to look out for when installing Serviio on it?

Re: WHS to Linux move

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:31 pm
by atc98092
My main server is Windows 10, and the only thing that has ever caused an issue is sometimes Microsoft releases an update that resets the firewall, blocking Serviio access. Just have to reset the firewall. Actually, I now have the firewall disabled on that computer, as I'm not particularly concerned with it getting hacked. I don't have any ports open on my DSL router that can allow access to the OS. I only have ports open for Serviio and Plex, so I can reach them when traveling. Since I brought my test server (Windows 7) with me on this long term trip, I never connect to home anyway.