The plan…

I’ve had a spare PC for a while now, and decided to finally put it to use as a home server.

I wanted a home server to mainly to host my own GitLab and Owncloud. I would also have the option to add new services as I wanted and could use this as an opportunity to learn a bit about running a server.

Using the exe from PenDriveLinux I set-up a USB drive to install Ubuntu Server onto the PC. I’m not entirely sure what the difference between the desktop and server versions of Ubuntu are (other than the server version not having a GUI), but seeing as the goal was to create a server I went with the server version.

Lessons learnt.

I ran into a few problems, most notably:

  • The installer hung whilst expanding, corrupting the contents of the USB stick
  • Old PC’s are noisy! Considering this was going to be sitting in my living room the noise was unbearable. I don’t have much space in my house elsewhere to put the PC, so having the server online at all times would be a non-starter.

I quickly realised that running my own server was going to be a bit of a time sink, and that it would be far less painful to use the free hosting on GitLab. If one day I find the need to host GitLab myself than I’ll try again, but for now I don’t really have a need (at least for the amount of hassel I would have to go through!). For now there are plenty of either free or low cost services run by people a lot more experienced than me.

Further reading.