Debbie is still running.

There is not a lot new to write about Debbie, my Debbian 4.0 server.
Written by Xwindowsjunkie , Contributor

There is not a lot new to write about Debbie, my Debbian 4.0 server.

Uptime is not a criteria I've applied to Debbie or any other Home Server generally because the current hardware was not selected for its “green” power characteristics. It was what I had on hand when I put the system together. In fact I took down a Windows XP Pro system to install Debian Linux 4.0 on the system. As a result, when nobody needs any of the systems in the house, its turned off. I've not been one that believes leaving computer hardware up and running is the preferred way to operate in either a business office or home environment. If the server was needed 100% of the time it would make sense to leave it on 24/7.

A criteria I do use is “successful starts”, generally not a industry-wide measured performance criteria! At present Debbie is 100% successful in this criteria. Start time is typically 1.5 minutes. Its running a DNS tertiary server, DHCP, NFS, Samba, MySql, ClamAV, cupsys, ssh and Apache 2.0. Its a Celeron running 2.5 Ghz and 512 Megabytes of RAM.

In comparison my Windows XP Pro desktop takes 2.25 minutes to boot, and it has every possible service either disabled or set to manual so it only starts when necessary. It also has just an anti-virus application set to start on power-up. Its running a P4 at 2.8 Ghz and 1GB of RAM. On Windows XP Pro, the clock stops when I can reach a network resource not when the desktop comes up.

The Microsoft boys have cheated by pushing the network startup until after the desktop is running. It makes it appear that the system is starting earlier than it truly has. Something a lot of Windows users have experienced when they try to get something real done as soon as their desktop pops up! Windows XP Pro is about 99.9% successful at starting during the same period of time. I've had 3 hard drive crashes on the XP system since May and replaced the hard drive once. The Debian system is running on used drives and hasn't faltered once.

I've also upgraded the Debian server approximately 15 times since May. Windows XP Pro has required approximately 35 updates, mostly security updates to various applications. Debbie installed the updates (including a couple of kernel updates) and the added applications and kept running. The XP Pro system required nearly 30 reboots with the 35 updates. I also got at least one update I didn't know about and one I would have liked to have heard about before it installed itself. So, hmm, who wins this criteria category?

BTW I do know that Debian Linux does reboot. I've deliberately rebooted a few times just to see if it does. It has only been shutdown deliberately, not by accident or by software failure.

Kraken, the Windows 2003 based Homer Server, was functional but didn't really offer enough functionality to interest me, not to mention the fact that it seems as if the entire system is likely to be totally proprietary. I never did get the backup functions of Kraken to work on my Windows XP Pro box so it basically failed the biggest feature that attracted me at first.

I still do not have a backup program for Debbie I trust yet.

The Linux learning curve has been fairly steep. I've learned enough of Samba 3.0 to be extremely impressed with the programmers working on it. Apache 2.0 is likewise been on my plate and is still a work in progress. I have been able to set up Apache to display a webpage of shared files but not to implement “active pages” to hint at an evil empire phrase.

Its been a long time since I've updated this blog. This hopefully will be a more constant process in the future bearing in mind that this activity takes third place to family and work.

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