For a minimal server which Raspberry Pi Linux image to use

Query: which Raspberry Pi image to choose for the Pi to run basic services
like the following
a DHCP server,
a DNS server,
a TFTP server,
a PXE server,
others
Is it as simple as choosing Arch Linux because it is labelled as
"lightweight"? Anyone have experience of running a Pi or two to supply basic
network services such as those above and a few more?
James
Reply to
James Harris
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I don't know much about Arch Linux but I believe the best supported, most frequently updated OS is Raspbian, also the preferred OS by the foundation and as far as I know the only way to get firmware updates. It's more or less the same as Debian Linux and it should run any of those servers you mention. Lightweight, well, you don't HAVE to boot to desktop and you might find services/packages to disable/uninstall.
Frankly, if "lightweight" is the only relevant thing you can come up with in a comparison of rpi OS's, you need documentation and support and Raspbian is the way to go. See also
formatting link
Reply to
A. Dumas
Yes - use the isc-dhcp-server package for Raspbian
Yes - use the bind9 package for Raspbian
Yes - use the tftp-hpa package for Raspbian
Yes - use the pxe package for Raspian
Install Raspbian (download the SD card image, copy onto an SDE card, stick it in the RPi, turn it on and add the above packages.
The default Raspbian can be run headless over a wired Ethernet connection (the minimal install assuming you have a PC running Linux or Windows +PuTTY or one of the Windows X-term packages. Or you can add an HDMI screen ans USK mouse+keyboard - your choice.
No, not directly. I use a Fedora Linux system as my house network server. The server runs bind. A Fedora laptop and Raspbian RPi are attached to the house LAN. My router runs DHCP for the RPi's benefit. I don't use TFTP or PXE. However all the packages you asked about are available for Raspbian.
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martin@   | Martin Gregorie 
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Reply to
Martin Gregorie
Quite. I can't see any point in using anything other than Raspbian for this sort of thing (although I use Raspbmc for my Pi media centre).
Another Dave
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Reply to
Another Dave
Raspbian is very close to standard debian Linux, as we have known for a decade or more. I use them as servers and don't think of it as anything special, except for the small footprint.
I even run asterisk on them as phone switches. Works like a charm, even with some transcoding work.
Don't think "raspberry". Think "debian" instead, with the pi as a lightweight implementation.
-- mrr
Reply to
Morten Reistad
Or you can use dnsmasq for both of these functions, it is very lightweight and easy to configure. It doesn't have all of the facilities of bind9, but is perfect for small to medium local network usage.
Reply to
Dom
IIRC the first time I used Linux for any 'real' work this was the services it ran, on a 386sx with about 256M ram.
its so low powered as far as apps go that the chip will probably need a hot water bottle;-)
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Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
You sure about the 256M RAM? My 386SX had 4x 30 pin SIMM slots - max RAM 4MB (though I hear 16MB was possible with rare 4MB 30 pin SIMMs). 256MB wasn't affordable until 2000 or so.
I ran Linux, X and Netscape with 4MB RAM (and a lot of swapping). I suspect the 'minimal server' services probably would have fitted in 4MB back then.
Anyway, back to the present - I think I could probably fit them on my 64MB VPS running Debian, so I suspect a Pi isn't going to have a problem.
Theo
Reply to
Theo Markettos
For a long time my main house server was an 866 KHz P4 box with 256MB, then 512MB and running PostFix, PostgreSQL, DNS, Apache and SqueezeboxServer with little visible strain. It only got handed on about 3/4 years ago when the Fedora installer suddenly decided it wouldn't run in less than 1GB RAM, and that box was already on its limit with 512MB. I've always felt, but haven't tried it, that a 512MB RPi model B with either a USB disk or a NAS box for storage should fairly easily do the same.
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martin@   | Martin Gregorie 
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Reply to
Martin Gregorie
I had (probably still have somewhere) a 486SX25 (later upgraded to 486DX33) with I think 8MB RAM and an ISA modem that ran LRP at first, and later Smoothwall.
Reply to
Rob Morley
More likely to have been 256KB!
---druck
Reply to
druck
Might have been less. Anyway it worked
I've run an early UNIX on less than 1M RAM
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Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
For sure I am running a massively heavy trafficked web server on 384M ram.
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Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
Might well have been.
I remeber JUST getting X-windows going on a 386 with 4Mbyte RAM..
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Ineptocracy 

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Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
128MB for me.
But, I haven't seen anything running useful numbers of independent (interactive and batch) jobs in that little memory since the mid '70s.
Those boxes all had ICL 1904S or 1904T written on them and ran the George 3 OS. One I was sysadmin for were: - a 1903S with 32kWords/96Kb/128Kch memory, 2 x 60Mb disks and 6 x MT running at a 300KHz clock speed, which ran 4 interactive and 1 or 2 batch jobs
- a 1905T with 256K/words/756KB/1026kCh memory, 4 x 200MB disks and 6 x MT running at maybe 900 KHz clock speed. This box ran the British Steel Battersea research lab, which did active development in PLAN assembler, Algol 60, Algol 68R and Fortran with significant engineering modelling runs.
OK, these were gym-sized installations, but this was the first generation to use IC circuits (look up 74xx TTL chips to see just what each chip could do) and think just how you'd support that workload with that hardware (a 2MHz 6809 was faster) and consider it did automatic disk backup to tape, optimised file storage between online disks and offline tapes and (this was 1977) had almost as good a scripting language as Linux.
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martin@   | Martin Gregorie 
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Reply to
Martin Gregorie
^^^^
Really !!!
60 Mega bit !!!!
Reply to
hamilton
[ ... ] For me it was a GE-415 of almost exactly the same size. Only one concurrent program, but it ran teller terminal operations for an entire bank, in 1971.
Modern computing started with the adoption of semiconductor memory in the early '80s. Ferrite core memory was too expensive for many outfits to have much of it. It was rare to see commercial sites with more than a megabyte. Huge, affordable, semiconductor memories made it possible to have huge, fast, databases, and that made it feasible to move away from batch processing and concentrate on interactive on-demand processing. Our banking system handled just a few kinds of heavily optimized transactions. With lots of fast memory, just about anything could be a transaction. The other thing that happened was graphical user interfaces. With GUIs you use large amounts of memory and processor power just to form the characters you use to display your output. So with graphics using up the memory meant for niftier applications, people have to buy even larger memories to run their programs again. And it's all cheap enough that we can.
Mel.
Reply to
Mel Wilson
Quite: by the late 70s/early 80s the BBC was dual running 2966 systems: one for live operation and the other for development/failover. It was effectively a single large roomfull of kit, all connected to something that looked like a major railway yard's control board and that defined exactly what made up the Prod and Dev machines at any point in time. But I digress: the point is that these boxes supported around 300-400 green- screen 80x25 displays but only needed 8MB of RAM to run the 8 - 10 large online systems needed to support the Beeb's operations on Prod and all the development teams on Dev.
BTW, these systems were all written in COBOL and used the IDMSX network database, which used physical pointers to represent relationships between entities. The compilers were good, averaging three, very complex, instructions per COBOL sentence. This was possible because sentences like "MOVE ALL SPACE TO TABLE-A" compiled down to a single instruction.
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martin@   | Martin Gregorie 
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Martin Gregorie
On Sat, 19 Apr 2014 00:22:38 -0400, Mel Wilson declaimed the following:
Was fun looking into my campus computer... 1 MB of 4-bank/4-port interleaved memory (256MB per "refrigerator"). Used to be magnetic core, but had been replaced by static RAM... Open the cabinet to see one ~18x18 inch circuit board.
Xerox Sigma 6 (horrors: DTL mainframe)... As I recall, it was a big event when a pair of 300MB disk packs were added to the 6 100MB packs (and I'm talking the 11 platter packs -- 20 usable surfaces, of 5MB each?).
System used to support ~50 concurrent log-ins though it did result in longer turn-around time for interactive compiles. That is, when the Honeywell Level 6 programmed as a terminal server that replaced a room full of Gandalf equipment didn't get hot. Main circuit board was mounted horizontally, and would /sag/ when warm -- breaking connections.
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	Wulfraed                 Dennis Lee Bieber         AF6VN 
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Reply to
Dennis Lee Bieber
Way back in about 1992 I managed to compile early X from source on a 386SX33 with (at the end, as I recall) 16MB of RAM. It took a *week* !
Says a hell of a lot about the robustness of Linux that I succeeded.
But to use the result was little more than a proof-of-feasibility exercise, because everything took minutes to execute.
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Windmill, TiltNot@NoneHome.com       Use  t m i l l 
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Windmill

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