[lug] Motherboard recommendations?

Andrew Jenkins Andrew.Jenkins at Colorado.EDU
Mon Oct 28 12:31:49 MST 2002

This is from a Celeron 667 I built and left at home (Colorado Springs) to do
basic firewalling / broadband sharing / Samba / Apache for my parents and
siblings computers (we have two desktops, a laptop, and this "router" box).

>[andrew at andrews andrew]$ ssh -l root
>root at's password: 
>Last login: Mon Oct 28 00:34:47 2002 from chey7-81-dhcp.resnet.colorado.edu
>Welcome to the firewall box.
>root:~# uptime
> 12:19pm  up 108 days, 15:44,  2 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

108 days uptime isn't bad, considering thats about how long its been since I set
it up.

I built it for about $300, using stock parts from pricewatch.  As far as stress
testing, before its current incarnation, it rode in the back of my jeep playing
MP3s to my car stereo.  Being that a parking pass is some ungodly amount of
money here at CU, I dismembered this thing and was planning on leaving it in
some closet, until I hit on this idea.  I set it up as a router in about 2 weeks
just before I left to come up for freshmen engineering orientation.  As far as
I'm concerned, using something that would have gone to waste was better than
even paying 100 bucks for some linksys gateway router thing.

So, here's what my $300 got me (~10/2001):  2 Linksys LNE100TX cards, an NVidia
GeForce 256 w/TV out, 256MB PC133 RAM, Soyo mainboard, Celeron 667, 20GB HD, a
cheap case w/300W power supply.  Obviously, if yours is going to be strictly a
server instead of my MP3/DVD-playing car stereo thing, you won't need a modern
graphics card, you'll want more storage, a UPS, and maybe even Gigabit ethernet. 

Running linux has some nice advantages.  First, each family member gets the
standard "homes" drive, and a common "public" drive storage area.  These are
Samba'd to the Windows boxes.  Apache is set up to allow password-protected
access, so my sister can get reports/presentations at school by pointing
netscape at the box, also this way, my mom can host newsletters for her Girl
Scout troop, and put up permission slips, etc. so that she doesn't have to worry
when someone loses one, but still have it password protected so random people
don't know when/where a girl scout troop is going to be alone in the woods.  I'm
not a real security Guru, but I tried to follow instructions and set up a pretty
good firewall.  The whole thing is SSH accessible so I can fix problems from
here in Boulder.  It runs linux from scratch and kernel 2.4.18.  In the event of
a power failure, the motherboard purports powering on as soon as the power is
restored, and the box should boot straight back in to working configuration, but
I haven't tested it.

I've had success with stock, consumer-level parts.  Just my $.02

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