I’ve been playing with an HP MicroServer N40L for a few weeks now. Initially, I installed Ubuntu 11.10 and tried it out for a few days, but wiped it and installed Windows Server 2008 R2. I plan to use this machine as a file and media server, so I’m exploring a few options out there to give me the most flexibility and allow me to do what I want.
While reading a few blogs and forum posts, I’ve noticed most people – or at least a lot of them – are using WHS 2011 on their MicroServer. I don’t have a license for WHS 2011, but do have licenses for Server 2008 R2, so that’s what I’m using so far. In addition to using it as a file server, I would like to do some minor virtualization, mainly to separate the main OS from the media apps.
After upgrading the RAM from its initial 2GB to 4GB, I tested ESXi 5, which ran okay (a little slow using local storage), but not being able to use local disks as pass-through disks for the virtual machines was a big turn off, so I discarded that idea.
I’ve been running Hyper-V Server – initially on a full Windows installation, but then decided to try it on Core, and so far it’s been great. One of the best things about Hyper-V that fits my needs is the ability to use a local disk as pass-through. This way, I can install the OS on a VHD and use pass-through disks for storage. Been testing this for a few days, and I don’t see much (if any) of a performance hit when copying files from the network. When copying large files from a networked PC to the virtual machine’s pass-through disk, file speeds range from 20-110MB/s+, really depends on the kind of file I’m copying. Large files such as ISOs or MKVs are the fastest to copy, mostly at 90MB/s+.
Not all is nice and pretty with Hyper-V on Server Core, as it initially requires a bit more work to get properly configured and running, but once it’s up, it’s a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. I may post my installation and configuration notes for Hyper-V on Server Core 2008 R2 from beginning to end in the near future.
Here’s how to automatically start the httpd web server (Apache) service on machine startup:
# systemctl enable httpd.service
Source: the Fedora website.
Here’s a quick command on how to shut down – or power off – a Solaris machine. I tried this using Solaris 11 Express, but have also tested it to work on OpenSolaris and OpenIndiana.
From the terminal:
$ sudo shutdown -y -i5 -g0
This is what it means:
– sudo: Run the command with elevated privileges. Not needed if logged in as root
– shutdown -y: Confirm that you DO want to shut down the system
– i5: init level 5: Power off the machine.
– g0: (it’s not “go”, it’s gzero). Shut down the machine immediately without a grace period. Increase the number to delay the shutdown by n amount of seconds. I always use 0 seconds on my Solaris server.
I was under the impression that Ubuntu 11.04 installed a flash player during initial setup.
Well, I was wrong. After installing Ubuntu on my system and heading to Pandora, I discovered that flash was not installed. I installed the version from Adobe’s site, but that one still didn’t work.
Here’s a quick way to install it from the command line:
$ sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree
Restart your browser, and give it a try. YouTube and Pandora should work now.
There is a way to bypass the UAC warning when running programs as administrator. Please note that this works only in the Pro, Enterprise, and Ultimate versions of Windows 7. Windows 7 Home versions do not have this feature.
As it is, every time the “Run-As Administrator” option is selected in Windows 7, you are prompted to click Yes or No.
To completely bypass this warning and still run programs as an administrator, do the following:
- Start, Run, secpol.msc
- Click on Local Policies, Security Options
- Scroll down to this setting: “User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode.”
- Change the setting to “Elevate Without Prompting”
Note that this works only if you’re a local machine administrator AND running a Windows 7 version which has security policy settings (secpol.msc)
You will still need to “Run-As-Administrator” on your programs and settings, or you can change the setting in the program properties to always run as administrator. Use with care, as this may cause inexperienced users to mess things up if not careful.
I noticed that Debian 6 uses the media in the CD-ROM when using the “apt-get” utility.
The following message comes up when attempting to install or update a program using apt-get:
Media change: please insert the disc labeled
‘Debian GNU/Linux 6.0.0 _Squeeze_ – Official i386 DVD Binary-1 20110205-17:27’
in the drive ‘/media/cdrom/’ and press enter
The fix is easy. We need to remove the CD-ROM as a source for apt-get.
To do this, edit the following file: /etc/apt/sources.list
Comment or delete the line for the CD-ROM, save the changes, and try apt-get again.
This time, it should use the online repositories.
If you’ve installed Windows 2008 R2 Server Core and need to install the network drivers, you’ll need to do that from the command line. There is no graphical interface, so you will need to prepare a little to install your drivers.
Here are the steps:
- You’ll need admin rights to do this, so make sure you have rights
- Copy the drivers folder from the installation media, CD/DVD or file (we’ll assume it’s the NIC card) to a folder in C, like C:\Drivers\LAN\
- Navigate to the folder containing the INF files, and type in this command:
- pnputil -i -a C:\Drivers\LAN\filename.inf – where filename.inf is the name of the file containing the driver
- If you’re not sure which file it is, you can use a wildcard, like this: pnputil.exe -i -a C:\Drivers\LAN\*.inf – this will install all INF files.
- You can also do pnputil /? to see all the options
Take a look at the screenshot below.