recommendations for a unix type server?

11 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 80

What would be a nice cheap server that I could screw around with? Something old that runs unix and is under $300.

I was thinking about maybe a vax or a sun, but I know there are some other computers out there that do the same thing and are much cheaper.Any ideas?

__________________

"If you don't like my products, don't use them."
- Bill Gates
"So I don't!" -Zorgitron

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 17
I have seen some old SUN boxe

I have seen some old SUN boxes below 1K, if you want to run it on server hardware. But for server runnning in genreal there is Free BSD and NetBSD that runns on most personal computers from Macintosh II fx and 386 to the current stuff http://www.bsd.org/

Eudimorphodon's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1203
For the most server bang-for-the-buck

It's impossible to beat x86. You can get a fast Pentium II or III out of a garbage can these days, and it'll run just about any UNIXoid you might possibly want.

("Free" choices include Linux, Net/Free/OpenBSD, Solaris x86...)

I know, the hardware is boring, but you can't do any better if cheap is the goal.

If you insist on something non-x86 the best "budget" choice for UNIX is probably Sun hardware. The price of early "Ultra" systems seems to have crashed recently. I've seen reasonably equipped Ultra 1s for less then $100, and they're nice machines that'll run Linux, NetBSD, or Solaris. Ultra 5/10s are getting cheap as well, but fair warning: they have the world's lousiest hard disk controller, and thus are slower then snot. (I recently snagged a free 440Mhz Ultra 10 with 512MB of RAM, and I'm serious when I say that in some respects the machine feels slower then a 266Mhz Pentium MMX laptop running Linux.) Parts for Suns are also reasonably easy to get, although I'd be careful to get as much RAM as possible thrown in with the inital purchase.

Of course, older PCI Macintoshes (7500-9600 series) have crashed in price as well, so they're not terrible choices for UNIX if running Linux or NetBSD floats your boat. The bang-for-buck is better then Sun in most cases, but the quality of the hardware is inferior.

Other then that, in terms of "exoticness" your other choices, in rough order of increasing rarity, would probably be:

SGI
DEC Alpha-based hardware (quite a few manufacturers)
IBM RS/6000
HP PA-RISC

Beware of what you're getting into with any of these things. Other then Alpha the "free" OS support for these ranges from semi-mediochre to nonexistent, depending on the exact hardware you buy, and it can be *very* difficult to get a legitimate OS license (or even install media) for the vendor's version of UNIX.

--Peace

DrBunsen's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 946
Beige beige beige

For cheap power and fun you could always go with a beige G3 Mac. Well supported by free *nixen, and will run your MacOS software on top with maconlinux.org. Onboard SCSI and ATA and standard PC RAM, and *nix supported PCI cards will work, even if they're not Mac cards.

__________________

Damn the Torx screws, full speed ahead!
Apple and Wireless FAQ

performaman's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 209
Xbox

You could get an Xbox and install Xbox Linux: http://xbox-linux.sourceforge.net The only problem is that it only has 64mb of RAM. You could upgrade the RAM, if you can solder well.

__________________

Egg freckles?

Jon's picture
Jon
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
The main reason that Ultra 1

The main reason that Ultra 1 got so cheap is that they aren't supported by Solaris 10, IIRC. And since SOS 9 is still a free download, one'd make a fun cheap box.

__________________

I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls

JetStar's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 155
Any PC that you could buy wit

Any PC that you could buy with the same amount of money would beat the pants off of it. Like Eudi said, go with x86.

Edit: woops... uh... somehow the form recorded this as 'new' and I didn't check the date. Ignore me!

__________________

It must be user error.

performaman's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 209
True.

Or you could go with one of those cheapo PCs from WalMart that runs Lycros. They're $200

__________________

Egg freckles?

Offline
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 566
Mini-ITX

a Mini-ITX board would make a small server that is relatively cheap and powerful ...

http://www.mini-itx.com

TOM

performaman's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 209
I've got smaller and more powerful

This probably isn't very pratical, but I just set up my iPaq handheld as a webserver. Currently, it can only serve to my laptop over a PPP connection. It is running Familiar Linux v0.7.2 with the Boa webserver. Now all I need is an ethernet card...

__________________

Egg freckles?

JetStar's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 155
I'm curious to see what would

I'm curious to see what would happen if you got slashdoted! ;D

__________________

It must be user error.

Jon's picture
Jon
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
iPaq Linux is fairly common,

iPaq Linux is fairly common, so /.ing for that isn't likely, but if he did something really cool with it (24/7 WiFi/wireless webserver if one used a digital capable cell phone... Wink )

__________________

I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls