Mini PC as Fileserver and maybe Proxy

Good morning,

I have just purchased a case.
This one.
I want to use an i5 3570k with 16gb DDR3 RAM and a SATA SSD (I’m still thinking about the size).
I would like to use it as a network gateway and/or as a fileserver and store downloads etc. there.
My main computer runs Windows 10 for gaming reasons, the “little one” should run EndeavourOS and Xfce. I don’t need a dedicated GPU, as the Oboard chip is available (Intel).
Which solutions could be recommended for this purpose? A GUI for configuration would be great.

Thanks for all tips.

you coudl use clearos - as it is built for the purpose

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Didn’t think of that, seems like a good idea because it’s an intel CPU. I’ll have a look into this.
As i recall right, there was no single packages but kind of collections you can install.

Edit: opensuse server edition seems worth a try, too.
Maybe the little one will become a proxy and adblocker, too.
Time will tell. Above all if i’ll find the time to try and learn.
I may need some weed, too. :innocent::grin:

Go to here,
and scroll down to

 TDP 77 W

and see that the i5 3570k is rather power hungry for a fileserver.

Go to here,
and scroll down to

 TDP 10 W

That’s more reasonable for a server.

Go to here

and consider a less power hungry setup for your server which should meet your server needs.

Just something to think about.


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Good hint.
Good feature is the passive cooling.
I’ll take that into my shopping cart.

IMO, a server doesn’t need a GUI (or the overhead of running one).
I have a mini-pc that’s I’ve been runnng for 3 years or so…very happy with it and quite happy to command line admin it via ssh.

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I’ve been using a mini PC for similar purposes for a while. I have AlmaLinux installed in it. It’s been serving me pretty well. Like @dbarronoss, I too have it installed without a GUI and access it using SSH. Although, it comes with Cockpit preinstalled, which provides a nice GUI in your browser for doing some sysadmin stuff.

Here is a tutorial on how to install a x86_64 Headless LAN server that is 100% from the ArchLinux repositories. No third party software. Well, maybe a couple of apps from the EndeavourOS repository.

Then follow these tutorials to setup a Linux client device, install miniDLNA, install a Samba server, and do backups.

Any questions or suggestions on this process, let me know.


The j5040 motherboard is mini ITX so it may not fit in the case you just bought. But then again a lot of cases will accept multiple platforms such as mini ATX & mini ITX.


Guess i’ll have ti try.

I’ve always used debian or ubuntu for my headless servers, but reading your tutorial has me wondering if I should consider Endeavour/Arch? Given you stated “3 years” I assume it hasn’t been an issues…? How often do you update?

Yes, sometimes a rolling cutting edge Distribution with graphical layer (x11 or Wayland) and a Desktop Environment can occasionally have issues. However, a headless server only uses the basic Linux core packages that forms the base for every distro, every desktop, and even ARM. These basic packages are time tested, tried and true, and for the most part bullet proof. Also these basic packages are probably at least 90 % the same packages from the same upstream source. If one was to compare a headless ubuntu, a headless debian, and a headless Archlinux install, they would have pretty much the same packages from the same upstream providers. The big difference might be that the Arch packages are newer releases. On such basic elements, this has not been a problem for me. Over the span of 12 years, I have run Fedora server, and Arch Linux base installs with no issues. At least no issues that are a direct result of me asking the infamous question “I wonder what would happen if I try this”

I have a Web server, and a LAN server, both of which are on a RPi 4b and both are just a basic OS. I update them about once a month. If on my Daily Driver x86_64 EnOS I notice the updates have been with out issue for a few days, I update the servers.

YMMV My advice, go with whatever you are comfortable with.


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