I currently use Widows Server 2016 Essentials at home. This made alot of sense many years ago up until recently as my whole household was Windows.
The the short of this post is, does anyone use Manjaro as a server at home? If not why? If so have you found any challenges with it or things it lacks vs other distros as a sever?
Following is the long story, should you care to read on...
I first chose Windows Server Essentials (at the time 2012 R2, later 2016) as I was most comfortable with Windows and wanted my server to be stable. In other words this wasn't a play-thing for me to tinker with, I wanted to set it up and then have it "just work". I also knew if something went wrong, I was much better equipped at the time to resolve it under Windows than Linux.
As some background, here is what I currently use my server for:
- Domain Controller
- Client Backups
- Client/User File History
- File Server
- Media Server via Plex
- Media "acquisition" in an automated fashion (I dont want to go into detail about this part, needless to say I know this can be done the same in Linux)
- Automated VPN connection on Windows Clients allowing access to Server Shares (doesnt redirect internet traffic afaik) **I can live without this as my router is an OpenVPN server
- Occasionally VM's, however this is something I would like to do much more of
So I am well aware most of this I can do on just about any flavor of Linux. To be honest, I dont really have a compelling reason to change, and likely wont for the short term. It basically boils down to not supporting MS anymore, shifting to something that may be more secure and reducing cost.
I would likely change the OS when I get new hardware. I currently run in a Fractal design node 304 (ITX case with 6x 3.5" HDD bays), Intel i5-4430, 8GB DDR3, 3x 1GB NIC's, 4x 4TB WD Reds, 1x 120GB mSATA SSD for OS.
I would likely go 8c/16t CPU or better when I rebuild, 32GB+ RAM, at least 2x 1GBe NIC's, reuse 4x HDD's. Likely an SSD for the OS.
The few hangups I have about moving to a Linux server are:
- I currently use Stablebit Drivepool software to pool and duplicate some content across my 4x 4TB drives. I have found nothing remotely close to the quality of this software. It has 4 fundamental features/qualities that make it essential to me. 1) It is easy to use/setup, 2) Drives can go in and out of the pool without formatting...they are NTFS in the pool and NTFS out meaning any computer can read the drive if I need to pull it from the server, 3) Duplication can be done on a per folder basis AND be set for how many times to duplicate it as well. In other words 1x for movies (no dup) but 3x for pictures (copies on 3/4 drives) and maybe 2x for Documents 4) It has practically 0 overhead...it works to me, no different than if it was a single physical drive. No caching and writing later, no penalties in terms of read/write, etc.
- While there are plenty of options for backup, I am not sure as I havent looked into imitating Windows File History. I am sure it could be done but in Windows its so simple to implement.
- The best way to actually share folders with a mixed set of client machines (do I do SMB, etc)
I am also considering maybe doing ESXi as the base, and running VM's to handle different parts of my overall criteria. It would allow me to compartmentalize roles, reduce the downtime with failure (on the software side) and free up resources for things not actively in use. It would also complicate the setup and may be more expensive getting hardware compatible with ESXi.
So again, in ending would Manjaro be a good fit as a server OS at all, and if so for my needs/use case?