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Mac Mini as a home server, router, and access point

 
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w33d5
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:57 pm    Post subject: Mac Mini as a home server, router, and access point Reply with quote

BACKGROUND
I just picked up a vaio laptop with a 250 gb hard drive and have had a mac mini with 80 gb hd that i'm looking to do something creative with. i'm gonna switch out the vaio's 250 gb hd (5400 RPM) for the mini's 80gb hd (7200RPM) and i was looking to do the following with the mini...

install (x)ubuntu or OSX and make it into a...
    media server - music, movies, photos, dvdripping, encoding (hooked up to a 42" via DVI to HDMI cord)

    • wireless router/access point with the mini plugged directly to the cable modem


    • firewall for wireless


    • ssh, ftp, vnc, web server


    • ...any other suggestions


Other considerations are that i have and frequently use my xbox 360, iphone, and an ipod video.

Given what i want to do i was looking for some pros/cons before i start

  • Which OS do you think would work better - mythbuntu/xubuntu/OSX
  • are there any other services/server daemons that you think would be useful? and what do they do?


thanks in advance for the feedback.
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miniconvert
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OS X will act as a wireless access point. Just create a network and share the internet connection. Personally I think OS X would also make a fine file server but Linux is going to be more interesting. The problem is that you're limited to the single network port.
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phaedrus
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

miniconvert wrote:
The problem is that you're limited to the single network port.


I came up against that when setting up my Mac Mini recently... so bought an external USB Ethernet device, which is only 100 Mbps, but is still plenty fast enough for my 10Mbps cable connection... and it leaves the 1000Mbps network port free to connect to my internal network/file server/media pc.
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

phaedrus wrote:
miniconvert wrote:
The problem is that you're limited to the single network port.


I came up against that when setting up my Mac Mini recently... so bought an external USB Ethernet device, which is only 100 Mbps, but is still plenty fast enough for my 10Mbps cable connection... and it leaves the 1000Mbps network port free to connect to my internal network/file server/media pc.


can't you use an ethernet hub? Doesn't it work the same as a USB or FW hub?
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phaedrus
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In theory I should be able to. While running Windows I found that my cable modem wouldn't talk to my PC correctly if not connected directly (my cable modem boots in a weird way, and isn't like a normal one that you turn on and it is magically connected - it needs to boot, talk to my pc on one IP, grab a config file, then talk to my pc on another IP... and for some reason this seems not to work if going through a hub)... using a standard cable modem I should have been able to use an ethernet hub, or adsl/cable router for sure.
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miniconvert
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want the mini to act as a firewall for wired and wireless hosts then no, a switch won't work.
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K.C.
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

phaedrus wrote:
[... so bought an external USB Ethernet device....


Which USB ethernet adaptor did you have success with ?
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phaedrus
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just grabbed an apple one when I picked up my Mac Mini. I'm sure there are other options out there that might be a few bucks cheapers, but the apple one has worked flawlessly for me.
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K.C.
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I've heard that the Macbook Air adapter works well with a Mini.

The other option I found was this this http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00006B7D8/interactiveda605-20.

Drivers available here http://www.sustworks.com/site/news_usb_ethernet.html
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ebuddy555
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 1:03 am    Post subject: answer Reply with quote

To answer the question:
It sounds like you want Mac OSX Server
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