Thursday, February 9, 2012

Better than a DVR round 2

I don’t know where I went wrong but I did, it happened somewhere around the time I changed ISP’s but things just started not working right. Maybe it was because I was in essence running this server from the same machine I used just to cruise around the internet and do school work on. Maybe my tendency to  typo commands finally caught up with me, or maybe some system update just broke everything, either way I’m left with some very distinct problems, so let’s break those down.

1)      Ushare, the service I use to serve video to my Xbox 360 will simply not stay running. If the system restarts the service has to be manually started, if the service crashes it has to be manually restarted, f an update is installed it has to be manually restarted. I spend far too much time using SSH just  to restart this service these days, it isn’t fun anymore.
2)      Apache is having similar issues, and has stopped redirecting to Subsonic all together to the point now that it shows is an /index page, which as I don’t actually have a /index page is really just a list of things I’ve installed on the system
3)      Subsonic will only open if I enter the IP address, the friendly address generates a page cannot be found error.
In case you were wondering those are the three major software parts of the system, which means it is really just not working at the moment. So I am left with three choices really 1) I can try to troubleshoot all the issues that are causing this and repair the damage 2) I can wipe and start from scratch 3) I can set fire to the whole thing and give up.

I’m going with the second choice, mostly because troubleshooting sounds like a lot of work ( and hasn’t worked yet) and while setting fire to the whole mess might be fun, isn’t really an actual option.

Part of the reason I chose to start over is that the machine I am using is no longer my primary machine, which means I don’t need a lot of the features that are currently installed and could potentially be causing problems in the first place, starting over will allow me to install a proper server operating system, rather than a desktop OS with some server bits stitched after the fact. Another reason is that I’ve purchased an HTPC (which I will discuss in more detail in another post after it arrives) to act as a front end, which means all the pretty shiny things that I like to add to the part I use will not be on the server (a good thing).

So the server hardware is not changing (which sadly means its build on an old laptop still, that’s another project) but there is going to be some changes so far as software is concerned. I’m using Ubuntu server 10.04 LTS because I don’t really need all the fancy features of the latest version, and I’m comfortable with 10.04. once I’m sure everything is backed up I will install and configure the server OS, from there I will download, install, and configure Subsonic, LAMP, and Ushare more or less the way I had them back when all was right in my little digital universe, taking care to test things on each step to be sure all is right before getting too far ahead of myself.

I still think part of my problem is the residential gateway my ISP forced on me, I had requested over and over to get a simple DSL modem, however my ISP felt the need to provide me with a device that both does more than I wanted, and not enough.  Getting port forwarding and all the other various services set up on this Actiontech Q1000 has been more work than it really should,  and is extra frustrating knowing that I have a home router sitting in its box configured to do what I am fighting with my ISP’s devices to get done.
At any rate, this is the plan for now, should keep me out of trouble.

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