I mentioned that I also installed Debian on a Mini-ITX box, specifically it is a VIA Epia with a 533MHz Eden CPU, and nearly all you need integrated (as mini-itx boards normally are). I bought it a little while ago from someone who had assembled 95% of the parts to make an ADSL/WiFi router, but gave up on it. All it needed was a case/psu, which cost about as much as the board and bits I had already purchased. The other small problem was that it only had 256MB RAM. Not really enough. But since I had just upgraded the Cube, I took the two spare 256MB chips and bumped the RAM up in the MiniITX to 512MB.
I had previously attempted to install 3 or 4 distros (Fedora, SUSE, Mandriva etc) on this box, but had a variety of issues, ranging from the installer not running (or halting part way through), installing but then going into a restart loop, or installing and then not doing anything. This is probably due to the fact I was using current distros on a rather old board. So, back to old faithful Debian, which goes out of its way to support obsolete hardware like this.
I used a 5.0.4 DVD to install and only two little snags during the install: the Intel wireless card needed nonfree firmware (very simple to do), and half way through the pre-install config, the font died and turned to the default square boxes for all chars. Fortunately, I found screen shots of the install online and could work my way through the rest of the config. Installed ok.
At some point I will need to configure the WiFi on the MiniITX box, and put it in an appropriate location. I'm thinking to play around with kismet.
I have on my hands a large number of unused PCs, including dual 1GHz P3 and 2.4GHz+ Xeon machines. What I am hoping to do is get at least one box set up with a nice flavour of linux, and set it up as a network services box. On the list of services to try to get running are DHCP, DNS, VPN, possibly NAT/firewall (although, I'd probably like that running on a different box to my DNS), LDAP, RADIUS, and Kerberos.
I'd like something rock solid and easily administerable to run the core of the internal network. DNS, DHCP and a Kerberos realm are central to that. LDAP is handy because Macs hook into it well, and RADIUS is handy for the wireless access control.
It is really a long term project, because I will basically be building it from the ground up. I have a couple of machines in mind to run it on, but they all need hardware sorted (install RAM, hard drives, cases, fans etc). And then I will need to install the OS. Ubuntu is top choice at the moment, but CentOS, Debian or even something like FreeBSD or OpenSolaris is an outside chance.
OS choice is dependant on finding the right software tools and what they run on best. Probably, have it up and running sometime in June 2010, lol
This is all about my on going fumblings with hardware. Regular entries should provide an indication of the depths of my obsession.
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