Feedback for a small server project

Christian Baer christian.baer at
Fri Nov 13 00:13:05 UTC 2020

Greetings Programs! :-)

This is not exactly a FreeBSD question, so please don't throw rocks at
me! :-) FreeBSD will however most likely be utilized for this project!

Because of the lockdown here in Germany (I know, in many other places
too), I have way too much time on my hands. And since I haven't
had the chance to really spend any money since April, I can afford to
spend a little. Don't go crazy, everybody! :-P

I would like to build a little server for my own use. This server is to
be reachable from the outside, so this is not really a home NAS thing.
A few things I'd like to run:

- Webserver (Apache or nginx)
- Nextcloud
- Jitsi
- Dovecot
- maybe an XMPP (like Prosody)
- maybe a Matrix server

I am currently using Nextcloud on shared hosting but would like to port
that to hardware I control, not so much due to trust issues but because
some of the NC-apps use a few more CPU-cycles than my ISP likes. While
the performance for up- and downloads is more than fine, phonetrack is
pretty laggy. This would be the first service I would set up. I
currently also use XMPP, Matrix and IMAP, but on external servers and
this works fine for me. So Jitsi would probably come next. But I do
want to run all services in the long run.

My internet connection is fast enough to run this sort of thing for my

I am thinking about doing this using an ODROID N2+[1], the 4GB version.
I have two main reasons for this:

- ludic drive
  Doing this on an ARM is way more exciting than on an AMD64. :-)
  I have alread got a case for everything (an old modem from
  the early 80s). It would look pretty cool. :-P

- energy cost
  Electricity is annoyingly expensive in Germany (a kWh costs ~30
  Eurocents). So the fact that this computer needs a relatively small
  amount of electricity (compared to the alternative) is a good factor
  for me.

The alternative would be a computer I still have standing around here.
It's an AMD A10-7800 with 32GB of RAM on an Asus ROG board. It was
bought for a special (non-gaming) purpose (hence the high amount of
RAM), but never really got used, so it currently just collecting dust.

The usage scale of this project is pretty minute actually. We are
talking between a dozen an two dozen users at the most - closer to the
one dozen, probably even less. It would be my family (including my
brother and his family), maybe one or two people from work and a couple
of friends. Most of the time, the system would be used for file storage,
text messages (possibly photos or media messages). Video calls may
cause some slightly higher loads.

I am guessing that the "real" computer (as apposed to the SBC) will
probably have more CPU-power and the extra RAM will also make a
difference, but with a 65W TDP CPU, it will [probably] also *need* more
power. :-) I have also considered that the "real" computer has much
better connectivity for HDDs, which do not have to be connected via USB.

What do you guys think? Would the SBC be able to deal with
the said tasks or would it be worth using the machine I already own and
deal with the electricity bill? I do want to have some reserves, so I
do not have to turn anyone down, who may wish to join the club, but I
do not want to go for an overkill either.

Please give me your thoughts!

Best regards und stay negative!


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