A $99 Sheevaplug, a USB hard drive, and some free software equals an easy to use and VERY LOW POWER home server. What I’m talking about is the Amahi Linux Home Server, or what Amahi calls a HDA, for “Home Digital Assistant.” Each HDA delivers all the functionality you would want in a home server, while being as easy to manage from your web browser.
The Amahi HDA advertises a wide range of features including:
- Share your photos (or any files) with any device in your network
- Centrally store all your music and videos
- Quickly backup your computers
- Run applications to co-ordinate your household (e.g. shared calendars)
- Securely access all your ‘stuff’ when you are out, whether at work, a friend’s place, or out of town!
The setup was quick and painless. I reformatted a 750GB USB drive I had been using on my WDTV Live media player and configured one large boot partition and a 2GB swap partition. Using a simple install script, I copied the latest rootfs image to the drive, changed my Sheevaplug to boot from the USB, and just booted into Amahi. I installed the code I received when I setup my Amahi profile and I was up and running.
The Amahi HDA is already configured with and running the NAS software so my next step was little more than copying my media onto the server. I intend to try more of the other home server features and I will post my experiences. Is this a free competitor to Window Home Server? We’ll see.