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Picnic Table

I just got my own linux server what should I use it for.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I just installed linux on this cheap android tv box. Now I don't know what to do with it. What are some easy things, interesting things, or things that will help me learn more about linux etc.? I am planning on setting up a VPN on it in the future.

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5 minutes ago, Picnic Table said:

I just installed linux on this cheap android tv box. Now I don't know what to do with it. What are some easy things, interesting things, or things that will help me learn more about linux etc.? I am planning on setting up a VPN on it in the future.

Welcome to the LTT forums! How about setting up a Minecraft server? Java server Bedrock server


In search of the future, new tech, and exploring the universe! All under the cover of anonymity!

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If I don't know what to do with something I do one of three things:

 

1. throw it away (if it has no value).

 

2. Donate it (if it has no value to me).

 

3. Sell it. 

 

If I get something and I don't know what to do with it, I sell it. Every object I own takes up space, space which I would prefer to have more of. Meanwhile I can always use more money. 

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The best way to learn Linux (or any OS) is to break it and then fix it. Modern GUI driven Linux isn't hard to use for most tasks, it's a great Windows replacement for older hardware and is wonderful for casual use like internet stuff. It's also great for older people because it's malware resistant to a great degree than Windows.

 

For you, just use it, do stuff, break it, fix it, learn more about it. Try different kinds of Linux too, I got accustomed to Xubuntu so now it's ALL I use which is a detriment to learning more.

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Something like a web server might be a cool experiment! I mean I'm a noob and did it on Windows with XAMPP but even with only a couple hours of messing with it, I could see how it could be implemented well, even from home. Not too shabby. 

 

And yeah, minecraft server or any other game server could be fun as well. Or for something more at home, a file/media server. Can you attach a big HDD to it?

 

Also, a VPN? How would that work for something like this? I wouldn't know, but it sounds interesting. :) 

 

Endless possibilities! Myself, I recently got an old AMD Athlon dual core desktop from a friend. The built-in Nvidia chip went bad, so an old cheap low profile graphics card from Ebay did just fine! This thing is working wonders as a file server. Didn't think it would, but more than sufficient for my uses. 

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7 minutes ago, bmichaels556 said:

Something like a web server might be a cool experiment! I mean I'm a noob and did it on Windows with XAMPP but even with only a couple hours of messing with it, I could see how it could be implemented well, even from home. Not too shabby. 

 

And yeah, minecraft server or any other game server could be fun as well. Or for something more at home, a file/media server. Can you attach a big HDD to it?

 

Also, a VPN? How would that work for something like this? I wouldn't know, but it sounds interesting. :) 

 

Endless possibilities! Myself, I recently got an old AMD Athlon dual core desktop from a friend. The built-in Nvidia chip went bad, so an old cheap low profile graphics card from Ebay did just fine! This thing is working wonders as a file server. Didn't think it would, but more than sufficient for my uses. 

Oh man way back a long time ago I setup an Apache web server on Windows XP on dialup internet one night when I couldn't sleep. It was absolutely pointless, but I had fun and learned some things!

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Use the system to learn the Linux file structure. Learn what things belong to what folder and what files in there do. 


Sudo make me a sandwich 

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E.g There is a configure/autostart up folder in which you can dump desktop files into them if you want an application to auto start on boot up. 

 

Applications folders contain all the .Desktop files which are the launchers you see if you open up your menus. 

 

Linux is literally all folders and config files. You can get your hands dirty and customize crazy things by tweaking them. 

 

Bashrc/bash_profile handles your bash settings and home variables. 

 

Ect ect ect


Sudo make me a sandwich 

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If you want to completely dive off the deep end, install Gentoo.    But here's a list of things that are useful IMO:

- First thing (others aren't in order), get familiar with the file layout, / /etc, /var, /usr, /tmp, etc. 

- gpt vs MBR and fdisk and gisk (partitioning) and creating a FS with cli tools

- maybe learn about mdadm and lvm

- cron jobs

- basic tools like dd, tar, (h)top, cat, less, shell file redirection, cli text editor

- learn about how to stop, start, and configure init jobs

- how to build and configure gnu packages (./configure, make , make install, etc)

- if you create a problem, learn how to fix it and not just reinstall

- possible set up Apache and put something useful on it (nextcloud or something you'll actually use)

- learn about grub and how it works and what files it uses

- maybe learn how to build your own kernel

 

The main thing with s explore ideas until you find something you enjoy and is useful.  Once you find your own path of ways to experiment with Linux,  that'll be the most enjoyable.  A lot of the stuff I listed is used for system maintenance and basic modification that are distro independent.   Don't feel like you have to learn everything at once because learning as you go is completely valid too.

 

If you're trying to learn Linux though (and not a distro or GUI), do stuff via CLI when you can.  The cli tools are much more distro independent than the GUIs are.  FYI.  Terminals may seem scary at first but once you get used to them, their your best friend. 


"Anger, which, far sweeter than trickling drops of honey, rises in the bosom of a man like smoke."

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Posted · Original PosterOP
9 hours ago, Bitter said:

The best way to learn Linux (or any OS) is to break it and then fix it. Modern GUI driven Linux isn't hard to use for most tasks, it's a great Windows replacement for older hardware and is wonderful for casual use like internet stuff. It's also great for older people because it's malware resistant to a great degree than Windows.

 

For you, just use it, do stuff, break it, fix it, learn more about it. Try different kinds of Linux too, I got accustomed to Xubuntu so now it's ALL I use which is a detriment to learning more.

unfortunately I won't be doing any web browsing on it. It just has an ARM cpu and 2GB of ram so it isn't powerful enough to run a graphical interface.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
9 hours ago, bmichaels556 said:

Something like a web server might be a cool experiment! I mean I'm a noob and did it on Windows with XAMPP but even with only a couple hours of messing with it, I could see how it could be implemented well, even from home. Not too shabby. 

 

And yeah, minecraft server or any other game server could be fun as well. Or for something more at home, a file/media server. Can you attach a big HDD to it?

 

Also, a VPN? How would that work for something like this? I wouldn't know, but it sounds interesting. :) 

 

Endless possibilities! Myself, I recently got an old AMD Athlon dual core desktop from a friend. The built-in Nvidia chip went bad, so an old cheap low profile graphics card from Ebay did just fine! This thing is working wonders as a file server. Didn't think it would, but more than sufficient for my uses. 

My dad already has a file/media server set up at my house. He's the one who's been helping me along. And I'm going to use it for a VPN because my router is blocking the VPN I tried to set up on my windows machine. So I'm thinking about putting the Linus box outside the DMZ because it's less risky.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
43 minutes ago, bloodthirster said:

If you want to completely dive off the deep end, install Gentoo.    But here's a list of things that are useful IMO:

- First thing (others aren't in order), get familiar with the file layout, / /etc, /var, /usr, /tmp, etc. 

- gpt vs MBR and fdisk and gisk (partitioning) and creating a FS with cli tools

- maybe learn about mdadm and lvm

- cron jobs

- basic tools like dd, tar, (h)top, cat, less, shell file redirection, cli text editor

- learn about how to stop, start, and configure init jobs

- how to build and configure gnu packages (./configure, make , make install, etc)

- if you create a problem, learn how to fix it and not just reinstall

- possible set up Apache and put something useful on it (nextcloud or something you'll actually use)

- learn about grub and how it works and what files it uses

- maybe learn how to build your own kernel

 

The main thing with s explore ideas until you find something you enjoy and is useful.  Once you find your own path of ways to experiment with Linux,  that'll be the most enjoyable.  A lot of the stuff I listed is used for system maintenance and basic modification that are distro independent.   Don't feel like you have to learn everything at once because learning as you go is completely valid too.

 

If you're trying to learn Linux though (and not a distro or GUI), do stuff via CLI when you can.  The cli tools are much more distro independent than the GUIs are.  FYI.  Terminals may seem scary at first but once you get used to them, their your best friend. 

Tbh I don't really know what any of what you said is but I want to learn. Terminals aren't a problem for me I'm doing everything with command line. Because the box isn't powerful enough to run a graphical interface.

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How about a pihole server? Removes 90% of ads from your WiFi traffic, a lot of people use raspberry pi for it, but don't see why you couldn't use your android box for it, just YouTube pihole it's pretty easy to do 

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36 minutes ago, Picnic Table said:

Tbh I don't really know what any of what you said is but I want to learn. Terminals aren't a problem for me I'm doing everything with command line. Because the box isn't powerful enough to run a graphical interface.

Also, don't feel like you even need to learn everything upfront.  A lot of the Linux guys I work with have been using it for 20 years or so.  Most people learn over time and gradually build up skills.  Just don't be shy about learning and have some patience and you'll be fine.

 

And that's actually a blessing in disguise (the lack of GUI).  CLI is a lot faster on remote systems and if you ever want to mess with embedded systems, obviously there won't be a GUI.  

 

Just don't forget to have fun.  =]


"Anger, which, far sweeter than trickling drops of honey, rises in the bosom of a man like smoke."

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1 hour ago, Picnic Table said:

unfortunately I won't be doing any web browsing on it. It just has an ARM cpu and 2GB of ram so it isn't powerful enough to run a graphical interface.

Oh and I have an old netbook with an atom n270 (single core with HT @1.6GHz) and 1.5 GB of ram and I run Linux in that, does just fine for web browsing but now much else

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, D-J97 said:

How about a pihole server? Removes 90% of ads from your WiFi traffic, a lot of people use raspberry pi for it, but don't see why you couldn't use your android box for it, just YouTube pihole it's pretty easy to do 

okay I'll look at that 

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Here are some things I would recommend you look into. And instead of just saying "learn how the file structure is laid out", which isn't helpful advice at all because it doesn't tell you how to learn it, I'm going to recommend some things to install and configure which will naturally require some exploring.

 

1) Follow this guide called "How to set up a secure Raspberry Pi web server, mail server and Owncloud installation". It is a bit outdated so you will run into some issues that you will need to solve. It's also a good idea to look into what each thing is. Ignore the part about it being for Raspberry Pi, it should work for any computer running GNU/Linux.

 

2) Setup a Pi-hole server. This is really straight forward, UNLESS you also did step 1. If you did then you will run into lots of issues because you will end up with two web servers on the same computer, listening to the same port. The workaround for this is to create another (logical) software interface on your computer with its own IP, and then bind each web server to a specific interface. This will require some googling and troubleshooting on your end.

 

3) Setup a syslog server on it and check out how that works. Maybe redirect some messages from Windows?

 

4) Configure it as an OpenVPN server. This will most likely require port forwarding from your router too, but that's a good opportunity to learn how that works too if you don't already know.

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On 3/21/2019 at 10:48 AM, D-J97 said:

How about a pihole server? Removes 90% of ads from your WiFi traffic, a lot of people use raspberry pi for it, but don't see why you couldn't use your android box for it, just YouTube pihole it's pretty easy to do 

I mean sure, if you want to be an asshole and not allow the sites you frequent to make any revenue. It hits close to home for me because I run a site with non-intrusive ads, and it kills me that other site owners ruin it for the rest of us, but in that case, just block ads on that specific site, not all of us who are just trying to run a site and make a little revenue from our work..

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