Installing PixInsight on Ubuntu Server edition

dbrahmbhatt

Member
Sep 3, 2017
9
0
Hello all,
I have an opportunity to buy a used server for really low price. It is better spec'd than the dedicated desktop that I have for running PixInsight. I am wondering if there is a way that I can install PI on the server, with Ubuntu Server edition (the latest LTS server edition) as the OS?

Please let me know if people have tried doing that and what their experience has been. I am not averse to installing Ubuntu Desktop edition on the server, but I am not sure if the server will be able to handle a desktop OS on it.

The server that I am looking to get is a HP ProLiant 380 G7.

Thanks,
Dhaval
 

pfile

PTeam Member
Nov 23, 2009
5,625
105
i don't think there's really a big difference between server and desktop ubuntu versions other than the server version might not have a bunch of the gui tools installed by default. long ago "server" just meant that there was no X server, or no X server started by default. maybe now the differences are greater.

i'm sure you can install the desktop version on the server - at this point you could probably install linux on a potato and it would run.
 

Juan Conejero

PTeam Member
Sep 2, 2004
7,555
96
56
Valencia, Spain
pixinsight.com
Hi Dhaval,

The server that I am looking to get is a HP ProLiant 380 G7.
If the information I have isn't wrong, these servers come with an integrated ATI graphics card that can only work at 1280x1024 resolution. This is not great. If you can install a decent graphics card, I would recommend doing that.

Besides that, this machine should work if you replace the operating system with a contemporary workstation Linux distribution. I strongly recommend Kubuntu LTS, which is our current reference development platform. It comes with the KDE Plasma desktop, which is also our reference desktop environment.
 

dbrahmbhatt

Member
Sep 3, 2017
9
0
Hi Dhaval,



If the information I have isn't wrong, these servers come with an integrated ATI graphics card that can only work at 1280x1024 resolution. This is not great. If you can install a decent graphics card, I would recommend doing that.

Besides that, this machine should work if you replace the operating system with a contemporary workstation Linux distribution. I strongly recommend Kubuntu LTS, which is our current reference development platform. It comes with the KDE Plasma desktop, which is also our reference desktop environment.
Thanks Juan.

About the graphics card, I intend to remote in to the machine (use it in a headless form). I will be putting a VGA dummy plug on it and I believe the VGA dummy plug should allow me to render at least 1920x1080 resolution on the computer from where I will remote in to the server. I am not sure if my belief is right or not, but that will be something that I intend to find out.

Dhaval
 

Linwood

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2020
66
4
Most of these servers are VERY loud if you plan to have it in a home. Surprisingly so if you've only seen them in a data center environment where the background noise is already really loud. They also can be quite power hungry, especially the older ones, and if I recall this one is about 8-9 years old?

Personally I've had the opportunity a few times to get older servers free or cheap, and passed. Besides power issues, if something breaks it can be difficult to get parts, maybe expensive (or maybe also cheap if you hit the right people). And with that many years, a few hundred dollars may buy you more speed (in terms of the CPU chip itself).

Not saying it won't work, and it may be a lot of fun (if you like that kind of thing). But as a practical matter I doubt you will find it a bargain in the long run.