Archive for the ‘home server’ Category

time machine back up to remote macs over lan and internet

Sunday, April 5th, 2009


Now that I have my mac mini set up as my home server I also wanted to backup its system drive to preserve all the configuration. I have an Airport extreme basestation that has a 500GB hard drive hooked up to it. I have used it to back up my mac book pro over the air and it worked just fine. When I tried to select it as the backup drive for my mac mini the time machine preference pane would crash every time. So I played arround with it and it appears that time machine is now able to backup to any afp:// file server. It is important that you mount it using the following instructions and not just click on it in the finder. It appears that apple does something differently when using the shares in finder.

Setting up time machine with a remote destination

This is done by pressing command + K in finder and using OS X built in ability to connect to different file servers

connect to server

connect to server

You might get prompted for user name and password. Once connected the afp source shows up in your finder.

afp source

afp source

In my case that is the airport extreme base station called chrillo.Airport with the hard drive. This could also be another mac. Now head over to your time machine preferences and the click the change drive button.

remote time machine backup

remote time machine backup

As you can see it shows up with its Ip address. In my case I used the internal Lan IP

Mac Mini as a home theater PC, a file server and a web server

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Finally Apple released an update to the mac mini product line. I finally got mine and its already up and running. I set it up to be my HTPC, file server and web server. I want to go through each of these three topics and describe the configuration I used.


The mac mini is way too expensive for the hardware you get. I was really disappointed at first because they even raised the price from 439?(with student discount) t0 526?. For 550 euros I could get twice as much ram and way more disk space, eSata, blueray and hdmi output easily with a linux or windows machine. BUT OS X makes it still worth the money FOR ME. I do not agree with the back and forth disccussion about macs vs. pcs. A computer is a TOOL, like a car is for transportation. There is diffrent cars with different uses and different prices. Some cars are easy to drive some require a skilled driver… Everybody has to decide for himself if its worth the money and if it will do what you want it do in the way you want it to be done. Be glad there is a choice!

1 mac mini 3/2009, 2.0 GHZ, 2GB RAM

mac mini

mac mini

Mac Mini – The mean reasons I chose the mac mini over other more powerful computer were that its really small and really really quite. The mini is inaudible and I really hated the constant buzz from my old server, even though I already spent way to much money on expensive CPU coolers. The power consumption is also quite low and since the server will be always on its a big plus. The display output options are sufficient. I use the included mini DVI to DVI adapter and connect it to an DVI to HDMI cable. As soon as reasonably priced mini display port to hdmi adapters hit the market I will change to that. I like the built in SPIDIF audio connectors and the built in Firewire 800 port. In combination witth the 2 FW800 enabled drives it is really faster than a USB 2.0 solution and not much more expensive.

2 Western Digital My Book Studio Edition 1 TB

Western Digital My Book Studio Edition

Western Digital My Book Studio Edition

Western Digital My Book Studio Edition – Even though I had some problems with this type of hard drive before I chose them because of their low price and their ability to shut down when not in use. For a HTPC noise is a key factor. The new drives are really quiet in the first place but if the server or just the drives are not in use they turn off and are therefor completly silent. The only downturn to this is that when you want to access the drives it takes a couple of seconds to wake up from sleep but that is not a realy problem. The drives come with a 5 year warranty. Since I already experienced the rather smooth and fast exchange process of such a drive I do not expect any major worries in the next 5 years( In 5 years I hope we will be carrying Terrabytes on our thumb drives).


Apple Airport Extreme Basestation and Wake On Lan

Monday, September 15th, 2008

In order to cut down on energy usage I wanted my allwayson windows XP server to hibernate when not in use. My network adapter supports wakeOnLan and I also had it configured in a minute. Make sure Wake on Lan is activated in your Bios as well as in the configuration menu of the networking card.

Wake On Lan settings on the server

Wake On Lan settings on the server

wake on land settings - energy management

be sure to check all three boxes. The last box makes sure your pc does not wake up from random networking traiffc.

this is what it looks like on a mac

this is what it looks like on a mac

Then I go to my macbook pro and fire up this tool which is a small free but fully functional wake on lan tool for macs that is able to send the so called magic packets that wake up a computer in standby or hibernation mode. There are a ton of tools like this for windows as well. google is your friend.


So within the network everything works just fine. I put in the mac address and the broadcasting IP which usually is something like 192.168.x.255 and hit go. seconds later my server is booting up. very nice.

Wake on Lan over the internet through a Airport Extreme basestation is a different story. In theory all you had to do is forward the UDP port 9 to the broadcasting IP of 192.168.x.255. So any magic package that hits your router on the wan port is automatically broadcasted over your local network in order to find the machine that needs to be powered up. pretty simple in theory.

1. Update 4.5.2009

2. Update 20.5.2009

Wake on lan over the internet

It is possible to do it over the internet on the long run. The important thing to understand is that the Airport extreme basestation still will not allow any broadcasting of outside traffic. It can be done however if you manually specifiy the ip address for the computer that should wake up. your are very likely to have your Airport Extreme Basestation hand out IP addresses to devices using DHCP. Your computer needs an IP reservation that will give it the same Ip every time it is on, so the magic package will always reach the correct machine. you can make such a reservation in the Airport utility at internet –> DHCP. The AEBS will only remeber the computer with the IP reservation for a short amount of time so it is not a long term solution.

Ip reservation

You need the computers mac address to make this reservation, usually something like this xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx. Then head over to you computer’s network settings and asign the same IP you just reserverd manually to the computer.

manual ip

Now you have to forward the UDP 9 port in the airport utility. Unlike previously assumed you do not want to forward it to the broadcasting IP but to the specific IP you asigned to the computer.

forwarding the udp 9 port

forwarding the udp 9 port

here is a really good german explaination of the entire issue.

Bottom Line:

it is possible to use wake on lan within your local network/subnet if you have an Apple Airport Extreme Basestation, but it is not possible to wake up your machine over the internet since the AEBS will not forword the magic packages coming in at the UDP 9 Port.

It is possible to do wake on lan over the internet and on your local lan with your airport extreme basestation. Thanks a bunch for the commenter who came up with this idea!

It is possible to do wake a lan over the internet but after a short time the AEBS “forgets” the link to the computer and it will not work any more. Sry for the messy post, I will clean it up once I have figuered the damn problem out!

XAMPP Filezilla FTP on Windows XP SP2 continued

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

A second issue I noticed is that if you change the folder windows folder permissions of the folders that are shared by ftp, the ftp does not work properly anymore. By changing the folder permissions I mean that you share the folder in a local network for example.

Broken windows Home Server Trail DVD

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Now that I have my home server up and running I was really interested in the new microsoft home server. I ordered a 120 day trail dvd, which i finally received after weeks of waiting. The rest of the story is rather short.

My home server

Monday, January 7th, 2008

I took me about a year to gather all the components for my home server, now it is finally mounted in to a closet in my kitchen (picture below). I now run a AMD 2800+ with 1 GB Ram with Windows XP SP 2. In order to make the whole thing more useful than just big hard drive I installed XAMPP and set up my router so it would forward the http:// and the ft:// port to its IP.

XAMPP Filezilla FTP on Windows XP SP2

Monday, January 7th, 2008

I installed Xampp on my Server machine and while the http was working fine the filezilla ftp access showed very odd behavior. After screwing with the problem for several hours i finally realized that the solution was quite simple.


Disable your windows firewall, or open the ftp port 21 and you will be fine.

Flash – php – MySql Filesystem

Monday, January 7th, 2008

I am working on a browser based flash UI