Raspberry Pi Alternative Homeserver

TLDR: What can I use instead of a raapberry pi for a homelab.

I have a nextcloud installation on digital ocean, which has been working well for a few years and a jellyfin server running on an old laptop. I’ve seen videos of homelabs where people are running nextcloud, Jellyfin and various other services on a rpi 4 with docker/portainer etc. I’d like to give this a try, for extra nextcloud storage and learning docker etc. Unfortunately, I can’t find any rpi to buy currently, what would be a good alternative that is available, pine64?

Generally speaking… if a piece of hardware can run Linux you can do near anything with it. Raspberry Pi OS is built on Debian and there’s differences but many won’t matter for most guides.

Obviously software will need a minimum of X ram and Y processing power and there’s a few projects that’ll only run on specific architectures like OPNSense but it’s hard to go wrong with any ARM / x64 SBC if you can see a decent community behind it.

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Thanks, that sounds like the rock pro 64 might work well then. I will give it a try, though will probably a little harder in terms of documentation than the ubiquitous rpi!

You can still run quite a few things from a 32 bit computer and there are plenty of 32 bit x86 computers.

But yeah, those chip shortages is really making things difficult for the esoteric home lab peeps.

Don’t forget older hardware either. You can get a bunch of n-1, n-2 gen data center hardware used on eBay.

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Have any of you guys caught up with NixOS, to find out that the have their package manager ready for RPi installation?? I installed Raspberry PI OS, moved it to an SSD, and that combo runs smooth as butter, and is so good to use, i almost lost myself in configuring everything like its your fav Tiling WM. Then i looked and found Nix would install, and then the whole world is at your fingertips… I installed SpaceVim using Nix, and have it working on 64 bit Arm!! Dang I am in love with that setup…

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Thanks for your reply, I’ve not heard of this and sounds like it is maybe above the level of an occasional tinkerer! It sounds interesting though…I’d be intetested for someone to ELI5!

Pine64 or RockPi recent devices are better designed than a Pi4. Odroid also makes some nice devices.

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Jellyfin and Nextcloud are fairly heavy RAM users, so you would need a board that has at least 4 GB of RAM, if possible 8. So this limits the choices a bit.

From Pine64, you can check out the Quartz64 Model A, which comes in 4 and 8 GB versions.

Hardkernel has the new Odroid M1 (only 4 GB version is in stock currently), which uses the same SoC as the Quartz64, also comes in 4 and 8 GB versions and has onboard NVMe support.

Radxa has the Rock 3A, which is also using the SoC and comes in 2, 4 and 8 GB versions.

And ofcourse the Raspberry Pi 4, which as you state, is very hard to get a hold off at this point.

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To be fair, there is no performance advantage at all to moving your Nextcloud away from Digital Ocean or in moving Jellyfin from the laptop to a Pi.

Do what you want, but keep very very low expectations in anything other than learning Docker. If you goal is to serve up data to your Nextcloud on the VPS you can simply use Docker to run Minio and access your data as S3-compatible. Most any device will do.

Or, buy an old i7 tower off the classifieds for $50 and enjoy better performance than a Pi could dream of for Jellyfin (hardware transcoding and multiple viewers) and Nextcloud (much, much better performance).

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Pretty much this! I run Nextcloud, Jellyfin, a wiki and some other stuff in docker contaioners on an old dell laptop with an i5 and 8 gigs of ram. Small user base, but it all runs.

It wasn’t really a performance update to the services. Nextcloud use is mainly notes, contacts, calendar and files, it’s not being used consistently everyday. More looking for storage upgrade. Jellyfin is pretty much 1 or 2 users and reaolution is never greater than 1080p. Also, was thinking this would be more energy efficient than old laptops. Having said that, if this proves to be unsuable as a server this would be a good back up. I’d then turn the sbc into a client for jellyfin.

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You’ll be happy with the Pi if such simplicity is your goal. An SSD will definitely be worth buying as your boot device.

Do note you also have the option of joining a hosted Nextcloud service provider who include these apps.

I recommend disroot.org who offer not only Nextcloud, but also email, Gitea and some other useful tools over LDAP. They are a non-profit from the Netherlands and have been going strong for years. Even better, they support federation so you can connect your own storage to their server. Their entire software stack is fully open source, plus they donate back to the projects they use with both money and code contributions.

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