Introduction and Background

This was originally posted in a private newsgroup for my primary Web host, pair Networks, but I decided to make a blog out of it because some of the information I share might be useful outside of that limited audience.

I received my DreamPlug from GlobalScale Technologies on Friday. You can see more info about that "plug computer" here: DreamPlug Development Kit Succinctly, it's a low-power-consumption ARM-based computer pre-installed with Debian and intended as a development tool, not as an end-user system.

I previously mentioned possibly running a Minecraft server on a SheevaPlug, but I've abandoned that idea due to the apparent requirements of such a server. I decided to go with the DreamPlug instead of the SheevaPlug due to the greatly-enhanced I/O features.

Anyway, since the few remaining readers here are a pretty technical bunch, I thought I'd start a thread blog to share my experiences, ask for help, etc. Your input is welcome, naturally. You may create an account here and log in to leave a comment, or just leave a comment as a "Nomad" (guest).

First, some background...

I plan to use the Dreamplug with an inexpensive Rosewill external drive enclosure & a drive salvaged from a "bricked" Buffalo LinkStation NAS as a more full-featured replacement for that bricked NAS. It will operate in a mixed-environment home LAN with machines running OS X, Windows (2000, XP, Vista, and 7!), and Linux.

At a bare minimum, I'll accept it working as a functional Samba server, attached directly to my Linksys wireless router. That will get me back to where I was before I bricked the NAS.

The "more full-featured" machine that I want, however, is a Samba PDC using LDAP with Kerberos 5 to provide SSO. I also want to migrate the family & development intranet/extranet functions from a sometimes-on desktop PC to the low-power, always-on DreamPlug. I'd also like it to be connected to the home entertainment system so that our combined library of digital music can be enjoyed that way.

It should be noted that I've never set up a PDC, nor set up LDAP, nor set up Kerberos, so clearly I'm setting myself up for cramming a lot of info into my head as quickly as I can, because I'd prefer to set it up right the first time, when nobody is using it, than to "eventually" go back and try to reconfigure it when family members are accustomed to it being available again. In fact, although I can get by in Linux, I don't consider myself an expert, so I have holes in my Linux knowledge that need to be addressed (and all the more so due to differences between Debian and openSUSE, the latter being my distribution of choice for several years).

That's the setting for the story... I'm currently struggling to get Kerberos working correctly, but I'll delve into that in a separate message! (Those of you who are connected to me on Google+ or Twitter may have seen my comments on that already.)

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Im thinking of getting the dreamplug to set up a small 10 person 24/7 minecraft bukkit server for my friends. Im only 15 so I don't have much experience with computers. My internet connection is fairly strong. What I'm asking is can the dreamplug run a minecraft server smoothly for 5 to 10 people playing at one time?

From what I understand, the processing power of the DreamPlug is about the same as a SheevaPlug. I originally considered these plug computers for a Minecraft server, but after reading more about what it takes to run a server (and have it perform smoothly) I just don't think these are up to the task. If a later version of these includes multi-core processors, that would be much more promising. Another cool thing would be for Minecraft to be modified (or forked) to be specifically set up to run in a distributed environment so you could get a few Raspberry Pi servers (about $35 each) and network them together. Right now I don't think that would be feasible, although I don't know the internal details of the Minecraft server code.

Thanks for the advice,its a pity they cant handle a server smoothly. Although I found this (, and it might be able to run on a plug computer.

Thanks for the link, that looks pretty interesting. Might have to at least give that a spin in VirtualBox when I get some free time.

About the Author
Stuart J. Whitmore is an author of fiction and nonfiction, as well as a photographer, technology developer, and more. If you enjoy reading his blog posts, you might also enjoy reading his books. Take a look at the books by Stuart J. Whitmore today, and download your copy of one that looks interesting to you!