Hello everyone, I've been using Linux for the past ~6months and really enjoy it. I've read a few books so I have a good grasp of linux fundamentals but want to up my skill and have always liked projects as a way to learn. Anyway I would like to build a Centos mail server, file server, try some encyrption, ssh, just learn and build something.

Anyway, what would you guys reccommend as solid hardware for a home server? I'm looking for something cheap so an old desktop tower would work but low power consumption and compact size would be nice. I couldn't find anything worthwhile on craigslist but there is tons of stuff on ebay and I don't even know where to start.

Can you please recommend some hardware, maybe even specific models that you personally have used and liked, I really don't want to spend more than $100.

Thanks in advance.

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I dont know about server, but can you please tell me what book you read?
Again it is few months that i use Arch linux...

Since it sounds like you are interested in learning and improving your skills, have you considered setting up a good host computer and running a virtualization application that can host serveral virtual machines? This is a really good and cost effective approach in building a virtual computer lab. On the host computer, you would install a virtual app such as VMWare and then run your "test" servers as guest VMs. When you are done with testing, you just archive the virtual machine or delete it and move on to the next evaluation.

Even if you budget is restricted, try to focus the spending on a decent host computer that has room to scale with regard to RAM and just load a few GBs of RAM for now. Over time, as you have funding, add more RAM to the host system. The more RAM you have, the more VMs you can run simultaneously.

@khajvah The very first book I read was the "Linux Command Line Introduction" and I recommend it to any beginner. But as you are using Arch you're probably advanced, The Linux Programmer's Toolbox was the last book I read and it was pretty great.

@ITG-JM Very interesting, I'll definitely do some research in the VM area. Any good recommendations? I installed Virtual Box a while back but didn't explore much other than try a few different OS's.

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