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Compact Debian-based server adds router

Jul 16, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 38 views

[Updated: Jul. 17, 2008] — Excito is shipping a faster version of its low-power, Debian Linux-based file and print server. The quiet-running Bubba Two moves up to a 333MHz Freescale PowerPC processor, boosts storage to 1TB, and adds dual gigabit Ethernet ports, providing router support.

(Click for larger view of the Bubba Two)

As with the original ARM-based Bubba Server, which shipped in January 2007 and subsequently garnered at least one glowing review, the Bubba Two is a highly customizable, general-purpose server appliance. With its file, web, print, email, Fetchmail, UPnP, and ITunes servers, the Bubba Two can handle everything from print serving to network-attached storage (NAS) to serving up music. By moving to dual gigabit Ethernet ports and adding a router, firewall, and DNS and DHCP servers, it is also more capable as a network and Web server. As with the Bubba Server, the Bubba Two includes a downloader for torrents, HTTP, and FTP.

Bubba Two (back)
(Click to enlarge)

Excito has upgraded the Bubba from a 200MHz ARM-based processor to a 333MHz PowerPC-based chip: the Freescale MPC8313E PowerQUICC II. It has also doubled system memory to 256MB, says Sweden-based Excito. Internal storage options, which previously topped out at 500GB, are now offered in 80GB, 500GB, and 1TB. Storage can be expanded via dual eSATA ports, and there are now two USB ports instead of one, and they now operate at 480Mbps.

Measuring 4.5 x 1.8 x 7.0 inches, the passively cooled, fanless device draws at most 7-12 Watts, compared to the previous 9-13 Watts. The system's noise output appears to be even lower than the Bubba Server's 27dB rating. “Depending on chosen disk, it will be even lower,” wrote Excito's Johannes Book, in an email. “Measurements aren't final yet, but we'll probably be able to sustain about 23-25dB noise level with the 1TB disk.”

Planned features include a WiFi access point, which will be available in an upgrade kit, says Excito, as well as a firmware upgrade for the Squeezebox Slimserver streaming technology. A RAID storage option is also in the works. The box has moved from a Debian Sarge implementation to a Linux 2.6-based Debian Etch.

Original Bubba Server
(Click for details)

The Bubba Two's specs include:

  • Processor — 333MHz Freescale MPC8313E PowerQUICC II (PowerPC)
  • Memory — 256MB DDR2
  • Storage — 0GB, 80GB, 500GB, or 1TB SATA hard drive
  • Storage expansion — 2 x eSATA ports
  • Networking — 2 x 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports
  • USB — 2 x USB 2.0 (480Mbps)
  • Router — 1 x router with firewall
  • General servers — file (HTTP, Samba, FTP, SCP), print (CUPS), Fetchmail, Email (Dovecot, Postfix), Web (Lighthttpd), DNS, DHCP
  • Media servers — UPnP (Mediatomb), ITunes (Firefly/DAAP/Soundbridge)
  • Other software — Torrent/HTTP/FTP downloader; Horde webmail client; SSH connection to internal Linux
  • Dimensions — 4.5 x 1.8 x 7.0 inches (11.5 x 4.5 x 18.5 cm)
  • Power consumption — 7-12 Watts
  • Operating system — Debian Etch (Linux 2.6)


The Bubba Two is available now at the following prices, says Excito:

  • No storage — 288 Euros (currently $460 US)
  • 80GB — 320 Euros ($511)
  • 500GB — 352 Euros ($562)
  • 1TB — 427 Euros ($682)
  • Original Bubba Server — 245 Euros (80GB) up to 341 Euros (750GB)

More information on the Bubba Two can also be found at the Excito website, where a developer forum is also available.

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