Installing a home server - any advice?

Hi Jorge,
If you try Devuan, use it with sysVinit.
The other init systems ( runit, etc) do not have adequate package system support in Devuan, so you end up writing run scripts which should really be supplied by the Devuan package system.

If you want a distro to look at alternate init systems… the best is Artix, or the
spin releases discussed in this topic

But, you dont really want to play with init systems, you want to build a server. I have not been involved with a server for many years, and that was Solaris, so I cant really recommend a distro… but I can say this
Any Linux ( or BSD) distro can be made into a server. All you do is

  • remove the unnecessary apps ( eg the DE and Office )
  • enable all the services ( daemons) you need to do whatever you want the server to do. eg if it is a file server you might need ntfsd
    Because you use the init system to enable services, that gets us back to init systems.

Init systems do 3 things

  • start PID#1 ( and stop it)
  • service management - ie the user enabling, starting, stopping … services
  • supervision - ie making sure the needed daemons stay running … ie restarting them if they fail.
    Supervision is important in servers… you want them not to crash. The init systems strong on supervision are runit and S6
    Service management is easy - anything - even OpenRC will give the user commands to do that. There is a summary of service management commands here
    HowTo: Manage a service in systemd, SysVinit, Upstart, runit and OpenRC - UNIX.Cafe
    It has everything except S6

I hope that is not confusing. Init systems are rapidly evolving at the moment.

Some people talk about headless servers - no console. They dont have to be. If you want an easy task setting it up, use a screen and keyboard.
You can always turn the screen off, or even remove it, later on when you have it set up.

Sorry , that is about all I know