Thinking about repurposing an old PC as a docker appliance...

Currently reading
Thinking about repurposing an old PC as a docker appliance...

3,979
1,369
NAS
DS4l8play, DS202j, DS3623xs+, DSM 7.3.3-25847
I have an available PC equipped with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400+ (2.30 GHz), 4 GB RAM, and a Radeon HD5450 video card. Presently it is running Win10 adequately.

I've been thinking about setting it up to run most of my docker containers (vaultwarden, sonarr, qbittorrent, languagetool, ...) and I've thought up 3 ways to do this.
  • OMV running docker
  • Ubuntu x64
  • Proxmox
I'm curious about any feedback (pros/cons/don't do it, it's a waste of time...). I started off thinking I would go with OMV, but am now leaning to docker on Ubuntu, as it seems "simpler" and would also enable me to add things alongside docker (Nextcloud, for example). I'm considering moving Plex here, but I'm unsure how the video card would play out, should I need transcoding (rare).

Initially, I was going to add an RPi specifically for this, but as they are nearly nonexistent at reasonable prices, I wondered how this PC might work.

What are your thoughts/suggestions? Thanks!
 
I love encouragement.

giphy.gif
 
Digging a bit deeper, it seems like RAM is "officially" capped at 4x1 GB by PC spec.

However, I just ordered 2-2 GB sticks, and will see if that memory limitation is real, or just a sign of the times when that PC was released. If that works, I'll order 2 more sticks, bringing me to an "acceptable" 8 GB of memory (maybe, maybe, maybe... ).
 
What I meant is that this might be the beginning of the end of your relationship with Synology.

You’ll start drifting away and suddenly you realize that there’s no reason to run a Synology because everything has moved. Not saying it’s wrong. If it works for you then by all means.

See, I’m encouraging you 🤣

Good luck with the memory.
 
I've been thinking about setting it up to run most of my docker containers (vaultwarden, sonarr, qbittorrent, languagetool, ...) and I've thought up 3 ways to do this.
  • OMV running docker
  • Ubuntu x64
  • Proxmox
If you don't need the NAS functionality, only docker, I would go ubuntu server, or even plain debian if you can deal with the rough edges. The less things you have running on the base OS the better.

Proxmox with an ubuntu/debian docker vm on top is another option, this would allow you to have other vms where you can test new things without the need for a new machine or risk breaking something on the "production" server.

However, if you plan on having it running 24x7 be aware of the power consumption, this computer will not be very efficient.
 
RAM is "officially" capped at 4x1 GB
Ubuntu or some hypervisor as base for docker or vm/docker combo would be a good ofc, but not without some more RAM. Hope you will be able to get it running stable with some additional capacity.

end of your relationship with Synology
Telos will become out anti-Syno spokesmen soon :P
 
Last edited:
However, if you plan on having it running 24x7 be aware of the power consumption, this computer will not be very efficient.
This is a concern (along with RAM).
If you don't need the NAS functionality, only docker, I would go ubuntu server
Originally I planned to do this with an RPi running Ubuntu x64. However, RPi's are in tight supply, and pricing is absurd. My existing RPi runs Buster, and so I am limited to 32-bit docker images. I don't want to scrap what I have, and so the quandary.

Another factor is that my Synology Docker (x64) is running on an unsupported DS418play, and I have concerns that Synology updates will one day disable my docker setup.
Telos will become out anti-Syno spokesmen soon :P
🤣 Or maybe I will need a new NAS to support my Docker needs... perhaps a 2-drive, and use my other units largely for storage. Basically, I am down to Plex, Docker, Contacts and Calendaring. I have to stay with Syno only so I can tap into this fine expert-led forum. I'm less about abandoning Synology, that discovering what else is out there.
 
🤣 Or maybe I will need a new machine to support my Docker needs... perhaps a 2-drive, and use my other units largely for storage. Basically, I am down to Plex, Docker, Contacts and Calendaring. I have to stay with Syno only so I can tap into this fine expert-led forum. I'm less about abandoning Synology, that discovering what else is out there.
It's always a good thing to keep learning. VMs and Docker are two of my favorite things for that. I'm getting older and believe that it's important to keep challenging myself and with these two programs I can do that without endangering my primary system. Heck, even the recent entry into the NAS world with Synology has been a heck of a learning experience for me.
 
With power use concerns, and limited memory, I've chosen to put a NUC to use. Now my decision is Debian vs Ubuntu. I'm leaning to Debian, as it is the leaner of the two, but the i5 processor could probably care less.

Thoughts anyone?
 
Last edited:
The more time thinking through this... I'm inclining to Proxmox on NUC. For my Docker containers, I'm considering virtualized Alpine or Arch OS. With Proxmox, I could also "play around" with TrueNAS, or consider built-in containers, such as for Nextcloud. A virtual playground of possibilities...

So that gets me thinking about how to back up Proxmox containers... O well... tomorrow is (hopefully) another day.

EDIT1: Some potential issues with Proxmox... For example, if running a YT downloader on a Proxmox container, I'd like the download to land on the NAS. It's unclear how to set a bind mount to do that. Another example... Plex on Proxmox to read media on Synology NAS. Much to learn.
 
I'd grab an older generation Intel NUC, they are cheap as chips on the used market and even a brand new, current model Celeron quad core is affordable. Power draw is between 10-35w depending on activity. Install OMV/Proxmox/Linux distro of choice and voila! (I'm running Rocky Linux on mine).

For not much more cost and desk space than an rPi4, you gain a much better setup. Though I'd avoid anything earlier than 5th Gen (2015) NUCs unless it is hella cheap. And a tip - the 6th gen and later NUCs can run 64GB (though not officially supported on anything less than current gen).
 
With power use concerns, and limited memory, I've chosen to put a NUC to use. Now my decision is Debian vs Ubuntu. I'm leaning to Debian, as it is the leaner of the two, but the i5 processor could probably care less.

Thoughts anyone?
A NUC is a nice compromise, I've read that 11th gen NUCs are quite power efficient in idle, but if you go with those new-ish chips you may encounter problems with them not being well supported on older kernels.
Specifically, I read about problems with sleep states with the kernel in ubuntu 20.04 that were resolved when installing 22.04 (with newer kernel)
 
I'd grab an older generation Intel NUC
I ended up ordering an 11i5. Should arrive later this week. Looking at headless Debian presently.
if you go with those new-ish chips you may encounter problems with them not being well supported on older kernels.
Thanks for the heads-up. Most of the blog posts I've read are for older generations, so I'll be treading undocumented ground, however my usage plan is somewhat simple.
 
for such purposes it doesn’t matter if Ubnt or Deb headless versions
Just care about airflow from/to box. Temp Sensor (customised threshold and relay switch) with additional fan is cheap and will support the lifetime of your components
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Similar threads

Coop777, creating a shared folder like you suggested worked great. Thanks for the suggestion! Harold
Replies
4
Views
1,657
a funny story from 2009, when the last mainframe was switched off. we tried to move it to university free...
Replies
12
Views
2,376

Welcome to SynoForum.com!

SynoForum.com is an unofficial Synology forum for NAS owners and enthusiasts.

Registration is free, easy and fast!

Trending threads

Back
Top