Server – A Nightmare No More

My last post about the new server indicated the Gigabyte motherboard was returned and an ASUS motherboard ordered as a replacement. I also ordered the cheapest video card I could find as there is/was no on-board video with the basic AMD Ryzen CPU.

The parts arrived in the first week of March, and I promptly put everything together. This time I installed the cpu and head sink/fan on a sturdy table (with static protection), as well as the memory and M.2 SSD. The new motherboard is a bit longer than the first one. It nicely picks up some mounting standoffs on the end, leaving nothing unsupported.

The motherboard went into the case, and the power supply connected easily. There was an initial problem with the front panel connectors, but ASUS had a QR code linking to a very complete ‘motherboard connector and header’ manual that helped immeasurably.

With everything connected, I started the machine and was immediately rewarded by a good boot sequence and the video BIOS screen. After verifying the BIOS settings, I started to install the OS.

Here I had a problem. The 16gig data key was not recognized about 9 times out of 10. Finally I grabbed a different brand data key (same size), re-flashed Ubutntu 18.04 server and was able to install the OS in very short order.

Once I was sure all was well, I buttoned up the case and installed it in my server rack. It’s been running without issues since, having JupyterHub installed as the primary application. It’s also blazingly fast compared to all my other Ubuntu boxes.

Overall I am now quite happy with the 6-core AMD Ryzen chip, though I still wish it had come with at least minimal VGA graphics, as that’s really all a server requires.

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