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I have an old computer with an AMD Sempron 2500 1.7GHz Processor and 512MB ram. I am trying to build a simple NAS for my home office.

I downloaded the Debian Small CD file amd64 and i386, burnt them to CD and tried to boot from them. After a few minutes, nothing happened. It just sat there on a blank screen. I am familiar with the windows installer how it says "Press any key to continue...." when you try to boot from CD.

So I was thinking that I might be using the wrong small cd file. But which one do I use?

I am very new to anything other than Windows. I found this wonderful guide on how to setup a NAS, but it seems to be way over my head at the moment. http://versia.com/2009/11/nas-debian-lenny-raid1-encrypted/ So please talk slow and use little words :)

Any suggestions for a linux newb would be great.

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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Given that it's a sempron with only 512 MB of RAM. Go with the i386, I'm not a hundred percent certain if the Sempron was a 32 bit CPU but you won't go wrong using the i386 disk.

64bit version is for faster computers what are made with a 64bit processor... Like Core 2 Duo, The new Intels or AMDs.

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According to Wikipedia it depends on wether you have a Socket A or Socket 754 Sempron. The Socket A is 64-bit while the 754 is 32-bit only. Based on the behavior you've described I'd guess that it's a Socket 754.

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If you just need a NAS, why not just go with a NAS software like FreeNAS or OpenFiler? They'll save you tonnes of trouble.

FreeNAS is based-off FreeBSD and OpenFiler is based off Linux. Both are ready for production use.

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I am actually using FreeNAS right now and it works great! However, I wanted to learn more about Debian since I'm going to be using it in an upcoming project. Plus, I want to run crashplan backup solution on my NAS. I found a few solutions for crashplan with FreeNAS but they are all pretty messy. I would definitely recommend FreeNAS to anyone who wants a quick NAS solution. Thanks for the advice @sybreon. –  zechdc Aug 29 '11 at 15:47
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Even if both systems work, since you have less than 4Gb RAM, you will not benefit from using 64 bit. Even on the contrary: your operating system will use slightly more memory (larger memory pointers). Even though amd64 may work, I think it is better to stick to i386 in your case, this is still a bit more tested, and has the additional advantage that some applications (usually non open source applications like flash/skype) work better under i386.

I see only one possible disadvantage: a system compiled for amd64 will use some more processor specific optimizations, and may therefore be a little bit faster for some tasks. But for the packages where you are likely to notice the difference these optimizations may be present in a i386 build anyway.

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