February 5, 2017
A few weeks ago the spare bedroom, which housed my desk, monitor and printer, began the transformation into a room for my next child who is due in April. The desk and monitor have been sold, and the printer needed to be moved. The small laser printer is used by myself and my wife on a semi-regular basis and doesn’t feature Wi-Fi. This seemed like a good excuse to sort out a solution which offers AirPrint and to which I could migrate the media server functionality of my now non-functional Synology DiskStation.
A small form factor Linux server which could be placed next to my Apple TV in the sitting room seemed the ideal solution. The Linux print server, CUPS, offers AirPrint for any supported printer. After a modicum of research I settled on a barebones MSI Cubi N to which I added 4GB of RAM, an eSATA 64GB SSD and a 500GB 2.5” HDD which I already owned. As always there was a small amount of fiddling to get Linux successfully installed; I took the boring choice of using Ubuntu, the Linux distribution I’ve used most recently.
I’ve now got the server running 24⁄7 and consuming less than 14W of power. It includes Plex (the only videos it contains are Frasier TV episodes) and works well with Shelly for when I want to play with the Linux command line. So far a good buy and highly recommended if you have similar requirements.