Build a Unraid ServerJuly 12, 2021
Unraid is a Linux based operating system and therefore runs on all x64 systems. This means that the server must have an Intel or AMD CPU. The hardware requirements differ depending on the application. Basically we distinguish between storage servers and application servers. Storage servers are simply intended to store a large amount of data. Application servers run various applications. Most people using Unraid have both: lots of storage and some Docker and VMs. That means we are oriented towards the application server.
Minium hardware requirements:
- A 64-bit capable processor, 1.0 GHz or better
- At least 2GB of RAM
- Linux hardware driver support for storage, Ethernet, and USB controllers
- Two hard disk drives to ensure data protection with a parity disk
For an application server, Unraid states:
To run a wide range of applications, your system should consist of at least a quad-core CPU (2.4 GHz or faster) and 4-8 GB of RAM. If you load more applications, you will need to add additional resources.
That means a Unraid server should basically consist of a quad-core CPU, with at least 8GB of Ram, plus an SSD as write cache and storage for Docker containers and virtual machines. Then there are the regular hard disks for the network shares. Depending on the requirements, you can of course customize the system.
My Unraid server is currently running a Ryzen 5 2600, 32GB RAM, a 250GB SSD and four 4TB Seagate IronWolf HDDs. The Ryzen 5 provides good single core performance, which I need for some game servers I host on the Unraid server.
These are the Dockers I am currently hosting:
The more Docker etc. you want to run on the server, the more CPU power is needed. Exactly how much can only be tested. If you don’t want to build your Unraid server from new parts, a used server from Ebay might be the right choice.