New DIY builder from Holland, building all in one Home Server

Hi there, I am Aeren and I’ve started my quest for building my own all in one home server. Figured you guys/gals will have a ton of information to make it the best it can become!

About me, I teach all sorts of Computer Science subjects and I’m an oldschool gamer. Mostly into large scale PvP fighting (DaoC, GW2, CU). And ofc, tinkering with some hardware, although it mostly stays semi-easy with building my own computers, home network and doing some PI/Arduino stuff.

About the server:
The server will be an all purpose, all in one home server. I am considering going XEN for running the VM’s for the different tasks. It will be my first virtual server setup, but it sounds quite doable (based off a YouTube video by Lawrence Systems).


  1. PfSense + blocker/black hole router
  2. HomeAssistant - to control IoT
  3. Webserver / FTP / Cloud host / Backup Server
  4. XEN Orchestra
  5. Optional: Plex / Media sharing (2* 4K TV’s)

Future expansions might include:

  1. My own mail server
  2. Back-end servers for apps / bots
  3. Solar panels / electric car management

Basically I will put this machine right behind the fibre connection into PFsense, then onwards to the other VM’s and the physical network.

Requirements / wishes:

  1. Energy efficient, yet strong enough for all purposes listed (and possible future additions).
  2. This machine should replace as many stand-alone systems as possible. So I’m considering adding a quad NIC that can run to all other places (main pc, living room mac, living room IW-AP, attic AP).

What are the hardware requirements I should be looking for? Can a single 8-Core Xeon work? Or should I future proof it into a dual setup? Memory, 16gb or more I assume. And based on these requirements, what are affordable parts to look out for (either second-hand or discounts)?

Thanks for any input you can give and happy tinkering to you all in 2020!

1 Like

That’s a lot of work for one machine and will drive up your costs significantly.

At a minimum I would say that you should never visualize PfSense. You need to have that on its own dedicated box.

You should also make sure you pop by the Discord!