I would like to set up a small Linux server at home, which would be working 24/7.
But I need it to be completely silent, unaudible at 2 ft., or at night. Prefferably without moving parts, so that it doesn't choke on the dust after a year or so, and which is very cheap to build. Also it has to be safe enough so that it could be left unattended at home, and it wouldn't short or anything.
Has anyone done something similar? What kind of hardware I should be looking at? Price range?
Are you stalking me or something?
I just built a fanlesss heavy-duty router inside a Streamcom FC8, ivy bridge xeon with 8GB of ram, nice ITX board and lots of gigabit ports. Its still overkill because there aren't any dual core ivy yet, but encrypting at line speed is great.http://www.streacom.com/products/fc8-fanless-chassis/
FWIW, it won't be that cheap to DIY (e.g. my case was $200 by itself) and going fanless places considerable burdens on your parts choices. (for my 45w xeon: cost more, lower base clock)
Some "fanless" components still assume an amount of airflow from the case fans/convection so your dustless concept may not pan out.
Fanless atx-style powersupply may not be an option which leaves pico-psu or boards that take DC input. (I went with the latter, common laptop power brick = win)
If you're doing light to moderate duty there are some pretty good pre-built fanless systems out there, though they are a little more embedded/industrial oriented.
I looked long and hard at these guys: (for the crypto/VPN power I would need their top end i7 models, some had month+ lead times and get pricey)http://www.fit-pc.com/web/
For the atom/brazos models amazon has some ready to ship:http://www.amazon.com/gp/aag/main?ie=UT ... VUK9571N8X
I really liked the design they had though, its smaller and more rugged than mine. If I was buying for a business I would've gotten one.
Keep in mind no matter what you will have to stick to SSDs as spinning platters will never be silent, so making it into a NAS is out unless you have gold bars lying around.