What difference/advantages apart from snapshots (btrfs filesystem) does the images have compared to installing the freedombox .deb package?
This, I think, is more a matter of how you wish to execute (or not) the sorts of features btrfs provides.
I run my freedombox as a VM, so the data redundancy/integrity, disk pools, snapshots/bakcups, etc is all handled by the server at the VM level. Trying to use btrfs inside a VM sitting on top of ZFS would probably not go well.
The amd64 image has support for UEFI and Secure Boot?
Sorry, can’t answer this one.
Can unofficial applications be installed via apt? My idea is to install a couple of lightweight applications (CLI) that do not interfere with freedombox (like urlwatch or smartmontools).
Don’t see why not. I’ve never had a CLI tool conflict with other things installed on any server (including freedombox so far).
But backup/snapshot your installation before each install and vet everything appears to work fine. Easy way to roll back if you do find something that breaks the system.
Same policy even for changes to freedombox. Broke mine pretty bad making config changes to matrix a while back. Pre-fiddling backup made it easy to undo, once I determined I couldn’t fix the issue.
I’m using Proxmox on retired server hardware.
But nothing actually stops you from running it on just about anything. Trick is a board/chip that supports all the hardware virt as there are some real performance differences I’ve found.
I have a reserve server that runs some limited services while I’m away; its on some old AMD chip/board for gaming. Its missing some of the hardware virtualization features and I can tell the system runs the same VMs slower and one VM won’t boot at all with Hardware KVM option set.
There is a raspberry pi proxmox (pimox) out there but it is rough and not something I’d run as anything but experimentation. I found even small VMs I had (like a pihole) I could not get working. Hopefully, the project makes some progress.
You can acquire old Dell, HP, and other manufacturer servers for cheap off fleabay and elsewhere. These are usually going to be much older units (ie a decade old) like Dell 12th Gen Poweredge.
That or build your own on two gen old chipsets (usually decent price break and a solid machine can be built for under $2k).
Thanks for the advice for future projects.
In my case the server MUST be fanless, because I have the server in my bedroom above my head . There are fanless servers for industrial environments and specific for routers (Protectli) that can work (although a bit expensive).
We’ve tested the Protectli’s at work. I’d have to ask what the impression was from the support/engineering guys.
Is the fanless for reasons of noise? I’ve got mine practically next to the bed (maybe 4ft) mounted vertically on a wall. Only one that is annoying (and hot) is the proxmox backup server; it is on some ancient hardware that runs toasty for whatever reason. The other two are basically idling at night and are fairly quiet (no noisier than leaving the desktop on for downloads or some such).
I can’t say if that is true of all servers. You could go into the machine’s controls and turn the fan speeds down if they are too noisy at idle but any sort of temp trigger would eventually send either the fans spinning up or the chip’s thermal-throttling. I suppose you could build a liquid-cooled setup.
In any course, if fans must be silent or non-existent, that will drive up cost. And industrial machines are rarely retired in anything but a worn-out state. I wouldn’t want to buy one used that was retired.