Hi, I'm ThadeusB.

I code, I play, I love, I innovate

Building an Unraid Homelab Server with Dell Rack Mount Servers

Building an Unraid Homelab Server with Dell Rack Mount Servers


In the realm of technology, repurposing old hardware is not just economical, it's environmentally responsible. This blog post explores how I transformed a 2013 Dell datacenter rack mount server into a versatile Unraid homelab server. Here's how this robust setup powers my home's digital needs.

Specifications of the Unraid Server

  • Model and Motherboard: Custom setup with a Supermicro X9DR3-F, providing a solid foundation for diverse server tasks.
  • CPU: Dual Intel® Xeon® CPU E5-2650 v2 @ 2.60GHz, perfect for multitasking and heavy workloads.
  • Memory: 128 GiB DDR3 Multi-bit ECC, supporting up to 192 GiB for extensive data processing and storage needs.
  • Network Setup: Features fault-tolerance with active-backup, ensuring continuous network availability.
  • Virtualization and Security: Both HVM and IOMMU are enabled, facilitating secure and efficient virtualization.
  • Storage Capabilities: Utilizes Unraid for flexible, scalable storage solutions, making it ideal for a variety of applications.

Core Functions of My Homelab Server

  • File Server for Family: Serves as a centralized repository for family photos, documents, and backup files, easily accessible within our home network.
  • Plex Media Server: Utilizes the server's robust processing power to run Plex, organizing and streaming media effortlessly to any device in our home.
  • Storj Integration: Participates in the Storj network, allowing me to utilize unused disk space for decentralized storage, which contributes to cryptocurrency earnings.

Additional Capabilities

  • Docker Containers: With the powerful Xeon processors and ample RAM, the server efficiently runs multiple Docker containers for various applications and development environments.
  • Learning and Experimentation: The server is not only a practical tool for home use but also a learning platform for testing new software and networking concepts.

Setup Process

  1. Hardware Assembly: Starting with the robust Supermicro motherboard and Dell chassis, I configured the dual Xeon processors and 128 GiB of ECC RAM.
  2. Software Installation: I installed Unraid to manage the diverse storage needs effectively, leveraging its user-friendly interface for easy management.
  3. Service Configuration: Set up Plex and Storj on Docker, optimizing each container's settings to take full advantage of the server's capabilities.
  4. Security and Maintenance: Regular updates and strict security protocols are applied to protect data and ensure the server runs smoothly.


Transforming an old Dell rack mount server into an Unraid-powered homelab has been a rewarding project. This setup not only meets our family’s digital storage and entertainment needs but also serves as a sandbox for my technical experiments. It showcases the longevity and adaptability of enterprise hardware when paired with innovative software solutions.