Help with Creating a home server for feeding and plex server | PlexGuide.com

Help with Creating a home server for feeding and plex server

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something

Experienced+
Original poster
Feb 15, 2018
108
31
I have been using the google cloud severs with free trials and it has been working well. But I decided to stop using it and creating my own home-based server. I don't want to keep misusing the loophole.

I want to be as much cost-conscious as possible.

These are the things I have:
1. Gigabit (DL/UL) network
2. Cat6 throughout the house - can certainly keep the hardware wired.
3. Google Suite with unlimited storage.
4. Nvidia Shield TV Pro 2019

These are the things I want to achieve with my home server:
1. Feeder box with Radarr, Sonarr, Nzbhydra, Nzbget, Bazarr - and PGclone ---> I guess this portion would work well with SSDs
2. Plex server - Plex, Tautulli, Ombi

My questions:
1. Is Raspberry Pi 4 a good option for my needs? Can it be used with SSD? Will the SSDs be fast enough if connected with USB cables?
2. Any other hardware recommendation for a cost-effective solution.
3. I would also like to keep the electricity bill low.
 

fr0sty

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Jul 8, 2018
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PG is not compatable with ARM processors. Needs to be a real computer. Could hunt around for a NUC, or any cheap desktop really if your not transcoding. SSD is much better for sure.
 

Datamonkeh

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Jan 20, 2018
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6th gen or newer intel chip with iGPU, if that symmetrical gigabit is WAN, then I wouldn't go lower than 500GB of SSD, ideally NVMe and preferably TLC for endurance.
 

something

Experienced+
Original poster
Feb 15, 2018
108
31
PG is not compatable with ARM processors. Needs to be a real computer. Could hunt around for a NUC, or any cheap desktop really if your not transcoding. SSD is much better for sure.
So, thr RPi4 will not work for me, right?
Post automatically merged:

6th gen or newer intel chip with iGPU, if that symmetrical gigabit is WAN, then I wouldn't go lower than 500GB of SSD, ideally NVMe and preferably TLC for endurance.
I have a xps15 with i7-4712hq. Would that work? I will prefer to also have windows on it. So may look into getting dual OS on it.
 
Last edited:

NOS7Cruzeiro

Citizen
Jun 6, 2020
6
0
RPi4 would definitely be a bad choice to handle such high speeds.

Handling usenet hash checks and unrar would be painfull.

You might be able to get a torrent feed based setup, but I wouldn't bother with such a low spec hardware.
 

Breit12

Citizen
Patron
May 23, 2020
5
5
Intel NUCs are great for this. Got a nuc8i7 here for my Plex, Sonarr, Radarr, etc. Works great for everything. Files are all stored on a cheap synology.
 

Datamonkeh

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Intel NUCs are great for this. Got a nuc8i7 here for my Plex, Sonarr, Radarr, etc. Works great for everything. Files are all stored on a cheap synology.
I love NUC’s, but you generally pay ‘small tax’ and intel haven’t significantly changed anything since the 6th gen in Plex terms (8th gen onwards NUC’s are slightly different to previous generations). Based on what you say about storage, can I ask if you’ve taken a moment to read up on what PG actually does? Just with you mentioning local storage/NAS, it appears you may not have.
 

Edrock200

MVP
Staff
Nov 17, 2019
542
195
I have been using the google cloud severs with free trials and it has been working well. But I decided to stop using it and creating my own home-based server. I don't want to keep misusing the loophole.

I want to be as much cost-conscious as possible.

These are the things I have:
1. Gigabit (DL/UL) network
2. Cat6 throughout the house - can certainly keep the hardware wired.
3. Google Suite with unlimited storage.
4. Nvidia Shield TV Pro 2019

These are the things I want to achieve with my home server:
1. Feeder box with Radarr, Sonarr, Nzbhydra, Nzbget, Bazarr - and PGclone ---> I guess this portion would work well with SSDs
2. Plex server - Plex, Tautulli, Ombi

My questions:
1. Is Raspberry Pi 4 a good option for my needs? Can it be used with SSD? Will the SSDs be fast enough if connected with USB cables?
2. Any other hardware recommendation for a cost-effective solution.
3. I would also like to keep the electricity bill low.
Imo, depending on your budget and cost of power in your area, you might want to consider either a cheap $10-$15/mo vps or $20-30 dedicated as your feeder. Here's why:
1. Power costs. Depending on cost of power in your area the cost savings may pay for most of the cloud unit. No worries on hardware breakfix, internet, etc.
2. You won't be taxing your home internet connection for uploads and downloads. You can throttle them but it's still taking away from your bandwidth.
3. You can max out (depending on the provider) your feeder to upload/dl at 1gb without affecting your home network performance.

Im setup this way essentially. A feeder and front end in the cloud, and only a front end box at home. This allows me to use Google drive as my "CDN" provider if you will, and friends/family get pointed to the cloud front end so they don't utilize my home bandwidth.

Just a suggestion. Whatever you end up going with, I highly recommend ssd's for your Plex/emby/jellyfin data drive. It makes metadata loading very fluid and not laggy. For a feeder box 2 or more platter drives in raid 0 is more than fast enough in my experience, but that also depends on how much content your grabbing daily. If the cloud box is only a feeder, it doesnt need to be beefy. It will do it's processing on the back end, perhaps a little slower than a beefy box but in general we are talking maybe 5m longer for a movie to post under load.
 
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natsuki64

Citizen
Jun 22, 2020
6
1
Imo, depending on your budget and cost of power in your area, you might want to consider either a cheap $10-$15/mo vps or $20-30 dedicated as your feeder. Here's why:
1. Power costs. Depending on cost of power in your area the cost savings may pay for most of the cloud unit. No worries on hardware breakfix, internet, etc.
2. You won't be taxing your home internet connection for uploads and downloads. You can throttle them but it's still taking away from your bandwidth.
3. You can max out (depending on the provider) your feeder to upload/dl at 1gb without affecting your home network performance.

Im setup this way essentially. A feeder and front end in the cloud, and only a front end box at home. This allows me to use Google drive as my "CDN" provider if you will, and friends/family get pointed to the cloud front end so they don't utilize my home bandwidth.

Just a suggestion. Whatever you end up going with, I highly recommend ssd's for your Plex/emby/jellyfin data drive. It makes metadata loading very fluid and not laggy. For a feeder box 2 or more platter drives in raid 0 is more than fast enough in my experience, but that also depends on how much content your grabbing daily. If the cloud box is only a feeder, it doesnt need to be beefy. It will do it's processing on the back end, perhaps a little slower than a beefy box but in general we are talking maybe 5m longer for a movie to post under load.
I have just discovered this site and am looking through many threads. I am still getting into this world of dedi/VPS servers for Plex (currently only have a seedbox), and your reply to OP greatly intrigued me. I am not yet able to PM, so I am sorry in advance to everyone in this thread.

Based on your message, are you saying that it is possible to get the best of both worlds? As in, being able to purchase a dedi/VPS for reasonably cheap so it will be used solely for download and upload, and use the front end box in my home as the actual Plex server, but then also have the dedi/VPS internet speed be used for shared users without affecting my home internet speeds?
 

Edrock200

MVP
Staff
Nov 17, 2019
542
195
I have just discovered this site and am looking through many threads. I am still getting into this world of dedi/VPS servers for Plex (currently only have a seedbox), and your reply to OP greatly intrigued me. I am not yet able to PM, so I am sorry in advance to everyone in this thread.

Based on your message, are you saying that it is possible to get the best of both worlds? As in, being able to purchase a dedi/VPS for reasonably cheap so it will be used solely for download and upload, and use the front end box in my home as the actual Plex server, but then also have the dedi/VPS internet speed be used for shared users without affecting my home internet speeds?
That is correct. You can use this as an all in one solution or break it up into 2 or more systems/servers. If doing so just be sure to make subdomains for the root domain for each, if you don't want to by two domains. For example. If your domain is yourdomain.com, when setting up traefik make server1s root domain server1.youedomain.com, and server2 server2.yourdomain.com, etc.
 
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natsuki64

Citizen
Jun 22, 2020
6
1
That is correct. You can use this as an all in one solution or break it up into 2 or more systems/servers. If doing so just be sure to make subdomains for the root domain for each, if you don't want to by two domains. For example. If your domain is yourdomain.com, when setting up traefik make server1s root domain server1.youedomain.com, and server2 server2.yourdomain.com, etc.
My greenthumb is showing because I don't exactly know how to do all of what you mentioned quite yet. Now that you have confirmed that it is possible at least, I am going to figure this out further. I researched all day yesterday and nearly gave up thinking that hosting a dedi plex server to stream to a couple friends was not possible without a large monthly payment.

You have already been very nice with your knowledge and quick response time, but if I may, I would like to ask a few more questions. What dedi or VPS do you use? I am overwhelmed by all the current possibilities. I was looking into Hetzner EX42-NVMe to be used as a feeder plus the server, but was iffy on price and reliability of connection. If I am correctly interpreting what I am reading from you, I can now get away with something cheaper because it will only be used as the feeder.

You mentioned that I can choose from an all-in-one solution, or break up this method to <2 servers. What method do you use? I am also unsure what the differences between these two mean. Assuming they produce the same goal, what would the preference be?

To give you more detail on my situation, I have a GSuite account, and some expendable money to pay monthly for a dedi/VPS. Located in the US, with ISP plan only at 50 download/12 upload, so I ruled out hosting my own server long ago. But if it is truly possible to still have a home server and have said server use the internet of whatever cloud server I purchase would be fantastic. End goal would be 4K remux stream for myself, but I realize that is not possible with my current setup. Current goal is reliable, non-4K streaming for 3 people.
 

Edrock200

MVP
Staff
Nov 17, 2019
542
195
My greenthumb is showing because I don't exactly know how to do all of what you mentioned quite yet. Now that you have confirmed that it is possible at least, I am going to figure this out further. I researched all day yesterday and nearly gave up thinking that hosting a dedi plex server to stream to a couple friends was not possible without a large monthly payment.

You have already been very nice with your knowledge and quick response time, but if I may, I would like to ask a few more questions. What dedi or VPS do you use? I am overwhelmed by all the current possibilities. I was looking into Hetzner EX42-NVMe to be used as a feeder plus the server, but was iffy on price and reliability of connection. If I am correctly interpreting what I am reading from you, I can now get away with something cheaper because it will only be used as the feeder.

You mentioned that I can choose from an all-in-one solution, or break up this method to <2 servers. What method do you use? I am also unsure what the differences between these two mean. Assuming they produce the same goal, what would the preference be?

To give you more detail on my situation, I have a GSuite account, and some expendable money to pay monthly for a dedi/VPS. Located in the US, with ISP plan only at 50 download/12 upload, so I ruled out hosting my own server long ago. But if it is truly possible to still have a home server and have said server use the internet of whatever cloud server I purchase would be fantastic. End goal would be 4K remux stream for myself, but I realize that is not possible with my current setup. Current goal is reliable, non-4K streaming for 3 people.
I don't know what your home server/PC is, 50mbs might be a little tight but it might not be an issue too. Depends on the quality of the files. Even higher end (not remux) 1080p X3 should be ok as long as you don't need much more bandwidth for other activities at the same time.

My setup presently is a hetzner ex62 but it's complete overkill for my needs, and I'm running 42 containers on it. Even still it hovers at 10% CPU and maybe 1/3 of the ram in use. Connection quality isn't an issue because I use a free cloudflare account that proxies the traffic through their content distribution network. However, if you aren't streaming from that box you won't need that. It's peering to Google and other services is great.

If you get an ex42, it should handle your needs fine and be able to grow with you when you are ready for remux/4k. With that box you could even skip the home setup and stream all from there. I'm considering moving all streaming to my ex62 and free up the home node for other things.

However my setup is as follows:
Plexguide installed in a virtual machine at home, it has its own domain name, the core items needed for pg installed during setup, the Plex container and netdata container for performance stats.

The ex62 box has its own domain as well and has the items listed above plus all the media management containers, downloaders, index handlers, etc. It also runs multiple copies of the same apps in separate containers for more granular media management, for example Sonarr and Sonarr4K. The ex62 box can stand on its own, in that it has no reliance on my home system. My home system however is reliant on the ex62 to add media/content to gsuite for Plex to see. If I wanted to make the ex62 a "feeder only" type system I would just delete the front end containers (Plex, emby, jellyfin, etc.)

With regard to vps', I haven't researched them in a long time, and it really depends on how much you want to push/pull bandwidth wise from the box. Contabo has pretty competitive vps' server offerings but they will throttle you if the bandwidth is pegged 24/7, however they just recently opened a data center in the states as well. I *think* that data center charges a few $ more/mo but it's still relatively inexpensive for what you are getting. Stateside WholesaleInternet has some cheap dedi offerings as well, not as powerful as hetzner for the price though.

The nice thing about the ex line is they have integrated gpus in which Plex/emby/jellyfin can offload transcoding tasks to the hardware gpu, drastically reducing the amount of cpu power needed for those tasks.

Oh and if you go the contabo route one tip, for some reason they throttle the disk I/O of their ssd offerings to 100MB/s. If you submit a ticket requesting this throttle be lifted, they will remove the cap, but they don't advertise this.
 

rodzluis

Citizen
Donor
Donor
Jun 17, 2020
12
0
I’m sorry to jump in but I’m also interested into this. I’m looking into a Hetzner server to feed and download for me. I was looking into the EX-42 NVMe as well however I don’t know if I should get additional HDD for it.

I’ve seen some config in other threads showing 2 512 GB SSD with additional HDD. Is this necessary or just the SSD and GSuite should be sufficient?
 

Datamonkeh

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Jan 20, 2018
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I run an EX42-NVMe, it's more than adequate for PG. Set the two SSD's to RAID0 and you have 1TB of RAW space, it's more than capable of running as a combined server with several users, no need for a slow HDD.
 
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rodzluis

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Jun 17, 2020
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I run an EX42-NVMe, it's more than adequate for PG. Set the two SSD's to RAID0 and you have 1TB of RAW space, it's more than capable of running as a combined server with several users, no need for a slow HDD.
Thank you for the prompt response. I have 2 more questions

1. Do I have to select Rescue System in order to use Raid 0? I don’t see an option to change it while ordering.

2. I’ve seen different opinions regarding server location. Germany vs Helsinki. Which one should I select?

Thank you, mates
 

Datamonkeh

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Set RAID via rescue system (I posted the steps in another thread last? month). Location is subjective, FSN is more expensive, but (for me) has better routing/peering, HEL is more suited to other parts of the EU and a little cheaper. Given the choice I would usually go FSN (Germany) on a combined server. If you just want to test, go to the Could Console and spin up a test box for an hour and run speed tests, the inbuilt tests on PG only test speeds to specific end points on other networks, you can deploy a speed test container and actually test you to the server if you want and it'll cost you bugger all other than time.

https://speed.hetzner.de <-- Test files are also an option, but obviously not as detailed.
 

syebrexsr

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Patron
May 22, 2020
111
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I have been using google cloud severs with free trials and it has been working well. But I decided to stop using it and creating my own home-based server. I don't want to keep misusing the loophole.

I want to be as much cost-conscious as possible.

These are the things I have:
1. Gigabit (DL/UL) network
2. Cat6 throughout the house - can certainly keep the hardware wired.
3. Google Suite with unlimited storage.
4. Nvidia Shield TV Pro 2019

These are the things I want to achieve with my home server:
1. Feeder box with Radarr, Sonarr, Nzbhydra, Nzbget, Bazarr - and PGclone ---> I guess this portion would work well with SSDs
2. Plex server - Plex, Tautulli, Ombi

My questions:
1. Is Raspberry Pi 4 a good option for my needs? Can it be used with SSD? Will the SSDs be fast enough if connected with USB cables?
2. Any other hardware recommendation for a cost-effective solution.
3. I would also like to keep the electricity bill low.
1.) Raspberry Pi 4, not good for PlexGuide, different architecture according to PG. SSD works fine with it. Works well as a Plex server; there are a few things. Great for in-home streaming, can transcode but not well, excellent for the direct play of 4-6 direct plays at one time, lower power, small footprint, affordable Plex server solution for small use.
2.) cost-effective, well yes, a used I7 proc machine. you should be able to find something around 250.00, You should make sure the hardware supports upgraded memory and hard drive space before you would purchase it. Make sure to use something that will take a beating and keep kicking, RED drives, I.E. Other Enterprise drives but that is not cheap and you would need a Perc card or something for the Raid. There are other things you could consider and should. Are you going to run a software or hardware raid option? Me, I would take the easier way out and try to peace make an inexpensive i7 with the raid as software on the board. With these used I7's you going to find a lot of Dell's and HP's that do not have raid functions like raid 1,5,0, or 10. When you go that route you may have to find a raid card (PCI-E at least) and an external box. If you peace it together you can make sure your motherboard has most of the functions. The rule is to stick with Intel if you want something robust and long-lasting, the good and the bad of that is Intel limits functions on their motherboards to keep stability as others may push the limits for fun super clocking, etc. This all being said Intel is still king but AMD is not bad at all. Ok, I may have rambled on here but you can pull good info from this.
3.) Well, Raspberry may need a closer look as it is clearly the winner on keeping the power consumption low.

I pulled a lot of info out of stuff I read before. Please fact check my stuff I make mistakes (copy-paste google).

Good luck!
 

Datamonkeh

Data Hoarding Primate
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Jan 20, 2018
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1.) Raspberry Pi 4, not good for PlexGuide, different architecture according to PG. SSD works fine with it. Works well as a Plex server; there are a few things. Great for in-home streaming, can transcode but not well, excellent for the direct play of 4-6 direct plays at one time, lower power, small footprint, affordable Plex server solution for small use.
2.) cost-effective, well yes, a used I7 proc machine. you should be able to find something around 250.00, You should make sure the hardware supports upgraded memory and hard drive space before you would purchase it. Make sure to use something that will take a beating and keep kicking, RED drives, I.E. Other Enterprise drives but that is not cheap and you would need a Perc card or something for the Raid. There are other things you could consider and should. Are you going to run a software or hardware raid option? Me, I would take the easier way out and try to peace make an inexpensive i7 with the raid as software on the board. With these used I7's you going to find a lot of Dell's and HP's that do not have raid functions like raid 1,5,0, or 10. When you go that route you may have to find a raid card (PCI-E at least) and an external box. If you peace it together you can make sure your motherboard has most of the functions. The rule is to stick with Intel if you want something robust and long-lasting, the good and the bad of that is Intel limits functions on their motherboards to keep stability as others may push the limits for fun super clocking, etc. This all being said Intel is still king but AMD is not bad at all. Ok, I may have rambled on here but you can pull good info from this.
3.) Well, Raspberry may need a closer look as it is clearly the winner on keeping the power consumption low.

I pulled a lot of info out of stuff I read before. Please fact check my stuff I make mistakes (copy-paste google).

Good luck!
I think the op probably got sorted a few weeks back, or at least I hope so.

While I agree with some of what you say, some of it I look at a little differently. WD RED drives (and indeed Enterprise drives) are probably not a good idea unless you are using local media, they're generally noisy/hot/slow/unreliable/expensive to power compared to SSD's, especially if you use GDrive for data and a local SSD for metadata and OS/Dockers which is what most of us do here. Anecdotal evidence suggests the reliability isn't significantly better than other OEM's/SKU's. RAID is generally something that is handled in software on a small scale (UnRAID, FreeNAS, Synology, Qnap etc. all use software RAID) and never use RAID 5 with modern sized drives, rebuilds are guaranteed to have issues at this stage. Intel vs AMD is subjective, neither is unreliable and will last a lifetime if that's what you need it to do, intel is more power efficient in situations where you use HW Transcoding (iGPU), but Ryzen turned the raw cost/performance ratio on it's head overnight.

Pi's can be used as download boxes, but it's more suited to light usage and/or slower connections, RAR/PAR work isn't fun and although the Pi4 moved the NIC off a shared bus with the USB controller, it's still not great vs a cheap x86_64 based set-up. If power cost is a concern, just use a VPS and a Pi makes a reasonable Plex client still.
 
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syebrexsr

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May 22, 2020
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I think the op probably got sorted a few weeks back, or at least I hope so.

While I agree with some of what you say, some of it I look at a little differently. WD RED drives (and indeed Enterprise drives) are probably not a good idea unless you are using local media, they're generally noisy/hot/slow/unreliable/expensive to power compared to SSD's, especially if you use GDrive for data and a local SSD for metadata and OS/Dockers which is what most of us do here. Anecdotal evidence suggests the reliability isn't significantly better than other OEM's/SKU's. RAID is generally something that is handled in software on a small scale (UnRAID, FreeNAS, Synology, Qnap etc. all use software RAID) and never use RAID 5 with modern sized drives, rebuilds are guaranteed to have issues at this stage. Intel vs AMD is subjective, neither is unreliable and will last a lifetime if that's what you need it to do, intel is more power efficient in situations where you use HW Transcoding (iGPU), but Ryzen turned the raw cost/performance ratio on it's head overnight.

Pi's can be used as download boxes, but it's more suited to light usage and/or slower connections, RAR/PAR work isn't fun and although the Pi4 moved the NIC off a shared bus with the USB controller, it's still not great vs a cheap x86_64 based set-up. If power cost is a concern, just use a VPS and a Pi makes a reasonable Plex client still.
So, yes, I misunderstood the question; even more, I missed the fact that unless you have a very super-fast connection, using something like rclone to connect your local box to Gdrive maybe speed prohibited due to a slow upload from home. Unless maybe you have a very fast symmetrical connection to the internet.

My first impression of Red drives is on my DVR, and it has been taxed and works great, as far as speed, they suck. I didn't know about the heat issues as I have only read that at least they are pretty reliable for home DVR, or plex installs. I have some noise stuff out in the makeshift garage data center LoL; I will see how my little box is doing.

Thank you for explaining the general hardware/software setup; yes I am completely out of my wheelhouse when it comes to docker, plex, and all the software raid stuff. Very cool and interesting stuff!

Yes, I messed up on Raid 5 because of my old school thinking. Raid 6 and 10 is what we used at work. I bought for a company a Nutanix cluster (4 Host). Then I worked with a Dell Engineer to get it setup. Point being that I should know better; thank you for correcting me. Thank you for the rebuild info as well, that makes sense.

Again old data, we used to say more Intel CPU die on a pallet than AMD CPU's, it was an opinion back in the day.

Both Intel and AMD have dedicated websites for support; I think Intel offers phone support where AMD does not. I Read a quick blurp on Ryzen and wow, very cool!

Bottom line, I agree and learned from your post, thank you! I am learning! ":)
 
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doob

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Jun 7, 2020
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Price 6 / 10
 
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