Saturday, January 19, 2008

Building a Home File Server

Setting up a file server doesn't need to be complicated.
With three desktop machines (Kubuntu, Win XP and a testbed, which is currently running ReactOS) and a laptop (Xubuntu) in use at home, our IT is reaching small office proportions, and like many small offices, we run into file sharing problems. Peer-to-peer networking is fine when all the machines are on, but inevitably it happens that the file I want is on a PC that isn't running. Even worse, it be on my testbed machine that is currently in pieces or undergoing yet another upgrade. So, we need an always-on server that any of us can access any time, but if it is always on, it needs to be quiet, reliable and cheap to run.
These requirements rule out Pentium 4 (too hot and power-hungry) and Windows (needs rebooting too often). Fortunately, I just happen to have a Pentium III of no great distinction that sports a massive passive cooler, and I'm a bit of a Linux enthusiast. Apart from stability, Linux has several other advantages. It's free. It is almost totally virus-resistant, and it comes with excellent fire-walling and security features. And, it is easy to administer remotely, so once it's set up, the server doesn't need its own keyboard, mouse or screen, which saves expense, space, power and heat.read more....

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