Greetings - I have a weekend project planned to network 4 windows desktop & notebook clients at home to a new Ubuntu 13.10 server.
Primary goal is for file storage, I have 4TB of re-purposed drives in my re-purposed AMD Phenom X6 Box. I would like to centralize all of my media files onto the Ubuntu file server. Network is switched 100.
Secondary goal is for authentication. Currently my Windows clients (Win 7, Windows 8.1 (VM), are setup in a Windows Homegroup share, but my objective would be to enable secure access similar to Active Directory User Services for each user of my family.
Tertiary goal is to use Ubuntu as a media server for audio and video, primarily to stream A/V to my Roku devices. I already have this setup very well within a Windows environment using Plex media server (love it), but my primary Windows 7 box has limited storage (really don't have internal bays to expand), and I'm constantly shuffling files between devices.
I have been studying up on Linux for a few weeks, but my confidence is still low, and I feel like an English speaking tourist who knows high-school level Spanish visiting Portugal.
My Ubuntu box has been "updatedb" with all current patches, etc.
I realize that I'll need to use Samba to accomplish this, but could use advice on dependencies, and best practices for authentication, file storage mapping, and anything else y'all would recommend for ease of use between Linux/Windows.
Specifically, it would be nice to be able to point from Plex Media Server on my Windows 7 box to a Linux storage share and stream movies to my Roku.
What assistance do you need? Go ahead and try it and come back here if you get stuck. Seems like a good project and you have already thought it through most of the way. Install Samba on the file server and see what happens!