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Advice for home server setup with Linux???

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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October 28, 2009 6:55:09 AM

I have been wanting to setup a Linux home server to handle my backup/storage/media needs, kind of similiar to what windows home server does, but of course better. I would like the capability to access files from the internet as well. Any suggestions or advice would help. Im leaning towards Fedora for the OS. What do you guys think?

My System: Intel Atom Mini-Itx build with 1TB HDD

I dont have the best linux experience, kind of a noob. I do have Fedora 11 installed on my laptop and do know my way around it.
a b 5 Linux
October 28, 2009 9:26:41 AM

Fedora 11 or the latest ubuntu should work nicely, but you should keep them updated. If that's too much hassle try RHEL 5.4 or the free equivalent.

Fedora has a lot more packages and multimedia stuff though. RHEL is made for long term support.

Good luck :) 
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November 12, 2009 4:27:28 AM

There is really no correct answer. From a Network Administrator's opinion, I would go with either Fedora or Ubuntu. Both are easy to set up and have great support if you get stuck.

Just remember: If you are going to RD into it from the internet, encrypt and password everything.
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a b 5 Linux
November 15, 2009 10:14:50 PM

IronRyan21 said:
I have been wanting to setup a Linux home server to handle my backup/storage/media needs, kind of similiar to what windows home server does, but of course better. I would like the capability to access files from the internet as well. Any suggestions or advice would help. Im leaning towards Fedora for the OS. What do you guys think?

My System: Intel Atom Mini-Itx build with 1TB HDD

I dont have the best linux experience, kind of a noob. I do have Fedora 11 installed on my laptop and do know my way around it.


Linux is an excellent choice for this usage. I run a Linux-powered file/print/backup server on much older but more powerful hardware (dual 2.67 GHz P4 Xeons) and it runs beautifully. It doesn't matter what distribution you choose as they are all very similar, particularly when set up to run as a server. I personally have mine running on Gentoo, but Fedora, Ubuntu, SuSE, Debian, or any other Linux distribution will work nicely. Here's what you want to do:

1. Install the OS as text mode only (i.e. do not install X or a window manager.) You do not need X, so don't install it. Make sure to make your data storage in partition separate from /.
2. Install NFS if you want to share files with other Linux/Macintosh/Unix machines. Add the data storage partition's folder to /etc/exports.
3. Install Samba if you want to share files with Windows machines. You will need to edit /etc/samba/smb.conf to set your desired permissions on that shared folder (go down to the "Shared Folder" section and change things to your liking.)
4. Install ssh so you can remotely access your files through the Internet using SFTP and also remotely administer your computer so you don't always have to have a monitor and keyboard attached. Make sure to take a look in /etc/ssh/sshd.conf to change things like ALLOW_ROOT_LOGIN to "no" for better security.

That should pretty well do it. If you have questions, feel free to post back here.
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a b 5 Linux
November 16, 2009 7:41:52 AM

I'd add:

5. Install Webmin. This is an excellent tool for remotely configuring servers.
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a b 5 Linux
November 16, 2009 10:00:37 AM

Do you trust it being open after the recent spate of SSL issues?
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a b 5 Linux
November 16, 2009 11:03:04 AM

We are talking about a home network here. I trust the user on my home network. I certainly wouldn't make it visible to the outside world.
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a b 5 Linux
November 17, 2009 12:05:04 PM

Great advice :)  I wouldn't make anything visible to the outside world.

You wouldn't want your computer to become part of a botnet that's for sure.
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December 6, 2009 12:16:46 PM

Yeah, don't make anything visible to people other than yourself.
Since you said you knew Fedora well, I would suggest CentOS. Both are very similar, both are based off of Red Hat. But, CentOS is much more stable than Fedora (and since you are running a server, your highest priority would be stability).
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a b 5 Linux
December 7, 2009 5:52:23 AM

RHEL is great but it lacks a lot of desktop apps and features that fedora offers.

Fedora and ubuntu are better on the desktop, RHEL and CentOS are better suited for server use.

Fedora and ubuntu in some cases are probably better for a home server, it depends on what the OP is doing and what the OP is most comfortable and familiar with.

Semper Fi :) 
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a b 5 Linux
December 7, 2009 8:11:42 AM

Another distro that you might like to look at it is Mandriva. I installed this on my laptop as the newest versions of Fedora won't run a particular app that I use (SimNow). So far I'm very impressed with it as an easy to install/use distro.
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