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Linux Server Software

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December 5, 2011 11:00:00 PM

I have recently purchased a new gaming rig which I am putting Win7 on and, with some extra parts, upgrading my old rig to a home server & media center. This home server will be running Linux and more particularly the Xubuntu 11.04 64-bit (currently downloading to make a boot USB stick). I have dealt with both Ubuntu & Xubuntu in the past although I would still consider myself somewhat novice in my knowledge of terminal commands and the available software that is out there.

My end goal is to have configured the server in such a way to remotely access it in the following various ways:
- Having access from my main Win7 machine to the point where it appears as if the keyboard/mouse/monitor/speakers are connected directly to the server. If this requires programs to be installed on the Win7 machine (as I imagine it would) that is okay. If this is not something that is doable then having full terminal commands and some GUI file management software should suffice.
- Having basic file management / file sharing abilities on other machines within the home network (and possibly without) without needing any client software.
- My initial research brings up Samba, various FTP servers, and SSH as possibilities but I have not researched this stuff at all.

I would ask that if you know of any software which would help me accomplish the tasks listed or you have more detailed information on the programs which I have already listed please provide me with what information & links you can.

Thanks,

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December 6, 2011 2:17:00 AM

Yes you can use samba/cifs for file network sharing between linux and windows. This is windows native file sharing so it does not need any extra software.

as for administering the linux box, ssh is by far the easiest to set up and use. it hardly requires any configuration and can be done by any machine with ssh client. It acts like a virtual console to the linux box on your windows machine.

if you *need* gui access (you should really try to just use ssh) you can give something like http://www.x2go.org/ a try.
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December 6, 2011 5:38:06 AM

Have a look at webmin. It is a very useful tool for monitoring and configuring servers. That, plus an ssh connection, should be all you need. Personally I prefer FreeBSD for a server. It's lean, very stable, and can be configured to run just what you need and nothing more.
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December 6, 2011 10:17:40 AM

skittle said:
Yes you can use samba/cifs for file network sharing between linux and windows. This is windows native file sharing so it does not need any extra software.

as for administering the linux box, ssh is by far the easiest to set up and use. it hardly requires any configuration and can be done by any machine with ssh client. It acts like a virtual console to the linux box on your windows machine.

if you *need* gui access (you should really try to just use ssh) you can give something like http://www.x2go.org/ a try.


Thanks for the info. At the moment I am leaning toward Samba & SSH although I still like the idea of having a GUI due to me being a noob :pfff:  I have also saw that SSH can be configured on an Android device allowing me to control the server with my cell although I don't know how involved this would be. Is there not a good front end GUI for SSH available? It would be nice to have the connivance of a GUI as I learn SSH and more terminal commands.
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December 6, 2011 10:44:59 AM

XMing is good for running GUI applications from a remote machine.
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December 6, 2011 4:23:25 PM

Okay, I plan on using Samba & SSH although I am still wanting a GUI front end on the Win7 Box for ease of server maintenance (at least at this point). I have seen a lot of talk about TeamViewer when researching and I am wondering what the consensuses on this software is. At the moment I am leaning more toward x2go unless I see something better though.

Thanks for all the info so far :D 
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December 7, 2011 2:49:35 AM

Since ssh is a remote terminal system, a GUI isn't really going to work here (it's akin to asking for a GUI on the Windows powershell or old cmd/command.exe)

Something else that you may want to look into is x11vnc, a program that will make a running X session into a vnc server (akin to RemoteDesktop on Windows), and there are VNC clients for pretty much any OS out there (for Windows, you probably want to use Ultravnc). Simply install x11vnc through your distro's package manager and add a flavor of launching it to the startup programs for your particular desktop environment (e.g. Gnome's startup applications). Then, from Windows, just launch the client and point it to your server. If you want, you can password-protect the VNC server's connection, just google for it.

As for sharing disk, the more recent distros have made configuring samba shares about as simple as it can get, but even if you have to manually configure the config files, there are so very many guides out there that just a quick search and you'll find a guide to help you out.

Stop back if you have specific questions/issues and we'll be glad to help.
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December 7, 2011 1:31:10 PM

Slightly off topic but just wondering if anybody had seen an X Terminal VM image out there? Is there a distro designed for this? Just a simple x server that could use XDMP or X over SSH??
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December 7, 2011 1:42:38 PM

Do you mean an image that would act like an X terminal? Why bother when there are good, free X servers for Windows?
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December 7, 2011 5:30:46 PM

Graphics compatability, keymaps, same reasons to keep anything in a VM. If nothing else it removes the need for any 3rd party VNC or PC binaries.

As for the PC X servers, I used to support a very well known commercial one. As good as they were the native solutions were always faster and more stable in my experience, but then a lot has changed in the last 15 years...
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December 8, 2011 11:38:23 PM

Okay I am (have been) setting up samba and am having quite a few difficulties. It seems every tutorial I find is different and none of them really seem to be working as intended. At this point I have samba installed and swat installed although I cannot configure samba to work as I want. Swat does not give me the ability to change the smb.conf file which was its entire purpose :-/

I have tried setting up the smb.conf manually but it was a shot in the dark as I have no clue how any of samba is suppose to work. Any help please.
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December 11, 2011 9:37:43 PM

Just as an update I finally have everything configured. I am not sure what the issue was with SWAT although I ended up finding that many of the problems I had with Samba came from having two different versions of it installed. I manually configured the Samba configuration file and have wrote scripts to start, stop, and restart the samba server. I have also got a Minecraft server up and running and wrote scripts for running and backing up my worlds which was a large dose of bash :pt1cable:  I had just tried the SSH client via PuTTy on my Win7 machine and it appears to be working perfectly as I have rooted into my server and ran a samba start script properly. Now just to put the computers together and start playing with my server :D 

Thanks for the help everyone
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December 11, 2011 9:38:45 PM

Best answer selected by venom4u.
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