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  • Looking at building a home server. Advice please

    Hey guys I could use a bit of advice and some help from someone/someones about building a home server. I have three computers in my room but only two of them are connected to the internet via a router/switch. The other one is my 5 year old daughters computer that doesn't need to be on the net.

    I have been doing some spring cleaning and inventoring all my computer components and I think I have enough computer parts to assemble a whole nother computer. I am thinking about trying to build a server that myself and my wife can use to store files and maybe use as a back up server. Both my wifes and my hard drives are almost filled to capacity and I started thinking that if I can assemble these components into a server it might help our situation.

    I know absolutely nothing about servers and how they work. Is there any special software I need? If so is there any free software that will do what I would like it to do? I don't need a screamin fast server just something that is functional. Will I need any special hardware other than the usual components? How do I connect the computers to the server and connect to the internet? Am I high and this can't be done?

    I realize these are some pretty stupid questions but I am quite ignorant in networking and would like to see if I can improve my network here at home and give me a project to tinker with. Thanks in abvance for any help and advice.

    Specs
    Intel Pentium P4 CPU 1.8gig
    Asus P4s533 mobo
    Kingston PC 2700 512mb memory
    Sony CD RW
    40gig WD HD ( I know this will have to be replaced with a bigger HD)
    On board NIC
    Hercules 128mb Video card
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: Looking at building a home server. Advice please

    Aserver isn't really a horribly complicated project as long as you are patient and willing to learn some concepts.

    As an example I built a small server that sits on my desk. There are no peripherals attached to the machine except for 1 ethernet cable. We use it as a central file storage area as well as a backup server. My wife does a LOT of school work so we use it to back that up as well. I eventually got bored with the normal box and put it in a chassis I found and added a 4 line LCD that shows available disk space and reads RSS feeds via a custom python script. I can see the new threads on TG by just pressing a couple of buttons on the front of the machine. When I started the project I had never really messed with Linux that much. I built it mainly because I wanted to learn a new OS.

    I use debian Linux as the distribution for my server because the installation is very easy and it supports a wide variety of hardware. Here is a pretty good walkthrough on a debian server:
    http://www.harrysufehmi.com/phpwiki/...gUpLinuxServer

    Here is a great page for Debian information:
    http://www.aboutdebian.com/
    The new server will connect to your Router and you should be able to access it through the "Network Neighborhood" under windows.
    Retired 6th DB

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    • #3
      Re: Looking at building a home server. Advice please

      BTW you have enough horsepower there to run a moderate machine under Ubuntu. That would give you full desktop functionality.
      Retired 6th DB

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      • #4
        Re: Looking at building a home server. Advice please

        I know I can run different OS on my network at the same time and I have Win2k that would probably do what I will need it to do correct? I think I want the same concept as what you have Wimpinator. Do you do full backups on your server for each machine or do you just store files on your server with file sharing if I understand correctly?

        If I want to do full back ups of each of my machines once I get a larger HD should I partition the HD for each machine or is there a way to do full back ups for each machine without a HD partition? Thanks again

        You must spread some reputation around before giving it to Wimpinator again
        ;)
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: Looking at building a home server. Advice please

          Originally posted by Wimpinator View Post
          BTW you have enough horsepower there to run a moderate machine under Ubuntu. That would give you full desktop functionality.
          he he, thats is what I am doing with my 2 very old pc, both are P3's. The faster of those 2 is a P3-600 with a wopping 128mb of ram and a 10GB HDD!!!
          Slow is Smooth. Smooth is Fast!

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          • #6
            Re: Looking at building a home server. Advice please

            You would probably just set 3 partitions on the server. One for the OS, say 7 gigs or so, one for swap that should be 512MB, and the rest would be for the shared drive that everyone would use.

            I don't think win2k will have a problem reading a SAMBA share but I can't say for sure since I don't have much experience with win2k.

            On my machine we just backup the "My Documents" folders to the server, plus anything that we want shared between the machines such as music and videos.
            Retired 6th DB

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            • #7
              Re: Looking at building a home server. Advice please

              Hmmm...Goat starts thinking about that extra h/w lying around...

              ;)

              |


              It is the rule in war, if ten times the enemy's strength, surround them; if five times, attack them;
              if double, engage them; if equal, be able to divide them; if fewer, be able to evade them; if weaker, be able to avoid them.

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