Setting up a home server, need some advice

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by rtdgoldfish, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. rtdgoldfish macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    Not sure if this is the right place to post this so mods feel free to move it.

    Basically, I have an unused PC sitting next to my desk and I want to turn it into a server for my house. I want to be able to put my MP3s, videos, shared files, etc on it and access them from both my MacBook and my other PC. I was thinking of putting some form of Linux on it.

    I have never set up a server before so if anyone has a guide they could link me to, it would be really helpful. I basically plan to put the PC next to my router and leave it connected via ethernet and turned on 24/7.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    I use a WinXP one

    What I've been doing since OS X supports Windows Filesharing, I just get a cheap Compaq/HP desktop and use filesharing on that. I also use it to share files and the printer with my Windows machines.

    I just turn filesharing on in Windows XP and the Mac sees it (I just got a Mini last night and 10.4.8 automatically saw the server on my home network).

    I keep all my iTunes stuff on it since my iPod is a 60 Gig. The cheap PCs make great servers. For $249 after rebates I got

    An AMD Sempron 3600
    160 Gig Hard Drive
    256 Megs RAM
    DVD DL RW Drive
    Integrated ATI X200 Graphics

    I put another 80 Gig drive in it for file backup, and my iTunes goes on the main drive. I sync my iPod to this Windows machine, so that I can use the iPod with both Windows and Mac.

    It works out great!

    I imagine you can do that same. Ubuntu gives a free copy of Linux...
  3. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    There are some *nix distros out there that are specifically geared towards turning a PC into a NAS. FreeNAS is one example off the top of my head.

    One thing about Mac clients connecting to Windows servers is that you'll be limited to Windows' file name limitations, both in terms of file name length and restricted characters. I believe FreeNAS comes with Netatalk installed for honest to goodness AFP support, but not sure whether it supports only the old AFP 2 or the newer AFP 3 that supports long filenames. If you roll your own server using another Linux distro, you can install a newer version of Netatalk from the get-go.

    I dinked around with some old PC towers and various distros of Linux over the years for the same purpose. I finally found the ideal solution for us in another piece of hardware: the Synology DS-106e NAS. Compact and quiet case, much more energy-efficient than a mini-tower PC, supports AFP 3.1, respectable throughput on 100BT or Gigabit ethernet, even has embedded LAMP services and a BitTorrent client and can be modified to be a network iTunes server. We're a cross-platform house and this device fits in perfectly. Does an awful lot for $220 or so, not including hard drive.
  4. nplima macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2006

    Pick Ubuntu Linux. Very nice and easy to set up and what you learn from it can be used for the PowerPC variety, should you decide to use it someday with an old Mac.

    check out this other thread on the same subject:

    All you need to do is follow the Ubuntu Guide step by step instructions.

  5. rtdgoldfish thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    Thanks for the replies! I just installed Ubuntu and currently trying to setup some file sharing. I like the OS, one of the better Linux distabutions that I have seen. Might have some more questions as I get to the Mac side of things. :)
  6. kitki83 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Seems that Ubuntun is my choice when i make my Home server,


    Let me know how it goes, and Maybe got any notes I may need to know if the PDF manual iam gonna use is not covering something.

    My main question is I install Unbun onto my apple will my PC will be able to read it?
  7. witness macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2005
    I have Ubuntu 6.10 installed on a surplus 1U server at home. It works great.

    If you like GUI's then it's pretty easy to setup VNC and Chicken of the VNC, though it's pretty easy to do everything through ssh too.
  8. kitki83 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Sorry to ressurrect a 5 day old post but I assume your regisered to this forum when people post in my search on how to make a Home Server, I found this all in one type of packege instructions

    I hope this works, I am going to try it and see what happens since it tells you All the features you can install.

    Let me know what you think or anyone else

    again sorry for the Ressurect post but I thought the title and information in this post might help others.

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