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judgmentday

SMALL SERVER FOR HOME

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HI,

I'd like to build a small server for home using parts from an old computer. P4 2.4ghz, 2gb of memory, Fujitsu 320 SCSI 18GB hard drive for booting, a 500gb IDE hard drive for storage, DVD-RW, mid tower case with 500watts ps, and abit motherboard. What server OS would be better? Windows 2003 server? Linux? If linux which distribution would be easier for me?

Thank you for your help in advance.

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It's a bit hard to give a suggestion, not knowing what your experience is with being a sysadmin in mixed system setups.

1. What's the rest of the network? Linux, Windows, Solaris, *BSDs, Mac?

2. For Windows, do you want a domain or workgroup setup?

3. What other services does the home server have to do besides file sharing? (eg media streaming, web, email server, dns, dhcp, NIS/AD, print sharing, etc).

4. How much effort do you want to spend building and maintaining the server/service?

5. IPv4 or IPv6 native services?

The most most simple answer, your server OS should be the same as the Clients it will mainly service. So if all your other PCs are Windows, just stick with Windows on the server.

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It's a bit hard to give a suggestion, not knowing what your experience is with being a sysadmin in mixed system setups.

1. What's the rest of the network? Linux, Windows, Solaris, *BSDs, Mac?

2. For Windows, do you want a domain or workgroup setup?

3. What other services does the home server have to do besides file sharing? (eg media streaming, web, email server, dns, dhcp, NIS/AD, print sharing, etc).

4. How much effort do you want to spend building and maintaining the server/service?

5. IPv4 or IPv6 native services?

The most most simple answer, your server OS should be the same as the Clients it will mainly service. So if all your other PCs are Windows, just stick with Windows on the server.

The network will be Windows, a Workgroup setup (I have cable connection 5Mb/s), Services will be web, email server, print sharing and file sharing. I don't want to maintain too much.

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For the things you want to do, I'd just stick to regular XP (Very easy to setup for the things you mentioned that you want to do) no need for server version of Windows. If you want to have a 2nd job than setup a Linux server and start cracking on the manuals :)

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How many client pc's? XP as a "server" allows only 5 connections for file/print. Assuming you got a good deal on server 2003, I'd use that. You don't need a domain but I would set one up regardless. No sense in not using your server as a domain controller. You can still connect your clients as if you were in a workgroup ie peer-to-peer. And you can play with Active Directory, policies, ... if you want.

What would be the purpose of the mail server? Server 2003 has a very basic POP3 mail server which is pretty useless if you ask me. Exchange is nice but you'll need licenses (...), a static IP and port 25 open or you'd have to purchase a POP3 connector so you can have Exchange download mails from POP3 mailboxes at your provider. Unless you have SBS 2003 in which case there's a basic POP3 connector included.

Use a Linux if you don't want to spend money yet still want to be ok with licensing.

Both server 2003and Linux will allow software mirroring if you want without having to hack the OS (like with XP) when you don't have a RAID controller.

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About a year ago I spent alot of time trying to figure out some sort of home server setup. I found an HP server with Windows 2003 Small Business Server for $899CAN (dual core xeon, 1Gb, and room for 4 sata drives w/ raid). I picked that up, put my own 320Gb drives in and set it up. Gives me all the services I need including Exchange server and 5 CALS.

I couldn't touch the price trying to build it myself, as Windows 2003 SBS is about $600 on its own.

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About a year ago I spent alot of time trying to figure out some sort of home server setup. I found an HP server with Windows 2003 Small Business Server for $899CAN (dual core xeon, 1Gb, and room for 4 sata drives w/ raid). I picked that up, put my own 320Gb drives in and set it up. Gives me all the services I need including Exchange server and 5 CALS.

I couldn't touch the price trying to build it myself, as Windows 2003 SBS is about $600 on its own.

As good as an advice as one could get. Check for promo's at HP (or Dell if you must...).

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XP as a "server" allows only 5 connections for file/print.

Small nitpick: XP Home is limited to 5 connections, XP Pro is limited to 10 connections.

Or buy one of those Windows Home Servers, or the better option, get the entry level SBS server that Dell/HP seem to offer at ridiculously low prices (as bennt suggested).

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