1. #1
    The Patient Dorac's Avatar
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    Server OS/Software

    I thought I'd ask here first.

    My goal is to build somewhat of a home server that is to store all of my families music, photos, movies and other files on one box. I want to be able to stream the movies from this box to other computers in the house. I also want to have the printer hooked up to it so that all clients in my house can print from it. I want it to host FTP as well so me and my brother can access our files at home from anywhere.

    So my question is, what is the best operating system to do all this? Would I need a Windows Server 2008 OS or would a Windows 7 64bit be perfectly fine? What would be optimal? Any recommendations on FTP setup or guides out there that have helped you?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
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    a single end user license of 2K8R2 will run you about $1000

    7 can do it, but not very well

    however, you can still get Windows Home Server

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  3. #3
    If you're comfortable and familiar with Win7 you can use it just fine and just install all required server software on top of it, dedicated server version of Windows is not needed for your use.

    Recommended way would be using some linux distro which is aimed for home fileserver use, like for example freenas. It comes with all the features you wanted and because it's based on linux it's extensible with some work to be just about anything you need.
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  4. #4
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah View Post
    If you're comfortable and familiar with Win7 you can use it just fine and just install all required server software on top of it, dedicated server version of Windows is not needed for your use.

    Recommended way would be using some linux distro which is aimed for home fileserver use, like for example freenas. It comes with all the features you wanted and because it's based on linux it's extensible with some work to be just about anything you need.
    i wouldn't use any linux distro for a central home server on a windows based network, freenas works pretty well, but its not really a server

    the rest rely too much on samba, which barely works

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-03 at 02:54 AM ----------

    a couple other things to add,

    2k8, 2k8r2, and 2k12 are domain based server software, and are not able to join homegroup, nor are they particularly easy for an average home user to operate

    windows home server, will do pretty much everything the OP is wanting to do, and is cheap ($50), however, it is being phased out with no replacement in site, if you are going to get it, now is the best time

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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyanotical View Post
    i wouldn't use any linux distro for a central home server on a windows based network, freenas works pretty well, but its not really a server
    It's not really a server, but it's more than enough to share files in home LAN as well as act as an FTP server for outside traffic. That's what it's meant and built for.

    Win7HP is just as good choice for OP if there's an extra license unused.
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  6. #6
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah View Post
    It's not really a server, but it's more than enough to share files in home LAN as well as act as an FTP server for outside traffic. That's what it's meant and built for.

    Win7HP is just as good choice for OP if there's an extra license unused.
    i don't think you can use it as a print server, last year i tried for about a month to get a primary linux client to share it's printer with a homegroup network, and it never did work, samba is pretty much a one way street, it can print to a windows printer, but windows can't print to a linux printer, unless it is a bridged network printer,(or perhaps using software to emulate this)


    7HP is pretty good, especially when dealing with homegroup, however, you still need to setup a FTP and IIS or Apache server, nor can you remote into it, you would need 7pro at minimum for remote management

    WHS is going to have some of 2k8 functionality, including built in media server functions, file and print sharing, as well as web portal services and remote management

    in a nutshell, it's 2k8 for dummies with homegroup as it's primary intended network
    Last edited by Cyanotical; 2012-12-03 at 11:57 AM.

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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyanotical View Post
    7HP is pretty good, especially when dealing with homegroup, however, you still need to setup a FTP and IIS or Apache server, nor can you remote into it, you would need 7pro at minimum for remote management
    Would recommend some premade package like AMPPS for adding servers into Win7. Used that for a while and it works great. Can add FTP or Apache or whatnot with single click.

    XAMPP and EasyPHP are other big packages that people seem to use, but I don't have personal experience from those.
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  8. #8
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah View Post
    Would recommend some premade package like AMPPS for adding servers into Win7. Used that for a while and it works great. Can add FTP or Apache or whatnot with single click.

    XAMPP and EasyPHP are other big packages that people seem to use, but I don't have personal experience from those.

    idk, i've never actually seen any networking software that is actually as easy as it claims to be (especially off the shelf stuff designed for most home users)

    however, if that's the case, then it's pretty simple:
    if you have a 7 license, use that
    if you have to buy a license, buy WHS

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  9. #9
    The Patient Dorac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyanotical View Post
    i wouldn't use any linux distro for a central home server on a windows based network, freenas works pretty well, but its not really a server

    the rest rely too much on samba, which barely works

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-03 at 02:54 AM ----------

    a couple other things to add,

    2k8, 2k8r2, and 2k12 are domain based server software, and are not able to join homegroup, nor are they particularly easy for an average home user to operate

    windows home server, will do pretty much everything the OP is wanting to do, and is cheap ($50), however, it is being phased out with no replacement in site, if you are going to get it, now is the best time
    Yeah I have no linux systems at home here. All Win7. I'm familiar with Linux if that's the best option.

    I have no Windows home server licenses around either. I do have all Windows 7 editions though.

  10. #10
    FreeNAS (http://www.freenas.org) is the way to go. Its especially built for stuff like that.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mafao View Post
    FreeNAS (http://www.freenas.org) is the way to go. Its especially built for stuff like that.
    yep FreeNas is great I use it/maintain it @ work. Requiers very lightweight system as well. Just stuff in HDD's and you are good to go
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  12. #12
    I do agree, Freenas is great for that purpose and well documented, and unless you do not plan Active Directory fileshare permissions (which is highly unlikely since it would require a Windows server in your network) Samba also works perfectly fine in a windows environment.

  13. #13
    For a LAN wide printer you can try googles "cloud print"

    http://www.google.com/cloudprint/learn/index.html

    Depending on the amount of files you want to share, you could use dropbox for filesharing and accessing away from home.

    You could alternatively do it through self-hosting via xampp => apache / FileZilla

    This shows a little tutorial of how to setup FileZilla, though they're just using it LAN-wide: http://www.instructables.com/id/Stre...amppFileZilla/

    I think it's basically the same for WAN, except that you would obviously have to connect to your external ip address ( You can check this out by going to http://ventrilo.com/myip.php and a bunch of other websites ).

    So if your external ip address was 81.80.79.78 then you would probably just have to input "81.80.79.78:21". There's probably a load of sites with a lot of details if you look.

    Or you could try out Freenas like some others have suggested.
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  14. #14
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
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    well i strongly disagree, i have plenty of experience with using workgroup based networks and linux clients, and by recommending freenas all you guys are doing is causing the OP some serious headaches

    if your experience with linux networking is limited, especially with combining it with homegroup, dont suggest anything, just because you like freenas (i do too) that doesnt make it the best choice

    anytime you are dealing with homegroup as the primary network, you cant look at linux

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  15. #15
    The Patient Dorac's Avatar
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    Apologies about bumping this thread again. But I just realized/found out that since I'm a college student, I have free access to alot of Microsoft software. WIndows Home server is NOT on that list unfortunately. But I have most versions of Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2012. Does anyone run any of these at home or have any positive experience/feedback on those Server OSs?

    FreeNAS doesn't look like it has all the features that I need.

  16. #16
    Use the full Windows server then. 2008 R2 is the most widely used for new enterprises installations that run Windows servers (AD, Exchange, IIS, Hyper-V and stuff) with crapton of documentation available online. Or go for 2012 server if you want to take advantage of Win8's new features.
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