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Dorm File Server

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
In the fall im going off to college and im going to be dorming with 2 of my friends. ive got some old computers and some old hard drives and i was thinking it would be neat to have a file server we can all store movies and music on and transfer files through, like the X drive at out highschool (every computer could access the drive and it had a folder for ever teacher), but i have a few questions

What type of server is this? (http, ftp, nas, etc.)
How do i manage all of the HDD's im going to stuff into it? (from 2TB to 80gb sizes)
I need a router, right?
Can i have no security features? i just want a drive we can all so, no login etc
Do i have to set something extra up to allow streaming media?
Do i have to worry about hardware?
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post #2 of 18
Quote:
What type of server is this? (http, ftp, nas, etc.)

There are a few different ways you can set it up [FTP, SSH, etc]. Since this is the Windows section, I assume that you'll want to use Windows server, and you can set up shares that windoze will handle automagically IIRC.

If, however, you're willing to experiment with Linux as a server OS, PM me =]
Quote:
How do i manage all of the HDD's im going to stuff into it? (from 2TB to 80gb sizes)

I don't know how windows would handle that, but I do know that Linux can mount other hard drives as folders within the file tree, so you could have a folder called /Media with folders in it for each HDD.
Quote:
I need a router, right?
Yep
Quote:
Can i have no security features? i just want a drive we can all so, no login etc

This is a bad idea unless you plan to keep the fileserver from connecting to the internet at all. You'll be letting anyone who can acces your home network have access to your files, as well as letting them host any files they want.

Imagine the FBI knocking on your door [AKA barging in] and asking who you have child pron on your fileserver.
Quote:
Do i have to set something extra up to allow streaming media?

AFAIK if you plan to put movies on the server, all you'd need to do is gain read access to the remote folder the movies are stored on. If you open the file, whatever media program you use should treat the file as if it were on a local HDD, only DLing what it needs for the next few frames.
Quote:
Do i have to worry about hardware?

For the most part, unless you're planning on doing something more than just a fileserver, the only hardware you'll need to worry about isthe network card. And thats only if you plan to have like 5 people trying to watch a blu-ray movie at the same time from your server.
post #3 of 18
Damn great advice Blue

Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
This is the Windows section? I only clicked Operating Systems...

Either way i was planning on using Debian or Ubuntu Server, but then it started looking like the server i was trying to create was a NAS and i started wondering if i should use FreeNAS.

And I dont plan on connecting it to the internet at all, just the LAN in our dorm.
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post #5 of 18
Amahi Home Server might be a good option for you.
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post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strelok;13670667 
This is the Windows section? I only clicked Operating Systems...

Either way i was planning on using Debian or Ubuntu Server, but then it started looking like the server i was trying to create was a NAS and i started wondering if i should use FreeNAS.

And I dont plan on connecting it to the internet at all, just the LAN in our dorm.

I had a long and awesome reply typed up, and IE decided to not post it, and I ended up losing it. If only I could use FF or Chrome at work =\

ANYWAY

doh.gif I thought this was the windows section, not just the OS section. My bad.

Here are my suggestions:

Set up logins anyway. An anonymous account that gives read-only access to local clients could work, but if you plan to let people read/write files, give them their own login so you can see who is doing what to what files. That way, if your term paper is replaced with the lyrics to "Never Gonna Give You Up", you'll know who did it.

Set up a media folder, with different subfolders inside it that are the mountpoints for the other HDD's.

Make a group called 'Media', make it the owner of the media folder, and make all your friends members of it.

Use Samba to let your server be connected to by Windows clients.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluescreen_Of_Death;13670829 
I had a long and awesome reply typed up, and IE decided to not post it, and I ended up losing it. If only I could use FF or Chrome at work =\

ANYWAY

doh.gif I thought this was the windows section, not just the OS section. My bad.

Here are my suggestions:

Set up logins anyway. An anonymous account that gives read-only access to local clients could work, but if you plan to let people read/write files, give them their own login so you can see who is doing what to what files. That way, if your term paper is replaced with the lyrics to "Never Gonna Give You Up", you'll know who did it.

Set up a media folder, with different subfolders inside it that are the mountpoints for the other HDD's.

Make a group called 'Media', make it the owner of the media folder, and make all your friends members of it.

Use Samba to let your server be connected to by Windows clients.

Ok thanks, but what type of server should i use in this situation?
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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strelok;13670889 
Ok thanks, but what type of server should i use in this situation?

What do you mean? Hardware?

Any computer can be a server. The only difference between a server and a desktop is the role it's made to fill.

I have an old, old OLD laptop that I was using as an experimental fileserver for a while. It only had like 8GB of storage, but it was fun to play with.

I'd suggest you find a computer someone is throwing away or selling on the cheap and just use that. It won't need much RAM or much of a CPU/GPU. Just lots of HDD space.
post #9 of 18
For a while in college we had FTP servers setup.
Then we moved to using an Direct Connect hub and everyone running Apec DC++ clients.

FTP sounds like your best bet.... create an account for each user, have several folders that all users can read/write to and several private folders.

For us, DC++ was best because it allowed the server to be SUPER lightweight (it just managed user logins, I ran a 233Mhz with 32Mb Ram, 4gb linux hdd)...each user hosted their own files, and the program would pull other user's filelists and download a file from multiple sources if possible (faster)
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post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluescreen_Of_Death;13670925 
What do you mean? Hardware?

Any computer can be a server. The only difference between a server and a desktop is the role it's made to fill.

I have an old, old OLD laptop that I was using as an experimental fileserver for a while. It only had like 8GB of storage, but it was fun to play with.

I'd suggest you find a computer someone is throwing away or selling on the cheap and just use that. It won't need much RAM or much of a CPU/GPU. Just lots of HDD space.

i mean software, like FTP or NAS
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