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New to servers

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Now I don't want to sound like a noob, but I know nothing about servers, although I want to set one up because:

1) I got an old P4 system that will soon hit the dump but might as well use for this
2) I FREQUENTLY have to transfer data and I hate having to carry my external HDs (which are like horribly scratched up now) wherever I go just to use the data
3) It's cool

So could someone like go over how I should begin? I know nothing at all about servers. I tried googling for some nice tutorials but I didn't find any good tuts or guides
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xwinX2
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post #2 of 10
The easy way:

Throw HDs into old rig. Install some OS. Set up one or more folders on your drives for file sharing. Enjoy!
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by error10 View Post
The easy way:

Throw HDs into old rig. Install some OS. Set up one or more folders on your drives for file sharing. Enjoy!

I have to access my data from many different locations though- my main use is I do basic computer stuff for people all the time and it's essential that I can access files that I need. Frequently I give customers free games and stuff too while I'm at it.
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post #4 of 10
Depending on your ISP, running a server (even a personal one) is probably against their terms of service. I take no responsibility for your service getting cut off.
That being said, it is very easy to set up a low-traffic server for your own files. The type of server you want is a "SFTP Server". You can set this up to run off a secondary machine, or from your main computer. I have two set up: personal files on my main computer (Cygwin SSH/SFTP on Vista Ultimate) serving through the Internet, and a media server running Debian for just inside the house (though it can be accessed externally).
I recommend using your main computer, as you can access any files you have. Do a search for "Cygwin" and you will find a lot about setting up Windows SFTP servers. Cygwin can be a pain to set up, but the convenience of SSH login makes me recommend it over other options such as OpenSSH or CopSSH.
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post #5 of 10
Or you can skip the Cygwin stuff and just install Linux, which will probably be easier all around.
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFlyingWallaby View Post
Depending on your ISP, running a server (even a personal one) is probably against their terms of service. I take no responsibility for your service getting cut off.
That being said, it is very easy to set up a low-traffic server for your own files. The type of server you want is a "SFTP Server". You can set this up to run off a secondary machine, or from your main computer. I have two set up: personal files on my main computer (Cygwin SSH/SFTP on Vista Ultimate) serving through the Internet, and a media server running Debian for just inside the house (though it can be accessed externally).
I recommend using your main computer, as you can access any files you have. Do a search for "Cygwin" and you will find a lot about setting up Windows SFTP servers. Cygwin can be a pain to set up, but the convenience of SSH login makes me recommend it over other options such as OpenSSH or CopSSH.
+rep thanks, helps a lot

In my area my ISP is probably the most flexible one around while Telus likes to spaz about every little thing ^_^, so not to worry

so will this be enough to be able to access my files from other computers in my town?



Quote:
Originally Posted by error10 View Post
Or you can skip the Cygwin stuff and just install Linux, which will probably be easier all around.
what linux should I be looking at?
I have no experince with linux whatsoever
Edited by xwinx - 12/24/08 at 3:51pm
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post #7 of 10
I love GNU/Linux just as much as the next guy (well, maybe not as much as error10 ) but for someone who has no Linux experience, Cygwin provides all the functionality he needs, without adding another computer.
If you choose to go the Linux route, get an Ubuntu LiveCD and play around with it. Get a feel for the command line. It is based on Debian, which is one of the most stable server operating systems around.
When you want to install a server OS, go with Debian.

Ubuntu homepage
Debian homepage
Edited by TheFlyingWallaby - 12/24/08 at 4:00pm
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFlyingWallaby View Post
Get an Ubuntu LiveCD and play around with it. Get a feel for the command line. It is based on Debian, which is one of the most stable server operating systems around.
When you want to install a server OS, go with Debian.

Will installing linux render all my current applications useless?
I just use very basic things on my old machine- msword, calculator (lol), msn, web browser. Sometimes my little brother will hop on and play some online RPGs

and would it mess up my drivers?
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post #9 of 10
There are alternatives to almost all Windows-based programs. OpenOffice is a great replacement for MS Office; I use it on my Vista machine.
Linux is a very different beast from Windows, and it will take time to get used to. Start with a LiveCD (just search "Ubuntu LiveCD) and see if you are willing to learn.
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post #10 of 10
I think the problem is that there are just so many ways to setup a file server. I have mine installed with XP and 1.2TB storage. For my lan I just setup file shares and map network drives on all the computers. For when I'm not home I setup Hamachi. It sees my shares as if I'm at home on my network.

Just search around and see what's best for you.
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