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nymetsrock23

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Nov 21, 2011
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Hi there,
I am just wondering how to set up a home network with an old computer used as a server... we will have a wii, ps3, lap top, and 2 desktops connected to the network as well as two dell printers. The laptop runs windows XP and the desktops run windows vista. The old computer will will use as a server is windows xp or windows 98 (most likely wont use that computer). What will i have to do to set this up and run the server as well as the network.
 

TerryNet

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For a server you need a server OS; if you are going to use an old computer I assume you'll want a free OS, such as a Linux based one.
 

nymetsrock23

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Nov 21, 2011
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the purpose will be to hold music, picture, and video files as well as run spy wear and fire walls
 

jiml8

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If you want this server to sit between the internet and your other machines, then forget about XP or Win98; neither is suited for that. If that is what you want to do, install Linux on the system and learn to use it. You'll have a learning curve ahead of you, but when you get through it you'll have a solid and reliable server that won't be getting cracked (if you set it up right) and will do everything you want it to do.
 

jiml8

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That will work. You might find the full desktop distro to be easier to use because it will have more user-oriented things in it, unlike the server distro which is stripped down for just server activities.
 

nymetsrock23

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Nov 21, 2011
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ok so this might be a simple question but i just want to double check, can i run the Ubuntu OS and still have windows computers access files and use it as a server?
 

jiml8

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Yes, though you will have to set that up (Samba). I am not familiar with the graphical tools used to do that sort of thing in Ubuntu, but I would expect that it will be relatively easy.

You also will be able to run an effective firewall for your LAN (iptables), have a mail server if you want (probably postfix), a domain name server if you want (named), web caching on the server if you want (squid), and pretty much anything else you can think of.
 

jiml8

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Do your homework. If your experience is solely with Windows, you will not find configuring a server based on Linux to be an easy job. It will be a possible job, which puts it ahead of a Win98 server or an XP server, but it won't be easy. If you are a quick study, inclined to think the right way, and have sufficient background with computers, expect to spend several intense days sorting it out well enough to use it as a basic server. If you don't meet even one of those criteria, it could take you weeks. It'll be a real learning experience for you.

If you just want to use your home network, go to the store and purchase a firewall/router. Connect your devices to it. Then make your win98 or XP file server, just using the Windows sharing features of those operating systems.
 
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