Share Files from Mac OSX to Ubuntu

This is a first stage question to a larger problem, but I'm trying to tackle this one step at a time.  We have a Mac Server (Xserve - v10.5) and in an effort to get connectivity going outside the office (following documentation from Apple) I made some changes to the configuration of the Network (specifically trying to enable the FTP and NFS protocols which never seemed to start successfully).  

When I restarted the server, it goes in a constant loop between start up, grey screen with apple and gears running (for a long time) and then restart again.

I was able to start if up in safe mode to get a command line prompt.  

I need one of two things:
1. to be able to connect my Ubuntu computer via ethernet cable (directly plugged into the server?) and transfer files to my computer before wiping the slate clean and starting over.  This is my least favorite option.

2. manage to reset the network settings (or get rid of them completely) so that I can restart the computer and reconfigure the settings (with the help of an expert).

ANY help in either of these two veins would be very appreciated.  Thanks!
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

What happens when you restart holding down the shift key?
anawillemAuthor Commented:
holding the shift key down (from first boot until the apple and gear appear) does nothing.  am i doing it wrong?
You could also try resetting the PRAM by booting while holding down the command-option-p-r key combination until you hear the startup chime a third time.
Newly released Acronis True Image 2019

In announcing the release of the 15th Anniversary Edition of Acronis True Image 2019, the company revealed that its artificial intelligence-based anti-ransomware technology – stopped more than 200,000 ransomware attacks on 150,000 customers last year.

anawillemAuthor Commented:
when i hold down those keys, i do not hear a startup chime, but i did let it start up three times and shut down (maybe was 4) and it still did not work.  still goes through the startup loop...over and over again.  i am shutting down manually (hold power button) when i try things that don't work, and it loops endlessly...
Do you have another Mac you can connect to it using a firewire cable? If so, you can use Firewire target disk mode to recover your data"
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
Don't wipe it just boot from your xServer installer CD, select archive and install.

This will create a new system folder, moved the old one to a directory called "previous systems" and leave all other directories alone on the system.  
for file sharing with Ubuntu just enable filesharing for windows normaly and ubuntu will have access to files using SAMBA and no need for NFS.

the other part i cant help you with,

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Mac OS X

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.