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!
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JasemElayebConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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,
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?
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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.
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"
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.  
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