Easy Linux OS - minimal config, ftp and filesharing

I don't have a lot of experience with Linux and don't want to research the million or so variations of Linux.

I'm after a basic install of Linux that will provide FTP and filesharing access.  

My linux experience to date has been mainly using ipcop and a few years ago I did do a lot of work with Asterix. Having said that, I'm hoping for a simple ipcop type install for this.

It will run on a Dell D610 laptop, which is about 3 years old. Performance isn't really key, more reliability and ease of setup.
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veedarConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Check out OpenFiler if all you want is something easy for file sharing and ftp:  http://www.openfiler.com/

If you want a full Linux server I suggest SME server it is designed for Windows people with little Linux exposure. Administration is all web based.  It's roots are based on Red Hat Linux.  http://www.smeserver.org/
tonydav67Author Commented:
I think I'm after something like this:

Server Elements NASLite2


but open source (i.e. free).
You can install fedora or ubuntu.

either one will work with vsftp an FTP daemon which is very secure and easy to configure.

Tutorial on how to setup vsftpd:

You can use samba for sharing files to either windows machines or other linux machines.  Here is a tutorial on how to set that up in a few easy steps:


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tonydav67Author Commented:
Which would you recommend in terms of ease of setup/use?
Both of those tutorials are for fedora which uses yum package manager.  I personally like fedora better ONLY because I am more familiar with it.  I dont think one is easier than the other if you do not have any experience with them.  Both use the same desktop environments (KDE, GNOME, etc..) and both have the same GUI tools.

That being said it is really a personal preference thing.  I personally would choose Fedora but I do not believe it to be superior to Ubuntu.

Likewise....I'm a Fedora user currently...but mainly due to testing with FreeIPA, which is a RedHat sponsored project.  I've used Ubuntu (the girlfriend still uses it) and enjoy using it.  It's an easy install, supports most hardware and has a good userbase/support forums.  I've found that Fedora assumes a slightly greater knowledge of Linux, but both are pretty straightforward.

Download and install a LTS release of Ubuntu (if you're happier with a GUI, download the desktop edition rather than the server, which is a stripped down version).

For FTP, set up VSFTP - from a command line:

              sudo apt-get install vsftp

Then, in the terminal:

              nano /etc/vsftpd.conf

Find and edit the line local_enable to:


You then need to restart VSFTP, using the command

             sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd restart

To add ftp users, just create an account on the system for them and they should be able to log on...

Hopefull this will get you started...
tonydav67Author Commented:
Thanks, that's exactly what I was after.

Forgot about SMEserver. Used it before and it's pretty easy as well.
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