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May need a server at home.

Hi,

At my home I have one desktop(windows vista installed) and three laptops(windows xp/7 installed).
I have cable and router.
I am going to install a server on the desktop(4GB memory, 320GB hard drive)  to share files etc.
Questions:
1) What kinds of server software is best?(I heard windows home server freenas etc.)
2) If windows home server is installed on the desktop, then how about its previous OS(vista)?

Thanks,  
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zhshqzyc
Asked:
zhshqzyc
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4 Solutions
 
lalocehCommented:
If you only want to share files you can use the current Vista, as there are only three computers on the network

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Michael KnightCommented:
depends on your budget and your skillset. Ubuntu Server 10.04 is a solid release. You'd have to set up SAMBA to share files back and forth, but it's a great server OS and it's free.
For windows, 2008 SBS or 2011 SBS Essentials would be more comfortable if you're a windows only user. Windows home Server has never made sense to me...I mean without the ability to be a domain controller, what's the difference between that and having a windows 7 files server?
If you want an easily managable windows home network you should stick with SBS(small business server). that way you have centralized user and computer management. I use Ubuntu Server for my home server (and most of my business servers as well).
As far as the existing Vista install, the license would follow you (unless it's OEM) to another machine but AFAIK there's no upgrade license from workstation to server.      
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saastechCommented:
I agree with lalocheh.

If you want to keep your Vista machine, you can just put all computers in the same Workgroup and share the folders from the Vista Computer.

Good Luck!
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g000seCommented:
Hi,

Skydrive is an excellent resource for free and creates a shortcut on your desktop for accessing files and folders.  It gives you 25 GB.

Here is the link- https://login.live.com/login.srf?wa=wsignin1.0&rpsnv=11&ct=1304635127&rver=6.1.6206.0&wp=MBI&wreply=http:%2F%2Fskydrive.live.com%2Fhome.aspx&lc=1033&id=250206&cbcxt=sky
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g000seCommented:
Skydrive is a central location and then there is no need for getting the other computers at your home to communicate to one another.  It's an easy setup.
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g000seCommented:
For clarification it's-  Windows LIve SkyDrive
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zhshqzycAuthor Commented:
@michaelaknight:
Can I install Ubuntu Server 10.04 on my desktop?

@saastech:
So do I need to set a home network first?

Thanks.
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Michael KnightCommented:
you can install Ubuntu Server on any machine. It has a very light footprint especially with no GUI. You can install webmin on it and control it from anywhere. i'll usually install the GUI for the initial setup then stop it from starting at boot time. 4GB is plenty for memory, I run a couple Ubuntu web servers with less than that.
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zhshqzycAuthor Commented:
So it is dual boot since I already vista on the machine?
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Michael KnightCommented:
well, you can dual boot if you like. I prefer a clean install, but yeah you can dual boot. If that's not an OEM copy of Vista you can keep the license to be legal and all. That way in the future you can buy a bare bones machine and already have the OS for it. Either way there's no money out of pocket.
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zhshqzycAuthor Commented:
Thanks
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