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I have an old Dell Desktop that I want to turn into a big hard drive that all of the computers on the network can access. I am trying to ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    Aug 2008
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    Converting old computer into a shared network drive.


    I have an old Dell Desktop that I want to turn into a big hard drive that all of the computers on the network can access.

    I am trying to find out which distribution would be best, which programs would need to be installed (plus how to install them), and how to configure everything.

    I am a linux noob. It is probably best to talk to me as if I am a 2-year old child....

    Here are more details about what I want to do:

    I want to pack a bunch of hard drives in the computer and make them accessible to all computers on my home network.

    Ideally I would like them to be just as easy to access as if the drives were connected to each computers USB port. I should be able to take a new computer, plug it in to the network, and instantly be able to access the drive without having to change settings or know any passwords.

    The files should be accessible to computers of all OS's. There will be Windows, Mac, and Linux machines on the network which I suspect will be the biggest challenge.

    And then if it were possible it would be really cool if there was a way to get at the files from the internet as well (perhaps via FTP).

    The only other thing I would want the computer to do is have a printer that it shares with all computers on the network.

    I would never use the computer for anything else, so it does not need to have a GUI or any other bells and whistles, just looking for something simple that will serve one purpose. Once it is set up I will remove the monitor and keyboard and just let it do it's thing.

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie
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    Jun 2006
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    Greece, Athens
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    Most distributions can serve well as file servers. All you need is install a package called "samba".
    But first post your hardware specifications. If the computer is too old than you will need a light distribution.

  3. #3
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    As I recall it was a Pentium 4 - 1.3ghz with 256mb ram.

  4. #4
    Linux Newbie
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    Jun 2006
    Location
    Greece, Athens
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    214
    Tru Xubuntu. It is easy for new users and it can run with that amount of memory. It is also supposed to have good support from Dell.

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