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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Vista Linux File and Ftp server.

    Linux file server on a Vista machine

    As stated in the above I would like to create a Linux file server/ftp server (So I can access all my stuff from anywhere of my choosing) to accompany my Vista and XP (and if so possible OSX86) gaming rig. I have observed several and read quite a few guides on accomplishing this but, with only my basic Linux knowledge (Basic in the sense that I have installed it several times, several different versions but never really used it though enough to take this project on by my lonesome.) I come here -to you all -to begin my Linux exploration; One that I have put off for quite some time begin that Linux until now has had nothing to offer me, and that over these years I mainly game and otherwise carry out my exploits within a windows environment. So I beg you all so please be detailed and concise with me and hopefully I’m sure others will gain some help from this…

    This is my main machine:
    EVGA 780i
    2 x WD Raptors
    Crucial Ballastix Tracer 2GB
    Duel DVD/CD drives

    This is my Linux setup:
    A8n32-Sli Deluxe
    X2 4400 @ 2.6
    Corsair PC 4000 2GB
    2x 500GB WD
    (Linux OS still to be chosen)

    Connecting these over Lan will be a FIOS connection:

    To briefly restate what I would like to accomplish: My main comp goes through many changes at times; from multiple os installations to multiple duel, triple booting. Mainly the idea behind this is to have all my main files for restoring Vista and XP and of course mass storage of all my iso’s, movies and hundreds of programs free from my main system’s hard drive and allowing me to at will be spontaneous with my experimenting and modifications within windows. Simply put I will not be saving, reading or launching mass files from drive’s C and D (Or just C- see bottom) on my main system but, storing (iso’s, movies and a ton of programs on my to be home serve. (I’m giving my main system a huge playground to read and write to).

    I would also in addition to this like to be able to reach my Linux file server from other computers e.g. I go to a friend’s house…
    Also If it is possible I would like to set all this up on raid giving Linux a 36GB HD for the os and the array will be seen (If I’m correct, if it is anything like windows) as addition storage to Linux and I would also like to easily add harddrives in the near future. I am assuming this will make things a lot easier when it come to setting all this up seeing that I will not have to setup Linux on raid but by simply adding additional raid storage to it… Again if it is anything like windows.

    So with my plan stated I ask you all for you input and help. I could do this on my own within windows easily but I see this as a Linux learning experience and you can’t beat the security. And to all- I will be using a GUI...

    I have also considered using Opensuse 9 and Ubuntu... Ubuntu's gui is a lot to be desired though, and it seem although I'm not intimidated my using Terminal that Ubuntu is one on the less user friendly as far as getting thing you want setup. Keep in mind all you Ubuntu heads thats I'm comming from a GUI dominated background. lol

  2. #2
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Baton Rouge, LA, USA
    There are two basic ways to do what you want. Either you use a simple GUI interface, which will be really easy, or you can use text commands if you want a "learning experience". The latter actually isn't all that hard, at least for setting up a basic file server, but you'll have a much better understanding of what the heck is going on. In particular, the Samba text configuration file has a lot of comments describing each option and giving example entries that you can copy/modify to your needs. It can often be a lot less frustrating to copy/paste/edit a text configuration snippet than to muddle your way through a "user friendly" GUI wizard and then wonder where the heck the different fields/buttons/checkboxes you need to fiddle with after it's set up.

    Think of it like modifying an old fashioned .ini file, except if the file were actually commented with human readable descriptions and examples.

    If you really want a GUI interface to administer your machine, consider using webmin rather than installing a GUI. This gives you a graphical web page interface that you can connect to from your main computer (or any other computer with a web browser), but the server doesn't need to be laden with a full desktop GUI install.

    The nice thing about learning how to do it with editing text files or webmin is that the methods you learn are almost the same regardless of the version of linux. GUI tools tend to work differently and it's harder to get help on how to fix things up.

    I personally don't have any experience with Opensuse. I've used Ubuntu and it seems to heavily use GUI tools. It's similar enough to Debian that I can get things done via editing text files when I want to. You don't have to configure things with editing text files, but for setting up a file server I think it's actually easier and less frustrating.
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

  3. #3
    Thank you so much for you thoughtful insight. I see what you mean by the text editing. I have Ubuntu sever currently installed on the main drive, not sure if I'm going to stick with it but most likely. However my problem is this... Many of the guieds out there either suggest a file server or a Lamp server.. I don't belive I need all the bells and wistles of a Lamp server. All I want is storage to Linux from windows and access to it over the internet.
    Could you or anyone point me to some instruction on doing this.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Newbie athlon_crazy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    I would suggest you to always use secure connection to share your files. This could be done easily by using sslexplorer / SSLVPN . Choose GUI-installer. Then you just need to create "network places" to start sharing your files over the net via secure connection. You don't need apache or mysql to install sslexplorer bcoz sslexplorer already have it's own webserver.

  6. #5
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Baton Rouge, LA, USA
    Personally, I'm not familiar with Ubuntu Server. I am familiar with setting up a file server using Debian, and setting up SSH remote file access. On Windows, you can use Filezilla to download/upload via ssh. It's easier to set up a standard ftp server, though, if you don't mind the fact that passwords are sent in the clear--meaning a packet sniffer and/or man in the middle attack could potentially compromise the password (in practice, this known vulnerability doesn't stop ftp from remaining the standard).

    I started off using this documentation to set up a file server in Debian:

    LAN Linux File Server with Samba and Linux Print Server - How To Set Up and Configure Debian Linux

    It's old fashioned, but it works.

    Here's some less old fashioned documentation for Ubuntu:

    Note that for the most part, Debian and Ubuntu work the same. The main difference is that by default Ubuntu doesn't have a root password and instead the normal user is a "sudoer". That means that in Debian (and the rest of the *nix world other than Ubuntu), you type in the command "su" in order to get root access, while in Ubuntu you type in "sudo foobar" in order to run the command "foobar" as the root user.
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

  7. #6
    Once again thank you guys for the input... And yes it is quite easy to set up a windows file server and ftp server using a few different methods; even using apache is, for a better term "much more straight forward."lol...

    IsaacKuo- I actually stumbled on to the first article you provided in my searches, and have been going it over...

    Community- Any one got any ideas on what I mentioned about the raid being seperated from Linux' main drive. Or am I on the right page with that. (Don't mean to completely impart windows logic in here... lolol)

  8. #7
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Baton Rouge, LA, USA
    It's really REALLY hard to digest any of this documentation just by reading it. The easiest thing is to just go for it, and then just get in there and try to follow the directions. You'll be able to skip many of them, actually, because a lot has to do with stuff you probably don't care about (like connecting up to smb shares FROM the linux machine).

    As for RAID...there are many ways to go about using RAID. Personally, I wouldn't use RAID for a file server until I knew what I was doing. My main file server does use a software RAID array, but I'll be going back to a plain old single drive someday when I buy a 1TB hard drive.

    I think you should first get familiar with how to do things with just one or two drives, no RAID.

    For your purposes, you probably want to use LVM. LVM is an interesting system which lets you add or remove hard drives, even hotswappable (if the hardware supports it--most motherboards do NOT support hotswapping IDE or SATA drives, but external USB drives are hotswappable).

    With LVM, you'll be able to add/remove hard drives, and expand/shrink your shared virtual partition across all of the drives in question.

    I don't use LVM myself, I just haven't bothered to learn it yet.
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

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