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  1. #1

    What distribution to use to set up server/NAS

    My parents company has downsized somewhat over the last year - there are now only about 5 users. They are currently using their old Windows SBS which is far more than they need and is running out of space and speed.

    So the idea is to replace it with a smaller server - I have an HP Proliant microserver and was wondering what would be best to install?

    They do not need the server to have any sort of user authentication or email support. It would pretty much just be used for sharing files and perhaps as a print server if the printers can't be plugged directly into the router.

    They would need to have remote access to the files, be it via some sort of web interface or via a VPN into the server. The client machines will all be running Windows 7 or XP.

    I was also thinking of setting up CrashPlan on it so their laptops can be backed up onto it.

    I was initially thinking of just using Ubuntu and setting up some Samba shares, but would something like FreeNAS be better for this?


  2. #2
    Just Joined! shamino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Vienna, VA, USA
    I wouldn't use Ubuntu for a production server like this. You want stability more than cutting-edge features.

    I'm a big fan of RPM-based systems, so I would use RHEL or CentOS (depending on budget requirements) for this.

    I'm not personally familiar with Debian-based systems, so I can't recommend one for production use. Hopefully, someone else here will be able to provide a recommendation.

  3. #3
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Either at home or at work or down the pub
    Debian or CentOS would both do the job quite nicely. However, if you are supporting it then I'd go with the distro you are most familiar with.
    Should you be sitting wondering,
    Which Batman is the best,
    There's only one true answer my friend,
    It's Adam Bloody West!

    The Fifth Continent

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  5. #4
    Well i have only really used ubuntu before, which is why i went with it initially. It's not going to have much heavy use - just some document sharing, maybe photos, nothing too taxing.

    I might have a look at creating vpn server on it, otherwise do you know of any web-based file managers that could work?


  6. #5
    if your clients are windows-based, why would you want a web-based file manager? or do you just mean you can administer it via a web GUI? If so, samba and swat (samba web admin tool) ought to suffice. i know the required packages are in the Fedora 16/CentOS 6.x repos.

  7. #6
    I would like to have an administration web GUI so will probably look at swat.

    I was only really thinking of having a web-based file manager for the times they may not have access from their laptops so don't have a VPN set up. It's not too vital though since most of the time they will be accessing it from there.

  8. #7
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Virginia, USA
    You might want to check out freeNas. Here are some links for what you wish to accomplish:
    Active Directory - Freenas
    Windows (CIFS) Shares - Freenas

  9. #8
    i just happened across this article about a web-based file manager. no idea if it is good or sux, just passing it along...

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