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What is your preferred server OS for home use? And Why?

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No vote there as I don't need a server for home use. Regular desktop OSes are just fine.

I work at home, and use servers for work, but that's another matter. For that, it all depends on the work I need to do.


A server's primary function is to provide security. It does this by controlling access to resources and data assets stored on a network. Anything else a server does after that is pure gravy.

Some suggestions in no specific order:

- If you don't need much security - and all you want to do is store and share files - a NAS solution is your best bet.

- If you want/need to do more than that (i.e. provide remote access, have user roles, offer additional services such as VMs, HTTP or SFTP) then you will want to get a 'real' server.

-For home or SOHO use, Windows Home Server is all you'll need. It's very easy to work with. And it doesn't take a pilot's license to fly it. At a street price of around $100 (so far) it's also pretty cheap for a product that has full tech support available.

-Don't even bother running print shares off a home or SOHO server. Unless you need to restrict who gets to use the printer (or account for the number of pages coming off it) just go for a printer with network capabilities. Print directly to it over your network and be done with it.

For a business with plans to grow (or just delusions of grandeur) the choices get a little more complicated.

-If you're going to maintain it yourself, it doesn't really matter what you pick. Linux or Windows - either way you've got some work and book time ahead of you.

-If you're hiring, pick whatever the most popular platform in your area is . Because that's what the talent pool you're going to hire from is likely working with - and knows best.

In my neck of the woods, it's Windows Server hands down. Out in sunny Los Angeles or Frisco Bay it's probably more likely to be an even split between BSD and Bill Gates.

-If you want to try a general Linux server solution, and it's your maiden voyage, try one of these first: Zentyal or ClearOS. They're very forgiving since they have a nice GUI to work with until earn your Techno-Wonk Beanie-copter.
 (see attachment in previous post)
(Note: Effective 10/17/1999 - having webbed-feet is no longer a requirement in order to wear a 'B-C.')

Luck! :Thmbsup:
-40hz (January 04, 2011, 07:02 PM)
--- End quote ---
nice!  This goes in my notebook.
Based on this, I know what I will do.  I'm going to start with Windows Home Server.  If my needs grow beyond that, i will deal with it then.  5 years ago, I would have gone with the most hardcore solution, probably Windows Server in this case.  But I'm different now, I've learned my lessons.  Very glad to hear, and I know most people here have said very positive things about WHS.

I don't have the kind of extensive experience and knowledge demonstrated by others here, but I've been using a Linux server for several years (from Redhat to Mandrake to Fedora to Ubuntu currently). I have never tried Win Server so I can't compare, but I'm very happy because:

1. it's rock solid; never crashes unless the hardware fails (see the next point).

2. it works on very old hardware, so when the server dies, I get to buy myself a new desktop, move my old desktop to my wife's desktop, and then move hers to server. This happens every few years, very good excuse for buying new hardware and trying a new distro. :)

With a good backup practice, switching servers is easy.

3. No need to pay big bucks for server software. I learned Postfix, Spamassassin, Dovecot (for email) and Samba (for Windows file sharing) first, then BIND (DNS) and Apache (web), and then gradually onto other stuff. All standard stuff on *nix land, with plenty of reference material and easy to get questions answered.

4. Easy to manage remotely. My server sits next to my desktop on the floor, but it has no monitor, no keyboard/mouse attached to it. All I need is Putty (except when setting up a new system of course). I edit all the config files with my favorite editor on Windows; no time (and no need) to learn EMACS or VI.

Server 2008 R2 for me. I have WHS running on my file sharing box but with DE being dropped and newer 4k sector drives not being supported, I've decided to move away from it. I looked at various alternatives such as FreeNas, OpenFiler, even ZFS but I simply don't know Linux well enough and most open source software runs great on Windows anyway.

I will be installing Server 2008 R2, running WHS for pc backups in a VM, and maybe a few Linux distros in VM's as well. I look forward to trying out some specialized server software as well.

Stoic Joker:
SHIT I just spent a freaking hour typing a response and the damn thing just vaporized. Board ate it or something, hell I don't know.

Now I gotta do the whole damn thing over - Where the hell is Ctrl+S when you need it! :(


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