LINUX HOME SERVER GUIDE
This guide will lead you step-by-step through the process of building and configuring your own home server based on Ubuntu Linux. We will configure a Central Media Hub, a Dedicated Torrent Box, a File Serve, and a Web Server, All to be housed in a few Virtual Machines in Sun's VirtualBox software. This requires no hardware virtualization, and can be run on virtually any hardware you have lying around the house. Most Things have WebGUI's associated with them. After the initial installation, most things can be configured through a Web Browser, with almost no need for the command line.
CAN'T A NAS DO MOST OF THIS?
A NAS (Network Attached Storage) can simply take files and serve them up as a Samba share to anything that can access it. For the other things I wanted, I needed a full operating system. In addition I wanted to be able to add any other functions I could dream up.
WHY DO I NEED A HOME SERVER?
- Central Media Hub: you can make all your Videos, Music, and Pictures available to any computer, PS3, Xbox 360, Squeezebox, or similar device that's connected to your network.
- Dedicated Torrent Box: You can have an always on torrent box to download and seed any television shows you may be interested. You can have your server automatically download your show torrents from rss feeds, add them to your bittorrent client, rename them and arrange them by show and season.
- Home File Server: You can use samba and NFS to set up a file share available to Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
- Web Server: You can install a LAMP server to stop paying hosting costs and host your own websites.
WHY NOT A WINDOWS HOME SERVER BOX?
Windows Home Server can do all of the things I wanted, but the boxes I saw, such as the HP MediaSmart boxes, were more expensive than I wanted to pay (they start at around 600 Bucks for 1.5 Terabytes), and they were underpowered and difficult to upgrade. I also wanted to make sure that I could use the box for something else if I found that I wasn't using the server as much as I thought I would.
SOUNDS GOOD! WHAT DO I NEED TO BUILD MY OWN?
- Hardware: You don't need very much, for a basic server you can use any old computer you still have lying around the house, since ubuntu server literally only requires a 300Mhz processor and 128MB of ram. For virtual machines and such I recommend at least 2Ghz and 2GB so that you have plenty to dole out among Virtual Machines. More on this in the Hardware section.
- Software: We'll be using Ubuntu Server 10.10 64-Bit, so hop on over to the Ubuntu Website and download the Iso. Know that If your CPU doesn't support Virtualization (no problem, mine doesn't) then you'll need to pick up the 32-bit Version for your VMs, in addition to the 64-Bit for your main system. If you're using Windows 7 or any flavor of linux, you can burn the iso to a disc directly from the OS. If not I recommend a program called Imgburn to burn the Iso with.