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ok im new to the world of servers. I have an old compaq deskpro, and just for the purpose of learning i decided i wan to turn it into a box server. Now i dont even know if thats possible but it sounded cool in my head. If i did that, what would i be able to do with that? i mean what would the advantages be or am i wasting my time with such a crappy comp. Please explain.
You could use it as a home file server, or as a firewall/gateway. There's lots of tutorials on doing things like this, it really all depends on what you want to do and what the computer is capable of. For a home fileserver, 350-500mhz should suffice. I have a quad 166 running rh6.3, and it makes a great fileserver.
Distribution: Ubuntu "Hoary" - The best distro around by a long shot.
I have a Pentium 133 with 16 megs of RAM running as my firewall with Mandrake 6.1 or 7.1 (can't remember which). It runs great as a firewall, and I imagine it would work fine as a simple web/ftp server.