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Old 11-03-2008, 01:16 PM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2008
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Linux File Server - Newbie looking to make the move from Windows

Ok, I'm making the the leap. I have a strong Windows background, but I've been looking into crossing over into the Linux world.

My reason for looking into Linux is because of utilizing an older Dell Dimensions 4100 I have sitting around. I would like to use this box for a file server with Linux.

I've been looking on the internet and I narrowed it down to two distros (OpenSUSE or Kubuntu). If I am on the wrong path for a distro for a file server, please let me know of a better one.

I believe this box has a PIII 833MHz and it's maxed out with 512MB of RAM. I do have IDE drives, but I would like to use a RAID 1 to have some protection of my data (mostly pictures and videos). Does this computer have the guts required for a Linux file server?

This is where I am stuck. Can I add a PCI SATA controller to use my SATA drives? Do I load the OS on an internal IDE drive and use the SATA drives for storage only (1 drive for storage, the other for a mirror)? Any recomendations for a compatible SATA controller?

I'm also currently running a box with Windows 2003 Server which is my file server and the PDC. This is a more powerful box that I would like to use for a workstation instead of a file server. From what I read, using Linux on an older box that is running all the time is more cost efficient.

Thanks for any assistance.
Old 11-03-2008, 02:22 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Reno, NV USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
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I hate to say this but it sounds like you have already answered your own questions. If you already know how to manage windows servers, you already know how you like to set up your hardware so I'm not going to tell you what to do. Yes Linux does make older hardware seem new again. Of course sometimes you do need to replace fans and that kind of stuff to make the older hardware sound new. As far as which distro, either one you mentioned will work. I don't use either but that doesn't make them wrong. I've never tried OpenSUSE but I did try Kubuntu once and I liked it. Just download a few different distros and you will find one that you like. I've personally been using Mandriva since is was called Mandrake and I'm going on 9 years with it installed on my desktop. Unlike in the windows world, there are pretty much no wrong answers in the Linux world.

Good Luck!
Old 11-03-2008, 02:37 PM   #3
Registered: Dec 2007
Location: New England, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, Slackware 12.2
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I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for but it is a quick, low resource set up.
Old 11-03-2008, 02:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for your response. I think I will be alright. The main reason why I posted was because of the PCI SATA Controller.

Should I (can I) load the OS on an IDE drive and add the PCI SATA Controller on a later date? I'm just stumped on how I can get a SATA RAID 1 setup on an older computer without SATA connections.


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