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Old 07-15-2016, 03:28 PM   #1
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Will a home network work with different distributions...and windows?

Hi, I am a bumbling newbie to all of this really. But have dabbled with ubuntu, mint on various old lap tops and ancient pc's. I have acquired a selection of newer desktops and was wanting to set up a home network. Mainly so I can access different drives and media around the house, let the kids watch a movie in one room etc, listen to music in another,whilst surfing the net...I have 3 kids...and want to have some illusion of control over what they are doing. ......
My main question before I start installing anything, is I already dual boot ubuntu and windows on my main work pc. Do I have to stick with the same distro to network with the laptops etc? Or can I run lighter distros on the older pc's/laptops...or can someone recommend an ideal distro to run on everything?
Or does it not matter at all...and can I actually network even when using windows?.... Apologies if this all seems terribly naive, but I tend to spend large chunks of my life usually trying to solve these things alone in a darkened room, much to the chagrin of my wife. So I thought I'd just ask this time.
Old 07-15-2016, 07:51 PM   #2
Keith Hedger
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What OS you are using is going to be pretty irrelevant to what you put on the network, just remember when shaing disks that windows is fairly limited to what sort of share you are using, so stick to samba for simplicity, nfs is OK but is much harder to set up, when streaming video/audio again remember windows is quite limited to what it can play so probably avi and mp3 wouk be your best bet, watch for fike sizes with avi < 2G or you may have problems, linux on the other hand understands a lot of different formats so no need to be to picky there.

Google is your freind here as there are a LOT of how to's on setting up samb/nfs shares and streaming services, but post back with any specic problems, dont forget the more info you give on a problem the more likly you are to get a solution
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:51 PM   #3
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Hello Kaiserhogg and welcome to LQ.

Network resources can be tricky. How about you take it step by step. Get one computer to interact with another. The OS for the most part doesn't matter.

Ideas to consider.

Use Samba/cifs/windows share to interact between windows and linux or windows and windows and even linux to linux.

Some programs are made to assist by using front end and back end programs. Things like Plex and OpenElec/Kodi might be used to help this media effort.
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:57 PM   #4
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The short answer is yes. Network protocols are network protocols.

jefro's advice about using Samba for file-sharing on Linux machines, if that's part of what you want to do, is quite on point.

I would add this: if you wish to make shares on a Windows computer available to non-Windows machines, do not use Microsoft's lamer "Homegroup" feature--it works only with other Windows devices. Use what Microsoft misleadingly refers to as "simple sharing."

Last edited by frankbell; 07-15-2016 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:17 PM   #5
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Hi Folks, Thanks for your replies. Sorry for the delay in responding, I am going to work through some of the suggestions and see where I get! Your help is much appreciated!


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