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Old 09-07-2011, 10:48 PM   #1
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Building home file/media server

Hi all,

I am currently putting together a server for home use. The main uses of it are for storing all my media (music, videos/movies, photos) as well as file backups from my various computers. I am comfortable using desktop linux distros and can use the command line a bit but I've never done anything with a server before (gotta start sometime!).

Anyway I didn't really want a pre-built NAS so I opted to use cheap parts off eBay to put a machine together since for my purposes its not really going to be resource intensive. Should I use something like Ubuntu Server edition? Something like that seems easy enough, although so does FreeNAS or FreeBSD (the requirements for FreeNAS 8 seem to have jumped up a bit from 7 so I"m not sure if I want to use that)

Now I want to be able to access and read/write to the server from pretty much any machine. My main is a new MBP but I also have windows machines and a linux netbook. What filesystems should I use for something like this? Also since all my music is going to be on the server (I put a 120GB SSD in my macbook pro thats why I want most of this data on the server) will it be possible to have it set up an iTunes music server so I can access it all through iTunes?

RAID will be set up at some point for redundancy however I want to get this little project off the ground and working first so everything is just gonna be on one drive at first and keep external backups and worry about setting up RAID later.

Any type of feedback would be great on what OS I should use along with filesystems.

(One quick newbie question.. Being that my ISP does not offer Static IP addresses unless you sign up with their business account, am I right in assuming that as long as the server stays on and connected to the internet, the Dynamic IP address will remain the same and I can connect via remote access?)
Old 09-07-2011, 11:26 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2009
Location: Leander, TX
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If you're wanting to read and write from any machine, I'd recommend running a Samba server (I can't think of any other kind). It's like CIFs so it looks like Windows shares. You'll need to make sure the service comes up at start, in case you reboot your server.

You'll need to modify the /etc/samba/smb.conf file so that:

workgroup = WORKGROUP (If that's what your systems are using by default. On Windows you can check this under system properties.)

Then set up your share something like this:

path = /path/to/share
comment = SharedFiles
browseable = yes
writeable = yes
The options I put in are fairly straight forward, but there are so many more advanced options, see:
Old 09-07-2011, 11:50 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2006
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Regarding the dynamic IP, you can get free dynamic dns from providers like You will only need to configure a startup script, it will periodically update its public ip to the ddns provider.
If you prefer using the dynamic ip, yes, it ought to remain constant as long as the server (and your modem/router) remain powered on.


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