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Old 09-22-2011, 01:02 AM   #1
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Which OS is the best choice for a home server?

Just wondering what would be the best OS for my server? I'm currently considering Windows (it's currently running XP), Linux (Ubuntu or Fedora), and Solaris (which I know nothing about, but want to learn). I use my server to hold documents and also all my software is on it, so if i need to install (or reinstall) something, i can get it from the server. There is also a share for disk images. And i currently have it setup with TeamVeiwer, so i can access it from anywhere to retrieve data/software or store it, so long as i can get online. I can also control the machine remotely. Would i be able to do all of this with Linux? If so, which distro would have the best software for my purposes? Just wanted to pick your brains and see what you think.
Old 09-22-2011, 01:46 AM   #2
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I would expect Linux to be able to handle that & I'd recommend a serious server distro like Centos (free version of RHEL), or pay for RHEL if you want paid support.
In either case you get updates for 7 or 10 yrs; Centos has no support, RHEL you pay for it...

Since Oracle has taken over SUN I'd be dubious about their direction and you WILL have to pay (a lot) for it.
Old 09-22-2011, 04:39 AM   #3
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If you are setting up a server, use the operating system you master the most. Consider something unfamiliar for learning purpose only if you do not relay on the server heavily. And if you want to learn something in deep and do obscure things, use virtual machines.

All services you mentioned can be offered by any OS of these three. I personally would choose Debian based Linux (either Debian or Ubuntu or Mint or whatever you like), but this is only my personal favorite.

If you have client computers in your home network with different operating systems, I would suggest Linux or Solaris, because Windows tends to be little more problematic with clients other than Windows.

Old 09-22-2011, 09:18 AM   #4
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If you are already Ubuntu user, use Ubuntu or Debian.
Debian is very economical with a resources, very stable, very reliable, very powerful, very ...........
Once setup, it will just work.

If you like to restart your server regularly, to pay a lot for OS that may have a various problems, to deal with a viruses, trojans, use Windows.
Old 09-22-2011, 09:36 AM   #5
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Debian (stable), CentOS, slackware are probably the best choices. Even an LTS ubuntu version would be OK (though personally I'd suggest against ubuntu LTS versions for servers).

'Normal' (non-LTS) ubuntu versions and fedora would work, but IMO dont. The lifespan is too short, they arent tested to be as stable as a good server OS.
Old 09-22-2011, 09:55 AM   #6
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if you are familiar with windows (and you already paid for it) you mite as well use it. -- although my opinion is that servers isnt its strong suit.

if you want to learn something new (as you stated) and it doesnt need to be 24-7 until you master it you can try solaris (i never used it but i guess *nix is *nix)

at my home i have a fedora apache/sshfs server running to hold random documents/ songs/ videos ... for my xbmc-live machine downstairs and to share pictures remotely.

Originally Posted by MoonlitSky1031 View Post if i need to install (or reinstall) something, i can get it from the server...
just so you are aware with linux, most of the time you install stuff from the package managers repository so that dependancies are downloaded and installed for you.

Last edited by schneidz; 09-22-2011 at 09:59 AM.
Old 09-22-2011, 01:26 PM   #7
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Thanx everyone for your input, you've all been very helpful. What i've decided to do is download the OSes mentioned here + a few others and install them to a USB HDD, and try them out from there. That way I can get a feel for them and make a more informed descision. I really appreciate everyone's help!


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