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uk.comp.home-networking (UK home networking) (uk.comp.home-networking) Discussion of all aspects of computer networking in the home, regardless of the platforms, software, topologies and protocols used. Examples of topics include recommendations for hardware or suppliers (e.g. NICs and cabling), protocols, servers, and specific network software. Advertising is not allowed.

simple file server



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 13th 06, 02:49 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Gaz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 648
Default simple file server

Getting a bit fed up with the flakyness of using xp as a simple file server
for small xp (and sometimes mixed xp and 98) workgroups.

Typical situation, five to ten XP workstations accessing one specific xp
machine to read and save files to, using network drives.

This setup normally works, but lots of small issues keep popping up, across
a range of computers. One PC will stop accessing the file server, or the
network slows down periodically.

Is there an alternative (none 2000/2003 server based) to XP as a simple file
server? Logins are not usually necessary, or complicated permissions, but
the options of might be desirable in the future..

What is absolutely vital is reliability. It needs to turn on and work,
simple as, it needs to be quick.

In this situation, would it be worth exploring a none MS solution, such as a
linux distro? Or would a good old fashioned windows 98 file sharing
workstation provide the best solution?

gaz


  #2  
Old March 13th 06, 04:59 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Sucuba Dude
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 43
Default simple file server


"Gaz" wrote in message
...
: In this situation, would it be worth exploring a none MS solution,
such as a
: linux distro? Or would a good old fashioned windows 98 file sharing
: workstation provide the best solution?

In this situation I would go with Linux and set up samba to do what
you want. It's a steep learning curve and I would suggest that you try
and iron out the windows issues first before you take this step. I
have tried a number of distros myself and use slack at work. However,
for ease, you may be wise to use red hat 9 onwards. It's not the best
distro but it has the largest linux userbase and packages are easily
found for it. You can also find info easily on it.

I would avoid a win 98 machine for anything remotely critical It's a
toytown operating system.
Failing that you could get an old machine an line it up with windows
NT from ebay for a few .
Linux does have the speed advantage as a file server. You won't need
to run AV on it in so you can get away with an old P2 type machine if
you are on a budget.


  #3  
Old March 13th 06, 05:10 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Bernard Peek
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 202
Default simple file server

In message , Gaz writes


In this situation, would it be worth exploring a none MS solution, such as a
linux distro? Or would a good old fashioned windows 98 file sharing
workstation provide the best solution?


Given the fact that you asked sensible questions I'd say that you
shouldn't have a lot of trouble setting up a Linux server using Samba,
so that's what I recommend.

There are two options, download or buy. If you buy a recent Linux distro
it will come with some documentation and perhaps some support. If you
download a recent distro you will get the latest stable versions of the
various applications.

I'm told that the various versions of BSD are even more reliable than
Linux, so as that appears to be your priority you might consider BSD
rather than Linux.

And while you are setting up a file server you might as well add a web
server and put together an intranet, the Apache software comes in the
package so why not use it?



--
Bernard Peek
London, UK. DBA, Manager, Trainer & Author.

  #4  
Old March 13th 06, 07:06 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Rob Morley
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,379
Default simple file server

In article
Gaz wrote:
Getting a bit fed up with the flakyness of using xp as a simple file server
for small xp (and sometimes mixed xp and 98) workgroups.

Typical situation, five to ten XP workstations accessing one specific xp
machine to read and save files to, using network drives.

This setup normally works, but lots of small issues keep popping up, across
a range of computers. One PC will stop accessing the file server, or the
network slows down periodically.

Is there an alternative (none 2000/2003 server based) to XP as a simple file
server? Logins are not usually necessary, or complicated permissions, but
the options of might be desirable in the future..

What is absolutely vital is reliability. It needs to turn on and work,
simple as, it needs to be quick.

In this situation, would it be worth exploring a none MS solution, such as a
linux distro? Or would a good old fashioned windows 98 file sharing
workstation provide the best solution?

Try SAMBA on Linux. SME Server (formerly e-smith) is a popular
distribution that is probably well suited to your needs:

http://smeserver.sourceforge.net/HomePage

  #5  
Old March 13th 06, 08:10 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Mark Goodge
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 30
Default simple file server

On Mon, 13 Mar 2006 17:10:43 +0000, Bernard Peek put finger to
keyboard and typed:

In message , Gaz writes


In this situation, would it be worth exploring a none MS solution, such as a
linux distro? Or would a good old fashioned windows 98 file sharing
workstation provide the best solution?


Given the fact that you asked sensible questions I'd say that you
shouldn't have a lot of trouble setting up a Linux server using Samba,
so that's what I recommend.

There are two options, download or buy. If you buy a recent Linux distro
it will come with some documentation and perhaps some support. If you
download a recent distro you will get the latest stable versions of the
various applications.

I'm told that the various versions of BSD are even more reliable than
Linux, so as that appears to be your priority you might consider BSD
rather than Linux.


At the risk of starting a Linux religious war, I'd suggest Ubuntu as a
good distro for a beginner. It's dead simple to install, and has all
the stuff like Samba built in. You can even order it on CD to be
posted to you at no cost, which is handy if you don't want to use all
your bandwidth allowance downloading an ISO. And it has some really
cool screensavers :-)

Mark
--
Visit: http://www.MotorwayServices.info - read and share comments and opinons
Listen: http://www.goodge.co.uk/files/dweeb.mp3 - you'll love it!
  #6  
Old March 13th 06, 09:21 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Ian Northeast
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 66
Default simple file server

On Mon, 13 Mar 2006 20:10:10 +0000, Mark Goodge wrote:

On Mon, 13 Mar 2006 17:10:43 +0000, Bernard Peek put finger to keyboard
and typed:


I'm told that the various versions of BSD are even more reliable than
Linux, so as that appears to be your priority you might consider BSD
rather than Linux.


At the risk of starting a Linux religious war, I'd suggest Ubuntu as a
good distro for a beginner. It's dead simple to install, and has all the
stuff like Samba built in. You can even order it on CD to be posted to you
at no cost, which is handy if you don't want to use all your bandwidth
allowance downloading an ISO. And it has some really cool screensavers :-)


I second that. I've not used it personally, but it has a reputation for
being very accessible for beginners. It is based on Debian, which I do
use extensively, and is one of the most stable and reliable Linux distros,
but not very beginner friendly itself. This is why Ubuntu has become so
popular recently - it combines the solid reliability of Debian with user
friendliness. Not sure I'd rate a server distro on its screensavers though
http://www.ubuntu.com, ubuntu.org is something completely different

I wouldn't recommend BSD to someone without some previous UNIX/UNIX like
OS experience. All the BSDs are very good, but none are particularly
easy to use. Most Linux distros have come on a long way recently in this
respect. I am sure that the OP will find Linux plentifully reliable
enough. I do.

Regards, Ian
  #7  
Old March 13th 06, 09:28 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Clint Sharp
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 550
Default simple file server

In message , Gaz writes
Getting a bit fed up with the flakyness of using xp as a simple file server
for small xp (and sometimes mixed xp and 98) workgroups.

Standardise your network protocols and remove any unused ones (NETBEUI)
The order that the machines in a peer to peer network boot can make for
nasty problems,
In this situation, would it be worth exploring a none MS solution, such as a
linux distro? Or would a good old fashioned windows 98 file sharing
workstation provide the best solution?

NAS box? Don't use Win98, there's no security and that's just one
reason....

gaz


Look at Samba.... might be just what you need but you'll need to do some
reading and playing.
--
Clint Sharp
  #8  
Old March 13th 06, 09:59 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Mark Goodge
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 30
Default simple file server

On Mon, 13 Mar 2006 21:21:29 +0000, Ian Northeast put finger to
keyboard and typed:

On Mon, 13 Mar 2006 20:10:10 +0000, Mark Goodge wrote:

At the risk of starting a Linux religious war, I'd suggest Ubuntu as a
good distro for a beginner. It's dead simple to install, and has all the
stuff like Samba built in. You can even order it on CD to be posted to you
at no cost, which is handy if you don't want to use all your bandwidth
allowance downloading an ISO. And it has some really cool screensavers :-)


I second that. I've not used it personally, but it has a reputation for
being very accessible for beginners. It is based on Debian, which I do
use extensively, and is one of the most stable and reliable Linux distros,
but not very beginner friendly itself. This is why Ubuntu has become so
popular recently - it combines the solid reliability of Debian with user
friendliness. Not sure I'd rate a server distro on its screensavers though


Ah, but if you're going to have an extra computer in the room then it
has to *look* cool as well as serve files efficiently. And if you're
not going to be using it so much for desktop applications, then the
screensaver is pretty much all the GUI will be running most of the
time. :-)

http://www.ubuntu.com, ubuntu.org is something completely different

I wouldn't recommend BSD to someone without some previous UNIX/UNIX like
OS experience. All the BSDs are very good, but none are particularly
easy to use. Most Linux distros have come on a long way recently in this
respect. I am sure that the OP will find Linux plentifully reliable
enough. I do.


BSD is excellent for a "traditional" Unix-like environment of one
server, one sysadmin and many users with individual shell and/or ftp
accounts. But Linux is generally easier to use in a typical home,
dedicated file server or SOHO environment where the user/server ratio
is lower and the distinction between users and admins is less rigid.
(That's not to say that Linux can't handle equally large numbers of
users; it is perfectly capable of doing so. But such a use doesn't
play to Linux's strengths in the way it does for BSD).

Mark
--
Visit: http://www.MotorwayServices.info - read and share comments and opinons
Listen: http://www.goodge.co.uk/files/dweeb.mp3 - you'll love it!
  #9  
Old March 13th 06, 10:51 PM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Ian Northeast
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 66
Default simple file server

On Mon, 13 Mar 2006 21:59:43 +0000, Mark Goodge wrote:

On Mon, 13 Mar 2006 21:21:29 +0000, Ian Northeast put finger to keyboard
and typed:


Not sure I'd rate a server distro on its screensavers though


Ah, but if you're going to have an extra computer in the room then it has
to *look* cool as well as serve files efficiently. And if you're not going
to be using it so much for desktop applications, then the screensaver is
pretty much all the GUI will be running most of the time. :-)


It doesn't make much difference when it's shoved under a desk with no
monitor attached. Or in the attic

I always run servers without graphical logon. One less thing to go wrong.

Regards, Ian

  #10  
Old March 14th 06, 09:52 AM posted to uk.comp.home-networking
Bernard Peek
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 202
Default simple file server

In message e.net,
Mark Goodge writes

I'm told that the various versions of BSD are even more reliable than
Linux, so as that appears to be your priority you might consider BSD
rather than Linux.


At the risk of starting a Linux religious war, I'd suggest Ubuntu as a
good distro for a beginner. It's dead simple to install, and has all
the stuff like Samba built in. You can even order it on CD to be
posted to you at no cost, which is handy if you don't want to use all
your bandwidth allowance downloading an ISO. And it has some really
cool screensavers :-)


I didn't want to recommend any one Linux distro because for the OP's
requirements any recent distro would do the job. Most recent distros can
automatically download and install security patches. That could be
important for someone who doesn't want to spend too much time learning
about Linux software installation. I would quite happily recommend
Ubuntu, Redhat or SuSE. Those are distros that I've used, and no doubt
there are others that would also do the job.

Someone else has just recommended one of the all-in-one servers that can
also work as an email gateway, and probably makes damn fine coffee too.
That's another option to consider. I think the OP was looking for
something simple and although those all-in-one distros are relatively
simple they might require extra work setting up networking on the
existing machines. Hopefully someone with practical experience can tell
us.




--
Bernard Peek
London, UK. DBA, Manager, Trainer & Author.

 




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