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  1. #1
    Member Lt_Horn's Avatar
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    thinking of building a "server"

    Hello,
    Im fairly new to this whole server thing, i understand the basic concepts, but as a whole im pretty much a n00b at it. now i have an extra p4 2.8, p4c800-e, 512 corsair xms, and 200gbs worth of hds, i can get a computer case and a crappy gfx for cheap and or free, hopefully free . now my question is what else would i need, aswell as links or any information on how to set it up.

    here is what would be networked together.
    the computer in my sig
    my moms p4 1.7 dell
    my dads old pc 133
    my brothers p4 2.8 dell aswell
    and my hp 2400 printer

    i have the necicary router/switch and plenty of cat5

    any help on the subject would be greatly appreciated!
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  2. #2
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    The first big question you need to answer is what will you use the server for? If all you want is a server so that you can share the printer, and some files then you should be set. Just get yourself a copy of Windows to run on it and you are good to go.

    Do you want to also run a website, and mail server? Then you will need some additional software installed. Same goes if you want to run a domain controller for the home network. These would require a true server OS to be installed, which can get rather expensive.

    The easiest way for you to get started working in servers is to just setup a file and print server using what you have and an additional copy of Windows XP. Then just keep the computer on 24/7 and you are running a server.

  3. #3
    Member Lt_Horn's Avatar
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    thanks, that i can manage quite easily. one more question, is there a way to control the server from my desktop easily, i know i can setup remote desktop from xp but i have never tried.
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  4. #4
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    It really depends on what kind of control you are talking about. If both machines will be running Windows XP then Remote Desktop connection is a decent option, except that you need to make a request from the server itself.

    For the most part though once the server is setup you shouldn't really need to make many changes on it. Many production servers won't have dedicated monitors, keyboards, etc. If you think you would want to really be doing a significant amount of work on it you might consider a KVM switch also.

  5. #5
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    Hello

    I just about done setting this up on my network. Im useing a copy of xp pro. I set static ip on all my pcs. I find I dont lose my network anymore. set your files to share on server. And away you.
    Goto networking and read the sticky. It makes life a lot easer.

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  6. #6
    Senior Django-loving Member Captain Newbie's Avatar
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    These would require a true server OS to be installed, which can get rather expensive.
    Or could be free.

    For the most part though once the server is setup you shouldn't really need to make many changes on it. Many production servers won't have dedicated monitors, keyboards, etc. If you think you would want to really be doing a significant amount of work on it you might consider a KVM switch also.
    I have a computer that I use as a file server; I have a mouse and keyboard for it hidden away, and no monitor connected. It works well. It's running XP at the moment, that's going to change as soon as I get around to it.
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  7. #7
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    Couldn't be free if you want to run a Windows Domain controller, Active Directory, as far as I know. The only way to do that is with a server version of Windows.

    I am running an old dual P3 server with Windows Server 2003 for my home network. It gives me some really cool options that I like, and it didn't cost me all that much to setup. If you need a server and such for only a small network look into the Microsoft Acion Pack. It is really a bargin considering what you get, ad what it would cost if bought alone.

  8. #8
    Senior Django-loving Member Captain Newbie's Avatar
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    Couldn't be free if you want to run a Windows Domain controller, Active Directory, as far as I know. The only way to do that is with a server version of Windows
    I do believe you may have missed my point...There are x86 server solutions out there that don't require you to open your wallet. And they're better than Windows.
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  9. #9
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    try clarkconnect or smoothwall with all the extra packages, clarkconnect is easier but i bet if you started from scratch it can be faster

    does most of the stuff you might need a windows server for, although hunting for the last few random microsoft packages can be a pain and no it doesn't do active directory

    but it does do webconfig

    aka managed from a webpage, not remote desktop

    and can run headless, hence the webmin webconfig


    superior to all kinds of windows in terms of performance, price, and stability in what it can do

    but if the feature you need indeed only ocurrs in windows, then maybe more ram and ncq might be the best advice i can give


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  10. #10
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    I can't see using Smoothwall as a file/print server. It just doesn't make any sense to me, it is specifically configured to be a router/firewall. This means it has been very limited and hardened in its ability to be accessed by other machines. Any mod that would allow a Windows PC to navigate to it, and change random files would kind of defeat the purpose.

    If you wanted a file/print server running in Linux then many other distros are available that would be better. I don't see why you would bother to setup a Smoothwall, and then spend the time and effort to morph it into something else, unless you just wanted to learn how to or something. It would be easier to grab any other small Linux distro, and just setup SAMBA and CUPS. The only advantage to Smoothwall is the web interface, which is really only for routing features anyway.

    Captain Newbie,

    I got your point. I am just saying that what software you will need to run depends on what you want the server to do. If all you want is simple, OS independant stuff then free server software would do fine. If you need, or want, Active Directory then you need to pay up.

  11. #11
    Member Lt_Horn's Avatar
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    i cant help but find it ironic that so i can graduate from college with my comp sci major i have to take tcp/ip, and after i setup my server i could simply test out of it.
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  12. #12
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    Couldn't be free if you want to run a Windows Domain controller, Active Directory, as far as I know. The only way to do that is with a server version of Windows
    Samba was free last time I checked. Linux too.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErikD
    It really depends on what kind of control you are talking about. If both machines will be running Windows XP then Remote Desktop connection is a decent option, except that you need to make a request from the server itself.

    For the most part though once the server is setup you shouldn't really need to make many changes on it. Many production servers won't have dedicated monitors, keyboards, etc. If you think you would want to really be doing a significant amount of work on it you might consider a KVM switch also.

    you don't have the make the connection request from the server itself. all you need to do is enable remote desktop connections by right clicking on my computer and going to properties. then click on the "remote" tab and then check the box that says "allow users to connect remotely to this computer". once you do that, all you need to do is enter the ip address or the name of the computer when you run the remote desktop program on one of your computers and then that will allow you to login to your server. if you have any questions, just ask and i should be able to help. if you do not like using remote desktop, you could always try to use realvnc. both realvnc and remote desktop can achieve what you want.
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  14. #14
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    smoothwall or clarkconnect

    enabling samba on either through the lan side and not the wan side does not defeat the thing in terms of security, since its hardened only from the wan side, hench the webconfig from the lan side

    and samba if faster than most comparable windows smb's, e.g. vs server 2000 and 2ksp~, not xp but xp only supports 10 max connections, server 2003 is too expensive, samba is free


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  15. #15
    Member Fightingpiper's Avatar
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    I use win2k for my server. It runs a couple of websites so it has apache as the webserver, php, and mysql installed. If all you want to do is have it as a file storage just enable filesharing in XP so the other computers can access the drive. Also If you don't want to have dedicated keyboard/monitor hooked to it, use a a KVM switch. Remote Desktop will also work for you. Another option instead of Remote desktop that I use on my network at home is VNC...I use TightVNC actually.
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  16. #16
    Member gorilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lt_Horn
    thanks, that i can manage quite easily. one more question, is there a way to control the server from my desktop easily, i know i can setup remote desktop from xp but i have never tried.

    use logmein.com (which i personally love

    OR use winvnc / tight VNC or real VNC

  17. #17
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    I realy like RDP if i'm dealing with windows servers. It is easily setup (system properties, remote tab, check enable remote desktop), and there are clients installed for it by default in windows and linux. If i'm using a linux server, I use SSH because all of the administration i do is from the command line.

  18. #18
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    p4 2.8, p4c800-e, 512 corsair xms is WWWAAAYYYYYY overkill... you could get the same performance out of a 200mhz pentium and 128mb of ram for what you would need it for heck... even a 486 would work well if your just going to run linux.... its not like your going to have thousands of connections / second to your server...

    as for remote control... RDP is nice for windows products, SSH is great for linux! there is no reason to run a GUI for linux.
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  19. #19
    Member jajmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lt_Horn
    Hello,
    Im fairly new to this whole server thing, i understand the basic concepts, but as a whole im pretty much a n00b at it. now i have an extra p4 2.8, p4c800-e, 512 corsair xms, and 200gbs worth of hds, i can get a computer case and a crappy gfx for cheap and or free, hopefully free . now my question is what else would i need, aswell as links or any information on how to set it up.

    here is what would be networked together.
    the computer in my sig
    my moms p4 1.7 dell
    my dads old pc 133
    my brothers p4 2.8 dell aswell
    and my hp 2400 printer

    i have the necicary router/switch and plenty of cat5

    any help on the subject would be greatly appreciated!
    You really didn't answer the question about what you want the 'server' to do. If all you are looking to do is share files and a printer, then a P4 is way over kill for that. Use your dad's old pc for your 'server' running Linux w/samba and give him the P4 that you want to use for your 'server'. Dad deserves better than a 133pc (who pays the bills?)

  20. #20
    Member jajmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErikD
    Couldn't be free if you want to run a Windows Domain controller, Active Directory, as far as I know. The only way to do that is with a server version of Windows.

    I am running an old dual P3 server with Windows Server 2003 for my home network. It gives me some really cool options that I like, and it didn't cost me all that much to setup. If you need a server and such for only a small network look into the Microsoft Acion Pack. It is really a bargin considering what you get, ad what it would cost if bought alone.
    Samba can be configured for a DC. That's not the point here. you are taking this WAY beyond what he wants to do.

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