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42 posts

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# 94857 20-Dec-2011 10:15
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Hi geeks, Ive always wanted a good home set up for media/file sharing and i have recently been given a decent computer to do it with, now i want to set it up for fast easy access, my main question is what should i use and why? Ive herd to use turnkey, also straight ubuntu, or i have a legit spare win7 32bit. what should i do with this new computer?

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  # 559864 20-Dec-2011 10:41
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xxXStylusXxx: Hi geeks, Ive always wanted a good home set up for media/file sharing and i have recently been given a decent computer to do it with, now i want to set it up for fast easy access, my main question is what should i use and why? Ive herd to use turnkey, also straight ubuntu, or i have a legit spare win7 32bit. what should i do with this new computer?


Personally, I would save the Win 7 license for a desktop as there are lots of free server solutions.

But give us more info about what you want to do as there are so many options.

What do you want to do with your server? That will largely determine what you need so be more specific.
A file server is different than a multimedia server. For example, Turnkey is a file server (Linux-based)and doesn't, as far as I know, provide multimedia streaming. It is primarily designed for virtualization but can be installed on your computer.

How skilled are you with Windows or Linux? If you're happy to learn then it doesn't matter so much.
Ubuntu is a version of Linux. If you're not familiar with it you might be better sticking to what you know.
If you're no techie then a simple specialised solution will be better for you, maybe that's why Turnkey was suggested to you.

Is data security important to you? This is stuff like backups, redundancy, RAID, etc.







42 posts

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  # 560041 20-Dec-2011 18:29
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I know a fair bit about Windows, and the spare cd key will never have a use for me as its only 32bit i use 64 on my main comp, maybe both file sharing AND media streaming could be a good option as it has a hdmi port in the graphics card, i dont use ubuntu but if its the better option ive got no problem learning it, just dont want to learn it if im not going to use it

 
 
 
 


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  # 560085 20-Dec-2011 21:11
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xxXStylusXxx: I know a fair bit about Windows, and the spare cd key will never have a use for me as its only 32bit i use 64 on my main comp, maybe both file sharing AND media streaming could be a good option as it has a hdmi port in the graphics card, i dont use ubuntu but if its the better option ive got no problem learning it, just dont want to learn it if im not going to use it


Do you mean that you've bought Windows with two versions on disk, 32-bit and 64-bit, and you've installed the 64-bit version so the 32-bit is free because it hasn't been used? If so you don't have a legal license to run both.

Anyway, as long as its not Windows 7 Starter then the desktop software will allow you to run Media Centre and file sharing. You could also install other media server software. The system should run OK but under heavy load (lots of connections, high bandwidth) it won't perform as well as other options because it is only a client OS. But I doubt that you'll exhaust the headroom if you've only got one or two PCs attached.

If you wanted to stick with Windows and a serious server then you could spend some money for Windows Home Server. It is real easy to setup and works very well for the price.

Other options I prefer are free: FreeNAS or Linux e.g. (Ubuntu).  FreeNAS is easier to setup as it is a menu-based front-end to FreeBSD and covers several streaming formats. Linux will have a steeper learning curve. FreeBSD and Linux will run many of the same media server applications too. Both are excellent as file servers with many options for backup, RAID, syncing, etc.

If you've got the time then I'd consider trying Windows or FreeNAS. If neither suit then try Linux solutions.

Re hardware:
  • The PC will probably be noisy so you won't want it anywhere near where you're playing the media.
  • If you're thinking of BluRay and full HD, particularly more than one stream, then Gigabit connections will be best if not necessary. If Wifi then you'll be better of with a dual-band (2.4 & 5 GHz) router.









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  # 560167 21-Dec-2011 09:59
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No i havnt used the 32bit windows cd, its just a spare from when i upgraded to ultimite with a full legit install not just a upgrade cd, buying windows home server is a option so ill look into that and FreeNAS. im going to hide the comp behind the speakers so computer sound shouldnt be a problem, and it wasnt for hd movies or blueray YET, mostly dvd/fire sharing, thanks for the help ill look into them :)

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