[Techtalk] Home server - Where to start?

Carla Schroder carla at bratgrrl.com
Thu May 5 20:16:46 UTC 2011

On Thu, 05 May 2011 17:15:01 +0200
"Svenja S." <chaosprincess90 at gmx.net> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> First, I'm not sure whether is this the right place to ask this, or if
> it is more of a beginner question.
> Anyway, we've just bought an EEEbox that we're planning to use as a
> home server and for multimedia (and to play around a bit...). Not sure
> whether that is such a great idea, but I didn't pay for the thing...
> I've been using Arch Linux for a while, so this is what I'd like to
> install on the machine. But I don't have any experience in running a
> server, so do you have any suggestions how I could get an idea of what
> could be done with this thing and how?
> First, we would like to run a file server, plus I've always wanted my
> own mail server, but that will have to wait until I really know what
> I'm doing ;)
> It would also be nice to have some way to remotely start X in order to
> watch a movie... Any suggestions?
> Thanks,
> Svenja

Hi Svenja,

You might reconsider using Arch-- I love it, but it has a fatal flaw,
or at least fatal for me: none of its package repos are signed. This is
a basic security measure that lets you know if any packages have been
tampered with, so it's a bit mind-boggling that they don't do it. 

Any Linux can do what you want. Samba of course is a great file server
for mixed networks, and NFS or rsync for linux-only. You can also use
sshfs for accessing remote filesystems.

Remotely starting and stopping anything is easy via SSH. I routinely set
up SSH servers on all my machines for remote administration, so all you
do to start X remotely is login and run the 'startx' command. This is
usually in the xinit package.

May I modestly* recommend my own books, Linux Cookbook and Linux
Networking Cookbook? They cover all the basics.

Some hopefully useful articles:

Linux Remote Networking Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks for Linux Admins: Discover, Map and Store

Troubleshooting Linux Servers

Advanced Linux Server Troubleshooting (part 2)

Finding Things on Linux and Understanding Regular Expressions


*not really all that modest

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