Well this is actually old news, but thats ok. Windows XP Home finally took a dump on my home server. Lucky for me all the data was on another hard drive (Maxtor 120G no longer available). All the family Photo’s my dad gathered over the last 5 years is still in tacked.

The Server would crash randomly and just lock up. Using it to store your My Documents folder was not a smart idea. Windows would also forget the clock speed of the processor, this usually caused about 99% of the crashes. Also printing to my family’s Epson Stylus Photo R300 printer was very slow process. It took about 2 minutes just for the print job to be processed through the network.

An upgrade to Linux is what the server needed. I was debating weather to install a GUI or no GUI and just keep it strictly command line. After talking with my dad, I thought a small GUI would be a good idea. I spent some time debate to go with ether CentOS or Xubuntu. With many previous experiences with, Ubuntu and Kubuntu, I figured Xubuntu wouldn’t be to difficult, I would be using just the command line anyways.

After about a good hour the new Xubuntu server was up and running. After completing about another thirty minutes of updates, the system was ready for software. I folowed this How To. I picked a Domain Controller setup because our Home Network is growing very fast. It will also allow use to automatically map out the drives. This is good so we can log onto any computer on the network and all of our stuff will be in the same place no mater what computer were on. (Similar to Schools and Cooperat Networks)
In the How To, I skipped the setting the network ip to a Static one. I just set the IP in my routers configuration. I setup just two shared folders. One for all of our program ISO’s and another for the family pictures folder.

The next step was getting all the computer on the network connected. This part was a little more difficult because we are running XP Home on all of out computers. I changed the systems to the correct group and they picked up the server right away. Unfortunately we had to manually map out our drives to our accounts. No big deal, but XP Professional  is going on the next order to Tigerdirect!

Next was setting up the printer. Very simple to follow in the How To. The only thing you have to remember is to add the printer via HTTP in Windows. Other then that it was very simple.

This was very easy to get this type of system up and running and it can be done with just about any computer with a big hard drive.
It’s been about 5 weeks now and the server hasn’t had to go off once. I now have setup the My Documents folder to go right to the server. Next my parents want a computer for there new TV so we can run slide shows for when people come over. A little Cat5, and were good to go!