A couple of months ago I found an article about using Linux and an old computer to create a home file server. It sounded like something cool to do, but other than wanting to stay familiar with Linux I didn’t have any interest in a file server, so I forgot about it.
A few weeks later it was time to clean out my closet, and I found two old desktops that I forgot I had. After the cleaning was done I remembered the article about using old hardware for a file server, so I decided to give it a try. I love finding new uses for old things.
Last weekend I finally had the time to give this a try, and it worked flawlessly.
Here’s a list of my steps:
- Download Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Server edition. (NOTE: you have to scroll down a little to get the server edition)
- In order to burn the ISO to CD, I downloaded and installed ISO Recorder.
- Follow the installation instructions shown here.
- Follow these configuration instructions, beginning at step 5 (modify file sources list).
- Follow these instructions to download, install & configure Webmin.
- Once I saw that Webmin was installed and working, I linked to it on the web launchpad that was created in step 24 of Jon Peck’s instructions.
- Finally, I bookmarked the web launchpad on my browser toolbar so I can access the server from my laptop.
If you get stuck anywhere along the way, get busy reading Ubuntu Forums. I posted a couple of questions as I went, and always got a response within an hour.
As pet projects go, this one is pretty cool to me. I love it that I get to use Linux without the need for another computer at my desk. My new Linux server is stuffed back in the same closet, out of the way. Only now its dutifully awaiting my instructions. I access it via SSH (PuTTY is a free SSH client) or through a browser, similar to the way you control a router. This may not be new technology, but I still love it.
While I have precious little time for it, I enjoy developing websites. I now have a place to tinker with PHP & MySQL. The best part is that it was completely free. I get all of the benefits listed above without spending a dime.