Ubuntu – How to make a home server using Ubuntu desktop


I was thinking to make my Ubuntu desktop machine in file server for using it at home .
I am having one old laptop . Could I use it as a file server so my other 4 system can download data or view data from that old machine (server). I want to make it wireless and want to access over the internet also , and have a router . But I don't have any idea how doing it on Ubuntu Desktop or Ubuntu server.
I don't want to install Ubuntu server .

Want to Share all of my Drive .
Want Some Password or some kind of security for some folder to restrict access .

*I am seeing for Step by Step Guide how I can do it and How to access from other computer also * .

I tired using filezilla but in Ubuntu it is only client based application is available.
It there anything like filezilla server in ubuntu .

The other system is on windows as well as Ubuntu .
I am new to networking and server type thing any help would be appreciated .

Best Answer

Since you want a GUI based server (Which is an Ubuntu Desktop transformed into a awesome server ;) ) then just do the following steps before proceeding:

  1. Update everything. Make sure you have already updated and upgraded the system

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

    This way we are on the same page.

  2. Make sure your wireless card is working correctly. If you happen to have a Broadcom based wireless card check the Installing Broadcom Wireless Drivers . If you have another it is very likely you will find the answer in askubuntu after searching for it with the name of the wireless card. Anyway I will assume that it is working correctly.

  3. Install Samba Service and configure it by following the How to turn on Network Discovery and Share between computers with Samba

  4. Installing SSH Service (mostly to help ease your way between 2 Ubuntu computers) by following the How to enable file sharing between two PCs? . You can also use putty in Windows if you like. A How to use SSH (ssh & rsync commands)? guide is also available.

  5. If you are going to share the internet via the server. With this I mean, your router will connect to the server via a wired cable and then share the internet wirelessly to other computers then follow the How to Connect & Share your Internet Connection (Wired & Wireless) . Else if you want to do it via wired to another computer then Sharing Connection to other PCs (Via Wired Ethernet)

  6. If you want to also share a printer with the other computers you can follow the What is CUPS server and how to share a printer (Locally or over a network)

  7. Since you will be making a server, I also recommend installing SQUID PROXY if you happen to share the internet connection via the server. This will improve the bandwidth usage in general and it will feel like the internet is faster for all client PCs. To install follow the first answer in the What Updated Web Cache Servers are available (Caching HTTP Proxy) (By Rinzwind)

    Remember to configure squid proxy in /etc/squid/squid.conf or /etc/squid3/squid.conf for site permissions, what should be reversed cached and other stuff.

    After doing this 7 steps we should have a system that

    • Can share a folder with other computers in the LAN and they can see the shared folder without too much hassle, permissions or additional steps.

    • Can connect to the server via SSH or Samba sharing with no problem.

    • The server can share internet via a wireless or wired connection.

    • The server can now share a printer to all other computers including Windows like ones.

Let me know if any of this steps seems difficult to help you along the way.

Additional stuff can be to install xbmc and put all movies on the server. Then via the xbmc configuration options, enable web service so the rest of the computers can watch movies from the same server. There is a lot of stuff you can actually do with an ubuntu server.

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