What is a good OS for a server in a house with all computers running Windows XP and one running Windows Vista?

I want to build a server for my home, I have 3-5 computers in my house running Windows XP, I also have 1 computer running Vista. What should I do?

sort by: active | newest | oldest
ac-dc8 years ago
For a home, meaning a low number of concurrent connections, you probably won't need a server OS at all. For this use, you also don't need a server-spec'd system, even an old Pentium 2 /400MHz would be fast enough since it uses UDMA for drive access. If you just want cheap, buy a refurb'd system with win2k installed and at least 500MHz plus 128MB memory or more. If you want more performance, put a gigabit ethernet network adapter in it and up the memory to 256MB or more. To get any significantly higher performance than this, the following (and nothing else) matters most: 1) Newer faster hard drives in the fileserver. 2) Avoiding old Via chipsets which had poor PCI performance. 3) A gigabit ethernet controller not on the PCI bus. 4) Jumbo frame support from your gigabit switch. 5) More memory to support more caching. These numbered items are in order of importance, there is no point in skipping any of them as each depends on the prior number.
Arbitror7 years ago
Ubuntu. It's the most easiest Linux to use, and set up. Follow this Instructable.
goodgnus8 years ago
Maybe pick up an old copy of w2k server from ebay. I still run it for my home network. The FreeNAS solution sounds quite interesting, I may have to check it out.
bwpatton1 (author)  goodgnus8 years ago
Oh, Ive got a friend that uses Windows 2000 for EVERYTHING all of his computers have that on them.
Win2k ROCKS! Only Mac and Linux beat it!
Fred826648 years ago
Any Linux OS works vary good and it is FREE! down load your choice of distribution from www.distrowatch.com or www.linux.org Red Hat has the Fedora project www.fedoraproject.org . or do a google search for Linux ISO s get it burn to DVD or CD, load it to a box. you will have a high profaneness server with top security at much less expenses of Windows.
le-Sid8 years ago
The first question to ask is what type of server do you want. A web page server, a file server...?
1. For a file server, I'd use w2k server as <goodgnus> said. you can then set file sharing rights and quotas. Also set the drive partitions in NTFS to gain some speed.
2. For a Web server, I'd also use XAMPP as it is easier to set and use than using an apache server alone.
For both options, don't forget to install a good wired network card (if possible, don't use wifi for the server as it is slower for file transfer) and plenty of disk space for everyone _
bwpatton1 (author)  le-Sid8 years ago
Uhh.... My primary server will be for photos files music and whatever else I can fit on there.
NachoMahma8 years ago
. I use Window's file sharing and XAMPP.
Izokay8 years ago
I have a FTP server running on Vista, and it works just fine.
FreeNAS is (1) free, (2) highly compatible with all OSes, (3) supports Active Directotry if you decide to go that way for some strange reason, and (4) is based on BSD so it's very stable and reliable. Please see http://www.freenas.org/ for full details. I currently have 2 FreeNAS servers running in my home and will be converting my Windows XP Media Center to FreeNAS shortly (did I mention FreeNAS supports UPnP too?).