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First please note: This instructable can be done within a day, but a weekend is certainly recommended.
In this instructable I hope to teach you key skills involved with setting up and configuring a Linux Server. The knowledge used here can be applied to almost all PC architectures so if you don't own a Pi (Why not dude?) or it's tied up in another project, any old or unused PC will work. In more detail the main skills taught will be:
- Burning an ISO image to an SD for the Pi
- Installing an OS
- Setting up A web server
- Setting up An SQL instance
- Deploying a custom cloud network
- Managing users for the cloud network
- Setting up a SAMBA File sharing network, which will integrate into an established windows based home or office network
- Controlling SAMBA users
- Establishing a static IP whilst using a non-static IP internet connection
- Using Webmin Console to install packages
- Using Command line terminal to install packages
- Carrying out basic commands such as rebooting (terminal)
- Editing system files with Nano terminal based editor
- Permanently mounting hard drives within the Linux file system table via webmin
- Understanding the principal of the Port forwarding function on a home router
- Setting up a web interfaced bit torrent manager
- Being an overall IT nerd.
If you're interested then carry on reading. If not, give it a try; you may discover a new hobby.
As the above list demonstrates there's a lot to learn. I definitely feel this is a weekend project. I've followed this process several times and it takes a couple of days at least. Its good to take long breaks because your eyes may begin to become strained and you may suddenly become unenthusiastic about the whole thing. This instructable offers functions of many different store purchasable products, such as:
- Dedicated Amazon EC2 turnkey servers
- Belkin routers that offer built in apps
- Online cloud services such as Google Cloud
- NAS servers such as this.
The server we'll setup will cost far less than each of these services in the long run and only a fraction of the cost of the combined services. Setting up your own server is not only custom and cheap, its very rewarding. I will be a happy guy if somebody benefits from what this instructable contains or become inspired by what I have done. It took ages to plan and write this instructable. If you learn anything at all or feel this instructable is well written or well documented, please vote for me in the Weekend Projects Contest or the I could make that contest.
I would also like to point out that this is not a comprehensive tutorial on designing a server case. There are details of my case on step 3, however this guide is intended to be a comprehensive software tutorial. So if you get stuck or feel a step isn't too clear, just let me know and i'll be happy to help.
A few tips: Because this takes more than one day, don't just fall asleep and forget what you were planing on doing next. Instead have a pile f post-it notes. This way before you ZzZzzzz... you can jot down anything that needs doing during the next session. I had loads. All over the walls, floors, chairs, desks - you name it! Okay slight exaggeration, but on a serious note they do help. I did use a full stack. Another tip would be to follow the steps on order. Don't just think "Hmm I like the sound of my own cloud network lets do that first!" The steps are in such an order that each before is most likely required for the current, if that makes sense. Just stick to the order, it'll make life easier. A final tip: don't be limited to what is taught here. Do Think of this as a base for inspiration. Adding more services such as those listed on the turnkey website is easily done using the search APT function within the Webmin Package manager.
Okay, Confused? Then let's learn...
Caution! This instructable contains 30 steps. Proceed at your own risk.