Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 0
I have two basic needs from a server.

1. File server. Store files and serve them up to workstations as needed. I do have one app that the workstations will run from the server rather than from a copy of the app on the workstations. Makes the nearly daily update process much easier.

2. Security. More correctly, security theater. All I want is password protection. I want users (all two of them - one of which is me) to have to log in to access files.

Wouldn't a NAS (Synology, QNAP etc.) work to fill this role more easily (assuming you are looking to replace hardware)? Essentially they are small Linux 'appliance' computers that are (mostly) specialized against the stated needs. They can also run additional apps for off-line back-up, media serving (Plex etc.) and other home-based uses (sometimes even home automation with apps like Home Assistant, openHAB via Docker running on the NAS). The better NASes also come with raid & often a error detecting & correcting file system.

Assuming you wish to utilize existing hardware, then something like FreeNAS / TrueNAS core would be able to repurpose your existing Windows box (and bring ZFS with it). These are Linux/Unix based, just specialized builds dedicated to file serving.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I'm looking to replace my old Windows Server. I'm also tired of paying for Windows. So a Linux distro seems like a reasonable choice.

I have two basic needs from a server.

1. File server. Store files and serve them up to workstations as needed. I do have one app that the workstations will run from the server rather than from a copy of the app on the workstations. Makes the nearly daily update process much easier.

2. Security. More correctly, security theater. All I want is password protection. I want users (all two of them - one of which is me) to have to log in to access files.

And that's about it. No print serving - the workstations can all handle printing themselves. No fancy data logging or version control or other such things. No complex databases.

One more thing - it needs to be simple enough that a Linux noob (that would be me) can maintain it. I'm very comfortable in the Windows world, but am new to Linux.

So, any suggestions? Thanks for any help you can give.


I know what I use (Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3), but it costs at least $1/day, although CentOS is about the same with no fee (last I looked). I hesitate to suggest it.

Since you are a self-professed noob, I suggest you find a local computer club with a large group of Linux users in it, and get whatever they use most, so they can help you directly.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I have two basic needs from a server.

1. File server. Store files and serve them up to workstations as needed. I do have one app that the workstations will run from the server rather than from a copy of the app on the workstations. Makes the nearly daily update process much easier.

2. Security. More correctly, security theater. All I want is password protection. I want users (all two of them - one of which is me) to have to log in to access files.

Wouldn't a NAS (Synology, QNAP etc.) work to fill this role more easily (assuming you are looking to replace hardware)? Essentially they are small Linux 'appliance' computers that are (mostly) specialized against the stated needs. They can also run additional apps for off-line back-up, media serving (Plex etc.) and other home-based uses (sometimes even home automation with apps like Home Assistant, openHAB via Docker running on the NAS). The better NASes also come with raid & often a error detecting & correcting file system.

Assuming you wish to utilize existing hardware, then something like FreeNAS / TrueNAS core would be able to repurpose your existing Windows box (and bring ZFS with it). These are Linux/Unix based, just specialized builds dedicated to file serving.
Print the post Back To Top