We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Windows Home Server!

While building a machine for a server, I was thinking about Windows Home Server. I have not seen it working, I haven’t got a clue how easy or hard it is to set up. I do know it is going to cost in the neighborhood of $150 -$200 for a copy. I also know I have a copy of Windows Server  2003 SBE  that I’ve never broken the seal on.

While the evidence of easy setup is there from other accounts by users of the betas, I wonder why I might need Home Server. I know that one of the touted benefits is the ability to aggregate drives under one name. I may be old fashioned, but this just doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. Separate drive letters work fine for me, unless I am talking about a hardware RAID solution.

Since all of the articles that delve into the depths of the offering state that what is there is Win 2003 server with some add-ons, I keep wondering to myself if perhaps Microsoft will release these fascia for users of the older server software, to extend its usefulness. It might happen, Microsoft has occasionally been magnanimous.

I then thought perhaps someone in the Linux community has decided to write something about using Linux to accomplish the same thing. You know those rabid Linux users – they’ll do anything to best Microsoft whenever they can.

As easy as one Google search, I found an article. Better still, it is written by someone I know is knowledgeable and has the integrity to state when he might be winging something. Over at Linux Watch, an article has been recently written by Stephen J. Vaughan Nichols, concerning using an Ubuntu derivative, Linux Mint as a server for home purposes. A home Server for the repository of clutter, music, and movies is around the corner. 

In a very clear style, complete instructions for setup of the system are given in pictures and words. The relatively short article shows how easily the system is made to communicate with the rest of a home network, even going far enough to show how the difficulties with Vista can be overcome (did MS plan this? Hmm, I wonder.)  Another problem avoided by this is having to go outside my own private network to administer the server. Reports I’ve seen say that network sign-on with a Windows Live Account is needed for Home Server. I don’t like that, it smacks that much more of Big Brother tactics.

So, by using a little sense, some already owned hardware, and a freely available operating system, the job can be done without an extra outlay of at least $150. (In my world, that is another 500GB hard drive with a meal out for my son and I, when we go purchase the drive!)


[tags] home server, Linux Mint, benefits of Linux, Linux Watch magazine, music and video storage [/tags]