Home File server OS choices

Well doing some upgrades to the home file server and the networking. I have some options to play with. not sure what ones to do yet.

Mainly sitting with the OS decision.

Right now its XP pro. was simple to set up and quick.

I can continue with XP.

I have a server 2003 license.

a 120 day trial of home server

and a 120 day trial of server 2008

all networking is gigabit. 9 systems pulling music and media from it. all hardwired.

wanting to stick with windows so my 2 roomies can do some admin when im not around. not teaching them linux just yet.

opinions welcome.
2003 and 2008 are both very fast at serving files - especially if you setup dynamic disks in stripped formation. It will comfortably max out gige when doing RAID0 to RAID0 transfers :)


OSNN.net Adventurer
Use windows home server and I really like it. Its is the easiest for straming media and there all sorts of readily availbe software to do it, plus it has great back up features. The added advantage it is at the end of the day server 2003.

Dark Atheist

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Political User
slackware - gentoo - freebsd - are my big three choices, but if you have paid out for a 2003 server licence, which isn't cheap you might as well use it :)

Dark Atheist

OSNN Veteran Addict
Staff member
Political User
home server is windows small business 2003, and if you look at http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/sbs/evaluation/features/default.mspx - i would have to say it dont have the greatest amount of features :)

Windows Home Server is built on the same codebase as Windows Server 2003 SP2. It includes almost all technologies found in Windows Server 2003 SP2 but has been limited in some areas to remove unneeded complexity or limit its uses. It also includes some new capabilities not found in Windows Server 2003 SP2:
ad when i did try it i could nt help but notice the windows sbs screens :)


Political User
I personally suggest OpenSolaris. ZFS is absolutely fantastic and if you want to have a system that will keep running it is absolutely an awesome OS. I have it currently set up with 5 1 TB drives, in a raidz, means I lose 1 TB to parity information (much like RAID 5, but without the downsides of the write hole).

Currently have it sharing media out over the network and regularly I max out the gigbit connection in the machine without any issues what so ever.

Only downside is the learning curve coming from Windows. It is a completely new OS to you, it may not be your best bet to go run it on a file server.

Windows server 2008 is really cool, and I actually really enjoyed playing with it. Personally I will never use a Windows/Linux based product as a home file server. I prefer FreeBSD and OpenSolaris leaning more to towards the latter at the moment because of the ZFS file system, once that is fully ported to FreeBSD it will be a toss-up between the two.

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