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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Looking to build a File Server (a.k.a. NAS) for use with my home network

Ok, I am interested in building a File Server for use with my home network. This network currently consists of 3 desktop PC's (2 using Windows XP and one running Windows 7x64) and 3 laptops (1 running XP and 2 running Windows 7x64).

I want this File server for general data storage of media(pictures, movies, music) and software, data files, etc.

I need it to be just as easy to save files to the networked file server (once it is setup) as it is to a local hard drive (my wife, while she has come a long way, is still technically challenged).

I would like it to have the data storage setup in a single RAID 5 array and I'd like to be able to expand the existing array, once in use, with additional disks as the need arises in the future; all while maintaining a high level of data stability/reliability and loss prevention.

Through my research I have come to the conclusion that some distribution of Linux will offer the best and most reliable solution for what I am looking to do.

Please bear in mind that while I have extensive hardware knowledge in terms of PC hardware, I have limited experience with networking, and next to no experience with Linux (my web-host uses Linux and I did manage to setup a TS3 server on it).

I ask the following:

What distribution of Linux offers the best capability to do this, with the most 'Linux newbie' friendly setup and operation?

Is there an option for a 'software' raid solution? or should I only consider a hardware RAID controller?

Thanks in advance for your help.

**If this should be in a different thread, please move it to the appropriate one**

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