Can someone can direct me to a how to that explains not only how to install an FTP but also how a family member on another coast can access this via online? I have setup an old computer with the intent of sharing movies/music/photos with family members not in my house. I have been searching for over an hour and cannot find a complete guide from installation through user/folder setup to access via a computer not on the same network. Any assistance in this matter would be eternally appreciated.
If you want to setup your own server, I'd recommend to install something like "owncloud" which is a web application for uploading and sharing files using the web browser (such as dropbox, iCloud or ubuntu one) (more info http://owncloud.org/)
To install it on your ubuntu computer (that will work as the server)
You can then access the server using any web browser by entering the url
Keep in mind that if you'r going to access the server from outside your house (or network) you will have to redirect port 80 from your router to your server.
Also, home internet connections are not designed for servers, thus the upload speed is normally low for a server, so expect no-so-fast file transfers when moving files from the outside to your server and the other way around.
I would also consider getting a free account from a cloud provider (ubuntu one, or dropbox, they both offer 5 gig free) and use that to share files, its simpler, faster, you dont have to worry about setting or mantaining the server yourself.