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I received a free computer desk top about a week ago. I really want to find a way to set up some kind of simple and secure way to turn it into a home/personal server.

My goals for this project

  • Hook the Desk Top with external HD into my T.V. for a "personal home theater". (This has been completed)

  • Be able to have the Desk Top share the external HD with-in a home network, so I could watch a movie or tv show in bed, or somewhere else besides the living room on a laptop, tablet, phone... whatever ones heart desires.

  • And also be able to... lets say live on Mars, and still be able to view whatever I want from the external HD back on earth, through my laptop on Mars.

I have already tried quite a few set-ups to no avail (http://www.linuxhomeserverguide.com/). Not that it didn't suit my needs, but I kept getting lost or stuck. And quite honestly I think its because that guide is just out of date now. But I was following it to the "T", including the Ubuntu server versions and package versions, etc.

Is there a preferred Ubuntu Server version that would work the best for this kind of thing, and also what type of server would suit my needs/goals best while remaining to be simple and safe? And lastly do you know of any clean and well thought out guides that would be able to get me to my goals?

Thank you VERY much in advanced - Barkerto

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To offer a start, I would consider using XBMC (they have a distribution that Xubuntu based that you can install) for the home media serving/playing. You could the other requirements as you figure out applications that would meet your requirements. –  Mordoc Feb 19 '13 at 2:40

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