I have an old HP notebook that I am going to make into a NAS. It is a HP Pavilion dv6000 from 2007.

Specs are

  • 1.7GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core processor
  • 2.5GB DDR2 RAM
  • nVidia GeForce Go 6150 graphics chip.

Yes these specs are quite dated. It will be connected to the network via its 10/100 Ethernet adapter.

Currently I've got my 2TB external hard drive connected to the Linksys WRT610n wireless router but I've given up using its built in NAS capability as it's atrocious and thus want to make this notebook into a NAS.

This laptop will share the external hard drive to all users on the network + run a version of Plex Media Server. That's it, it will not be used for anything else.

I know the processor isn't good enough to transcode most HD content on the fly but I'm trying to maximize what I can get out of this machine for the next 6-9 months at which point I will probably invest into a more powerful machine.

So, getting back to the question on hand: should I go with Ubuntu Desktop version or Ubuntu Server edition?

Thanks, really appreciate the input.


Personally, I've tried both in a home server context and I stick with Desktop now. There's nothing I've lacked on the desktop version and I get to use the graphical environment I know and love.

If you're still using the external HDD in it's NAS capacity, the only issue I've had is permanently mounting SMB shares in Linux. I'm having difficulty getting the user accounts to line up (there's supposed to auto match up by user account name, but in my situation, they don't)

If you're dedicating it behind the server (USB or just putting it inside the machine) you will of course have no such issues.

If, in the future, you're looking for a really sorted NAS, I recommend anything by Synology.

Except of course I can't get the SMB share permissions to work yet.

I probably should just use NFS.

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