I am setting up a Ubuntu Server (13.10) for my home network and need some suggestions on how to go about setting up shares, offline files etc. Here is what I am trying to accomplish:

  1. Ability to have local folders backed up on the server automatically both on Ubuntu clients and Windows clients. I would like these folders locally not on the server but when a change is made on the client and if the Server is available have the contents on the Server updated. This sounds like I would want to setup a Cloud Server but have also seen suggestions for rsync and other programs. Not sure which way to go about it.

  2. There are Music and Video directories are on the server and would like these available to all clients on the local network but additionally would like to setup a SSH server or something similar so these directories can be accessed from the internet, cell phones and other devices. I am not sure how to make these directories available to all devices especially cell phones, will this require some custom programming?

  3. I installed Lubuntu Desktop on the server so I can have a GUI to do administration tasks but have disabled the automatic start-up of the Desktop. I can start the Desktop GUI by using the startx command, however I am not sure how to shut down the Desktop GUI without having to reboot. Basically I just want a on-demand Desktop GUI.

  4. Is there a way to setup a script on the server that would automatically mount folders as drives on both Ubuntu and Windows clients? I would like to have a global disk structure between all the clients on the local network

I have done research on these items but have come across several options that just seem to be over complicated and/or obsolete. Obviously I want to keep things as simple and easy to administer as I can because I tend to over complicate things ;-) Thank you for the help!



This is what I would do based on past experiences - note that I have not tried all the available options so there might be things that will work better.

  1. BitTorrent Sync will allow to sync the files as they update (question about BitTorrent Sync Install). The backup program that is installed with Ubuntu will also work, but does not does not backup automatically at each change (uses intervals). I have tried Owncloud in the past, but got frustrated at the constant conflict files it created. I have little experience with rsync, but most backup programs use it if I'm correct.
  2. SSH would be best. Most smartphones's (or at least Android's) file-managers allow you to connect to ssh (might be listed as sftp). You might also want to try local media streaming (I have to experience with that).
  3. You can try sudo killall X in one of the tty's. An alternative is to look into something like Webmin, Ajenti or Zentyal to administer the server remotely in a GUI (I personally prefer Zentyal then Ajenti...).
  4. I don't know of any other than setting them up manually on each client. Others should be able to suggest something. You might wanna try to ssh into each client and then run a mount command(s), would be my best suggestion.

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