On Jan 3, 2007, at 1:16 PM, X X wrote:

I want to have a home server on my network. I have a
pc with AMD Athlon xp 2200+ processor, 1gb ddr ram, 2-
500gb hard drives, 10/100 lan. I need it to serve
files to 5 computers. It has to allow remote access
from outside the network by administrator. It has to
allow me to serve 2 websites. It has to be a ftp
server. It needs to work with both windows and macs on
the network. It has to have the ability to run
automated backups to either internal hd (like raid
mirroring) or usb external hd. It will be connected to
the home network by wired ethernet. It will NOT have
to dhcp (router does that). Is there a way to set up
freebsd to work as this type of server?

Will it work?  Yes, you can do that.

Should you? If you're absolutely green around the collar, you need to get a book like the FreeBSD Unleashed book and/or the FreeBSD bible, where it can step you through the steps necessary to configure this.

You're asking several questions at once.

For example, access from the outside in. For what services? SSH? Windows sharing? It could be something as simple as just forwarding port 22 to your server from the home router. Windows sharing? Much more complicated...you're talking about using a VPN to do that.

Web sites...you probably would want Apache with virtual hosting. Possible, more complicated than many people want to try tackling as a first project.

Your server would need a static, not DHCP, address.

Automated backups? That can be done with some kind of cron script or using Amanda. I'd strongly recommend an external hard drive or two so you can move them offsite, and if storage allows, use RAID 1 on your drives just to have better drive integrity.

FTP services should not be hard, using something like ProFTP. But why? Is it just you using this network, or family with their own accounts? Random strangers?

I ask because a lot of file transfers can be done using SSH/SCP (using a utility on the Mac like Fugu, and Windows should have a utility like that using SSH in the background). You'll also want to use something like ClamAV and chkrootkit and rkhunter on your system to check for intrusion, and probably also add on some kind of file integrity system like Tripwire.

If you're considering printers, I'd strongly urge you to splurge on a network printer from HP. That way they can be used when computers are off, and setting them up are just a matter of pointing a virtual port or printer setup to an "hp port" on a particular IP address (plus, of course, the driver for that model printer). I found that it gets kind of weird to configure a Unix system to pose as a Windows system to hand out Windows printer shares to non-Windows (ie, Mac) systems. It can be done, but...well, maybe it's just me.

Anyway, get the big books that go over the details of the type of project you're looking at, and break down your project into individual goals. As you worded the question it can indeed be done, but if you've never done anything like this before it may be a bit much to swallow in one fell swoop unless you have a buddy or two that's familiar with this type of setup.

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