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I want to take the time to get into building a useful network for use between my personal machines using Linux. I have spent a lot of time scouring the web for resources on how to do this but I am unable to find any decent, complete guides. Right now, I have an old tower that I want to serve as a server and a laptop. My laptop operates with CrunchBang Linux and the server has CentOs (willing to change the tower's os but #! stays on the laptop for now).

Here are some things I hope to achieve with my network:

  • I want to use the server as a seed box.
  • I want the server to serve files to my laptop or any other guest machine on the network that has a password I define.
  • I would like to be able to be served files on the server over the internet (i.e. from out side my personal network).
  • I would like to be able to control the server using a remote shell from over the internet.
  • I would like the network to be relatively secure.

Those are the primary goals. Some secondary goals would be: - Getting the server to perform some automated backup service for clients - The ability to stream media on the server to clients.

While building this network I hope to learn a lot about how these networks work. How tcp/ip works in general, and how these networks are made secure. I am hoping to start building a system now that I will tweak and grow through out a lifetime. Mostly what I am asking for from everyone here is resources. What are the best books/sites for learning what I need to learn to do this? What resources did those of you that know how to setup and configure a home/personal small network with the features I listed you use to learn what you needed to learn?

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Can you be more specific about "as a seed box"? –  bahamat Oct 18 '12 at 18:42
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closed as not a real question by Michael Mrozek Oct 18 '12 at 19:24

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Those are fairly specific requirements. You're not going to find any guides for setting up your exact requirements.

What you need to do is break down your requirements and figure out which applications you can use on Linux to fill each role. There are plenty of HOWTOs on the Internet about each specific application.

  • I want the server to serve files to my laptop or any other guest machine on the network that has a password I define.

You can use Samba (for CIFS), NFS or Apache/WebDav, just to name a few.

  • I would like to be able to be served files on the server over the internet (i.e. from out side my personal network).

This has nothing to do with your Linux box. You'll need a static IP address from your ISP and a valid DNS name. Alternatively you can use a dynamic DNS service and port mapping on your router.

  • I would like to be able to control the server using a remote shell from over the internet.

Install ssh.

  • I would like the network to be relatively secure.

This is a bit harder. There's no magic button to make things secure. You need to know what you're doing and learn secure practices. It's good that you're interested though. It gives you a better chance than the guy that doesn't think about it at all.

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Whats a "seed box"?

  • I would like to be able to be served files on the server over the internet (i.e. from out side my personal network).
  • I would like to be able to control the server using a remote shell from over the internet.

For both these goals, you can either get a static IP, or get a free dynamic DNS provider account.

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