I have a spare computer laying around and about 10TBs of movies and music on various hard drives. I have my self and 4 other people in my home. I am interested in setting up some form of file/media server with this spare PC that everyone in the house and on the LAN can access. My goal is to set up the pc so that anyone on the network can access the files on the PC. Either move files to the PC, from the PC, or stream movies directly from the PC.

Should I use a normal linux distro or a Linux server? What is the most efficient way to do this? Also I'd like for the interface to be user friendly as some of the people on the network are not familiar with linux. Also all other PCs on the network are windows machines.


I think most major Linux distributions will work fine for your purposes. Since this question has no real answer, and it just a matter of opinion, it will most likely be closed.

However, check out Debian Multimedia. This project is part of Debian, and all it's packages are included in Debian. In the words of the FAQ:

Debian Multimedia Maintainers' is the team behind the packaging of multimedia related packages distributed with Debian. In other words, 'Debian Multimedia Maintainers' is us.

Bottom line - Debian has good support for multimedia. A fortiori, so do the Debian Derivatives.


I'm new to Linux, but I easily set up an Ubuntu 12.04 server out of a spare box. I installed Webmin and shared my media folders over samba shares. Limbomedia came in handy to stream/transcode on the fly in a browser window.

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