Build It: A Home Linux Server

@ 2004/09/16
Many of the machines we show you how to build here at ExtremeTech are of the "burn, baby burn" variety. But often those systems are Ferraris when all you need is a Ford. A good example of this is a home server whose main duties are to serve up files and a print queue 24/7 with minimal fuss. As your needs get more sophisticated, it should be able to grow with them.

Linux continues to gain ground in the enterprise server space, with IBM, Sun and HP as its champions. Linux has proven its mettle driving big iron, but it's equally well-suited and versatile enough to power your home server.

For just under $550, you can build a very capable server with gobs of storage and enough processing horsepower to pull multiple duties serving up a printer queue, web pages, SAMBA, and more. And, if you've got some old parts to scavenge, and are working within a tight budget, you can still put together a solid server for under $400. Or, if you've got an old box you're looking to put out to pasture, it can be turned into a serviceable home server with a few spot upgrades.


While any one of these paths will get you a working server, let's start with our recipe for a new server, and then compare it with the other alternatives, so you can make the right choice for your needs.

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