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This guide has been created using Ubuntu 12.04 Server Edition This Guide will show how to create a server for a typical home environment with media streaming, file sharing, and basic backups. This guide is a work in progress and parts of it (where noted) are taken from other parts of the Ubuntu site and the Ubuntu Forums.The locations where the instructions have been taken from are also noted.


For a while now, I had been wanting to create a dedicated home server using an older machine I had lying around in my house. I had been trying to decide what Operating System to load on it. My main choices were Windows Home Server by Microsoft, costing about $180, and Ubuntu Server, costing only my time. I decided to go with Ubuntu because:

  • It's free.
  • It's open-source
  • It's probably more reliable and has better free support.

This is what I came up with:


  • An Ubuntu 12.04 Server Edition disk/usb image

  • An old computer that fits the requirements of your needs
  • Time on your hands


  • SSH access
  • Two-Factor authentication
  • Samba file sharing
  • Minidlna Movie streaming
  • SuperSonic Music streaming

Installing Ubuntu 12.04 "Precise Pangolin" Server Edition

The install is fairly straight forward. You insert your server edition disk and wait for the computer to boot it. If it doesn't boot, access your computers BIOS using displayed keys during POST such as F1,F2,etc. Follow all the steps from the installer, making sure to install OpenSSH, LAMP, and Samba server packages.


To control the server using SSH, open terminal in Linux or OSX and type ssh, replacing it with your servers IP address. Under Windows, download PuTTy from the link below and follow the GUI instructions. http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html

Two-Factor Authentication

You can add a second layer of security using the Google Authenticator app on your smartphone. Follow the instructions on the link below to set it up http://tombuntu.com/index.php/2011/10/16/google-authenticator-pam-available-in-ubuntu-11-10/

Samba File Server

Samba file sharing is the basic and universal way of sharing files over a local area network. If the package wasn't selected at the Ubuntu install, install it with "apt-get install samba smbfs". Configuration can be found at "/etc/samba/smb.conf"


Minidlna is the easiest way of sharing media across most home devices including Playstation, Xbox, and Wii consoles. Minidlna can be found in the repositories and can easily be downloaded using "apt-get install minidlna". The configuration is pretty basic and is found at /etc/minidlna.conf http://sourceforge.net/projects/minidlna/


Supersonic is an open alternative to SubSonic music streaming unbound by licenses that is compatible with all of Subsonic apps including Android and IOS. The deb file can be found at its github page. Once installed, it is completly controlled by the web gui at port 4040


HomeServer (last edited 2017-09-08 18:07:21 by ckimes)