A home server can be anything from a multi-thousand dollar machine to an old PC from 2007. Either way, it can be very helpful by providing some services, and it’s also very fun to set up!
Machines you could use for a home server:
An old (or new) PC
An old PC from 5-10 years ago would work great as a home server! Just use my tutorial to install Ubuntu Server on it, and you’re good to go! Also, browse on eBay and Craigslist. Maybe you could find a good deal!
A Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is a $35 micro-computer that can actually pack a punch! People have created many projects with it, and it is used for servers all the time. Click this link to buy one now on Amazon.
An Intel NUC
An Intel NUC is another mini PC solution. However, it is a lot more capable, allowing for heavier tasks. You will have to install a hard drive and RAM into the NUC. Follow this tutorial to install the components and Ubuntu Server. Configure/Buy an Intel NUC.
A Rackmount Server
While these often run loud, they are very powerful, and they are designed to be servers! Also, you can often get old servers for very cheap off of eBay, Craigslist, or Deep Discount Servers.
Uses for a home server:
A development environment
If you are web developer, you can save some system resources by hosting your development web servers on another computer or server. You would also be able to access and view your code anywhere, and even publish live sites.
Your own cloud file storage
Create your own self-hosted cloud storage solution with features similar to Google Drive and Dropbox! OwnCloud has file sharing, desktop/mobile apps, collaborative docs, and file sync.
Streaming your media
With Plex Media Server, you can watch your movies & TV shows anytime without having to carry around a whole bunch of DVDs. Rip all of your movies, TV shows, and home videos to Plex Media Server to stream it anytime.
A network drive (NAS)
With network storage, you can easily share files between multiple users and expand your storage space. You could also use a NAS to back up your files on your main PC/laptop periodically.
With GamePanelX, you can host game servers of all types. If you have a good machine, you can even host it for the public!
If you would like to experiment with/run multiple operating systems on one server, you can install a hypervisor server, which then allows you to create virtual servers. You can allocate resources to each Virtual Machine.
With Mythbuntu and a digital tuner card, you can record your favorite shows and movies on TV and save to a disk or drive.
Do you use your home server for something else? Tell me in the comments!
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