Re: New User Questions
Support can be a nightmare from many companies. And sometimes it just feels like they imply that a problem with their product is your fault.
I mainly encounter HP servers and some Dell through my company, mostly installed with debian, ubuntu, or a few with centos and suse. My preference is definitely toward debian/ubuntu, particularly on the server side.
The network you have sounds quite straight-forward. A per-share password/permissions setup rather than a domain? Samba on Linux provides this function reliably, and with per user read/write access rights. With Samba4 (recently stable) you can go further to a full ActiveDirectory style domain login, where logging into your computer logs you into the domain, where your permissions are inherited from your domain login, but this seems different and more setup-intensive than your setup now. You issue with the clients reminds me of a post I read on here with an ubuntu+samba server. That happened to be related to authentication. If you search this forum for the same issue with samba servers, there might be a similar issue that you could get clues about from a samba fix.
Ubuntu and pretty much any other Linux distribution will have Samba available for replacing your Windows server. There is software available for your media and security camera streaming/recording, MythTV is one option but I'm not sure of the range of others.
Steam is slowly adding games to Linux native, but it could take some time. While Linux is great for gaming from a technical perspective, if there's no native version and the particular game doesn't work well with WINE, sadly, you may have to just leave your favourite game on a windows install for now.
I dream of a world where our lives can remain private, and our technology can remain open to all.