I'm hoping that some of the Ubuntu experts on this forum might be able to help me. Apologies in advance for the length of this post and the number of questions.
I have a small home network based around Windows XP, and have just bought a small server (HP Proliant ML115, 1.8GHz Dual Core AMD Opteron, 1GB RAM) which I want to use for a number of purposes:
1. As a store for all my media files (photos, music, etc) which currently reside on my Windows XP PC's.
2. As a server to stream music & video to my other PC's and to multimedia devices such as a Roku Soundbridge (which currently access my media using Windows Media Player, iTunes or Firefly).
3. As a backup for my key data (Word files, etc). Ideally I would also like to be able to access this from any PC/laptop on my network. (I also plan to run my server in a RAID format with the same data duplicated on 2 X 1Tb HDDs stored in the server)
4. to use as a way of downloading torrent files (currently I use Azureus running under XP).
My network is a mixed wired/wireless network consisting mainly of XP-based PC's and laptops but with an Apple Mac (OS 10), a few Roku soundbridges, a Wii and a PS3 thrown in for good measure.
I am interested in using Ubuntu as the operating system for my server, but currently have no experience of this OS. Can anybody help me with the following?
1. Should I use the server or desktop version of Ubuntu?
2. Will I be able to access my files in their "native" format from my windows PC's (i.e. can I just cut/paste and open files to/from the server and my PC's, or will they be stored in a different formt under Ubuntu?,
3. What would be the best media server to use to pipe media (mainly music) around my system and to the Roku.
4. I currently use Acronis True Image 11 as my backup programme (again running under XP). I assume that I can continue to use this to backup all or part of my PC's systems onto to the Ubuntu-based server?
5. What would be the best firewall and antivirus to use on the server? (I currently use Comodo and Avast as my firewall/AV on my XP PC's).
Many thanks in advance for your help.