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Thread: Need to use old desktop as backup storage for laptops

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Need to use old desktop as backup storage for laptops

    Greetings, I am very new at this. (I once spent several hours trying to network my wife's laptop and mine, only to find that the problem was that we were not on the same workgroup (in Windows...))

    So now I'm on Ubuntu, most of the time, and my wife is on Vista.

    I have an old desktop (256 MB Ram, 1Ghz processor) with lots of storage space (two hard drives, one empty one with 80GB), and a wireless router. XP (home) is crawling on it (it never ran very fast anyways.) I've tried Puppy Linux, but it ran out of memory quickly, and the applet(?) designed to show available memory didn't work very well.

    So, recalling I'm new to networking computers and filesharing, and security, as well as being very new to Linux, what OS should I use on my desktop to enable us to save/backup our laptops to it? I would like to be able to browse the internet on it as well, and perhaps use OpenOffice too, so a GUI is necessary.

    Would it also be possible to access the files from a remote computer via the internet?

    My ISP is Cox, if that affects anything.
    Dell Studio 1558, 6 gigs RAM, i5-460M processor, dual core, hyperthreading, 10.10 primary, W7 in Virtualbox, learning, please tell me where to find the manual, Keep in touch. <><

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    26
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    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: Need to use old desktop as backup storage for laptops

    Ok well here goes (I have this implementation running and it works great!)

    download and burn a copy of ubuntu-9.04 or 9.10 server edition (I still use 9.04)

    warning - this OS is text based so gui options are not present if you would like a gui i would reccommend using web-min. download and install instructions are easiest if you add the repositories to your /etc/apt/sources.list
    link here http://www.webmin.com/deb.html - very useful

    so go through the install and make sure to check the modules for samba, ssh-server, and anything else you might want to get your feet wet with... I reccommend using the Linux LVM so you can add the other hard drives to the array.

    as for remote access use the ssh option you installed above and setup port triggering to get access through your router. if you use a linksys router I would reccommend usign www.dyndns.org to setup a web address that will keep updated to your non-static ipaddress...

    as for samba remember that filesystem level permissions trump whatever you set in samba. so to make them both happy try sudo chmod 777 permissons and then restrict file access at the samba level...

    if this is too broad of a setup example let me know and ill write a better how-to....

    Cheers!
    ABATIS, n.
    Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Need to use old desktop as backup storage for laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by aaronchall View Post
    Greetings, I am very new at this. (I once spent several hours trying to network my wife's laptop and mine, only to find that the problem was that we were not on the same workgroup (in Windows...))

    So now I'm on Ubuntu, most of the time, and my wife is on Vista.

    I have an old desktop (256 MB Ram, 1Ghz processor) with lots of storage space (two hard drives, one empty one with 80GB), and a wireless router. XP (home) is crawling on it (it never ran very fast anyways.) I've tried Puppy Linux, but it ran out of memory quickly, and the applet(?) designed to show available memory didn't work very well.

    So, recalling I'm new to networking computers and filesharing, and security, as well as being very new to Linux, what OS should I use on my desktop to enable us to save/backup our laptops to it? I would like to be able to browse the internet on it as well, and perhaps use OpenOffice too, so a GUI is necessary.

    Would it also be possible to access the files from a remote computer via the internet?

    My ISP is Cox, if that affects anything.
    Hey, man, you want that box to do everything and then some
    For the OS that would allow you and your wife to make backups of your laptops, I would say that you safely go with Ubuntu Server (what else are you going to get around here ), and to make the actual backups, take a look at BackupPC.

    You can install a GUI on your Ubuntu Server box, take a look at the archives, or use the search, that's a question often asked.
    Here are few links on the subject:

    Installation on Low Memory Systems
    Modest Spec or Barebones Installation of Ubuntu
    Ubuntu Minimal Desktop
    Live long and prosper.
    And use lotsa Linux, BSD, and Emacs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Manhattan, NY
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    174
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Need to use old desktop as backup storage for laptops

    Hey guys, thanks for the response!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemaeth View Post
    Ok well here goes (I have this implementation running and it works great!)

    download and burn a copy of ubuntu-9.04 or 9.10 server edition (I still use 9.04)

    warning - this OS is text based so gui options are not present if you would like a gui i would reccommend using web-min. download and install instructions are easiest if you add the repositories to your /etc/apt/sources.list
    link here http://www.webmin.com/deb.html - very useful

    so go through the install and make sure to check the modules for samba, ssh-server, and anything else you might want to get your feet wet with... I reccommend using the Linux LVM so you can add the other hard drives to the array.

    as for remote access use the ssh option you installed above and setup port triggering to get access through your router. if you use a linksys router I would reccommend usign www.dyndns.org to setup a web address that will keep updated to your non-static ipaddress...

    as for samba remember that filesystem level permissions trump whatever you set in samba. so to make them both happy try sudo chmod 777 permissons and then restrict file access at the samba level...

    if this is too broad of a setup example let me know and ill write a better how-to....

    Cheers!
    I'm not sure I followed all of that. What is the Linux LVM? I use a USR router, if that makes a difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by hictio View Post
    Hey, man, you want that box to do everything and then some
    For the OS that would allow you and your wife to make backups of your laptops, I would say that you safely go with Ubuntu Server (what else are you going to get around here ), and to make the actual backups, take a look at BackupPC.

    You can install a GUI on your Ubuntu Server box, take a look at the archives, or use the search, that's a question often asked.
    Here are few links on the subject:

    Installation on Low Memory Systems
    Modest Spec or Barebones Installation of Ubuntu
    Ubuntu Minimal Desktop
    OK, Ubuntu server 9.10 should work ok on 256MB RAM? But I won't have a GUI? I'm ok with a command line, I grew up playing around on DOS (I found a few commands by trial and error, lots of errors), I just think it would be great to have a browser and text editor or something like that as a backup. I'll look more into those links a little later. But I suppose the command line may be the best solution given my unwillingness to install more RAM in an 8yr old computer...

    Thanks again!!

    Aaron
    Dell Studio 1558, 6 gigs RAM, i5-460M processor, dual core, hyperthreading, 10.10 primary, W7 in Virtualbox, learning, please tell me where to find the manual, Keep in touch. <><

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Need to use old desktop as backup storage for laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by aaronchall View Post
    Hey guys, thanks for the response!!!



    I'm not sure I followed all of that. What is the Linux LVM? I use a USR router, if that makes a difference.



    OK, Ubuntu server 9.10 should work ok on 256MB RAM? But I won't have a GUI? I'm ok with a command line, I grew up playing around on DOS (I found a few commands by trial and error, lots of errors), I just think it would be great to have a browser and text editor or something like that as a backup. I'll look more into those links a little later. But I suppose the command line may be the best solution given my unwillingness to install more RAM in an 8yr old computer...

    Thanks again!!

    Aaron
    Ubuntu Server will work with 256 MB just fine (of course, if you later plan on hosting a mega popular website with an Oracle back office on it, the thing will melt; but for home use it'll do just fine )
    Take a look at the link for the backup program I have recommended you, you install it from the command line, but after that you can do must of its administration thru a webfront.
    Personally, I would not install a GUI, I mean, not one if the idea is running the GUI with the purpose of administering the box; you'll learn far more using the CLI thru SSH, something that will serve you good, because you'll be able to use with any other Linux distro or in other situation down the road.
    Live long and prosper.
    And use lotsa Linux, BSD, and Emacs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Need to use old desktop as backup storage for laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemaeth View Post
    Ok well here goes (I have this implementation running and it works great!)

    download and burn a copy of ubuntu-9.04 or 9.10 server edition (I still use 9.04)

    warning - this OS is text based so gui options are not present if you would like a gui i would reccommend using web-min. download and install instructions are easiest if you add the repositories to your /etc/apt/sources.list
    link here http://www.webmin.com/deb.html - very useful

    so go through the install and make sure to check the modules for samba, ssh-server, and anything else you might want to get your feet wet with... I reccommend using the Linux LVM so you can add the other hard drives to the array.

    as for remote access use the ssh option you installed above and setup port triggering to get access through your router. if you use a linksys router I would reccommend usign www.dyndns.org to setup a web address that will keep updated to your non-static ipaddress...

    as for samba remember that filesystem level permissions trump whatever you set in samba. so to make them both happy try sudo chmod 777 permissons and then restrict file access at the samba level...

    if this is too broad of a setup example let me know and ill write a better how-to....

    Cheers!

    So I'm going to download it, but it says there is 32 and 64 bit versions, and that to be sure you NEED the 32 bit version before using it, and that the 64 bit version is suitable for server configurations. I'm pretty sure my processor is 32 bit, so... do I NEED the 32 bit version? (my emphasis on the all caps...)
    Dell Studio 1558, 6 gigs RAM, i5-460M processor, dual core, hyperthreading, 10.10 primary, W7 in Virtualbox, learning, please tell me where to find the manual, Keep in touch. <><

  7. #7
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Need to use old desktop as backup storage for laptops

    So, do I NEED the 32 bit version, and how do I know this?
    Dell Studio 1558, 6 gigs RAM, i5-460M processor, dual core, hyperthreading, 10.10 primary, W7 in Virtualbox, learning, please tell me where to find the manual, Keep in touch. <><

  8. #8
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    Re: Need to use old desktop as backup storage for laptops

    So I'm basically going to take a leap of faith (in myself) and assume the notes on the download page are just badly written, and that the 32 bit version is necessary given the age of the processor, and go ahead and download that one.


    Do these notes really say anything????
    "64-bit version: This version is suitable for server configurations
    32-bit version: Please ensure your server requires this option"

    Unless someone stops me, 32 is what i'll burn on download completion.
    Dell Studio 1558, 6 gigs RAM, i5-460M processor, dual core, hyperthreading, 10.10 primary, W7 in Virtualbox, learning, please tell me where to find the manual, Keep in touch. <><

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Need to use old desktop as backup storage for laptops

    What OS are you running on the box you want to install that Ubuntu Server?
    If it is a Linux derivative, to know if it has a 32 bit edition installed, open a Terminal and type:

    Code:
    file /sbin/init ENTER
    You'll see something like this:

    Code:
    /sbin/init: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), for GNU/Linux 2.4.3, dynamically linked (uses shared libs), not stripped
    This one is 32 bits.
    Live long and prosper.
    And use lotsa Linux, BSD, and Emacs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Need to use old desktop as backup storage for laptops

    Figured I share a little trial and error with you...:

    Code:
    me@SYSTEM:~$ md5sum /DISK_IMG/ubuntu server iso/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso
    md5sum: /DISK_IMG/ubuntu: No such file or directory
    md5sum: server: No such file or directory
    md5sum: iso/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso: No such file or directory
    Most apparent problem here was the fact that it was reading the directory as seperate locations because of the locations, but instead of addressing that, I wrote in the /media part that was the first thing I was thinking could be wrong...
    Code:
    me@SYSTEM:~$ md5sum /media/DISK_IMG/ubuntu server iso/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso
    md5sum: /media/DISK_IMG/ubuntu: No such file or directory
    md5sum: server: No such file or directory
    md5sum: iso/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso: No such file or directory
    me@SYSTEM:~$ md5sum /media/DISK_IMG/"ubuntu server iso"/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso
    55618ad5f180692f9dac20cbff352634  /media/DISK_IMG/ubuntu server iso/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso
    me@SYSTEM:~$
    So then I remembered from about a month back to put in the quotes...
    So now I'm feeling really clever. And proper ISO download.

    Super. Now I just need a CD to burn it to. (I have a feeling that the USB1 on the old computer would be a bit too slow...)

    Aaron
    Dell Studio 1558, 6 gigs RAM, i5-460M processor, dual core, hyperthreading, 10.10 primary, W7 in Virtualbox, learning, please tell me where to find the manual, Keep in touch. <><

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