One of the key issues in today’s home with multiple ip-networked devices is sharing data. All those photos, songs and video clips need to be flying from room-to-room in addition to those work related files that seem to follow us home, too, in these days. A Linux file and printer sharing server is nice basic element for that kind of work; the software is free and even rather old and cheap hardware can run it (hidden into some distant cupboard, well-air-conditioned of course, preferably). But unfortunately I’d still need to recommend for a casual home user to keep within Windows home networking, rather than venturing into setting up one’s own Linux server box. I have now installed several versions of Linux (all of them from Ubuntu family, supposedly the most user-friendly distribution out there), and yet even getting the basic file sharing smoothly running between Windows and Linux machines, in a typical mixed environment with ADSL-modem, home router and a couple of Wifi boxes is still a complex and frustrating task. I finally today got the Gutsy Gibbon workstation installation running Samba in a way that is compatible with our WinXP Pro and Home machines (oh yes, forgot about the new Mac…). This piece of instruction appeared to be the most useful one: HOWTO: Setup Samba peer-to-peer with Windows – Ubuntu Forums.
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