The old server

I had an old NEC P3-500 computer from 2000 set up as a server. It ran Lubuntu 13.10. SSH, vsFTP, LAMP stack, Webmin, Samba, code for remote desktopping and a WordPress install.

I used it to test out things, I learned a lot about WordPress in a short span of time on it. Plus I had it running two web cams and placing time lapse frames on line. I was using the cams to monitor indoor temperatures when I was away from home in the winter. It was a good test bed, but quit in late March. No video, no booting, I decided not to troubleshoot, it was old and worked long enough. It still had the original 8gb HD, which started with Win98 then XP, the Ubuntu 9.10, then Lubuntu, good life span for a drive.

NEC Server
NEC Server on top of workstation

A few months ago I came across a Dell Dimension 2400 at no cost. Higher performance than the NEC. So I will go with that as the replacement. The idea is to load Ubuntu Server on it, no need for a desktop, I realized. I am comfortable enough with the Linux command line, been using it since 1997, to go without a “desktop”. In the meantime since the last server, I discovered ownCloud 


OwnCloud will let me set up a personal cloud, limited only by hard-drive space. I have not used it much yet, but it would be good for storage of photos and music, plus contacts, bookmark and calendar sync. It seems promising. I am reading the user manual and administrator manual. Two of the features that I am interested in are, making a photo gallery in it and being able to store music files and streaming them. Then I could have my personal “internet radio” station and listen to the music that I want to on any device, in theory, anywhere.


I finally got Samba working, which allows the Linux computer to interface correctly with Windows as far as file sharing. Now I can create a network folder on the Linux server to access with a Windows computer, which will be good for backups. It can be treated like another hard drive and files can be transferred easily. It was a lot of work, one small mistake that I made in providing a name was the problem. Windows did not like the use of special characters, slashes like / or \ in the name of the folder! It kept telling me, I don’t have permission for the folder and that the path did not exist. I thought I was being smart naming the network folder the same as it appears on the server computer, /files/erick, that was a big mistake! I went crazy checking the firewall, checking the DNS names & addresses. Reading things online. Then I added a new folder with a simple name, just files, and it worked, so I changed all of the folder names to something simple and it worked fine! I will use the Samba shares mounted as drives, for backup of the Windows computers, in one location.

I did learn a useful command in the process of troubleshooting, running…

smbclient -l    //serveripaddress -u username

from the server CL lets you see all of the computers on the workgroup to make sure they show up and names are being resolved. If they look OK then you know you have that part working alright. As far as the firewall, it is off by default when Ubuntu Server installs. This can be confirmed by a dump of the iptables.

And of course, I installed the server with the SSH option turned on. So I can do all of this without having to be in front of the machine.

IP is set to static too. I learned that you can now set the DNS servers in the same config file as setting up static IP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *