Table of Contents

Home Network What is Next?

At this point we have a working configuration for the Home newtork. The situation is what should be done next to make the system more useful. Here are a list of suggestions:

This web server gives a simple pratical mechanism for serving information to the family. I use if for interesting articles for my boys. It also searves as a way to remind my wife how to do some functions she only does occasionally.

This program allows you to share directories with your linux workstations just as windows does. You can configure your linux workstations to automatically mount directories from the server. This can be used to allow the users home directory to be mounted on the local workstation when they log in.

Telnet and FTP
These two programs allow the users to remotely connect to the server. For a windows workstation it allows remote access to the resources not mountable as drives. For linux workstations it allows the users to do all their work on the server. This means that one workstation down does not prevent the users from accessing their work.

Network time is something easy to setup on the internet. This will mean that the computer clocks on the network will always have the correct time. Under windows you can use the command “net time \\server /set /yes” to set the local clock from the server. Under Linux you use the command “ntpdate” to get the time form the internet.

This program allows you to handle email centrally instead of individually. For example, I registered a domain name. I then arranged with my ISP to place all the email into my account folder on their site. I then download the mail using fetchmail. scan it, spam check it, and finally distribute it to the family. This way I only need setup spam checking in a single computer. If I change ISPs I can move my email addresses without sending everyone a message to change their address books.

If you have a backup program and hardware on the server, you can backup all the computer in the house from the server. Or if you are smart, you have the users put their data in one location on their computer for you to backup. Using Samba, you can mount shared drives from windows on the Linux server for backup. Or use NFS to mount linux workstation shares to back them up.

Home Automation
I have setup some X-10 boxes around my house for control of lights. I like having some lights come on at dusk and off at 1 AM. So I let the computer do the work. The server runs the program to control the lights. The family can access the controller through a web browser. This type of control has a wide range of applications. For more information have a look at the Smart Home website for hardware or MisterHouse for the software. It can even talk to you.

Music Server
If you convert your CD’s to MP3, or buy your music as MP3 files, you can store them on the Linux server. They can be played by the computers using programs like Winamp, or Xmms. In addition, I have a little box next to my HiFi system which allows me to stream music to the HiFi. This box plays music from the server to the sound system. It has a web interface, so can be controlled from any PC again. For more information on the music see Emusic . For information on serving mp3s to you HiFi system see Exstreamer .

Written by John F. Moore

Last Revised: Wed Oct 18 11:01:35 EDT 2017

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