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When pre-built home servers started to become common, Windows Home Server was probably the most widely used home server operating system among newbies. It can be a bit cumbersome to setup as most of the open-source home server applications are geared towards Linux.
Openfiler converts your PC hardware into a full-fledged NAS appliance or IP storage gateway. ClearOS Community version is a cloud-connected server, network, and gateway OS designed for homes, hobbyists and developers.
Windows Home Server almost feels dead as there hasn’t been any major updates and it is not commonly available for purchase.
About AnandAnand is a self-learned computer enthusiast, a part-time blogger, and a Food Scientist by career. But it does run Plex media server and other downloading software that you might require to setup a basic home server. It provides storage administrators with a powerful tool to cope with burgeoning storage needs.


While a great storage solution, my go-to options would still be Ubuntu Server, FreeNAS, or Amahi. No problem, you can use their ClearOS online demo or videos to find out what the OS can do for you. If you want to get a bit more ambitious within your home environment then Zentyal is an option, but I am going to keep it out of scope.
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Some of the key features of Openfiler includes CIFS, NFS, HTTP, FTP, RAID (0,1,5,6,10), rsync, 8TB+ journaled filesystems, dynamic volume manager, and powerful web-based management interface. The Community Edition is open source and free version designed for the happy Linux geek (as they say it). You will not have any professional support with the Community Edition and community support is not as wide as say FreeNAS or Ubuntu Server. I would pick Ubuntu Server as the top home server software, but its because I have used it for over 5 years.
01: FreeNAS Web User Interface Configuration Tool)The software is easy to use and perfect for building a low cost home file server.
IXSystems sells a preconfigured 4-bay NAS with the same ASRock motherboard running FreeNAS (currently in for testing now).


If you are familiar with Windows environment then navigating through Windows Home Server will be a cakewalk.
Openfiler home server software is available in Open Source edition, which of course is free, and Commercial Edition, which is targeted at business environments. FreeNAS is a great option but one that requires some tweaking and deep insight to configure properly. I played around with ClearOS a little bit but not sure if it would be in the top home server OS list for me (may be I am biased). So if you have an old computer lying around then Windows Home Server may not be the best option. And with VirtualBox or VMware you can install any of above OS in a virtual machine, play with it, learn, and make your pick.
The advantage is that you do not have to make any irreversible changes to the existing system.
I will write a separate post on how to do these things but there is already quite a bit of documentation on this topic.



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