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I need a home server setup for hosting media files, online backups, etc. I'd like to be able to access the media files via my TiVos, Xbox 360, PC, and MacBook. Which is better, a Windows Home Server (software cost IS NOT a conern) or Linux cocktail ? If Linux, what apps and distro?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Tog, LawrenceC, Kevin Panko, nc4pk, Moses May 2 '14 at 16:04

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

FreeNAS (but it's neither Windows nor Linux cocktail :)

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Mythtv either on opensuse, fedora, ubuntu or knoppix (there are specialized versions for each of the, I.E. mythdora and knopmyth you Do Not need a TV card to use this, but it makes a great media box, streaming music, etc and if you just need file storage you can set up samba shared or even use a Virtual machine of Freenas

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Windows Home Server if most of your network is DLNA or Microsoft based. The back up features and media serving is extremely simple. They also set up a dydns for you using * that you can access your machines over https and RDP into machines from the net. There are also a lot of nice modules to add functionality like Amazon S3 automatic back ups and Anti-virus. It also monitors your entire Windows base and makes sure all Windows updates and anti-virus/malware protection is up to date. The restore feature is also very nice if a machine ever goes down.

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Ubuntu 9.04, with Samba server to share media files with other devices on your network.

Not Windows Home Server because you may find Linux in general and Samba in particular simpler to set up, and Ubuntu, because people actively use it and you will be able to find answers to your questons quickly

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