Recommendations for server software (noob alert)

Sir Caramel

New Member
Sep 4, 2020

I've just cracked open an old HP n54l micro-server I was having lots of trouble with and finally fixed some stability issues with it. I'd like to turn it into a useful headless home server. However, after trawling the net for best software to buy/install, I'm getting a bit daunted by the choice and methodologies.

If anyone is happy to throw out recommendations for what software to use and why, I'd be extremely grateful.

I'm running Win 10 pro with 8GB ram and have been using a fanless ATI HD 6450 to bump up the graphics. In the 4 SATA slots I currently have an SSD as the C drive and have two 8TB Western Digital white labels and an old 250GB drive for storage purposes.

Proposed main uses of the server:
  • Backing upother computers on the network
    • I would like to back up both the C drives of other network computers for recovery purposes and also important data, eg work files)
    • Currently looking at Macrium Reflect Free for whole drive backups (but I'm having issues getting the backups to happen over the network.)
  • File Server - Storage and serving of media libraries - eg music, photos, ebooks, fonts and audiobooks.
    • I've been using Serve To Me/Stream To Me, so that my family can access media from the server to their IOS devices, but that only works for videos and music, not ebooks. My family would like to be able to access the files on the server, play media from there or download ebooks as well as video & audio over wi-fi onto their IOS devices. Also to be able to serve to other Win 10 computers on the network.
    • I was thinking of using Calibre as an ebook library management and server. Not sure about the rest.

Minor uses of the server:
Download Server - downloading free ebooks, etc
Web Server - to host my small website so I don't have to pay hosting fees any more!

I know I need other software too. I'm currently trying to work out which VNC would be best for my needs. At the moment I'm looking at TightVNC, UltraVNC and RealVNC.

I'd like to get more out of my microserver but I know I'm under-utilising it at the moment and my choice of software is pretty fragmented. I'm savvy enough to have set up or fixed many computers for friends and family over the years, but I'm not too experienced in network stuff beyond tinkering with my own home network. Any thoughts on a good software set-up to achieve my main goals would be appreciated. Many thanks!