Optimal linux OS for a server and FTP software?

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Here's the situation. I have a very old laptop that's monitor just broke. So I figured I'd set it up in the office, wire connect it to the router, and throw a Minecraft server on it. Only problem with that, is I don't want to keep connecting my second monitor to it outside of the initial set up. So I was hoping I could get a software running on my Windows 7 desktop where I can see what the monitor would be showing, and configure files and such (so I can change maps and adjust the server settings and things like that), something that would run right when the server starts up. As well as Dropbox, since I back up my server automatically on my Dropbox folder.

So my question here is, what's the best linux server OS for running a Minecraft server, that can also run Dropbox and an FTP-like software where I can see what the monitor would see and could control it with my mouse/keyboard via LAN? I have heard of some OS's like "MineOS CRUX", but I doubt I could get Dropbox and the other software (which's name I can't figure out, if anyone wants to point out what that kind of software would be called) running on it.

Thanks ahead!
 

dbhosttexas

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There isn't necessarily a best, or worst. Your description leaves a bit to be desired though. Can you give a quick rundown of the hardware specs for this laptop? From what I can see it's the Minecraft server software that is pretty hardware intensive, not the Linux OS.

If you want to be using a Linux OS you might find in a large enterprise environment you should give one of the Red Hat recompile distributions such as CentOS, or Scientific Linux a shot. However if you want quick and easy Linux that Grandma can do with little to no studying, go with Ubuntu...

Of course this is just thrown out there with no description of your laptop beyond that it is a laptop, it's old, and the display is busted. I can give a better answer if you give up better / more complete info on what you are dealing with...

Oh, for requirements for Minecraft, see their wiki...

http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Server/Requirements/Dedicated
 
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I probably should of specified that more. I'm definitely not thinking of having some huge server with 50 people joining, I'm only thinking of a small server for 2-4 friends, sometimes rarely up to 8 (but it's fine if it can't go to 8, I've only had rare instances where we gather up 8 people and in that case, I'll run it on my Windows desktop where I know it runs fine).

As far as the specs for the laptop, I don't know exactly since I never used it much, but from what I remembered, it was an Intel Pentium Dual Core, somewhere around 2.33GHz, 2GB of RAM, and a 5400 rpm drive. Sorry for the hazy specs, I'll have to look up the hardware specs based on the model number on the inside of it later (running late for a class right now). And my internet is alright, but since I know I can run 8 people fine on my desktop, I'm sure internet-wise, 4 will be fine. And looking at the specs from that link, 2-4 people should run fine, I'll have to test it out with anything more than that, but it seems possible.
 

stillblue

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Whatever server you choose, I use Ubuntu 12.04, install WEBMIN on it and you can remote control from any computer regardless of OS via your net navigator. You can do nearly everything from there. What little you can't there is ssh, Putty is cross platform, this gives you command line access.
 

dbhosttexas

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Ubuntu is nice for a beginner, but requires pretty steep specs, and it changes frequently. I personally would go with CentOS 6.3 x86_64. It is binary compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux which is what you will find in most large enterprises (the people that pay $$ for IT work...) so it's a good learning platform, everything you need to do once the OS is installed can be done over ssh.

Configured correctly, that dual core 2GB laptop should actually perform admirably for your application. See that minecraft wiki I linked to previously, it should do very nicely. I recently decommissioned a Quake 3 Arena server running on MUCH lower hardware than what you are talking about...

AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.4GHZ, 1GB DDR, 120GB 7200rpm ATA133 HDD, CentOS 5.9 32 bit.
 

dbhosttexas

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That's like saying the optimal Camaro is a Mustang... :p

 

Ijack

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It's more like saying "start with an open mind". What the OP really wants is the best server system, free I presume. So why limit it to Linux?
 
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Can CentOS run Dropbox on it? That's one thing I'd like and looking at the linux dropbox download page, I didn't see anything for it. I found the specs for the laptop online and boy did I way overshoot it. Intel Pentium M 760 / 2.0 GHz, 1.0 GB DDR2 SDRAM 533.0 MHz, 120.0 GB HDD / 5400.0 rpm.

I still think it might be able to run a decent Minecraft server for 4 people on it.
 

dbhosttexas

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Yes, you can run dropbox on CentOS... Check out the HOWTO...

http://ithelpblog.com/os/linux/redhat/centos-redhat/howto-install-dropbox-on-centos-6-3-or-redhat-rhel-or-fedora-17/
 

dbhosttexas

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Yes, you can run dropbox on CentOS... Check out the HOWTO...

http://ithelpblog.com/os/linux/redhat/centos-redhat/howto-install-dropbox-on-centos-6-3-or-redhat-rhel-or-fedora-17/