If you are a frequent reader here at The Digital Lifestyle you are probably pretty familiar with Windows Home Server 2011 by this point with all of the great articles not only here on Ian’s website, but on many of the websites belonging to those who are regulars on the popular The Digital Lifestyle Show Podcast.  Of course, this also includes us over here across the pond at Home System Integration as we are huge WHS fans too!

We also know that these can be hard times on the finances and sometimes it is pretty tough to have multiple workstations to run the various functions we read about on these sites.  Perhaps you are one of the more advanced users who frequent Ian’s website and are looking for a great platform to test out new combinations of OS’s and Streaming Media Centers like XBMC, SageTV, and others.

Or….maybe you are just looking for a great way to check out new software and Operating Systems like Windows Home Server 2011 before you take the plunge and buy them without having to rebuild a machine.  Whatever the case may be, there IS a way you can accomplish this for absolutely free! (assuming you’ve got enough hardware laying around for at least one workstation!).  Winking smile

This robust, inexpensive, and easy-to-implement solution is to build your own:

Ubuntu VMWare Server


Our very own John Reyes brings us another great tutorial for creating your own world of virtual servers.  This way, you can test out anything from WHS 2011 to building a FreeNAS media server to even creating an entire Active Directory environment… all of it running on a single workstation.

ubuntu vmwareIn this series, John chooses Ubuntu, a free Operating System to host VMware Server 2.0, free virtualization software to follow his previous series on building a FreeNAS Media Server.   Notice that I said Free in there….twice!  Yes, that is right, if you can scrape up enough hardware to put together a decently powered workstation with a good amount of RAM in it, you can run just about any Operating System with any mixture of streaming media servers that you like!    It’s a great way to check out new OS’s.

So, if you’d like to get your feet wet with Windows Server 2011, XBMC running on a Linux platform, or a multitude of other options, be sure to check out John’s straight forward instructions for building your own Ubuntu VMware Server!

VMWare and Linux…what  a wonderful combination.  Winking smile

Enjoy the article and be sure to tell us about your experiences with Ubuntu!


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