Can a computer be both a server and a personal computer, effectively?

Asked by Lonz

I'm not asking for help with a problem, I'm asking for advice. I'm completely new to Linux and Servers, so I'm unsure exactly what I need for a server. I currently own one computer and although It appears most people use a completely separate computer to be the "server" I'm not completely sure if I would HAVE to get a second computer in order to run a server. So... my question is am I able to keep using my computer as a personal computer for internet, music, downloads, what have you.... as well as post it up as a server? Or do I have to get another computer and keep personal things separate from server things?

Question information

English Edit question
Ubuntu Edit question
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
Last query:
Last reply:
Revision history for this message
Steve (stupendoussteve-deactivatedaccount) said :

What do you consider "server things". It is very common for people to use a workstation as a fileserver as well, if it has more storage. What are you planning on doing with this "server"? If it's hosting anything for the actual internet, I would suggest keeping it separate.

Revision history for this message
Tom (tom6) said :

Hi :)

Yes i'm one of those people sharing files and stuff on my internal network but people on the internet can't get at those files so i'm using the machine as a file-server.

If you want people on the internet to be able to download from you, by having your machine uploading to the internet then you need a lot of security. I woudn't risk doing this from my machine in case something knocked my machine over. I really don't like to have my machine unavailable for my own use for long if i can avoid it.

If you want your machine to act as a switch or router between the internet and an internal network then it might not need to be an advanced machine but is definitely better as a separate machine. There are various specialist versions of linux (distros) for doing this type of thing.

Please let us know if it's one of these 3 different things or a combination of those or something completely different and then it might b easier to suggest what's best.
Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

Revision history for this message
Lonz (lnz14m) said :

Some additional information:

My reason for wanting a server is to run Team Speak (A voice-over-ip program) as a Server Administrator. I don't intend on uploading any files to anyone on an internal or even an external (the internet) network. I just want to set up a (base) that people can connect their Team Speak clients to in order to comunicate. Since the amount of work I'm requesting from my potential server is low-key, lots of extra space and extra memory shouldn't be necessary but it's hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea of a compter that functions as both a server and a work station.

Revision history for this message
Best Steve (stupendoussteve-deactivatedaccount) said :

There should be no problem hosting teamspeak and using the system as well, but you may run into bandwidth issues and lag if you are downloading a lot at a time while people are trying to use the teamspeak server. Otherwise it takes very little resources.

Revision history for this message
Lonz (lnz14m) said :

Thanks Steven Susbauer, that solved my question.

Revision history for this message
Tom (tom6) said :

It's fairly easy to add server type functionality to the Desktop edition or to add a desktop to the Server edition.
Good luck and have fun with this, regards from
Tom :)

Revision history for this message
Tom (tom6) said :

Hi :)

Have you been able to try the new Ubuntu 10.04 before it gets officially released?
Trying it as a LiveCd or as an extra dual/multi-boot would be ideal. Developers and everyone are keen to try to iron out any problems before 10.04 gets officially released so you might find faster & more effective answers to your bug reports which would make 10.04 work better on your system for you

Thanks and regards from
Tom :)