Setting up a home server with an open source operating system is a popular and useful activity. Useful how you can ask. You can use it to launch a website (I use a home server to fund my travels around the world, luxagraf.net), collect and send emails, store OpenID credentials or serve music at home. How to set up network server?
Installing the network operating system
In most cases, the best way to install Windows Server 2008 is to make a new installation directly from the DVD installation media. Although update installations are possible, the server will be more stable if you perform a new installation. (For this reason, most network administrators avoid upgrading to Windows Server 2008 until the time comes to replace the server hardware.)
To start the installation, insert the DVD distribution media into the server’s DVD drive, and then restart the server. This causes the server to be started directly from the distribution media that initiates the installation program.
While the installation program is running, it guides you through two different installation phases: collecting information and installing Windows. The following sections describe these installation phases in more detail.
Configuring the server
After installing Windows Server 2008, the computer will automatically restart and the Initial Configuration Task Wizard will appear. This wizard guides you through the most important initial tasks related to configuring a new server.
The following list describes the server configuration settings available in this wizard:
Set Administrator Password: The first thing you should do after installing Windows is to set a secure administrator password.
Set time zone: This is only necessary if the indicated time zone is incorrect.
Configure network: The default network settings are usually appropriate, but you can use this option to change the default settings if you want.
Enter computer name and domain: This option allows you to change the server computer name and join the domain.
Enable automatic updating: use this option if you want the server to automatically check for operating system updates.
Download and install updates: Use this option to check for critical operating system updates.
Add roles: This option launches the Add Roles Wizard, which allows you to configure important roles for your server.
Add Features: This option allows you to add more operating system features.
Enable Remote Desktop: Use this option to enable the Remote Desktop feature that allows you to administer this server from another computer.
Configure Windows Firewall: If you want to use the built-in Windows Firewall, this option allows you to configure it.