Mac Pro 2.8 (2008) Need advice on how to use this machine...server? desktop?

I have an old Mac Pro, around 2008. I am trying to decide what to do with it. The hardware on it is incredible, it has four disk drive bays. I am thinking of making this into a server for my home.

Its purpose would be to have a place for my backups and for an archive for old data, etc.

Could I make this into a “server” of my own?

I don’t want to connect it to the internet, but want to be able to have computers in my home be able to connect to it like a “network drive” like I have at work on a windows computer.

Would this work?

What would be the best version of Linux for this purpose?

Would a NAS be better?

Another thought after looking at the specks would be to make this into my everyday desktop for home.

Any instructions or thoughts on this would be awesome.


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Funny thing, I’m in the same boat. I have two of them. I want plex media server and use it as a NAS. What did you figure out? Linux on it should be pretty easy!

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Dang… I’ve been scrolling down and now I see your post @Nestling! I literally have no idea why I am not notified on new or unread posts.

The short answer is yes, you can do it. It also depends on its available RAM and the drive interface. I believe it will be faster than a simple NAS.

So, the questions are:

  • How much RAM does it have?
  • What’s the maximum drive capacity supported?
  • Is its CPU an Intel one or a PowerPC?

One of the most stable and reliable distros I’ve used for a file server is the Debian one.