Help me build a server...

So I won a bunch of cool computer parts at a Lan party in Evansville this weekend and I am interested in building a server/media PC. But I am a little curious about it. How exactly do I control a computer across my network? Am I able to login to that computer remotely or do I have to have a screen/keyboard/mouse right at the server. Idealy, I would like to have it across the room and hooked up to my tv. I don’t want to have to add any extra things like a mouse and keyboard.

Is there a way to do that?

Remote control is pretty simple using VNC for graphical environments and SSH for command-lines, but first, what operating system do you wish to run on it? Microsoft server OSes are not cheap.

Two good places to go and learn this stuff:

VNC: Useful on most servers running on PC hardware

Microsoft Remote Desktop: Useful on 2000 Server and XP Pro, some other platforms

If Remote Desktop is supported, use it over VNC for speed and other reasons.

A half-dozen alternatives exist. Most cost money. Good luck!

As has been posted, if you have Win2k, XP Pro or Server 2003, I’d use remote desktop. If not, try VNC.

If you’re willing to put in a bit of time, running MythTV gets you quite a bit in the way of ‘Media PC’ functionality. This could certainly be controlled remotely with ssh, VNC, or a remote X Server.

Depending on your needs, you might find a wireless keyboard/mouse more convenient.

I will be using W2k3. Thanks for the info guys, I’ll be checkin it out.