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What web server code should I consider using for file hosting? (http deamon, i dont think i can choose FS. I may be able to choose an randomly offer linux distro the host offers)

The web server will only host files, with no need for cookies, reading a database, etc. The requirements are;

  1. Must be able to rewrite urls. Eg; /name/file-id.ext may resolve to /n/a/name/MainFolder/id/ext with file being a nice human readable name for the user when the user clicks save as.
  2. Stream FLVs, MP3, OGG, MP4
  3. Allow file transfer resuming

I imagine there's no such thing as a server that can't handle raw files like rar,exe,3ds or even a 1gb file with no extension, is this the case?

A plus would be if it could also serve thumbnails well but that may not be an issue.

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You will find more helpful answers by expanding on your question. By "server" to you mean web server? OS? Hardware? How busy do you expect the server to be? The more details you can provide the better. – Dave Drager Jan 26 '10 at 14:26

As you suspected, pretty much any webserver will handle your needs. My recommendation would be Apache as it is the most popular and most well known or lighttpd as it is very popular and a little more light weight but still full featured.

If you need the entire stack, go with Linux. Especially Red Hat Enterprise Linux if you are spending the money and need support or CentOS if you want to do it for free (CentOS is identical to Red Hat's flagship product but no support for it except from third party vendors.)

All you need is a base install of Red Hat or CentOS and type "yum -y install httpd" and ta-da, you have a web server. Or just select "Web Server" when you are installing CentOS but that will give you lots of extra stuff that you don't need.

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Do you mean physical server or Operating System plus software stack?

If the former then pretty much anything you can buy right now will do, you'd have to go out of your way to buy something that couldn't do this but of course what matters isn't functionality but resilience and load-capability.

If the latter then the most important thing is what OS and apps you yourself can setup and manage - there's always arguments between products but the most important thing is if you can deal with it all - so go with whatever you're most comfortable with ok.

Good luck and keep coming back with questions ok.

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