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Is it "ok" to run Windows 7 for a File Server, or is it recommended to use Windows Server 2008? Technically it seems possible, but the big reason to use Windows 7 instead of Windows Server 2008 is due to the much lower $$ price tag.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

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If using a workstation as a file server meets your needs then I personally would recommend you consider a free OS like Linux instead. It is even less expensive then a copy of windows. Setting up a basic file server should be very easy. – Zoredache Oct 27 '09 at 16:40
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Technically, it'll work and everything will run fine. I used to have Windows Vista on my home file server, and all was good. I guess it depends on whether you need to restrict permissions or not, but if the "file server" is part of your work domain, then you should be able to restrict folder access appropriately with Windows 7 as the OS.

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Depends on the number of users who will access this. in Win2000/xp there was a hard limit on the number of simultaneous user connections, i think this limit was 10 users. So, look up on that before you decide.

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from trying to do it at work now i can clarify, the hard limit is 20 users – seanl Jun 29 '10 at 9:07

The question is what kind of service do you need? If you want to share(smb) certain directories win7 is a viable solution, but if you want to run some kind of infrastructure services(dns, ad..) on it, might be a bad choice.

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I just need it to be a "File Server". So, no DNS, etc. needed. – user24124 Oct 27 '09 at 12:45
SO as i said it is working fine then – Istvan Oct 27 '09 at 13:15

The windows desktop editions have a limit of 10 concurrent connections. This is not 10 machines connecting to it, this is 10 connections, each machine can, and often will make multiple connections. If you reach the 10 connection limit no more connections will be allowed and you will often have to reboot the machine to clear it up.

If your do not have many concurrent connections, then it may well work fine for you, but if you find your self running up against this problem, you will either need to go for a server OS, or look at using something like a Linux file server running samba, which has none of these restrictions.

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Is this 10 TCP connections, or 10 Windows File Sharing connections, or 10 ...? – DuckMaestro Feb 11 '15 at 2:27

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