I am looking to set up a home ftp server on my network. I am setting it up on older machine and was wondering what was the best OS to go with for security. Linux I was told was the best option but I would like other opinions or suggestions on a specific distro.
If you have access to Microsoft Licensed products, almost any version (like XP Pro) can install and use IIS. This is typically the easiest to setup and configure, but it is also the most popular, so it has the most active exploits. Make sure you keep it up to date and patched if you are worried about security.
Windows Home Server is pretty good, but it is way more than just an FTP server. It can automate a lot of stuff like backups.
If you are looking for free (dom), Linux running apache is pretty good. But if you do not have any experience with Linux this is the hardest to setup and configure. As far as a specific Distro goes if you are looking for easy go with Ubuntu, or any of the other major ones. If you want customizable, Slackware always worked well for me.
= impossible. FTP is never secure, because FTP transfers your login credentials (user name and passwords) unencrypted over the ethernet.
First read something about FTP, SFTP, HTTPS, etc then decide what’s best for your server.
If you are aware of the risks, perhaps you could try FreeNAS on your system. Very small free OS with lots of possbilities.