I think it's worth noting that even though I generally prefer Open Source Software for several reasons, I have no real problem with Windows or Mac. It simply did not seem practical.
So I looked at a couple of the more popular Linux flavor options:
- Ubuntu Server
I also bought a Linksys 5-port switch ($15) to connect to the router I have upstairs along with two 10ft and one 50ft cat-6 cables.
My running total is - $66