i currently have several computers networked in my house all running windows xp as their operating system. i was wondering if it would be possible to setup another computer running linux on the network and be able to access it from my windows computers? if possible, how would i go about doing this?
Yes, you have to setup SAMBA though in order to share files across your Windows/Linux network. To date, I have one Windows XP machine that gets its files from a remote Linux box running SAMBA. All of my Linux boxes use a Samba viewer.
The following distros rock:
* Fedora (not really on my top, but it's a n00b distro)
SuSE may cost you some dough, but you get telephone support, updates, and not to mention solid driver support. I would recommend SuSE over Fedora anyday though.
Two things: As Gamerfreak says, make sure that you choose the Server option. However, keep in mind that you need Samba installed. You can get rid of the Database Options (unless you want to run a database) as well as Apache (if you want to host a local website). Samba's your primary key here, as you'll need it.
To reach your Server from the desktop, you can either Remote Access the desktop (I think KDE has something to that effect) or, if you don't mind command line, SSH to it.