Trying to switch to Linux

Ok heres what im trying to do (im writing this from my phone so please excuse the poor writing)

I have 7 computers 2 of them servers, an Apple TV and an Xbox 360, all the computers are running windows 7. None of them are running a HomeGroup but networked threw a Workgroup (yes you can set up a workgroup network with windows 7 despite many people saying its impossible) Now then, i have installed Ubuntu on my server trying to convert it but heres the problem. How do you get all the computers talking to each other the EASY way, none of this command line stuff, this is 2011. When i install Win7 on a new computer i attach it to my network, type in the Administrator password, click save username and password and i can access all my network shares in a second. With linux this seems to be more defficualt than it needs to be. I dont want to change the architecture of my network i just want to add to it. I want to keep my windows network for simplicity i just want linux servers. is there an easy way to do this without mounting drives and placing static ips etc etc. Why cant i just install linux, click network and everything appears? Is this possible? I dont have time to sit around for hours configureing SAMBA to no avail. I guess what im trying to say is can linux be plug and play the way windows is? Secondly i use TVersity on my videos server to stream to my Xbox 360, is there any SIMPLE software that works the same where again i dont have to spend hours to set up for linux?

Im really interested in Linux and i want to be able to use it but these two basic things are making Linux a pain in the ass. I've looked at tutorials in other places and the one thought that comes to mind is "there has got to be an easier way" based on how people put Linux on such a high pedestal you would think there was.

So in short, A. A simple 2 minute network setup without having to reconfigure every single computer in my house with various IPs and permissions and other unnecessary steps and B. Media streaming with audio and video the Xbox 360.

Is all this possible or should I just stick to Windows and ditch Linux?

PS It may seem so but im not bashing Linux, i really want to use it but so far it seems like more of an inconvenience than its worth.

Also im using Ubuntu...

Thank You


Feel your pain

I feel your pain. I have 2 machines (netbook and an Asus EEE Box) that have Ubuntu Linux on them and I barely use them. I only use them to browse the web and nothing else at this time. I have been looking for a total newbie site that has guides that are like: So you do "this" in windows here is how to do it in Ubuntu or any Linux version of that matter.

I have how ever setup CentOS server running MediaWiki and Cacti. I am proud of myself on that one. It took me like 2 months to figure everything out, plus some help from willing people on a forum I visit on a regular basis. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't have gotten very far.

So that is my experience with it.

I would like this also. I

I would like this also. I tried using a crossover casble to connect but no luck on that either.