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Recommendations for OS for my home NAS?

Deadly Duck
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I'll try and keep it brief, I built a NAS box like 2 years ago now. Used left over parts of dubious quality. It's a Pentium G4400 with 8gigs of ram with 6x 6tb drives running FreeNAS ZFS2 setup. Some of them drives have to be close to 10 years old and have been used and abused. I used them before with a hard drive dock, that's how I used to backup data, just swap hard drives in the dock and that slowly became a nightmare prompting me to build the NAS. So when I set this all up I planned it as a temporary solution to see if a NAS was right for me. Well that turned into me trusting this box with all my data for 2 years so yeah it works for me. So I got 10 x 10tb drives, a super micro mobo, a 8 core xeon and 32gigs of ECC ram. I install FreeNAS and get a network drive mapped on my desktop and laptop but some of the settings and options are really confusing me. Seems like FreeNAS is geared at someone who wants to do a lot more than I need. I really just want to set up network drives on my desktop and laptop and run a torrent program on it, maybe get to my files from the internet while i'm on the go. Should I stick with FreeNAS? is there a more noob friendly option that won't let me choose settings that are "bad ideas". Like now without me saving anytype of config files or anything if my USB drives fail (the ones with FreeNAS on them) will I be able to pop in two new drives, install FreeNAS and get to the files again?

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From a NAS perspective i use Unraid, its really good for a simple File storage system, and you can install docker containers for internet based file sharing etc.

 

It also allows mixing and matching of drive sizes, however if you want true raid with striping and all the performance benefits, then im not sure if unraid supports that myself.

 

im sure there are plenty of FreeNAS documents out there on the best practices for what you need. But it sounds like you might want to use "use defaults" if you dont want to screw anything up ? Ive personally never used FreeNAS (at least not yet), so hopefully someone else here has more insight into that aspect, otherwise a lot of google searches could yield some good results im sure

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Try open media vault if youre looking for an easy to use and free open source alternative to freenas.

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5 hours ago, Deadly Duck said:

It's a Pentium G4400 with 8gigs of ram with 6x 6tb drives running FreeNAS ZFS2 setup. Some of them drives have to be close to 10 years old and have been used and abused.

6TB drives were only released in 2014...?

 

5 hours ago, Deadly Duck said:

I install FreeNAS and get a network drive mapped on my desktop and laptop but some of the settings and options are really confusing me. Seems like FreeNAS is geared at someone who wants to do a lot more than I need. I really just want to set up network drives on my desktop and laptop and run a torrent program on it, maybe get to my files from the internet while i'm on the go. Should I stick with FreeNAS? is there a more noob friendly option that won't let me choose settings that are "bad ideas".

FreeNAS can be pretty simple. You just need to understand, that you need to import the disks, create the vdev, setup your user/groups, and create a CIFS share. If you want to access files on the internet, i believe NextCloud is available as a Jail. UnRAID is a popular choice for simplicity but im not a fan of the way it handles your data. Theres Rockstor which is a BTRFS filesystem, it also has cloud support built in. 

 

5 hours ago, Deadly Duck said:

Like now without me saving anytype of config files or anything if my USB drives fail (the ones with FreeNAS on them) will I be able to pop in two new drives, install FreeNAS and get to the files again?

The way OS's like FreeNAS work, if your USB fails, you can import the array into a fresh install of FreeNAS - so you wont lose your data...in saying that though, if you encrypt the volume you MUST HAVE A BACKUP OF THE ENCRYPTION KEY

 

It is a good idea though to keep a backup of the USB drive, whatever OS you go with. My ESXi servers run off SD card, I have backup SD cards which are just a direct copy of the active one. 

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I second Jarsky on using FreeNAS. I built a small system using FreeNAS about 2 years ago from parts that I had laying around. It was solely for the purpose of storing my media collection and making backups of my desktop. There are lots of features I didn't use in FreeNAS, but I appreciated how much there was available. Every so often I would back up my configuration and try changing some things to see what I could learn, worst case (for me) was that I would have to reload my config. If/when I ran into issue with my system, there was always enough info I could find on the FreeNAS boards or via Google to get thru the issue. I can't speak on any kind of comparison to other platforms, but FreeNAS is a solid option, just stick to the stable builds and wait on upgrades if you're dealing with important data.

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xigmanas maybe? i heard its frendlier on low end systems.

why everybody post the spec of their rig here? i dont! cuz its made of mashed potatoes!

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