Russ Thompson on 17 Jun 2013 14:38:08 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] FreeNAS vs. Debian for my simple home NAS

I really like ZFS and use it on OmniOS (Solaris based).

There is a native ZFS on Linux port as well as Btrfs but they're not quite production ready, IMO.  I'd love someone from PLUG to take the plunge and give some feedback on these though :)

- Russ

On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 5:10 PM, Lee H. Marzke <> wrote:
My info below is based on NexentaStor community,  FreeNAS is similiar.

If you use the newer FreeNAS, it's based on ZFS.

You want a LOT of RAM,  perhaps 8G or more.  The extra
RAM is used for ARC read cache.

Not sure USB drives work, and they are slow.  External drives
should be eSATA. HW RAID controllers need to be shut off as
ZFS is software RAID.

ZFS requires a Mirror or RAID configuration.   so with only
2 drives ( RAID-Z2) you'll lose half your capacity.  OK it may
not force you to mirror,  but ZFS is designed assuming all your
vDEV's are at least two physical devices with optional spare.

Note:  A ZFS NAS is really designed for 2 boot disks and 8 data disks or more
with optional SSD for read cache and ZIL.   If you try and run it
with low memory and 2 spindles,  not sure how well that will work for you.

I'd suggest sticking with non-ZFS solutions for this.

From: "Adam Zion" <>
To: "PLUG" <>
Sent: Monday, June 17, 2013 3:03:04 PM
Subject: [PLUG] FreeNAS vs. Debian for my simple home NAS

OK, so I've got my roll-your-own NAS up and running like so:
  • Ancient Dell Dimension (headless after I got everything up and running)
  • Crunchbang Linux (Debian-based)
  • 2 1 TB USB2 drives (amazingly, the ancient Dell has USB2 ports)
  • SAMBA shares on one of the USBs
  • Nighly rsync copies from one drive to the other to make a de facto RAID 1

Ain't pretty, and uses a lot more W of electricity than the Raspberry Pi-based NAS would have, but it works.

My question is: would there be any advantage to using FreeNAS (or NAS4Free) on this device vs. remaining w/Crunchbang?


Adam+Zion, MSIS, MCSE+I
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