Why FreeNAS?

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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My wife and kids were talking to me about finally putting a media server on our home network for videos, music, photos and backups. FreeNAS seemed like what I should use but after burning the LiveCD and getting xpt_config errors and mountroot stuff, I just sighed cause I wasn't in the mood to deal with that. I admit that's all I did but I was using a system with FreeBSD 8.1 mounted on it and don't understand why it didn't just work.

I don't understand what I gain by using FreeNAS vs just using Samba. I also admit I've never used Samba either so I don't know what the differences are. The rest of the family are Windows and Mac users. FreeNAS is network storage software while Samaba is just an interface, essentially. I guess the NAS would be more like a dedicated server, which is what I want, but if there are going to be issues with the somewhat hardware I have, I'd rather not mess with that.

Anyone enlighten me, please?
 

vermaden

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FreeNAS is nothing more then FreeBSD bundled with Samba, and other servers and also with web panel so You can 'click' in the browser instead of messing with the configuration files and pkg_add for adding needed services.

Personally I run FreeBSD with Samba/Nginx/OpenSSH and other various software that I need because I have bigger control of what is running and how it is running, but maybe FreeNAS also offers messing with the config files if its necessary, I havent tried it.
 

SirDice

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As vermaden already pointed out, FreeNAS is just a FreeBSD with samba and a few other bits and pieces. The only real benifit is the relatively easy to use web interface to configure the thing.

But you usually configure your fileserver just once and if you did it properly the configuration will hardly change. So if you already have some FreeBSD experience I'd stick to that and just install samba. It's not that hard to configure.
 

DutchDaemon

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"FreeNAS is just FreeBSD" may be somewhat of an overstatement: it is a stripped-down version that lacks a lot of the readily-available tools present in a normal FreeBSD installation.
 

wblock@

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DutchDaemon said:
"FreeNAS is just FreeBSD" may be somewhat of an overstatement: it is a stripped-down version that lacks a lot of the readily-available tools present in a normal FreeBSD installation.
...Just looked at the web page for the first time. Some big-name individuals involved, lots of filesystems and features supported, Samba, ZFS, NFS, iSCSI, a Django and AJAX web interface, built out of FreeBSD using nanobsd.

The distinction of it not being FreeBSD is important. A non-reduced version, FreeBSD with all the ports and customizations but not reduced in size, would be appreciated by some of us.

It's an impressive setup, something that would take the average admin/programmer a long time to duplicate on their own. I love stuff like this: open software that you can put on any cheap hardware and suddenly have essentially state of the art features. For free.
 

phoenix

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What's the difference between Windows 7 running on a computer with shares available, and running Windows Home Server on a collection of drives?

Same thing with FreeBSD vs FreeNAS. One is a general-purpose OS that you can configure to do whatever you want, using "normal" computer hardware. The other is an embedded OS designed to do nothing but network storage management, usually installed directly onto NAS boxes, but can also be installed on "normal" computer hardware.

FreeBSD doesn't ship with any GUI management software, but you can install all kinds of different things like Webmin, CPanel, etc.

FreeNAS ships with an integrated GUI management tool that covers everything.

FreeBSD can be used for pretty much anything, it's up to you to figure out what to install, how to configure it, how to use it, etc.

FreeNAS is just a network storage OS, with easy-to-use GUI tools for configuring things, all nicely integrated into one tool.
 
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drhowarddrfine

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Except it doesn't work on my hardware that does run FreeBSD 8.1. (Like i said, though, I didn't go any further than trying to install it, got errors, quit.)
 
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