Chris, from Jupiter Broadcasting, covers the powerful software that can transform an old PC into a full blown NAS.
Bob Bakh discusses how to connect a FreeNAS (Networked Attached Storage) to a TiVo. He looks at pyTiVo, a python script that emulates a TiVo server on your network, as well as using the TiVo Desktop software.
Read more here: HOWTO: Connect a FreeNAS to a TiVo
One of the features of the Drobo data storage device is its “BeyondRaid” capabilities. While not a true RAID extension, “BeyondRaid” allows multiple drives to be consolidated into one big pool of storage. It allows you to use multiple disk sizes at once while providing redundancy for all disks and allowing a hot-swap upgrade at any time.
Such features would be nice on FreeNAS and if you are prepared to use the nightly builds of FreeNAS 0.7 (which is still under development) and take advantage of the new ZFS capabilities, you can do some amazing things!
Glen of (Glen’s Weblog) has written a post about how to do it.
The introduction can be found on his blog in a post called ZFS & FreeNAS – A poor (and very geeky) man’s Drobo setup! and the main details can be found at Freenas/ZFS and FreeNAS expansion.
Want to use 4 different sized drives together as one large storage tank with 1 drive fault tolerance? Do you also want to be able to upgrade the smallest capacity drive with a larger one without having to move all of your data to a temporary location then re-build a new array and then copying all your data back? Then follow Glen’s instructions but also heed his warning: Use this info at your own risk, don’t come to me if all your data disappears one day. But it works for me.
FreeNAS 0.69.1 code named Omnius (referring to a collection of artificially intelligent entities from Frank Herbert’s Dune) has been released. It can be downloaded here.
- Upgrade Samba to 3.0.34.
- Upgrade ProFTPD to 1.3.2.
- Upgrade mDNSResponder to 1.08.6.
- Upgrade lighttpd to 1.4.22.
- Upgrade cdialog to 1.1.20080819.
- Upgrade e2fsprogs to 1.41.4.
- Upgrade nut to 2.4.1. Thanks to Joerg Pulz for the core dump patch. This
version uses TCP wrappers instead of the internal ACL mechanism. Because of
that all client can listen the UPS. If you want to prevent this you have to
use the FreeNAS client firewall to block specific IP ranges. See
for a detailed explanation.
- Upgrade transmission to 1.51.
- Upgrade fusefs-ntfs/ntfs-3g to 2009.2.1.
- Upgrade 3Ware serial ATA RAID controller driver to 9.5.1.
- Upgrade bash to 4.0.10.
- Add ‘SSL/TLS only’ on ‘Services|FTP’ page to allow TLS/SSL connections
- Add ‘Reverse DNS lookup’ on ‘Services|FTP’ page. This and the ‘Ident
option are disabled per default because they may slow down or break the
login to the FTP server in some situations.
- Add ‘Authentication’ checkbox on ‘Services|BitTorrent’ page to
authentication for TransmissionBT WebGUI.
- Add checkbox to enable WOL on ‘Network|Interfaces|LAN’ and
pages. Please note that WOL only works for nfe, nve, sis, vr, xl. Thanks to
Tobias Reber for the patch.
- Add traceroute6 command (FR 2531610).
- Add *.iso support to Fuppes UPnP (FR 2521047).
- Move ‘m2ts’ video file extension to ‘default’ section (BR 2643180).
- Add ‘Remote monitoring’ to ‘Services|UPS’ to allow adding remote
monitor the local installed UPS in slave mode.
- Use WebGUI administrator password for the NUT user ‘root’.
- Add ability to mount UDF ISO images.
- Disable download feature in Quixplorer because there are misc. (PHP and
system) limitations that makes this feature senseless.
- Prevent generation of core dump files (BR 2662404). Can be enabled via
- Add ability to enable/disable sysctl variables in
- Add XMLRPC services that are available via
- Add ability to configure ProFTPD module mod_ban via WebGUI (FR 2546338).
- Add device I/O statistics to ‘Status|Disks’ page (FR 2704919).
- Replace msntp with FreeBSD’s ntpdate.
- Allow setting TransmissionBT WebGUI user name (FR 2745563).
- Allow to set the following TransmissionBT settings via WebGUI: peer port,
port forwarding, pex, encryption mode and max. upload/download bandwidth
- Set correct friendly name in fuppes.cfg for Xbox 360. The correct
friendly name will be generated automatically (e.g. ‘xxxx : 1’).
- Set correct shutdown property in upsmon.conf (BR 2521141).
- Starting FTP service fails when using DHCP on LAN interface (BR 2519951).
- FPSyncDir patch correction (BR 2546107).
- UPS service improvements. Display NUT messages in syslog and send
using shutdown mode ‘UPS reaches low battery’ (BR 2549047).
- Change user agent string for PS3 to ‘PLAYSTATION 3’ in fuppes.cfg (BR
- Formating disks with ‘Software RAID’ doesn’t clear GEOM metadata (BR
- GUI menu separator line too thick in Safari (BR 2652160). Thanks to
- Add patch for PHP bug #45996 (libxml2 2.7 causes breakage with
- Display dialog to set WebGUI port when configuring network settings via
console menu (BR 2661938).
- Fix problem with DAAP & Mac iTunes 8.1 (BR 2701606). Thanks to Alexey
- Fix false positive bug while detecting disk mount state (BR 2706994).
to desummoner for the patch.
- It is not possible to format a SoftRAID disk with MSDOS FAT16/32.
- It is not possible to encrypt a disk partition, only complete disks
- It is not possible to get seperate CPU stats per processor on SMP
FreeBSD does not support that feature.
- Enable ‘polling’ on interfaces used by a LAGG interface will make it
- It is not possible to mount EXT2 disks with an inode size of 256
have to format it with 128 bytes on Linux to use them on FreeBSD.
- If DHCP for IPv4 is used, the IPv6 statically configured DNS server
overriden by the IPv4 DNS server.
LinuxPlanet has a review of FreeNAS used together with the VIA ARTiGO A2000 subtitled “3 Minutes to 3 Terabytes”. By using FreeNAS with the A2000, which is full-featured computer with space for two 3.5″ SATA drives in a package about the size of a shoebox, you’ve got a really capable storage solution.
The Bottom Line
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 drives can be had for under $125 from several different Internet vendors. Couple that with the $299 base price for the ARTiGO A2000 plus another $50 for memory, and you’re looking at around $600 for a full-featured, 3 TB NAS box. If you do a little searching around you’ll find that price to be extremely competitive (meaning much cheaper) than anything you could find already packaged in a ready-to-use box.
The VIA ARTiGO A2000 does its job quietly and efficiently. You can barely hear the fan running in a quiet room. Coupling that with the bargain-priced Seagate drives and FreeNAS software makes for a solid and cost effective storage solution. Why look anywhere else?
Thomas McCarthy has written about his expericences with Transmission and FreeNAS on his blog Casa Del Tom.
Tom has set up FreeNAS, at the lab where he works, for deploying images for the lab workstations amoung other non-sensitive data.
He is also using BitTorrent and Transmission on FreeNAS. Using this setup, downloading the latest version of Ubuntu or OpenOffice is now as simple as dropping the .torrent file in to shared directory and letting FreeNAS take care of the rest.
As the majority of the lab workstations use Windows Tom has installed transmission-remote-dotnet a Window client for Transmission. He reports that “I installed it, configured it to connect to the FreeNAS server and now have it running without any issues on a test machine.”
Read more here: Casa Del Tom: FreeNAS – Transmission and Windows Remote Client
A question was recently put to Ask TUAW about using FreeNAS with Time Machine. The answer gives a link to the tutorial linked below.
The tutorial is best on an article on ReadyNAS by DavidB. The instructions are for ReadyNAS but they work just as well for FreeNAS and I’m sure any other server you may want to use.
Read more here: Time Machine OSX Leopard to FreeNAS
Glen of (Glen’s Weblog) has written a couple of posts about using FreeNAS with ZFS.
The first post Geeking out big time with ZFS and FreeNAS looks at how Glen is using ZFS on the 0.7 nightly build.
From this first post Glen has some important points about ZFS. “Make sure that you do the format part with each drive you are going to use in your ZFS vdev. If you don’t I’ve found that they come up with some GPT errors which I couldn’t fix without doing the ZFS format. Disks|Format (choose the Disk) then in the File System drop down box be sure to select ZFS storage pool device. Then you will end up with a nice clean ZFS system…”
The second post Thoughts on using FreeNAS and ZFS – Expandability looks at a setup to use FreeNAS and ZFS so you can have a safety net of using RAID 5 or 6 under ZFS and expand ability for the future.
The Assorted Tech blog has published a short guide to FreeNAS.
The guide covers a full install on HDD + DATA + SWAP, adding storage on a secondary drive and how to set up CIFS/SMB.
The post ends with the conclusion “FreeNas is so flexible and tweakable it is hours of fun messing with the thousands of options. It isn’t that complicated once you have done it a couple times so have some fun.”
Packt Publishing has published yet another extract from my book Learning FreeNAS, this time about how to troubleshoot the FreeNAS server.
It is a common experience amongst all of us that from time to time our computers don’t always work as we expect and we need to hunt down and resolve problems with them. Troubleshooting can be time consuming especially if you have limited experience with the software or system you are using. This guide explains how to solve problems with your FreeNAS server. It covers where to look for information about the problem as well as how to hunt down problems by being methodical. It also looks at the common problems people have with their FreeNAS servers including networking problems and problems with RAID.
You can read it here: Troubleshooting FreeNAS.