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Setting Up FreeNAS for a Central File Server – Part 1

August 28th, 2009 Comments off

Sharing files using Windows is quick and simple at first, but it also has downsides. However, using network attached storage (NAS) drives has many advantages, such as centralized access, a network recycling bin, and multi-OS support. Eric Geier shows you how to set up a NAS or network drive for free by using the open source FreeNAS program.

Eric covers:


  • Benefits of Using NAS Devices

    • Recycle bin support
    • PCs don’t have to be on to access shares
    • Better and easier control over shares
    • Supports native file sharing protocols of Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X

  • FreeNAS Protocols and Features
  • Building Your FreeNAS Machine
  • Getting FreeNAS on the Network

Eric plans a part 2 in which he will show how to access the web GUI and perform some initial configuration. Then he look at how to set up the disks, so that you can start sharing with the popular protocols.

Stay tuned as I will update the blog when part 2 is published.

Related links:

InformIT: Setting Up FreeNAS for a Central File Server: Part 1 > Benefits of Using NAS Devices

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FreeNAS and iSCSI – When a Local Disk is Not Local

August 26th, 2009 Comments off

‘frrl’ has written a tutorial about FreeNAS and iSCSI. In case you don’t know iSCSI (Internet SCSI) is an evolution of the SCSI protocol, which allows SCSI commands to be sent over a network. It allows two hosts to negotiate and then exchange SCSI commands using IP networks. The result is that a remote device with iSCSI capabilities can be seen to be a local disk drive but the commands and data for that device are being sent over the network rather than down a cable in the machine.

In iSCSI clients (called initiators) are able to send SCSI commands to SCSI storage devices (targets) on remote servers. FreeNAS can act as an iSCSI initiator or and iSCSI target.

The tutorial covers:

What can iSCSI do for you?
Why SAN?
FreeNAS and iSCSI

Related links:

Fun with FreeNAS – iSCSI – When a local disk is not local « http://frrl.wordpress.com

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Installing MySQL And phpMyAdmin On FreeNAS

August 26th, 2009 Comments off

HowtoForge has a great tutorial on how to install MySQL and phpMyAdmin on FreeNAS 0.7RC1. The author wrote the tutorial when he needed to run some php based web applications and the only system around was FreeNAS.

For this tutorial the following software and configurations is used:


  • FreeNAS version 0.7RC1
  • Installed with option “install ‘full’ OS on HDD + data + swap partition” or “install ‘full’ OS on HDD + data partition”
  • Installaed with enough space on OS partition to install additional packages
  • A working Internet connection

Read the tutorial at: Installing MySQL And phpMyAdmin On FreeNAS | HowtoForge – Linux Howtos and Tutorials

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How to Turn That Old PC Into a High Tech Network Storage, Web Server, and Torrent Server

August 23rd, 2009 Comments off

‘frrl’ has written a tutorial about FreeNAS… The post includes


  • What do you need to set this up?
  • Doesn’t need keyboard, mouse, or monitor
  • My experience
  • Go Do
  • Resources
  • Gallery of my setup

Related links: NAS for Clunkers

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CVS Server on FreeNAS

August 23rd, 2009 Comments off

Ejes consulting has written another FreeNAS post, this time about running a CVS server on FreeNAS. Concurrent Versioning System is a free software revision control system in the field of software development. Version control system software keeps track of all work and all changes in a set of files, and allows several developers (potentially widely separated in space and/or time) to collaborate.

The ejes consulting tutorial takes you through the steps to get the CVS server running on FreeNAS including package installation, users and groups and file permissions.

Read more here: cvs server on FreeNAS « ejes consulting

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Using FreeNAS for Disaster Recovery – Part 1 and 2

July 27th, 2009 Comments off

Saiweb has a series of posts about using FreeNAS for disaster recovery.
They were looking for ways to build a “cost effective” NAS, and now following the success of a recent build using FreeNAS for deploying an office NAS with 2.7TB of usable disk space they have developed a concept for using these relatively cheap NAS systems for Disaster Recovery Purposes.

This NAS build at the time of writing costs £740.54 inc VAT, for a 4TB system, giving approx 2.7TB of usable diskspace in a RAID 5 configuration, try getting a pr-ebuilt model for that!

You can find links to part 1 and part 2 of this series below, I will of course keep you up to date with any news posts which appear!

Related links:

Using freeNAS for Disaster Recovery – Part 1

Using freeNAS for Disaster Recovery – Part 2 | Saiweb

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NAS Showdown: FreeNAS vs AirPort Extreme vs Synology DS207+

July 27th, 2009 Comments off

The Good Tech Tips blog has posted a showdown between 3 different types of NAS: A DIY FreeNAS system, an AirPort Extreme with attached USB drive (pictured) and a Synology DS207+.

To evaluate the usefulness of each financial step up, they used three main criteria: Overall performance, availability of redundant data via RAID 1, and whether it’s possible to add in features like media streaming, remote access or integrated BitTorrent.

Here are the details of the 3 system tested:


  • A DIY system was concocted using FreeNAS software and an older ThinkPad. This was technically the cheapest of the bunch.
  • A router-based system was an AirPort Extreme with attached WD and LaCie USB drives, which was also “recycling” but cost a bit more.
  • The dedicated NAS appliance tested was a two-drive Synology DS207+, $330 for the box but the drives themselves are sold separately.

Follow the link below to find out the final verdict.

How To Choose the Best Network Storage for a Mac/PC Home

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FreeNAS: Free and Snazzy Storage Solution

July 24th, 2009 Comments off

Serverwatch.com has written a tutorial about FreeNAS. The tutorial is very positive about FreeNAS and starts with “FreeNAS is one of those surprising projects that not only saves you a huge amount of money but is so simple to use that you’ll wonder why there’s so much mystery surrounding network-attached storage(NAS).”

The guide covers Building Your NAS Device, Installing FreeNAS and Using FreeNAS.

Related links:

FreeNAS: Free and Snazzy Storage Solution

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Rose Network’s Guide To FreeNAS

July 22nd, 2009 Comments off

The Rose Network blog has some instructions on setting up FreeNAS. The guide covers:


  • Running from the LIVECD
  • Basic Configuration
  • About RAID
  • Advanced Configuration
  • Changing the type of RAID
  • Access Server FreeNAS Member of Computer Network (Client)
  • Installing FreeNAS in Flashdisk or Harddisk

Related links:

Rose Network: Cheap File Server up with NAS (Network Attached Storage)

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How to Connect to Your FreeNAS Server via SSH Without A Password; Password Free Logins via Public Key Authentication

July 22nd, 2009 4 comments

If you connect to your FreeNAS server often with SSH or want to run rsync via SSH then it can be very useful to setup what is called public key authentication. In public key authentication rather than using a password to grant access the SSH client and the SSH server exchange keys and so confirm the identity of the client.

The firs step is to make sure that you have a user with shell access. To check goto Access->Users and either edit and existing user or create a new user and make sure the “Shell access” box is ticked. You also need to be sure that the SSH server is running. Check this on the Services->SSH page.

Important:
SSH is very fussy about user permissions. If the home directory of your user isn’t owned by the user, SSH login with public key will fail. If you have this problem the SSH log will show something like Authentication refused: bad ownership or modes for directory /mnt/store. To fix this you need to create a directory beneath your mount point for that user, i.e. /mnt/store/bob and the Home directory needs to be set to this on the Access->Users page for that user.

In this example I will use OS X (it should be almost identical for Linux but for Windows users you will need to use PuTTY and PuTTYgen).

On the client machine open a terminal window and enter the command:

ssh-keygen -q -f ~/.ssh/id_rsa -t rsa

When prompted for a password just hit ENTER twice:

Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:

This will generate what is known as a private key and a public key. The private key must be kept save and secure and you must never distribute it in any form whatsoever. However the public key is for public consumption and this is what we will copy over to the FreeNAS server.

So to copy the public key to the FreeNAS server, user the following command:

scp ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub bob@192.168.1.250:

Where bob is the username with shell access and 192.168.1.250 is the address of your FreeNAS machine.

When prompted for the password enter it:

bob@192.168.1.32’s password:
id_rsa.pub 100% 402 0.4KB/s 00:00

Now login to your FreeNAS machine using SSH:

ssh -l bob 192.168.1.250

And enter the password when prompted.

Now the public key of your client machine needs to be added to the list of authorized clients that connect. To do this run the following commands:

cat ~/id_rsa.pub >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
rm ~/id_rsa.pub

The first command will add the key to the list of authorized keys, the second will ensure that the permissions are set correct on that file and the third will delete the .pub file you copied over with the scp command as it is now longer needed.

And that is it. You can now logout and now connect again with SSH and it should connect directly without asking for a password.

Troubleshooting:
If you find that everything doesn’t work as planned they check the Diagnostics->Log page and select SSH from the drop downbox and see what is being logged.

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