Quick Tips

9 Great Things About FreeNAS


I've been using FreeNAS version 0.69 for several weeks now. I've also briefly used an older version and my experience with it so far has been GREAT! The initial setup of the disk drives did take a little longer than I thought it would. The OS itself booted up fine and everything since then has been pretty much a breeze! If you need a few pointers or need a bit of help with your setup, leave me a comment on this post.

So what are some of the best things about FreeNAS?
  1. Share files with more than one computer, a USB drive lets only one pc access the files at a time, with FreeNAS you can have many machines access your files at the same time!
  2. Stream multimedia content to your PS3, Xbox, Media Center PC.
  3. Share your iTunes playlists
  4. Share your files without having to login using SMB/CIFS and FTP services - anonymous access
  5. Serve HTTP content via the simple webserver, I serve a copy of my TiddlyWiki
  6. Practice your basic unix command line.
  7. Easy to add additional storage.
  8. Put your old clunker to use. Yes, your old Pentium II or Pentium II can be brought back to productive life with this software! I'm currently using a 500Mhz pc and have tested with a dual-core PC. Both of them work great!
  9. Built-in BitTorrent Client - you can free up your pc from BitTorrent downloads. The first bittorrent file I downloaded was DSL, which I knew to be a small download.
If you are security conscious, I really recommend you run FreeNAS behind a firewall. This is a great tool to have and you don't want your new toy to be the hole in your network security procedures.

FreeNAS Resources I found that are helpful:
  • FreeNAS.org - the source of the actual software is a great resource of course.
  • LearnFreeNAS.com - A helpful site all about FreeNAS.
  • Linux Backups with NAS - Found an article about backup to NAS using Linux, not exactly FreeNAS based, but found it somewhat helpful.
You can buy the Learning FreeNAS: Configure and manage a network attached storage solution book if you are looking for a good reference book.

Do you use FreeNAS? What features do you like best? Share your thoughts and comments. You can get the current iso of FreeNAS here. Do you have other useful resources for FreeNAS?

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Giovanni said...

Any idea if there's a version of freeNAS with subversion running on it?

FrugalNYC said...

I don't believe there is a version of FreeNAS with subversion on it. Though I have seen people use FreeNAS for other things. I'll be posting something about other uses of FreeNAS in the near future.

You might want to reach out to @freenas on Twitter, he may be able to help you with your question.

Anonymous said...

FreeNAS can also host a local blog with http://www.pivotlog.net/ which can work as a personal diary or digital scrapbook for the family. Unfortunately, TiddlyWiki can't fulfil this role very well, since you can't make edits via HTTP access (only on local files). Don't forget one its main roles as a network backup device (with synchronised & scheduled backup options).

FrugalNYC said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for the link and comment!

The drawback you mentioned for TiddlyWiki can also be a benefit. If you have a group that needs write access and don't want other to write, it fits the niche! :)

Will definitely look into pivotblog when I get a chance.

criticpapa said...

GReat work! very inspiring...

if you have time: see mine here ------> Tuxedo

Jasper said...

Hey. Had another question for you.
Like you said in your 11 tips "start simple", I did and ended up with a nice single disk system.

At the moment I have all my files stored on this one disk. Since I have two in my system I would like to change the configuration to a raid 1 config to be more safe.

Can I just simply do this without loosing my data but just placing it in the raid 1 so it just makes a copy on the second disk?

Thanks in advance!

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