Advice needed - file server SW for home network

Hi all.

Could you advice me on file server for home network consisting of Linux, Mac OS X, Windows machines ?
I checked forums here, including wiki, but information I found was quite outdated.

Currently I have Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS based file server with Samba shares manually configured on LVM mirror and pool volumes. My plan is to migrate to a virtual Linux Server (I guess Ubuntu Server 18.04) on Proxmox virtualization. With this transition I wanted to check for some more convenient (compared to editing Samba config file) way to setup and maintain my Samba shares.

Any help is welcome ! :wink:

Artūras B.

So it’s not a standalone machine for storage but a virtual thing inside your main rig?

Yes. My idea is that Proxmox provides storage and virtualization management, then one VM is serving some apps, e.g., file server. Other apps could be my Docker experiments on the same or separate VM on Proxmox.

Are you deadset on it being Linux? If you want an easy setup, I normally recommend FreeNas. I’m running it at home to share via NFS in a Linux environment, but it supports SMB/CIFS for Windows as well.

No matter what software you go with, you will probably have to do hardware passthrough to give the storage vm native access to the raw drives. There should be documentation on this, but I have not done it so I can’t speak on the difficulty

I’ve tried FreeNAS before but it was too havy for my quite limited HW and my needs. The I tried OPV, linux based. It fitted HW quite nicely, but was messy in settings. That’s why I went “raw” - bare Linux+LVM+Samba. Now what I really miss is some GUI to manage shares, but not as complicated as OVM, nor as HW demanding as FreeNAS.
Some Samba Docker :grin:

And AFS for apple.

… Demanding? o0 Is it?

2 core AMD CPU, 12 GB of RAM at that time.
Now, for migration to virtualization I’ve upgraded CPU to 4 cores.

Regarding multiple supported file sharing protocols. In my FreeNAS attempt I learned that it is not good to share same data on storage using multiple protocols because they work on their own and there might be conflicts when accessing (especially writing) same file from Mac & Linux, for example. I left Samba for all three types of systems I have. It’s not optimal, especially for Mac, but it works.

Thanks, I’ll check that. My thinking is that I could setup my LVM mirror and pool within Proxmox,and then I’d mount it in my file server VM.

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I mean that would work, but then you might run into performance issues because the client would access something mounted on the file server which is actually mounted on the hypervisor. You could play around with caching options (and write through modes?) To see what you’re working with

I’ll experiment with this. First I’ll try multi layer approach. I’d like to have storage managed by Proxmox so it easier to migrate storage and VMs to my second Proxmox node which I plan to build in near future. If I get poor performance, then of course I’ll play with pass-through.

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That’s probably a good way to go about it. But also if you go the FreeNas (or even zfs on Linux), you can use zfs send/receive semantics to synchronize mutliple file server nodes (rsync would also be nice)

Any suggestion on file server SW (with GUI for share management) ?

I use FreeNas which has it’s own web GUI, but Cockpit and Webmin are pretty slick. Although I’m not 100% sure you can do samba from Cockpit