Convince me I need to use FreeNAS

I have a mdadm created XFS raid 6 of 20tb on a LSI SAS controller. It serves as backup and media serving via smb shares. It’s the way I’ve always done it (having a server with raid and smb share)

All the cool kids are using FreeNAS it seems. What am I missing, and why do I need it? What does it offer that I can’t already do? Convince me it’s worth the trouble to move to FreeNAS.

if you need convincing, you do not needed IMHO.

that said, if you want to move to a “better” way of doing things , note the quotes, than you still can find other setups more to your liking over FreeNAS.

people used, and still do, freenas simply because it was/is the most prominent distro that used ZFS to the full capacity.
since ZFS now is almost fully accepted and widely used in Linux as well, FreeNAS is not the only game in town anymore and thus not as important as it used to be.

you can easily , if you know and good with Linux that is, build out a nice Linux based file server on your own using ZFS , just as easily as you can do it with FreeNAS.

in fact, you can check out a TurnKey file server here

a Linux based preconfigured File server based on Debian.
I am not 100% sure if it has support for ZFS, incase you want to go that way, but other than that is is a very good all-in-one setup.


All the cool kids are using ZFS on linux…

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If you have the need for virtualization… proxmox has ZFS built-in

FreeBSD is generally faster than Linux and easier to maintain.

ZFS had some of the best file integrity of any file system.

It is a bit of a resource hog though.

Has a nice web GUI if you care.

For home use it doesn’t matter all that much. Is anything on your server truly mission critical?

id just slap a ubuntu server on your computer, then use ZFS, and smb.
It’s a 15 minute setup, albeit porting the data is going to be a pita, regardless of which ever distro you wanna use.
using something like ubuntu/what ever distro would leave you soooo much more freedom than using a “dedicated” distro like freenas, unless you need it as some kind of enterprise project where random_schmoo_01 needs to do maintenance as well, where a web GUI would be nice.
Setting up a ZFS raid X, is litterally a 3 line, and a google search project in a console, and smb is a 5 minute setup copy/paste, and correct some file paths, and maybe file permissions, then a service restart, and that’s it.
The hardest part is setting up file/folder policies for your share. and more then likely you’ll want to expand your server functionality abit in the future, and freenas is NOT well known for this.

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