I’m building a small home server, because I can
I’m looking for some OS advice, but realizing that is pretty hard without knowing my experience and preferences, just pointing out flaws in my plan would help too
Hardware so far:
Asrock Rack X570D4U-2L2T
Ryzen 3 5800X (plan to move one of my 5950X at some point when I upgrade)
64GB ECC RAM
Some mechanical disks (looking to move 4xWD Red eventually)
Probably 2 SSD (to be determined) to start with for running some applications
- Host some shares over SMB
- Run a couple of VMs
- Probably don’t need PCI-E passthrough
- Run some Docker images (I’m using some Docker Compose atm)
- Use ZFS wherever possible
My original plan was to use Unraid, since I heard that compared to TrueNAS CORE it was slightly easier for running Docker and slightly better at VMs (although mostly for PCI-E passthrough which I probably don’t need). I admit that I didn’t read up on it very well though, and I’m somewhat disappointed with the trial so far.
- No built-in ZFS support. I’m not scared of command line, but still…
- Need to have an “array” despite wanting to use ZFS as much as possible. Wasting a disk for an unused array offsets the advantage of running off a decent USB stick instead of a real disk which is recommended for TrueNAS CORE nowadays.
- Docker compose doesn’t appear supported
TrueNAS core has the advantage of ZFS out-of-the-box, but having to maintain a VM for Docker support. I’m not sure it’s a downside in the end though, since apparently the Docker support in Unraid is a little limited? So this option might be a little more work, but it feels like at least I won’t be using the OS in a way that wasn’t really intended, if that makes any sense.
In terms of experience, professionally I’m not on the Operations side of IT, I’m a developer. I’ve been running Debian Linux for 20+ years for home server stuff, but I don’t necessarily want to do everything “by hand” also for this new server. I don’t want to completely discount it though. I guess even something based on XCP-ng or ProxMox would be an option too?
So many options, but only one server… and limited time