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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just put together a network attached storage box in a 1u enclosure I had. It's not the fastest but it has a 4c8t haswell xeon with 16gb of ddr3 1600 and 4 2tb drives. I originally wanted to go with truenas because of all the tutorials that make it look easy but I tried for days and was not able to get that to work. My question is do I have to go with unraid and pay them money or are there other free options that will work as well but not give me the troubles of truenas. I dont really want to build a windows-based server if that can be avoided. I know very little about linux but I am open to learning if it's not that complicated. I can give anyone more specific info if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Have you tired Freenas?
To my understanding truenas is the new version of freenas, which I could not get to work with my windows 10 comps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I found Unraid to be unbearably slow in regards to writes. Couldn’t get used to that and never looked back, though that was like 7 years ago so much should of improved since then I would hope
That doesn't sound so great but like you said, things may have changed since then.


Thank you to everyone for the quick and helpful responses, this is a great community!
 

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To my understanding truenas is the new version of freenas, which I could not get to work with my windows 10 comps.
I have a Truenas system at home, with 8x 8TB drives in RaidZ2, giving me 40TB of usable space.

Mapped on 3 different windows 10 computers.

no issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a Truenas system at home, with 8x 8TB drives in RaidZ2, giving me 40TB of usable space.

Mapped on 3 different windows 10 computers.

no issues.
Thank you for the reply. I wasn't saying it can't work with W10, just that I couldn't get it to work. After hours and hours of frustration I came to the conclusion that something with permissions was not correct. I had set it up exactly like the tutorials suggest but I must have missed something b/c it never got past showing the share in windows networking and then not allowing me to open/modify the share.

I was hoping to get some suggestions on alternatives to truenas/freenas b/c of my troubles with it. I do appreciate everyone's input on this discussion.
 

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Tried Truenas and Unraid. Truenas is the one i kept. You have to choose the correct file structure for windows machines to be able to see it. I am in the middle of setting it up different now though. Going with ubuntu server and Truenas in a vm. Only way i can have gpu passthrough for a vm? Is there another way to do this?
 

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Thank you for the reply. I wasn't saying it can't work with W10, just that I couldn't get it to work. After hours and hours of frustration I came to the conclusion that something with permissions was not correct. I had set it up exactly like the tutorials suggest but I must have missed something b/c it never got past showing the share in windows networking and then not allowing me to open/modify the share.

I was hoping to get some suggestions on alternatives to truenas/freenas b/c of my troubles with it. I do appreciate everyone's input on this discussion.
I would only recommend using OpenZFS for storage for a NAS. I would also only recommend using ECC memory, but that's another discussion. TrueNAS Core (based on FreeBSD) is great to setup ZFS vdevs/pools and do SMB/NFS/iSCSI shares. It's also great to do automated S.M.A.R.T. testing on your hard drives and get an email if any is starting to go bad. FreeBSD as a base is great for storage/networking which is why companies like Netflix use it for their infrastructure as well as open source firewalls like pfSense and OPNsense. Expanding upon the capabilities of a traditional NAS, it can also run plugins/iocage jails and virtual machines using bhyve.

I would try it again and do some more research. There are lots of good videos on YouTube available, and the ixsystems forums can be a help if you run into issues. Unraid doesn't support OpenZFS natively without plugins and is harder to manage. If you want to settle for XFS/Btrfs over OpenZFS and don't mind paying, then sure Unraid will work fine. You will still have to set permissions on things, Unraid is based on Linux while FreeNAS/TrueNAS core is based on FreeBSD.

It probably won't be out for 6 months - 1 year+ but TrueNAS Scale looks awesome. It's got the GUI interface of FreeNAS/TrueNAS Core but based on Debian Linux. It will support docker containers native to the GUI and inherit most of the existing features from FreeNAS/TrueNAS Core, I'm personally excited for this to come out in the future.

If you're not using Windows, any Unix/Linux environment is going to rely on setting permissions to get things to work correctly. Some of this can be done on TrueNAS Core with the ACL manager built into the GUI, but I also bookmarked this a long time ago when I first got into FreeNAS so I could get things working correctly: [How-To] Giving Plugins Write Permissions to Your Data


Tried Truenas and Unraid. Truenas is the one i kept. You have to choose the correct file structure for windows machines to be able to see it. I am in the middle of setting it up different now though. Going with ubuntu server and Truenas in a vm. Only way i can have gpu passthrough for a vm? Is there another way to do this?
You'd be better off to run Proxmox VE, which is a Debian based hypervisor. It's relatively easy to get GPU passthrough working and there are plenty of guides available. Given you'd be running TrueNAS in a VM, it's also better for management. The nice thing with Proxmox is you can do LXC containers as well which might work for some stuff you wanted to run in Ubuntu server, which is lighter on resources than spinning up more dedicated Linux VMs.

Edit: just so you know as well when you virtualize TrueNAS Core it needs DIRECT access to the hard drives used in the ZFS pool. If you don't do this you're in for a bad time and could lose data. So in this instance your best bet is to get an HBA flashed in IT Mode (e.g. LSI 9211-8i) and pass that through directly to the TrueNAS Core VM. That way it gets direct access to the hard drives. HBAs not flashed in IT mode won't work either as they act as sort of a RAID controller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you guys for all your suggestions, this gives me a bit to think about. I think I'll try truenas again one more time before I move on, since all I need it for is a nas and I am not running dockers or plugins. Also I've never heard of openmediavault so if things don't work out with truenas I'll give that a shot. Thanks again guys you're the best!
 

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I originally wanted to go with truenas because of all the tutorials that make it look easy but I tried for days and was not able to get that to work.
Best advice is to figure out TrueNAS. A lot of people do find the GUI counterintuitive for setting up shares (especially SAMBA). You should be able to get it figured out by asking on the official community, or we can also try to help you out here. The most common problem I see people having is not making sure pool is set for SMB and editing the correct side (permissions) of the ACL setup screen, or having cached logins hanging around on the Windows end (use "net use" to remove cached login info, if necessary).

Have you tired Freenas?
FreeNAS branding is defunct. What was FreeNAS is now branded as "TrueNAS CORE", which is what OP was referencing ("TrueNAS" remains the enterprise product).
 

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One more + for UnRaid. Easy, stable and fast. The limiting factor for me is 1Gig Nic and than the HDD speed
 

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I use both unraid and freenas (I have not yet upgraded). They both have positives and negatives.

I use unraid for media, software (exe's, iso's, drivers) and certain PC backups.

I use freenas for serving up iscsi storage to my esxi servers. I do also have a small slice carved for some data.

In terms of licensing costs, you will spend any savings from not buying unraid on the hardware/upgrades (system RAM normally) on freenas/TrueNAS. There is no savings to be had.

Unraid is designed to be managed by anyone at nearly any level of technical know-how. It just works. It however also does nifty stuff now like VMs.

As far as the resilliency part goes, you would create a parity disk, then optionally a second parity disk (basically a RAID 6 setup). Unraid is not raid, it will create a parity disk or two to help reconstruct missing disks. A meat feature of unraid, no matter how many drives fail or which ones, any surviving disks will contain whichever data is stored on them and it will be available to you (the array may be completely degraded though). Unraid writes with dual parity drives are slow when working with HDDs. Fast hdds will still limit write speed to less than a 1gbps LAN connection. You can mitigate this with a cache drive (significantly different use than freenas/truenas). It can speed up writes and potentially keep your array of hdds sleeping longer than it otherwise would be. There's lots of free help with unraid as well, a strong community.

There is a low cost to expand unraid, just add another disk as long as it it smaller than the parity disk(s). There is a procedure to swap.

Freenas/truenas is much more customizable when it comes to resilliency of drive failure. You chose what type of arrays you want and how they are organized. You can pick arrays that lead to better performance or better survivability. There's many combinations and many best practices. ZFS is considered to be among the best files systems to most homelabbers. When used correctly in FreeNAS/TrueNAS, you can to a high degree of expectation ensure your data does not become silently corrupted. This is quite valuable. ZFS raid arrays are usually z1/z2 1 or 2 parity disks. These arrays (containing your data) will not survive losing more disks than the array type, 1/2/3.

There is a higher cost to adding storage freenas/truenas. Arrays require planning and complete deployment.

Theres too much to cover everything in any one post. The difference at the end of the day IMO is how do you want to manage the server, the data, and does either offer any features you need. For me, I needed the unparalleled flexibility of cheap adding disks to unraid. I also needed to provide network storage to my hypervisors. Both ended up being my answer to my storage problem.

Edit: I'm not a fan of virtualizing either of these OS's. There are those who have for sure, but they are the few.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey everyone. Thank you for all of your suggestions. I have an update. I stayed up all night watching videos and reading tutorials on setting up TrueNAS Core and went back and tried again. I deleted everything and started fresh with a new install of TrueNAS Core and went from there. After I set up the new user, pool, dataset, SMB share, ACL lists, I was astonished when it started working as intended. I am able to access the share from any computer on the network and login with the appropriate credentials. Yay! I must have done something wrong the first few times I tried. All your suggestions have given me some things to think about 'though, especially Unraid. After hearing what Unraid can do, I'm contemplating a second server. I've never done any vm's/dockers or anything like that so you guys will be hearing from me if I choose to go that route. ;-) I hope everyone's having a great holiday and thanks again!
 

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Glad to see you got it working. I have been running FreeNAS/TrueNAS for several years now with zero issues. At least none from the OS. Had a couple of drives crap the bed over the years. lol

I have tried a pile of other things over the years and FreeNAS always ended up being my fallback. Not very flashy, aside from ZFS goodness, but it works.
 
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