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 Post subject: need help choosing server OS (and file system)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 12:24 pm
Posts: 375
Location: CA, USA
This might not be the correct place to post, but this seems to be the most "NAS-centric" area of SPCR at least.

I have this little system which I would like to use as a home file server and need to choose an OS to put on it. I will not be using it as a HTPC. My main requirement is that it support encrypted storage of my files.

Gigabyte GA-B75M-HD3 (w/ 8GB NON-ECC RAM)
Intel Celeron G1610
2x Samsung HD502HI 500GB HDDs (for data storage)
OS Drive:
16 GB Corsair USB Stick (for lightweight embedded/Linux type OS)
or
64 GB Sandisk SSD (if I choose an OS that requires a larger drive)

My first choice was FreeNAS but have learned that the ZFS really needs ECC RAM to run properly (which my build doesn't have).

I am currently trying out NAS4Free which still supports UFS, but not sure that's really reliable without ECC RAM either.

Given the lack of ECC RAM in my system, I'm wondering if perhaps there is a server file system that might not be so dependent on the RAM and would work fine with non-ECC RAM. I will consider other free linux distributions (such as Amahi for example), and commercial products such as Windows Server.

The other consideration for me is just my own lack of knowledge about servers generally speaking.

My experience so far with Linux and trying to set up regular (non-NAS) Linux distributions as a file server has been time-consuming and not easy for me due to my lack of familiarity with Linux. And choosing one without a GUI would be probably even tougher for me.

If there is simply no DIY server that will work for me, I can alternatively get a Synology.


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 Post subject: Re: need help choosing server OS (and file system)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:40 pm 
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I use Linux myself. Usually Ubuntu Server. But I want more than a simple file server, I want a server that can do all sorts of things and Linux is great for that. Right now my server is mainly a file server, but also handles torrent downloads (transmission-daemon), MySQL (for several Kodi installations on other systems), Aria2 for downloads, MPD for music etc and it's also my DHCP server. But it started as a simple file server, using samba.
The system is encrypted with LUKS, easy to setup during installation. The storage HDDs are encrypted with Truecrypt. Just ext4, no RAID.
Don't fear Linux and don't fear the command line. :) Most things in Linux is very straight forward, settings are done by editing text files and there's a huge community with a wealth of information if problems arises. But it's not for everyone. I have little experience with the pure file server distros.

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 Post subject: Re: need help choosing server OS (and file system)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 3049
Location: Guatemala
I would recommend to take a look into unRAID.

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Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | SimMi


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 Post subject: Re: need help choosing server OS (and file system)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:22 am 
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 12:24 pm
Posts: 375
Location: CA, USA
I took a quick look at the RAM Recommendations for unRAID.
Quote:
For business users: 8GB dual-channel ECC RAM
For home users: 4GB dual-channel RAM

This is just confusing to me. I don't know what makes a person a "home user" in their judgement. Do they think only "business users" need the reliabilty of ECC RAM?

I don't know that I'd want to pay for an OS that I've never heard of before a few days ago.


Last edited by toronado455 on Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: need help choosing server OS (and file system)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:26 am 
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 12:24 pm
Posts: 375
Location: CA, USA
Vicotnik wrote:
Don't fear Linux and don't fear the command line.
It's a learning curve. I will probably learn it at some point, but for now, I need something reliable and easy to setup.


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 Post subject: Re: need help choosing server OS (and file system)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 3049
Location: Guatemala
toronado455 wrote:
I need something reliable and easy to setup.
Than go with Synology, as long as you are fine with their pricing and performance they offer is good enough for what you going to do, they are pretty good. I own a DS111j, old one, i bought it mostly to test their os and features, and still with the newest DSM works flawless. The downside of synology is gets pretty expensive on their high end units that come with somewhat decent processors, but really depends on your personal needs, if you are fine with the pricing and the cpu will do all you need, they are pretty solid choice.

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Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | SimMi


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 Post subject: Re: need help choosing server OS (and file system)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:30 am 
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 12:24 pm
Posts: 375
Location: CA, USA
I'm considering either the DS216j or DS216+II and need encryption to work reasonably well so I'm probably going to get the more expensive +II model because that model has the Intel processor and supports AES-NI encryption.

The j models say they support hardware encryption, but I don't know what that means since the non-Intel CPUs in those don't have AES-NI.


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 Post subject: Re: need help choosing server OS (and file system)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1747
Location: Switzerland
Encryption could mean so many things... ask them!
For instance it could mean the NAS allows you to use the encryption feature of the drives.

You didn't explain why you wanted encryption for (anything "supports encrypted storage") so I can't comment on what might be the best ways to achieve your goal.
But generally, be aware there are pitfalls involved in encryption. If you have an actual need for it, you should think long and hard about the assumptions you've made.

As to the distro, what's wrong with Open Media Vault?
I don't use it myself since I'm not afraid of the command line and simply use Debian, LVM and ext4.


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 Post subject: Re: need help choosing server OS (and file system)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:16 am 
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 12:24 pm
Posts: 375
Location: CA, USA
I'm trying out Windows 10 Enterprise for free with a 90-day trial period.

I set up the two 500GB Samsung drives in a storage pool using a built-in feature in Windows called "Storage Spaces". It allowed me to set up the two drives in a mirror for redundancy.

I also enabled the Windows built-in "Bitlocker" encryption feature.

So far it was very easy to set up. I haven't yet figured out how to access the storage from another PC running Windows 7 though.


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