Savoring Flavors of Linux: Freenas

In the past few weeks, we have had a taste of a number of Linux desktops. Today we are savouring another linux distro but not quite a desktop version. For Geeks like me, it has been a habit for a few years to hide an ugly noisy out-of-date computer in the closet,  hook it to the network, attach a few internal or external drives to it, fill those drives with music, movies photos and documents. This computer then becomes a file server and can stream all the data on its drives to other computers all over your home network.

Microsoft Home server is one alternative but expensive way to set up a file server to hold your digital data. Linux geeks however, have an easier way to set up a file server. They use Freenas.Freenas has very minimal requirements. You can have Freenas running with 128MB of RAM and 32 MB of disk space. It can be run from a hard drive or from a USB drive.

Once Freenas is running on your file server, you can configure your settings through a very simple, user friendly console. These setting include  assigning your lan interface, your IP address, your webgui password,etc. You can detach both your  mouse, keyboard and monitor from your file server, transforming it into a 'headless system'..

You may then access Freenas from a browser on any other computer on the network to configure your file server settings.

These include mounting and partitioning the drives on the Freenas file server, adding new drives, monitoring their usage, etc. While freenas is small and probably not as good looking as Windows server, it is as powerful, easy to set up and!

I have also tried the Ubuntu server as a file server. With Ubuntu, one can install apache on their file server and have the system double as a webserver. However, if you, like me would prefer to have a single dedicated file server, then stick to Freenas.

Related Articles:
How to build an open source Freenas Server

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