What to use for a home NAS?

A few weeks ago I started to think about to merge my old home server and my NAS (old ICYBOX IB-NAS4220 – don’t you want one?) into one piece of hardware. I was facing decisions what hardware and what OS should I choose for this new server. Even Linus Torvalds was solving a similar issue recently…

After some googling I have finally chosen CFI A-7879 case. It has four 3.5″ Hot-Plug SATA drive bays and 1 internal 2.5″ for the system (SSD in my case also used as a ZFS write cache device). I fell in love at first sight :-) With an appropriate motherboard and 8GB RAM it has turned into a really cool piece of furniture.

OK, that was a hardware side, what about SW?

ZFS is my bread and butter therefore I tended to choose some configuration allowing ZFS on this station. Debian with FUSE ZFS? Too slow. ZFS on linux? Not stable enough. Some kind of OpenSolaris forks (OpenIndiana, illumos, SchilliX)? I use many GNU tools I would like to keep. FreeBSD (nas4free, FreeNAS)? Dtto. Even it After some tests with FreeBSD I convinced myself it was not what I was looking for. I finally ended up with Debian/kFreeBSD. Wheezy. Yes, got a standard Debian GNU environment, Debian packages repository, FreeBSD kernel with the ZFS support in version 28. After some tweaking with NFS related daemons it works like a charm now! Running NSF, miniDLNA, MythTV, OwnCloud, Postfix, Dovecot IMAP, Apache, MySQL…

root@nas:# uname -a
GNU/kFreeBSD nas 9.0-2-amd64 #0 Sat Nov 24 04:44:27 UTC 2012 x86_64 amd64 Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 847 @ 1.10GHz GNU/kFreeBSD

root@nas:# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          8093       2805       5288         42          0          4
-/+ buffers/cache:       2800       5292
Swap:        16384          0      16384

root@nas:# zpool status -v
  pool: data
 state: ONLINE
 scan: scrub repaired 0 in 6h47m with 0 errors on Sun Apr  7 07:44:54 2013

	data        ONLINE       0     0     0
	  mirror-0  ONLINE       0     0     0
	    ada2    ONLINE       0     0     0
	    ada0    ONLINE       0     0     0
	  mirror-1  ONLINE       0     0     0
	    ada4    ONLINE       0     0     0
	    ada1    ONLINE       0     0     0
	  ada3s2    ONLINE       0     0     0

errors: No known data errors

root@nas:# zfs list
data            1004G   827G    31K  none
data/fs          987G   827G    31K  none
data/fs/backup  41.6G   827G  41.6G  /data/backup
data/fs/home    7.93G   827G  7.93G  /data/home
data/fs/local    228M   827G   228M  /data/local
data/fs/mail    7.05G   827G  7.05G  /data/mail
data/fs/mmedia   538G   827G   538G  /data/mmedia
data/fs/mythtv   392G   827G   392G  /data/mythtv
data/fs/var     57.1M   827G  57.1M  /data/var
data/fs/www      188M   827G   188M  /data/www
data/swap       16.5G   844G    16K  -

And what kind of HW & SW configuration do you use for your home NAS?

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