The following are some links I’ve saved up with regards to FreeNAS, the FreeBSD/m0n0wall based, open source Network Attached Storage operating system.
1. More Uses For Old PCs and Laptops
The Telegraph.co.uk has an article on how to re-use that old PC in your attic. One of the recommended uses is as file-server:
Turning your old PC into a NAS device is a bit more of a challenge. The hardware requirements won’t be a problem and most PCs less than 4 or 5 years old should be up to the job, though you’ll probably need to add some extra hard drive capacity. However, unlike a multimedia server, which can also, at a pinch, still be used as a PC, a NAS device is dedicated to the one task. It is also better suited to more serious applications, as it requires a more structured approach to file management and security. It can’t easily be done using Windows-based software either but there are several freeware and open source applications that do the job very well indeed. These include FreeNAS, NASLite and NanoNAS and OpenFiler, but they’re not for absolute beginners so be prepared for a fairly steep learning curve. [whole post here]
2. Connect a FreeNAS to a TiVo
Bob Bakh discusses how to set up a TiVO (settop box) to use a FreeNAS server for storage.
I configured a box to run FreeNAS on my network to manage storing Media, and backing up vital information in my home.
It was a great tool, however I wanted more, mainly the ability to simply play media stored on the FreeNAS box on my home TV without the use of a general purpose computer. One way was to use my AppleTV, hack it and use an AFP mount, or an NFS mount directly to the AppleTV, this worked well, but was a pain, and a hacked AppleTV is not a happy AppleTV. So I gave up on that plan.
I looked at my TiVo and realized I had the makings of a decent setup there, so I started to Google around for some solutions… [read the remainder]
3. Three Minutes to 3 Terabytes: VIA ARTiGO and FreeNAS Store Terabytes in a Shoebox
It truly is a beautiful thing when something just works. This is especially true with computers. High capacity storage has become almost a commodity with the price of an external 1 TB USB hovering around $100. All you have to do is plug in the power and connect the USB cable, and you’ve got instant storage expansion. Works great for a single computer, and you could even unplug it from one and plug it into another. While that does work, it tends to get old after a while, and if you’re using that method for backups, you will more than likely end up forgetting or just quitting altogether at some point.
Network Attached Storage (NAS) is one answer to sharing large storage devices over a network. You could buy a NAS device from your favorite local or Internet supplier, but chances are you’ll wind up with something less than what a “real” NAS has to offer. That’s where VIA’s ARTiGO A2000 comes in. The A2000 fits a full-featured computer with space for two 3.5″ SATA drives in a package about the size of a shoebox. Add to the hardware the FreeNAS open source software and you’ve got a really capable storage solution. [Read further how to setup VIA's ARTiGO A2000 with FreeNAS]
4. Time Machine OSX Leopard to FreeNAS
I recently replaced a Windows 2003 box with an OSX Leopard server; the users are now 90% mac users and long file names are always a problem for mac users on a windows file share so it makes sense. I installed the OSX server and setup the file shares required. Being an OSX Leopard server Time Machine is the obvious choice to backup the server. So it seems out of the box you can only use Time Machine with another OSX server or so it seems. I have always been keen on FreeNAS having used its cousin m0n0wall for some as a firewall.
A bit of quick digging round lead me to an article on ReadyNAS by DavidB. The instructions are for ReadyNAS but they work just as well for FreeNAS and I’m sure any other server you may want to use.
A quick summary of the process I followed based on the above article: [Read Further]
5. FreeNAS, IN DEPTH
Last but not least, Jupiter Broadcasting has an indepth review of FreeNAS: