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Ok, so I wanted a NAS on my home network. Having just aquired a shabby XPC SK43G that simply refused to work as a htpc (it’s original purpose) I decided to set it up as a NAS (Network Attached Storage). I went out and bought a Western Digital Green 1 Tb Sata2 drive. The xpc refused to detect the drive until I set it via jumper as Sata1. I had to search on the Western Digital support pages, as the jumper settings are not documented on the drive itself. I added a 512 MB DDRAM I had lying around, underclocked and undervolted the cpu to reduce heat and noise and so, the hardware part was done.

The next step was choosing the os and software. My first intent was Slackware set up to share over Samba and NFS. But a quick google search later I discovered the FreeNAS Project. I decided to give it a shot and useless to say I was hooked. It has cifs, nfs, upnp, ftp and http sharing built in, and more features that I could possibly list here. Just check their page. BTW if you are a flamboyant linux supporter you might want to note that FreeNAS is based off FreeBSD and not linux. It’s not a problem for me, as I am an adept of “chose by functionality, not by religion” but as always YMMV.

The system boots of a 2 Gb USB drive on which I installed the FreeNAS image. The setup was easy and straightforward.I also set up the hard drive to power down after 20 minutes of inactivity so the flash boot scheme works great.

I intend to add 2 more drives in the future so I can do RAID 5 on it but even now it’s a great machine to have on the network. It’s main purpose for now is backup of my other machines and my wife’s laptop.

Another open source project that proves itself a valuable asset to have !