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Contemplating jumping from FreeNAS

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Contemplating jumping from FreeNAS


Post by bako » 04 Dec 2018 10:06

So the FreeNAS 11.2 whoozy doozy fancy new cool stuff is broken so bad it's annoying me. I just upgraded from their 9.10 because I needed to "to get the latest supported updates".

So, my question is what are the benefits of NAS4Free over FreeNAS? Mainly interested in performance and add the shunned upon adding VMs. Yes, I know I should VM on a separate machine. (I ain't got hardware fo' dat'!)

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Re: Contemplating jumping from FreeNAS


Post by raulfg3 » 04 Dec 2018 13:30


Good software and very light compared to FreeNAS, so you need less resources eg: you can run XigmaNAS on a X64 with only 4GB of RAM and use ZFS.

(For really simply NASes you can run on 2GB of RAM, but you can't use plex or dedupe on this type of install.

Features - BETA (revision 6412)+OBI on SUPERMICRO X8SIL-F 8GB of ECC RAM, 12x3TB disk in 3 vdev in RaidZ1 = 32TB Raw size only 22TB usable

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Re: Contemplating jumping from FreeNAS


Post by was-armandh » 08 Dec 2018 03:28

[XigmaNAS FKA NAS4Free]
to steal a catch phrase; "it just works"
more than I will ever need and none of the headaches
Last edited by was-armandh on 08 Dec 2018 17:49, edited 1 time in total.
by using this free advise, you, your heirs, etc
absolve, save, and hold harmless the advisor.

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Re: Contemplating jumping from FreeNAS


Post by netware5 » 08 Dec 2018 12:55

XigmaNAS (NAS4Free) is an excellent demonstration of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) concept. It just works. I am using it since February 2017 and I am very, very happy user. Thanks to the developers!
XigmaNAS - Omnius (rev.6400) embedded on HP Proliant Microserver Gen8, Xeon E3-1265L, 16 GB ECC, 2x4TB WD Red ZFS Mirror

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Re: Contemplating jumping from FreeNAS


Post by kipper » 12 Dec 2018 13:31

I don’t know if @bako is still reading this thread, but I’m in a similar position myself. I’ve used XigmaNAS as FullRootZFS install in a virtual machine (KVM/Qemu + virt-manager) for a couple of hours and this is my initial take on FreeNAS versus XigmaNAS.

As @raulfg3 says, it uses less resources than FreeNAS, especially memory. The features are not as comprehensive as FreeNAS, but the default functionality can be extended with a limited set of plugins. My impression is the that plugins are often a community effort. So, if you want something other than a pure NAS you’ll need to make use of the “one button installer” (OBI) and probably the extended GUI as well.

The default Virtual Machine support is via virtualbox/phpvirtualbox, judging by the forum this is not always without glitches. (I couldn’t comment of performance as my brief test is using KVM/Qemu configured to support nested virtualisation, so Vbox is running inside A XigmaNAS VM which itself is running inside my Linux install.)

Thanks to @JoseMR, there is a working “root on zfs” install with associated boot environments. The later looks to have a WebGUI page soon. If I’ve understood this correctly, this means you can install FreeBSD packages directly on the install medium (ssd or laptop HDD might be good choices rather than usb memory sticks). You can’t do that with FreeNAS.

If I’ve got this right, then could potentially make use of the in built byhve hypervisor as you need additional packages. But that would need CLI work. The iohyve package that was used in FreeNAS 9.10 and was still present in FreeNAS 11.1 is no longer under development according to git, so vm-bhyve is an alternative package that may assist in using bhyve. Networking for VMs would also be manual at the CLI. Not had time to fully explore this.

One of strengths of FreeNAS was supposed to be its implementation of jails. They moved from “warden” to “iocage” but this seems to have been plagued with problems and ixsystems forked iocage. I’ve not had time to look at how XigmaNAS supports jails, it’s not something I know well.

One area of XigmaNAS that does seem underdeveloped is the use of NFS4. Unlike FreeNAS, there is no mechanism via the UI to use NFSv4 with NFSv3 security model, ie. sys security and both these tunables set to 1 : vfs.nfs.enable_uidtostring, vfs.nfsd.enable_stringtouid and not start user nfsuserd. No way to add kerberos security to nfs exports and no way to use mapall in nfs exports. The ”Diagnostics > Information” shows nothing about NFS usage.

Unlike FreeNAS, XigmaNAS doesn’t put swap on your data drives by default. This seem to be a problem for FreeNAS users.

The Web UI is functional, but I don’t think XigmaNAS would claim it is the “latest and greatest”, personally I didn’t find it particularly intuitive to use.

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