I just bought an AMD Zacate motherboard with 4 gb of ram and 10 TB of hard disks.

I would like to use this system both as a light Ubuntu production system (emails, web, youtube, ...), and as NAS/SAN/FTP.

I was looking forward to use FreeNAS or Openfiler, but they are standalone OS. Thus I thought about virtualizing them, but maybe it's not the best option for such a light CPU.

Is there an option to install FreeNAS or Openfiler or equivalent on Ubuntu? What would you do?


FreeNAS is an operating system. You cannot install it on any other operating system. A VM is possible, but adds a needless layer of abstraction (and performance degradation) to your file-serving services. Any disk space allocated to this VM would be unusable to your host OS (Ubuntu).

As you have said you want "NAS/SAN/FTP" capability, it seems like you might not know exactly what you want. For sharing files on a LAN of *nix machines, NFS is a pretty good option. If you have a Windows network or partially Windows network, you should go with SMB/CIFS. This is much more in-depth to set up, but is very convenient to use once it is functional. For WAN access, FTP or some variant such as SFTP is the way to go. All of these can be setup on Ubuntu almost as easily as they could on FreeNAS or openfiler.

Install Samba server in Ubuntu 10.10 and ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

Setting up NFS Howto

Setting up FTP Server

  • I need both backup for multiple users and synchronization over the internet (I have public IP). Can I do this with Samba? Shouldn't I use Rsync? – Mascarpone May 9 '11 at 18:56
  • @Mascarpone You should probably make another question(s) for these considerations. Many people swear on rsync as a syncing utility; I've never used it myself. You wouldn't want to use rsync as your only way to access the data though. – jamesbtate May 9 '11 at 19:28

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