I need a free fileserver solution mixed Mac/Win environment for the small print shop I work at. We are having problems with using SMB on OS-X (file w/o extensions are getting lost and weird SMB lag with 10.6).

We are currently running the Fileserver with Windows 2000 Server on a PowerEdge 850.

Being a print shop, the art department is run on OS-X. The rest of the shop is running WinXP (2-3 macs, 5 win) and 5 servers (2k3 and 2k8). We don't have an Active Directory or LDAP. It mainly stores fonts, logos, software ISOs, Acronis cold images, and job archives.

• FreeNAS 8 seems to offer a lot out of the box that would help our shop:

Time machine support AFP for the macs Easy for others to use if I am out on Vaca or sick ZFS snapshots would be cool, but not necessary

• Ubuntu server can be configured for all but ZFS. However, i'm not extremely comfortable with bash.

• Openfiler seems to be rock solid. However, the lack of AFP means that i'm back to the same issues with Server2000.

Any ideas? I would love to run FreeNAS, but I'm not sure if this is unwise. I could make an openfiler VM on my ESXI and backup FreeNAS to that, in case of a software issue.

  • Possible duplicate: serverfault.com/questions/47021/is-freenas-reliable – 87cd25770a Jun 13 '11 at 20:35
  • Actually, from what I understand FreeNAS 8 is a rebuilt from scratch. I can't seem to find a whole lot regarding production use with 8.0 – SkinnyGeek1010 Jun 13 '11 at 21:33
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    The interface is but the underlying important stuff is still FreeBSD-release. The reason you haven't seen much about FreeNAS-8.x is that it is still pretty new. – 87cd25770a Jun 13 '11 at 21:35
  • Oooo, thanks for the clarification, I thought the new FreeBSD kernel changed a lot behind the scenes. – SkinnyGeek1010 Jun 13 '11 at 23:55
  • @kce As I understand this is about FreeNAS 8 and the other question is old and answered when there were older versions of FreeNAS so I think is not a duplicate and I find it quite interesting. Anywa the other tread was a useful reading also. – pconcepcion Jun 14 '11 at 10:42

I have two suggestions for you: 1) Try to isolate and understand what the actual problem is with the interaction between your Mac OS X clients and your Windows 2000 Server file shares. While it's probably a good idea to replace your Windows 2000 Server as it is no longer supported, you might not solve the problem. Maybe the switch is bad? Maybe is a problem with the way OS X handles the SMB protocol? Regardless, it would be a shame to replace your file server and not solve this problem (and likely introduce a few new ones along the way). Maybe start here with your troubleshooting efforts.

2) Get some old hardware and run FreeNAS. Do some testing and see how you like it...see how stable it feels to you. From this question it seems there are plenty of people running FreeNAS in a production environment. But the terms "stable" and "production" can have vastly different meanings and requirements depending on your environment. A little testing here will probably go a long way.


I have had great success with Lefhand's (now HP) free VM SAN. Its free and well tested.

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