My very first NAS Build - OMV vs FreeNAS/NAS4Free

    • My very first NAS Build - OMV vs FreeNAS/NAS4Free

      Hello everyone!

      I'm replacing my current NAS (a very cheap QNAP TS-212P) with a DIY one.
      I already have almost everything: MoBo (MSI H110M Pro VD), Processor (Intel Core i3 7100), reusing the case of a PC I was given at the end of an internship, etc. All I'm still waiting for (and am not fully sure of) is the RAM (which should be in my hands on tuesday). I chose 8GB of DDR4 3000 MHz (I know 3000 MHz is overkill but it was cheaper than slower modules and I was mainly shopping for my main rig with a core i7 8700K so I just added a module to my cart).

      I even have my dedicated USB drive ready. All I'm waiting for is RAM and choosing the OS.

      I was hesitant between OMV which I already used (on a Raspberry Pi 3) and FreeNAS. I chose OMV just because of the gigantic amount of RAM FreeNAS requires. And this is what bugs me. Why such a difference between the two OSes? I know they don't share the same foundations as FreeNAS is built upon FreeBSD and OMV upon Debian but I'm sure it doesn't explain everything?

      All I want to do with it is streaming my personal Blu Ray/DVD rips from the NAS to my TV and my mom's, knowing that mine is a LG Smart 4K TV that connects directly to my current NAS through DLNA, and my mom has a "dumb" Samsung Full HDTV hooked to a Raspberry Pi running LibreElec (Kodi). Eventually I want to make a shared media collection for movies we both love, and one for each one of us (so she isn't bothered with my Star Wars movie collection in example).

      Also, I want to protect my data with a RAID1 (software based I guess), but I only have one of the two hard drives for the moment. Can I configure the RAID Array later without losing everything?

      Finally, do I need a cache SSD/HDD for storing the temporary data on the RAID array in the NAS? My goal is to have the following HDD configuration:

      2 6TB HDDs in RAID1
      1 smaller (1 or 2 TB) HDD for temporary/not important data
      (if needed) 120 GB SSD for cache.

      If anyone can answer my questions, and help me with my configuration, thanks in advance.

      Regards.
    • moisemust wrote:

      I was hesitant between OMV which I already used (on a Raspberry Pi 3) and FreeNAS. I chose OMV just because of the gigantic amount of RAM FreeNAS requires. And this is what bugs me. Why such a difference between the two OSes? I know they don't share the same foundations as FreeNAS is built upon FreeBSD and OMV upon Debian but I'm sure it doesn't explain everything?
      FreeNAS uses ZFS, which is pretty memory intensive. Some folks argue that the FreeNAS system requirements are very conservative, and you can run ZFS with a lot less RAM, but its still pretty memory intensive regardless. More importantly, FreeNAS lists ECC memory as "highly recommended", which I don't think your board supports? This is another thing that some folks say isn't specifically needed. However, having run FreeNAS for some time myself (before switching to OMV), I know the people on the FreeNAS forum aren't very helpful when you post questions on hardware that doesn't comply with the listed system minimums. The same is true for the Realtek NIC, which isn't well supported in BSD. If you use this build for FreeNAS and have questions, I don't think the folks on the Forums there will be too helpful. OMV users are much more helpful in that regard, and OMV's Debian base will probably work better with your hardware (just my opinion)

      moisemust wrote:

      Also, I want to protect my data with a RAID1 (software based I guess), but I only have one of the two hard drives for the moment. Can I configure the RAID Array later without losing everything?
      If you only plan to have two drives, you may wish to consider simply syncing the two regularly with Rsync using the scheduling tab in the OMV web interface. One of the moderators suggested that to me when I was first using OMV, and I found it to be much simpler, and more stable, than setting up RAID 1. Plus adding the second disk later is no issue at all. Several posts here on the forum, and guides on other sites, on how to set that up.
      Working with computers since the days when unboxing and set-up required 3 weeks with a soldering iron!

      The post was edited 3 times, last by Markess ().

    • Just realized in my post above that I'd originally written "people on the OMV forum aren't helpful", when I'd meant to say "People in the FreeNAS forum..". A typo, which I've fixed. People in the OMV forums are VERY helpful, which is one of the reasons I left FreeNAS in the first place.
      Working with computers since the days when unboxing and set-up required 3 weeks with a soldering iron!
    • Thank you for your replies! They clear some confusion I had. So I guess I'll sync the drives or just simply continue syncing with my 4TB WD external drive as I'm doing with my current NAS (I currently only have less than 2TB used on my 6TB drive).

      Regarding the shared/personal data, any idea how I could accomplish this? I guess it could be done playing with the permissions.

      Thanks in advance.
    • moisemust wrote:

      Thank you for your replies! They clear some confusion I had. So I guess I'll sync the drives or just simply continue syncing with my 4TB WD external drive as I'm doing with my current NAS (I currently only have less than 2TB used on my 6TB drive).

      Regarding the shared/personal data, any idea how I could accomplish this? I guess it could be done playing with the permissions.

      Thanks in advance.
      Maybe look at emby? It will run in a VM container on OMV. It might not be ideal to run a VM on a dual core CPU, but I think it should be fine, as it's not as if you're really overloading your NAS with other tasks by the sound of it. I used to use Plex on my QNAP NAS, but the server side was falling over every so often without any reason for it and I have to say that I find the emby user interface a huge improvement over Plex. emby allows you to set up user accounts and you can filter content based on shared folders within emby. So if you're currently sorting your content by folders, this works really well. What you might want to check is to see if there's an emby client for your smart TV. Sadly my Samsung TV isn't supported where I live. There's a kodi add-on as well. You can also stream over the internet, although this would rely on your CPU for transcoding the video, especially if your internet connection isn't super fast.
      OMV 4.x, Gigabyte Z270N-WiFi, i7-6700K@3GHz, 16GB DDR4-3000, 4x 4TB Toshiba N300, 1x 60GB Corsair GT SSD (OS drive), 10Gbps Aquantia Ethernet
    • Emby runs in a docker or you can install it directly. That however would mean manual updating atm till they have a repo again.

      Also there's a emby for kodi addon. Looks pretty nice. But I like it more to use the app. The web gui looks identical to the app... so it is not really necessary.

      Emby let's you create user accounts and assign content folders to them. So your mom won't see any star wars ever again.

      DLNA can be assigned a user, too, so that not all content is visible that way.
    • Thanks for the tips. I learnt about Emby just yesterday but it looks like it's not available for omv 4.x, but I found it for 3.x. I'll look into it but I never used Docker before. It's not an absolute requirement but it would be handy for my mom who's quite the technophobe to have her favorite movies at her hand. Hence why I gave her a raspberry pi loaded with Kodi at startup so she doesn't have to start it manually. Otherwise I'd use our ISP's set top box for that but it's quite complicated to get out of the TV interface to launch Android TV, and even worse, launching Kodi itself.

      @TheLostSwede I too have a QNAP Nas, and it stutters a lot too with HD videos, so I don't want to think about what it would be if I decide to switch to 4K (720p is fine, 1080p almost overkill to me). I've been told a Pentium G4560 would be enough but I preferred buying a core i3 with hyperthreading for that reason.

      Anyway I installed and updated omv on an USB drive from my core2duo PC just to refresh my memory of omv's features. I'll mount my core i7 rig and my new omv powered nas tomorrow if I get my ram by then.

      Last question : is omv as demanding in terms of ram usage as freenas if I install zfs support? Is it really that better than other file systems?

      Thanks again!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by moisemust: Typo ().

    • moisemust wrote:

      Thanks for the tips. I learnt about Emby just yesterday but it looks like it's not available for omv 4.x, but I found it for 3.x. I'll look into it but I never used Docker before. It's not an absolute requirement but it would be handy for my mom who's quite the technophobe to have her favorite movies at her hand. Hence why I gave her a raspberry pi loaded with Kodi at startup so she doesn't have to start it manually. Otherwise I'd use our ISP's set top box for that but it's quite complicated to get out of the TV interface to launch Android TV, and even worse, launching Kodi itself.

      @TheLostSwede I too have a QNAP Nas, and it stutters a lot too with HD videos, so I don't want to think about what it would be if I decide to switch to 4K (720p is fine, 1080p almost overkill to me). I've been told a Pentium G4560 would be enough but I preferred buying a core i3 with hyperthreading for that reason.

      Anyway I installed and updated omv on an USB drive from my core2duo PC just to refresh my memory of omv's features. I'll mount my core i7 rig and my new omv powered nas tomorrow if I get my ram by then.

      Last question : is omv as demanding in terms of ram usage as freenas if I install zfs support? Is it really that better than other file systems?

      Thanks again!
      If you re-read my post, I mentioned it's a container image. I.e. You need to install docker first, then you can install emby. Docker requires OMV Extras and you then need to enable docker support. Why would we recommend something that isn't supported?
      It's very easy to install, although I have not quite worked out how to update it as yet.

      Yes, you mentioned your QNAP in the first post. As for transcoding video, emby has beta support for Intel Quick Sync, so as long as the CPU you get support it, it should help offload the CPU. It's not perfect though, as some videos can't be transcoded properly, but it works for 98% of the stuff I have. Some of it seems to depend on the playback device as well.

      No idea about ZFS, not using it. There are a lot of opinions on the internet about ZFS, which is the problem rather than providing factual information. It's supposedly good, for for Linux it's still a beta file system, unlike on Solaris and FreeBSD.
      OMV 4.x, Gigabyte Z270N-WiFi, i7-6700K@3GHz, 16GB DDR4-3000, 4x 4TB Toshiba N300, 1x 60GB Corsair GT SSD (OS drive), 10Gbps Aquantia Ethernet
    • moisemust wrote:

      Last question : is omv as demanding in terms of ram usage as freenas if I install zfs support? Is it really that better than other file systems?
      Generally, OMV (Debian) will use a similar amount of RAM as FreeNAS. As I mentioned above, FreeNAS is very conservative in their listed requirements. So, the difference between FreeNAS listed requirements and other application/OS listed requirements for ZFS, is less what the system really needs and more what the Project Team thinks is required and/or is comfortable with. Regardless of who's estimate you believe and how much RAM you settle on for ZFS, ZFS is always going to need more RAM than a system with disks formatted in a more typical journaling file system like EXT4.

      As to the question of "bettter". ZFS is designed to give Enterprise level systems (huge amounts of data) stored data integrity. For that, it works exceptionally well. The downside is that, for it to do its job as designed, ZFS needs more disks than you'd need for a typical home set-up, and needs more RAM as well. I think (and its just my opinion), you won't see any practical advantage to using ZFS with only two disks as you're currently planning to use.
      Working with computers since the days when unboxing and set-up required 3 weeks with a soldering iron!
    • Thanks for the replies everyone!

      @TheLostSwede sorry about repeating myself. I have a psychological disability and it's treatment makes me forget and not notice lots of things.

      I finally got to build my Nas... For it not to work properly. I tried v 4.1.3 but am getting the following error : 'mdadm: no arrays found in config file or automatically' at first boot, and it doesn't go further. Network seems to work during install. I ended up trying v 3.0.94 but it doesn't seem to recognize my integrated network card (it doesn't recognize the network during install and gives me localhost (127.0.0.1) as an IP address).

      Any help would be appreciated.

      Thanks in advance.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by moisemust ().

    • Ok I fixed it by installing omv to a SATA SSD. Omv boots well and I am tinkering it to my liking before adding a HDD and clone my data on it. I was able to install Emby btw.

      Thanks for all your help and advice (sincerely, even if I didn't get any replies to my previous post).

      Now the hardest part is when I'll get my 2nd HDD: how to set up a remote backup with my previous NAS...
    • Thanks.

      As for copying my files it gave me a headache (I basically copied my files instead of moving them) for moving them from the root directory to a 'multimedia' directory I created under the root directory using the web gui, while it was done in seconds once I figured I could use the command line. I then deleted the cloned files. Now everything is where it should be.
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