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NAS Setup with FreeBSD - Errors

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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May 18, 2010 3:33:32 PM

Hello,

My goal is to create a NAS storage system. I had decided that it would be better to build one then to buy a limited one so i acquired all the parts i needed and formulated a plan.

My idea was to install FreeBSD as the host operating system, and then setup the shares as a raid-z array and a raid 1 array. (one for pictures and the other for data) I then wished to install virtualbox so that i can run a virutal windows machine so that i could guarantee that video could stream from the system to my PS3s and my XBOX 360.

At first i used an older 240GB HDD and ran into problems downloading and compiling the bash shell. I thought that was odd, but continued with the installation and setup as per Sub Mesa's guide. I got to the end (without the bash) and everything seemed to be working. Then i realized i was using IDE mode instead of AHCI.

So i re-installed everything after changing the BIOS setting. I got it all installed and setup, then tried to install virtualbox. Virtualbox requires some 32 bit libraries but they would not install and error out every time. I had made some changes to the system so i decided lets try this again.

So i re-installed everything and chose to install the lib32 ports as well. This time when i tried the portsnap install it errored out each time. So i tried it again with the same result.

So i was told it might be a hardware issue. I ran a memory scan and it came back clean, so i tried a different hard drive. This time things seemed to install properly. I decided that it might be easier to configure later on if i had a GUI so i tried to install XORG. after about 45 minutes of downloading and extracting it errored out.

I don't think there is anything physically wrong with any of the parts of the system but the software continues to error out. I am using an AMD Phenom 3.2Ghz Quad core CPU 8 GB RAM Asus M4A87T-E motherboard and a SAS controller card to allow me to connect 8 more hard drives.

At this point im not really sure what i should do...

I would like to run FreeBSD with ZFS and have a windows virtual machine running on it so that i can use it to do background tasks and moves and such.

Should i switch and use a Windows Server 2008 install with FreeBSD as the virtual machine?
May 18, 2010 6:11:58 PM

There's probably nothing wrong with your hardware it's probably either a config or software issue. Frankly, Linux should be much easier to setup but it doesn't have ZFS. That's good and bad ZFS is cool but Oracle has just about decided to kill it so it's future is in doubt.

*BSD's usually very stable and very secure but it's a lot more difficult to use than Linux.

With Linux you'll be able to do all kinds of streaming which should work with your PS3s and xbox

VLC should handle all that for ya pretty easily.

Good luck :) 
May 18, 2010 7:53:35 PM

I would say im stil newish to linux and such but i know enough to get things to work and how to make changes on the fly...

The only other linux OS i have used/liked is Ubuntu. The apt get install makes it really easy to install packages and get things going...

That said... i think i would really like BSD if i could get it to work properly... I wish there was a snapshot utility so that i can try a few configs and installs and if it fails then restore it back... Anyway i guess i'll try freebsd again but maybe ill do a more complete installation and try to install virtualbox again...
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May 18, 2010 8:21:55 PM

I'm not sure why you're having problems installing FreeBSD. Normally it just works. Be aware though that ZFS on FreeBSD isn't straightforward and can be unstable with a Generic kernel. Have a look at this article.

I'm not sure that installing Windows Server in a VM and then accessing the rest of the system from there is such a good idea. If you really need Windows (I'm not convinced that you really do) then I would go for a pure Windows system. I think you will lose many of the advantages of ZFS if you try to run FreeBSD within a VM.

Edit: Correction - apparently ZFS is vastly improved in FreeBSD 8, so my first comments probably no longer apply. The only caveat is that low memory can cause problems; this obviously isn't the case with your setup.
May 18, 2010 8:22:13 PM

I'm just curious as to why you're so set on running a Virtual Machine? Not that I have anything against that, but there are plenty of programs that will stream video and audio just fine (like VLC, as linux_0 mentioned) to PS3's, 360's other PCs, etc. I assume there must be an underlying reason besides simply streaming however.

Good luck :) 
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