| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 800, 4 February 2019
Welcome to this year's 5th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Some of us keep a lot of data on our hard drives - documents, family photos, favourite movies, copies of that website we were building, and archives of old e-mails tend to clutter up our hard drives. When we have a lot of data it helps to have it stored, or even backed up, in a central location for easy access. That is where a network attached storage (NAS) device comes in handy. This week we explore FreeNAS 11.2, a FreeBSD-based operating system which can turn a home computer or server into a file storage vault. In our Opinion Poll we continue to talk about network storage, asking if our readers use a NAS at home. We further explore the subject of storage in our Questions and Answers column where we discuss matching operating systems with file systems and the limiting factors when selecting a preferred file system. This week we also talk about Ubuntu Studio working toward making it possible to run Ubuntu Studio software on other flavours of the Ubuntu family and the Nitrux team developing a tool to manage multiple distributions on the same disk partition. Plus we link to a summary of experimental projects being worked on by the Linux Mint team. As usual, we share the distribution releases of the past week and we are pleased to list the torrents we are seeding. Finally, we are pleased to welcome the Condres OS distribution to our database. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: FreeNAS 11.2
- News: Using Ubuntu Studio as an add-on, Nitrux developing a tool to manage multiple distributions, Mint experimenting with new Cinnamon features
- Questions and answers: Matching operating systems with file systems
- Released last week: OPNsense 19.1, Tails 3.12, Alpine 3.9.0
- Torrent corner: 4MLinux, Alpine, Container, LibreELEC, Makulu, OPNsense, Slax, SmartOS, SWagArch, SystemRescueCd, Tails, Voyager
- Upcoming releases: Ubuntu 18.04.2
- Opinion poll: Do you have a NAS for home/personal use?
- New additions: Condres OS
- New distributions: Unknown OS
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (18MB) and MP3 (13MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
FreeNAS is an operating system for network attached storage (NAS) devices. The system is based on FreeBSD and features a streamlined setup process and friendly web-based administration interface.
The project's latest release is FreeNAS 11.2 and, at first, I nearly overlooked the new version because it appeared to be a minor point release. However, a lot of work went into the new version and 11.2 offers a lot of changes when compared next to 11.1, "including a major revamp of the web interface, support for self-encrypting drives, and new, backwards-compatible REST and WebSocket APIs. This update also introduces iocage for improved plugins and jails management and simplified plugin development."
The release announcement also mentions FreeNAS can backup to multiple on-line storage options, including Amazon's AWS, Azure, Dropbox and Google.
The new version of FreeNAS is available as a 575MB download. Booting from the install media brings up a text menu asking if we wish to install or upgrade the operating system, access a command line shell, or shutdown the system. Taking the install option first brought up a message letting me know FreeNAS recommends having at least 8GB of RAM on the host system. This seems like a lot to me. None of my computers (at home) have 8GB of RAM. Even my NAS-like backup server with ZFS storage only uses about 700MB of RAM, less than 10% the amount recommended for FreeNAS.
At any rate, I acknowledged the warning and then the installer asked which disk in my computer it should use for the operating system. It then warns all data will be wiped from the disk; FreeNAS does not wish to be run alongside another operating system. We are then asked to make up a password for the root account and given the chance to set up FreeNAS to boot in UEFI or legacy BIOS mode. The installer copies its files to the hard drive and then offers to reboot the computer, or open up a command line shell. The whole install process took less than eight minutes.
FreeNAS boots to a text console where we are shown a menu of configuration options and the computer's IP address. The configuration options include setting up a network connection, setting the default network route, setting DNS servers, and changing the root password. There are also menu items for resetting all options back to their defaults, launching a command line shell, and rebooting or shutting down the computer. Selecting these options presents us with prompts where we are asked to type in information, such as the address for the network gateway or a new root password.
I think it worth mentioning that there is no password protection on the console. Anyone with physical access (or VNC access to the NAS if it is on a virtual machine) immediately has root access and can access a shell, change our settings or take the system off-line. In a large business environment where the NAS is likely to be behind a locked door this approach is convenient, but in a small office or home situation I think leaving the console open and logged in as root is a risky way to operate.
Exploring the command line option, I found FreeNAS runs about 32 processes on a fresh install. My system used 460MB of Active memory and 310MB of Wired memory, with the bulk of RAM being used by ZFS and a handful of Python scripts.
The web interface
By default, FreeNAS's web interface is available over HTTP connections only. HTTPS is not enabled out of the box, but we can set it up later. Visiting the computer's IP address in a web browser brings up a login page where we can sign in as the root user. Later I tried signing in using other account names I had created, but they did not work, it seems root is the only user able to sign into the web portal.
The web interface begins by showing us a dashboard with an overview of the server's hardware. Further down the page we can see graphs which show current (and recent) statistics on memory, the CPU, system load and temperature. There is an area for monitoring bandwidth usage, but this graph failed to load when I first started using FreeNAS.
A menu is displayed down the left side of the web interface. There are a lot of menu options and rather than dive deeply into all of them, I will give a quick listing of the menu sections and then talk about some specifics from my trial below.
The menu items are as follows:
Accounts - This top-level menu includes two sub menus, one for working with groups and the other for managing user accounts. This lets us create users who will later be able to sign in remotely or access services.
System - This group of modules deals with the FreeNAS operating system, mostly low-level stuff. Specific items include connecting to time (NTP) servers, managing boot environments, notification e-mails, managing certificate authorities, creating security certificates and installing software updates. There are two generic modules called General and Advanced which mostly deal with connecting to the NAS's web service, describing which network port to use, our preferred language and time zone.
FreeNAS 11.2 -- Configuring portal connections
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Tasks - Here we can set up scheduled tasks such as running cron jobs, taking snapshots of ZFS volumes, synchronizing files with cloud services and performing maintenance on ZFS pools.
Network - This small group of modules gives us access to network connections, available network interfaces, network routes and virtual LANs.
Storage - This category handles setting up ZFS storage pools, working with file system snapshots and accessing the disks attached to the NAS.
Directory Services - Lets us authenticate users over LDAP, Active Directory and Kerberos.
Sharing - Enables setting up Apple Shares, NFS, WebDAV and Samba network shares.
Services - Lists built-in services the NAS can use, such as secure shell. We can toggle a button to enable or disable services. Most are turned off out of the box.
FreeNAS 11.2 -- A list of available services
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Plugins - There are two screens in the Plugins section, one to browse and install new Plugins. The other shows installed modules we may want to configure.
Jails - Enables the creation and management of FreeBSD style jails. There is a related section called Virtual Machines in case we need to work with services under a different operating system.
Reporting - This page shows us more detailed graphs related to our CPU usage and system load. These charts can be swapped out for others, showing ZFS statistics, memory consumption, disk usage and network traffic information.
Display System Processes - This page is basically just the output of the top process monitor in our web browser.
Shell - This page gives us access to a terminal shell from inside the web browser.
Guide - Gives us access to FreeNAS's on-line documentation.
FreeNAS 11.2 -- Accessing a command line in the web browser
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While exploring and using FreeNAS's web interface I made a number of observations as I went about customizing the environment, updating the operating system and setting up an accessible storage volume. The first is I like the new interface's look and organization. I have used a handful of different NAS solutions over the years and most of them, frankly, are not organized in a way I find intuitive. FreeNAS's menu structure is pretty well organized and I feel the items are located in places which make sense. I only once had to dig for a menu item because enabling a feature occurred in one place and managing it was in another, but typically options were easy to find. This is important because there are a lot of configuration options, plugins and features. Being able to find something in the large list of modules is important. Plus the new dark theme looks good in my opinion, which made the whole experience nicer.
I found the FreeNAS interface was a bit slow to load new pages. Interacting with buttons or options on one page went quickly, but switching pages took a while. Operating from the command line interface was snappy, so the delay seems to be specific to page load times in my environment.
When setting up most NAS systems, including FreeNAS, I find there is often a certain order to the steps we need to perform. For example, my first instinct is to create a non-root user account, as I would on a server system. However, with FreeNAS we should first create a storage pool from additional disks attached to the server, then create a user account. That way we can place the user's home directory in the storage pool.
FreeNAS 11.2 -- Creating a storage pool
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Earlier I mentioned the FreeNAS web interface is available over HTTP only. We can change this, but there are a series of steps we need to perform, in a set order. To enable HTTPS we need to enable a security certificate. To create the certificate we need to set up a self-signing authority. This might confuse users not familiar with setting up secure websites, but basically we are setting ourselves up as someone who can make certificates, then making one with these self-assigned credentials, then enabling the secure HTTPS connection. All of these actions can be performed under the System menu.
When creating a new pool the interface doesn't seem to give any indication of where the pool is mounted. This is information we need if we are to create user accounts with home directories in the pool or network shares. Pools are, I found, created under /mnt/<poolname>. So a home directory in the Data pool for my user might be located at /mnt/Data/jesse
When I first started using FreeNAS I performed a check for software updates, which failed. An error was displayed indicating the network could not be reached. It turned out that FreeNAS had correctly used DHCP to get an IP address and I could therefore access the web portal over my local network, however no Internet gateway had been set up and DNS was not working. I supplied the network gateway and two DNS servers which allowed the system to check for updates. New patches were found, downloaded and installed without any further issue. I like that the update module provides a link to the project's release notes so we can get a sense for new developments before installing the patches.
When I first began using FreeNAS the status dashboard would not show network statistics and graphs, but following the first wave of updates the network graph started to work.
On the subject of network errors, sometimes when trying to download items such as plugins, an error would be displayed saying FreeNAS could not access the network due to a missing gateway. When this happened I could still ping outside servers from the NAS and check for software updates, it was just when downloading plugins the system failed to connect to remote servers,
FreeNAS 11.2 -- Error when downloading plugins
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There is a feature on FreeNAS which allows us to set up cloud storage and remote host accounts. This lets us connect to a service like Dropbox, or a server running FTP or OpenSSH. Once a remote service's credentials have been provided we can schedule tasks to synchronize files with this service. I had limited success with this feature. When I tried to set up a secure file transfer (SFTP) connection, the web interface would not accept just a username and password as credentials, it wanted a key file. There is a tip on the page which says if we do not have a key file to leave the field blank, but when the key file field is empty, the provided credentials cannot be saved.
I was able to set up credentials to connect to an FTP service and confirmed the connection worked from FreeNAS's command line. However, any time I tried to push or pull files across the connection the sync task failed without an error to indicate why it was unable to complete.
During my trial I tried to install a few plugins. There is quite a list of plugins available, including media servers, bittorrent clients, and various database tools. Whenever I tried to install a plugin, it would download and then the web interface would lock up during the installation process. None of the plugins installed successfully, even after waiting for the process to complete for 30 minutes.
I was able to enable a few built-in services, such as secure shell and Samba shares, and these worked without issue.
Creating snapshots and boot environments was quite easy and I like how straight forward it is to make a snapshot and schedule future snapshots. This makes it easier to recover from a bad update or to rescue a file that was deleted on the NAS.
Another feature of FreeNAS I appreciate is the system will prompt before performing any destructive tasks. Not only does the system offer a typical "Really do this? OK or Cancel" style prompt, but the web interface will also show a checkbox we need to click to confirm the action. This may seem like overkill to some people, but I like the extra speed bump that prevents us from wiping out potentially large amounts of data.
FreeNAS 11.2 -- Managing user accounts
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In my opinion, FreeNAS is probably one of the easier NAS solutions to set up and it has probably the nicest web-based interface I have used. The web portal looks nice, I think it is well organized and there are a huge number of features. Further, FreeNAS offers good documentation and is fairly light on resources. The base system is smaller than 1GB on the disk and typically uses less than 1GB of RAM.
I also like the support for ZFS, an advanced file system well known for its reliability, snapshots and ability to handle vast amounts of data. FreeNAS makes setting up ZFS volumes, and user accounts on these volumes, a point-n-click process and I applaud the developers for that.
On the negative side of things, some features did not work for me. I struggled with plugins and file synchronization through the web portal (working with files from the command line worked fine for me) and getting networking set up properly took more effort than I had expected. I was also a bit concerned about the lack of local security. If your server is headless or in a locked room, it is not a big deal to have root logged in, but for a lot of environments it is not advisable to leave root logged in at the console.
I think whether FreeNAS is a good choice for managing storage will depend a lot on how comfortable the administrator is with FreeBSD. For people who are comfortable setting up a FreeBSD server and manually adding storage pools, there may not be a lot of added benefit to FreeNAS. However, if you want to manage a lot of storage space and other services through a polished point-n-click web interface rather than manually doing everything through the command line, then FreeNAS is an excellent tool. There are a few rough edges to work out, I think, but on the whole I found FreeNAS made administering ZFS volumes and related services pleasantly straight forward.
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Visitor supplied rating
FreeNAS has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.6/10 from 11 review(s).
Have you used FreeNAS? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Using Ubuntu Studio as an add-on, Nitrux developing a tool to manage multiple distributions, Mint experimenting with new Cinnamon features
The Ubuntu Studio team has been working on a method to enable users of other flavours of Ubuntu to enjoy the benefits of running the Ubuntu Studio suite of software. The team's goal is to allow people to use Ubuntu Studio's optimizations and applications as an add-on to other distributions. The project's blog explains: "One of the visions for Ubuntu Studio has been the ability for users of other Ubuntu flavors to essentially 'bolt-on' Ubuntu Studio to their existing installation. This will be easily available for those users beginning with Ubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo. It will be a 2-step process: 1) install the 'ubuntustudio-installer' package, and 2) Launch it and select the features you want. It will allow you to install any of the meta packages along with the under-the-hood performance tweaks that Ubuntu Studio includes by default." This should allow more people to try Ubuntu Studio's software without requiring a lot of tweaking or installing a separate operating system.
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The Nitrux team is working on a special operating system management program called znx. The znx software is designed to make it easier to experiment with multiple operating systems and multiple versions of operating systems. "A typical desktop operating system consumes about 4-5GB after installation, so that's at least 4-5GB consumed for every new root folder partition. All this complexity is unnecessary, and with that in mind, we developed znx. With znx, every single operating system that it deploys remains as a single file in the storage device, effectively consuming less space. Utilizing znx means the complexity of using more operating systems decreases. You may ask yourself if znx works by utilizing the ISO files of Linux distributions, wouldn't that mean the ISO files that it deploys to the storage device would be Live CDs? Yes and no, let me explain..." More information on znx can be found in this blog post and on the znx GitHub page.
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The Linux Mint team mentioned a number of exciting developments in their January newsletter. The distribution earned a record $22,803 from donations in December of 2018 and the team is planning a number of ambitious projects to improve the Cinnamon desktop experience. One of these experimental projects separates Cinnamon components into separate processes, which could improve performance and make the desktop more secure. "Michael Webster is working on something really complicated, something we've talked about since the dawn of time: splitting Cinnamon into multiple processes. He's studying the possibility of having applets run in their own process and render objects remotely. This is very ambitious and pretty much R&D at this point. We're hoping he'll succeed with a prototype. Failing that there's also the idea of keeping the rendering of the applet content in Cinnamon itself and only delegating the processing (similar to dbus–menu), or to keep Cinnamon and applets together and split away the WM."
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Matching operating systems with file systems
File-system-naive asks: I'm guessing that since "File System" is not listed as a criterion on the Search Distributions page, any OS can be installed on any file system. If that is not the case, what factors determine whether an OS is compatible with a given file system?
I envision (in a business, not home, context) using a partitioning tool to format a disk (or even RAID) in preparation for a desired file system, then installing the OS. I might prioritize a file system that provides integrity+reliability+security+snapshot-ability over speed. Which OSes will adapt immediately to this selected file system? Which OSes do not work "out-of-the-box", but could work with some effort? Which OSes will never work? (Example: Perhaps I've "landed" on OrangeFS as ideal. Can I run LMDE3 on top of it instead of ext3?) If my thinking is naive, what additional concepts should I first understand? Ultimately, once I'm sold on a (well-researched) specific file system, I'd like to distinguish the distros that include it by default or, at least, can play nicely with it.
TL;DR: Assuming a certain file system, which distros are recommended?
DistroWatch answers: There is a lot of ground to cover here so I am going to try to keep my answers brief. This may gloss over some finer points of file systems and operating systems, so please forgive me when I speak in generalities and ignore some corner cases.
In short, you cannot install every OS on any file system. Every operating system supports working with one or more file systems and will (usually) only boot on file systems it recognizes.
You can install an OS on any of the file systems supported natively by its kernel. This means you can install Windows on NTFS, FreeBSD can be installed on UFS or ZFS, Linux distributions can generally be installed on ext2/3/4, JFS, XFS, Btrfs, and Reiserfs. Some distributions may have exceptions or add-on options, but generally speaking Linux distributions will boot on the above list of file systems or a subset of them.
So basically if a file system is supported by the operating system's kernel without an add-on like FUSE or a third-party kernel module, then you can usually install the OS on that file system.
When it comes to Linux, the installer will usually recommend one or more file systems to use, depending on your situation. For example, most home-focused distros run on ext4 by default as it is a good, fast, general purpose file system. Enterprise distros like Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise typically recommend XFS and Btrfs, respectively, for the massive amounts of storage and flexibility they offer.
With all that being said, you have some wiggle room if you keep your data on one file system and your operating system on another, which is fairly common. I recommend installing your OS on whichever file system its installer recommends. Then pick the best file system for your data later from the list of ones your OS supports. This will offer you more options and allow you to upgrade your OS later without affecting your data.
You specifically mentioned OrangeFS. While OrangeFS can work with Linux systems, it appears to be a recent addition to the kernel. (You traditionally needed to install the OrangeFS package as it was not included in the kernel.) This means most installers do not yet support OrangeFS and you will not be able to install Linux Mint on top of it. But you should be able to attach OrangeFS storage to your Mint system after you set up Mint on ext4 or Btrfs and make sure OrangeFS support is enabled.
In short, I recommend you install your distribution on whichever file system its installer suggests. Then find a separate file system for your data that can work with your kernel (such as Linux) and enable it. This will open up more options and avoid the issue of whether your kernel (and installer) can work on the file system you want to use for your data.
For the most part, since all Linux distributions use the Linux kernel, they can all work with the same file systems. The installers for different distributions may add or remove some options, but ultimately you can use any Linux-supporting file system for a data partition with any distro, you just may not be able to boot from it. For example, any Linux distro can work with ZFS, but very few distributions include support for booting from a ZFS volume because the file system is not included in the kernel.
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Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
MakuluLinux is a Debian-based desktop distribution which ships with many applications and media codecs installed out of the box. The project has published an update, MakuluLinux 2019.01.25, to its Core series which experiments with mouse gestures. This allows users to optionally use their computer almost entirely without the aid of a keyboard. "The optional gesture system will let users navigate their computers with barely even having to touch a keyboard if that is their wish. The more traditional users don't have to enable gestures, they can simply use the operating system in much the same way they are used to navigating Linux. Core also offers many 'instant access' features like a one-click wallpaper changer or one-click 3D option, easily control every aspect of your OS with a simply few clicks." Further information and a list of supported features can be found in the distribution's blog post. The page also features a video of the gestures system in action.
MakuluLinux 2019.01.25 -- Initial desktop customization
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The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails) is a Debian-based live DVD/USB with the goal of providing complete Internet anonymity for the user. The project's latest release is Tails 3.12 which introduces a new install method: "The biggest news for 3.12 is that we completely changed the installation methods for Tails. In short, instead of downloading an ISO image (a format originally designed for CDs), you now download Tails as a USB image: an image of the data as it needs to be written to the USB stick. ISO files are still available for people using optical media and virtual machines. The distribution includes some additional changes: "Starting Tails should be a bit faster on most machines. Tell users to use sudo when they try to use su on the command line. Update Linux to 4.19. Update Intel and AMD microcodes and most firmware packages. This should improve the support for newer hardware (graphics, Wi-Fi, etc.). Remove Liferea, as announced in Tails 3.9. Update Tor Browser to 8.0.5. Update Thunderbird to 60.4.0." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Alpine Linux 3.9.0
Alpine Linux is a lightweight distribution which features the BusyBox userland utilities and the musl C library. The project has published a new release, Alpine Linux 3.9.0, which expands hardware architecture support and switches its security library from LibreSSL to OpenSSL. "New features and noteworthy new packages: Support for armv7; Switch from LibreSSL to OpenSSL; Modloop is now being signed; Improved GRUB support; GRUB users should check if their config is generated correctly and have emergency boot media prepared. Significant updates: Linux 4.19; GCC 8.2.0; Busybox 1.29; musl libc 1.1.20; Go 1.11.5; LXC 3.1; PostgreSQL 11.1; Node.js 10.14.2; Crystal 0.27; Zabbix 4.0.3; Nextcloud 15.0.2." The release announcement also mentions that the Firefox browser will only be available on the x86_64 build of Alpine Linux due to its dependency on Rust.
OPNsense is a specialist operating system (and a fork of pfSense) designed for firewalls and routers. The project's latest release, OPNsense 19.1, shifts the operating system's base from FreeBSD to HardenedBSD which includes a number of security enhancements. "The 19.1 release, nicknamed "Inspiring Iguana", consists of a total of 620 individual changes since 18.7 came out 6 months ago, spread out over 12 intermediate releases including the recent release candidates. That is the average of two stable releases per month, security updates and important bug fixes included! If we had to pick a few highlights it would be: The firewall alias API is finally in place. The migration to HardenedBSD 11.2 has been completed. 2FA now works with a remote LDAP / local TOTP combination. And the OpenVPN client export was rewritten for full API support as well." Further details and links to the project's download mirrors can be found in the release announcement.
SystemRescueCd is a Linux system on a bootable CD-ROM or USB drive, designed for repairing a system and data after a crash. The distribution's developers have published SystemRescueCd 6.0.0 which deviates from previous releases in two significant ways: 32-bit support has been dropped in favour of a 64-bit build, and the base distribution has been switched from Gentoo to Arch Linux. The project's changelog reports: "System is now based on ArchLinux and built using archiso and its dependencies. Kernel and user space programs are now fully 64-bit (dropped 32-bit support). Boot options are the ones provided by new upstream rather than old version. Graphical environment based on xorg-1.20.3 and xfce-4.12. Implemented 'setkmap=xx' option on the boot command line to setup keyboard. Updated kernel to Long-Term-Supported linux-4.19.19. Updated filesystem tools: e2fsprogs-1.44.5, xfsprogs-4.19.0, btrfs-progs-4.19.1. Updated disk tools: gparted-0.33.0, lvm2-2.02.183.
LibreELEC is "just enough OS" to run the Kodi media centre. LibreELEC is a Linux distribution built to run Kodi on current and popular hardware. The project's latest release, LibreELEC 9.0, includes a number of security improvements. "Changeable SSH passwords and a default firewall configuration have been added to combat the increasing number of HTPC installs that can be found on the public internet. The increase is partly due to simple maths; our userbase has grown so the number of users inappropriately exposing their HTPC to the internet has also grown. The static password for libreelec is present on most/all password dictionary lists so it’s important we start encouraging users to change it (the first-run wizard will prompt when SSH is enabled). More people are using VPN services for privacy without realising this exposes SSH/SMB/Web services. To combat this problem we have added simple firewall configurations for Home/Public networks; the Home configuration blocks inbound connections from non-private networks, e.g. traffic from the Internet to the public IP address used with the VPN connection." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 1,230
- Total data uploaded: 23.7TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Do you have a NAS for home/personal use?
This week we began with a review of FreeNAS, a FreeBSD-based storage solution. While many NAS solutions are designed for offices and enterprise environments, they can be equally useful in the home. We would like to find out how many of our readers use a dedicated NAS device or operating system at home. Please let us know which operating system your NAS uses in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on selecting a distribution for our Major Distributions page in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Do you have a NAS for home/personal use?
|Yes - I have a NAS at home: ||671 (36%)|
| No - I do not have a NAS at home: ||1204 (64%)|
New projects added to database
Condres OS is a rolling release distribution based on Arch Linux. The distribution is available in nine editions (most of them for various desktop environments) and ships with convenience features such as desktop icons enabled (on GNOME), the ICE site specific browser, and the TLP power management software.
Condres OS 19.02 -- Running the MATE desktop
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Distributions added to waiting list
- Unknown OS. Unknown OS is a Debian-based distribution which strives to keep the user anonymous when on-line and attempts to side-step fingerprinting methodology.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 11 February 2019. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • NAS (by Vern on 2019-02-04 00:11:13 GMT from United States) |
I never gave "NAS" any thought for home usage. I wouldn't see any value. Then again I know little about those systems.
2 • SystemRescueCD (by disappointed on 2019-02-04 00:18:52 GMT from United States)
So - Arch now, not Gentoo?
Can't be used to install Gentoo.
And, since it is Arch, 64-bit only? Can't use to maintain 32-bit systems. This used to be the go-to utility distribution. Now it has become just a bad joke.
Will be looking for alternatives.
3 • NAS (by Terry on 2019-02-04 00:35:24 GMT from United States)
I have Apple Mac Time Capsule working for me for 6years now handworks flawlessly and like clockwork 24 hours a day. I have a partition set up where it hosts shared files and does all my backup and restores. Can accommodate 500gb-6TB storage space.
I use Mac mini, Macbook pros, Windows PC and Linux operating machines to connect to it. Never needed anything else. Still my one and only NAS File host and backup/Restore.
4 • Filesystems (by greenpossum on 2019-02-04 00:47:53 GMT from Australia)
I prefer XFS when I don't need the encryption facility of ext4. XFS has improved a lot; articles about poor performance are out of date.
I had a NAS but since my workhorse is on 24/7 this was unnecessary duplication.
Of course you can repair the bootloader or filesystem of a 32-bit distro from 64-bit Sysrcd! Just need a 64-bit CPU. So much misunderstanding out there.
5 • Reborn Apricity OS (by Tran Older on 2019-02-04 01:06:16 GMT from Vietnam)
Condres OS is born-again Apricity OS. If you want to try an Arch-based distro which is similar to the combination of 3 Debian-based distros, Mint, Peppermint and Zorin (ICE and Wine), then Condres OS is definitely the choice.
6 • Condres OS (by rohan on 2019-02-04 02:04:57 GMT from Indonesia)
I like Arch base distro, because it was easy to install and rolling release. You can type "sudo pacman -Syyu" and you have brand new system. And it has AUR too. I like Apricity OS. I might installed it on one of my machine. Thanks for the developer to create such a beautiful distro.
7 • XFS (by bigbenaugust on 2019-02-04 02:08:47 GMT from United States)
@4 - I use XFS in an LUKS-encrypted LVM volume whenever possible, to get around any lack of on-board encryption.
8 • NAS (by Randy on 2019-02-04 02:26:42 GMT from United States)
Open Media Vault running on a Raspberry Pi is the only NAS that I have been successful in setting up and using. I'm a PC hobbist, playing with multiple OS's (currently eight on five laptops with three multiboot), but have hit a blank wall with other NAS install attempts. I even just tried Open Media Vault on a laptop and the install failed. I'm guess the "leading" setup done to the Pi version provided me success.
I removed the 2TB drive from my old home Seagate NAS unit and installed it into a Tccmebius TCC-S863 USB 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Disk Enclosure Case (external self powered). Network transfer speeds increased by two to three times from the old Seagate unit. The OMV web interface is not very fast, but very workable. A tutorial to show me the "odd" requirements of setting up disks, shares, users and such have enabled me to create multiple disks and secure logins. (The Seagate was very limited in share types.)
I tried the DLNA plug-in for a while, and it worked fairly well. OMV has many plug-in options.
I have had two hard drives and an USB Stick configuration, and now have the 2TB HDD for my system backups plus a separate 64GB USB Stick for my partners private data backup, and an "Public" 64GB USB Stick for sharing or file transfers.
Some Windows 10 Home machines see the network drive "natively", others need to Map a Network Drive. The Linux OS's easily see the drives. Perfect for a easy to access home system for backup and file transfer between multiple OS laptops.
9 • Filesystems (by Frank on 2019-02-04 02:40:27 GMT from United States)
I use NTFS for Windows (obviously, though I wish MS would switch to ZFS), and ZFS. Its mostly because my UNIXlike boxes are all FreeBSD or TrueOS and the capabilities of ZFS (like snapshots, deduplication, integrity features, etc) are one of those things that once you use them once and really understand them, you really don't want to go without.
Then again, the increased reliability could be just my imagination, since I switched to using SSDs for my system drives, I don't run into the same reliability problems that I used to have with traditional mechanical HDDs. Sure, its a little more expensive but its worth it.
When I was using RHEL, CentOS and Fedora I usually used either XFS, ext4 or Btrfs depending on what the individual machine's role was, they all have strengths and weaknesses. With filesystems its horses for courses, but I don't see myself going back to Linux unless I absolutely have to for a use case that FreeBSD can't fill in some way, its kind of a moot point for me.
10 • filesystem encryption (by greenpossum on 2019-02-04 03:12:41 GMT from United States)
@7 ext4 has native encryption removing one layer. Also selectable per directory.
11 • Home NAS (by Artūras on 2019-02-04 07:33:39 GMT from Lithuania)
Never installed FreeNAS due to high HW requirement.
Current NAS implementation - Ubuntu Server 16.04 with LVM (mirror + stripe arrays), SAMBA and DLNA enabled.
12 • NFS (by Marc on 2019-02-04 07:40:13 GMT from Australia)
I dont use a dedicated NAS as such, but I have proxmox setup to play with virtual machines.
It is also setup as an nfs server with a 2 terabyte removable drive and the xfce desktop for when I do some cpu intensive stuff instead of a VM. Plex is setup on a container for streaming movies, music etc
13 • NAS (by Markus on 2019-02-04 07:44:53 GMT from Germany)
14 • NAS (by robbage on 2019-02-04 08:41:25 GMT from Australia)
OpenMediaVault works for me
I think the problem with OMV, FreeNAS and similar is that they assume you know what you are doing. They probably look great from the point of view of the people that created them. They are a complete nightmare for the average home/personal user that is used to clicking on the Start Button™ on the Task Bar™
15 • Filesystem and NAS (by Alexandru on 2019-02-04 09:07:21 GMT from Romania)
"Linux distributions can generally be installed on ext2/3/4, JFS, XFS, Btrfs, and Reiserfs."
Unfortunately, Linux kernel dropped ReiserFS support some time ago. So, while being able to mount, read and write to ReiserFS, Linux is not more able to install on Reiserfs (except the cases when you do some tricks and put reiserfsprogs into initramfs, but this will require to copy already installed Linux from one filesystem to ReiserFS).
Depending on what somebody usually does with his computer, different filesystems perform better for different expectations. Usually "classical" FSs (ext2/3/4) use "plain" allocation layout, which are fast on reading / writing of large files (music, movies), but don't work as fast on finding a file across very large collection of small files into a deep filesystem hierarchy (developer's use-case). On the other hand, "hierarchical" filesystems (XFS, ReiserFS, Btrfs - I don't know if also JFS) are much slower to copy / write large files, but perform much better for many small files in deep directory system. Additionally, they usually have better space allocation for small files. This means, if you have some 8GB archive with many small files, it can fit unarchived into 10GB Btrfs partition, but not fit into 10GB Ext4 partition (and this is not only about the journal size).
That being said, you are free to use more partition with different filesystems for different purpose, and *BSD world uses it this way. Something like: Btrfs for / partition, Ext3 for /boot partition, ReiserFS for /var partition, Ext4 for /Download and /Media partitions, ReiserFS for /Develop partition.
On the topic of NAS, I use it extensively for easy file sharing across different devices / OSes. I have a desktop computer with 7 OSes in multiboot: Windows, OpenIndiana, FreeBSD, OSX86, Linux, Haiku and Android-x86; MacBook and iMac with macOS, different phones and tablets with iOS and Android. All they can easily share files across them through NAS (I use NAS dedicated device with embedded default software).
16 • NAS (by Kazlu on 2019-02-04 11:13:03 GMT from France)
I set up an owncloud server at home on a Raspberry Pi which sometimes ends up being used just like a NAS. Not great for performance if I want to access files directly, but since I sync my files I have a local copy of them, so in the end the performance when accessing the synced files is better than a "true" NAS :) I added Samba for multimedia files to be accessed by a Kodi client.
17 • NAS - Gnubee PC1 (by RobJ on 2019-02-04 12:07:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
I've got the 2.5" version of the GnuBee via Crowd Supply. Open hardware, and can run different software. Mine has OMV on Debian. Takes six drives, I had a few laptop ones lying around. There's a 3.5" drive version too.
My Pi's running mpd now mount the same music folder on the NAS. It is technically possible though,to run something directly on the GnuBee, though there's a bit of tinkering involved (Mopidy rather than plain mpd, and recompiling an alternative firmware to allow USB audio, though there's a plan to include that in a future firmware).
Not played with RAID yet, or the DLNA plugin, but I'll get around to it.
18 • NAS @ home (by SuperOscar on 2019-02-04 12:35:53 GMT from Finland)
I have a four-drive QNAP NAS. That was the easiest way to get a quiet, energy-efficient file server at home.
Also, even if I *could* install four 3 Tt drives in my desktop computer, then I would have to have that one turned on all the time.
The proprietary software (on top of Linux) is not optimal but it would be too much trouble to replace it with a free one. Maybe later, when the support period is over, although backing up everything before the installation over ethernet line and an NFS connection would surely that at least days if not weeks…
19 • Do you have a NAS for home/personal use? (by lincoln on 2019-02-04 13:16:05 GMT from Brazil)
I do not have a NAS at home for sharing files among multiple devices.
For this task I use two approaches:
1-) For my tv, I use the DLNA protocol, implemented brilliantly by the Rygel command-line tool that lets you easily share audio, video, and images.
2-) For different devices (computers, smartphones, tablets etc.) and operating system, I use Woof command-line tool and the client can access the file or directory using a web browser or command-line web-client such as wget.
20 • NAS at home (by Aaron Murray on 2019-02-04 13:52:06 GMT from United States)
I use openmediavault on multiple boxes.
21 • SystemRescueCD 6 + : Post #2 (by Winchester on 2019-02-04 14:12:31 GMT from United States)
I agree completely with the second post this week.
Gentoo will become much more difficult to install without SystemRescueCD.
In my opinion,there were already quite enough Arch based distributions. SystemD. Maybe not with the rescue tools pre-installed but,still.
Similar to the Slax change,the distribution now becomes less worthwhile by the change of the base.
I am saving the SystemRescueCD 5.3.2 iso on my external hard drive.
22 • Easy multi OS boot with znx and Berryboot (by K.U. on 2019-02-04 14:45:50 GMT from Finland)
znx is certainly an interesting development. It seems to have similar goal with Berryboot in providing an easy creation of multi OS boot system. Berryboot has existed for a while and it is certainly one of my favorite tools. It provides an easy installation of operating systems on an uncounted number of ARM devices provided that there exist ready made OS image for Berryboot. A large number of third party images already exist.
I propose that Distrowatch could review both znx and Berryboot and detail similarities and and diffferences. This would create in depth understanding, and possibly facilitate development of both tools and interbreed ideas.
23 • Remote storage (by Nathan on 2019-02-04 16:05:32 GMT from United States)
I use a private git repo on my home server for text files; it's very nice to have the version control. Big and/or binary files go on my Nextcloud instance hosted on the same machine. Every night a cron job rsyncs the whole deal to a system in my office in another part of town where it's archived (the script I use is here: https://vance.homelinuxserver.org/server/backup-everything-always.html). I may consider a NAS if my storage needs change drastically, but there's no need at the moment.
24 • So long SystemRescueCD (by Steve L on 2019-02-04 17:00:59 GMT from United States)
SystemRescueCD has been a constant in my toolbox for a very, very, long time but this recent move to include the systemd virus and dropping 32 bit support just makes it utterly worthless for it's purported purpose.
I'll hang on to v5.3.2 that I downloaded in early January and start looking for a replacement... one without a built in virus like systemd and one that continues support for my older 32 bit hardware. I don't hold out much hope that there will be a decent replacement, but it is time to start looking.
And systemd IS a virus... it started out innocently enough as an init system replacement, but it has become like a cancer growing out of control, and so much worse as a result. Had it remained ONLY an init system I could at least give it the benefit of the doubt but now it's just a horrible, disfiguring virus and a blight on the Linux landscape. New and shiny is NOT always an improvement, just look at win10 for another example.
25 • Similar thoughts to other people (by Mark B on 2019-02-04 17:54:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
I, too, am disappointed that SystemRescue CD dropped 32-bit support. Older kit is likely to have issues and 32-bit works on both 32 and 64-bit. For me the change was a bad decision.
For my NAS I use OpenMediaVault with a 10GB system disk and a 3TB data disk. It works a treat. FreeNAS's insistence on ZFS might be great in an enterprise setting but it's over the top for home use. XigmaNAS seems to give the option of ZFS or UFS and also has a nice web GUI. I agree that NAS setups can be daunting for the less technically-inclined. I think something like SME server or Turnkey Linux File server might be easier to deal with for new users. The EasyNAS project looks interesting too.
What I would find useful would be a temporary NAS that would auto-mount any USB device plugged into a port and share it via samba irrespective of what filesystem was used. Some years ago there was a Live USB server project that did that AND Trinity Rescue Kit would let you file share all drives with or without a password. Imagine being able to plug in any USB drive you have lying around and get the data off it.
26 • napp-it (by simplicissimus on 2019-02-04 18:53:40 GMT from Germany)
I use napp-it on top of omnios (opensolaris fork). It’s significantly more reliable for me than FreeNAS.
27 • SystemRescue CD (by steel on 2019-02-04 18:58:01 GMT from Germany)
Sorry but No more 32 bit support and d as init, awful change to what was a very good tool.
28 • Filesystems (by Hypoon on 2019-02-04 19:00:06 GMT from United States)
There seems to be some confusion here between the filesystems included in the kernel and the filesystems that CAN be included in the kernel. Please correct me if I'm wrong. There are lots of different filesystems offered by the kernel, but most default kernel configurations only choose the most common ones. These get compiled into the kernel and can be used as the root filesystem, but there are still other filesystems which are kernel-supported but simply deselected. Support for these filesystems could be added to the distribution by anyone who is comfortable reconfiguring the kernel.
I suppose there could be distributions where reconfiguring the kernel is not possible or not practical, and frankly, I wouldn't know if such distributions did exist. I'll openly speculate that these distributions are the minority, at most.
What this would mean is that, with the exception of special filesystems where a distribution has specially patched the kernel to add support for the extra filesystem(s), different Linux distributions can all support the same set of filesystems: the set of filesystems that the kernel supports. There could still be discrepancies comparing old kernels to new kernels, of course, but I hope it's not too much to ask that distributions support recent kernels.
There's another major consideration that has been overlooked here, and it may have nothing to do with the choice of distribution. The bootloader and/or (U)EFI implementation only supports a very small subset of distributions. This is one of the reasons why many installations have a separate "boot" partition. The "boot" partition is whatever filesystem is necessary to make the bootloader or (U)EFI happy, and then the "root" partition is where the actual operating system is stored. Almost every "boot" partition I've seen is either ext2 or fat32, neither of which are popular choices for "root" partitions.
29 • File Systems Etc. (by M.Z. on 2019-02-04 19:33:45 GMT from United States)
I'm really liking the assurance of Btrfs + timshift on my LMDE system on my main desktop. It's certainly the most advanced filesystem I've used & there are so many daily snapshots taking up so little room in root! It's made filesystems fun again.
30 • SystemRescueCD (by Johnatan on 2019-02-04 19:39:43 GMT from Romania)
Another disappointed user here.... I'll have to keep the latest Gentoo-based SRCD, I guess.
31 • Virus (by Friar Tux on 2019-02-04 22:13:08 GMT from Canada)
#29 (MZ) I agree with you 100%. I don't understand this whole issue with Systemd and folks calling it a virus. Most of them probably have never encountered a real virus. Systemd seems to work quite nicely on my HP laptop. And I know a few others that use it with no issues. If you don't like it - don't use it. There are a few distros/programmes/file systems/animals/people I don't like but I don't go around beefing about it. My grandfather, bless his soul, had a saying - "Opinions are like your privates, there for your personal pleasure, not to be flaunted publicly."
32 • NAS options (by mikef90000 on 2019-02-04 23:41:55 GMT from United States)
I separate my NAS and media server. My backup desktop "NAS" is an older motherboard with a mdadm RAID 5 setup and only runs when I need it to do a full data backup.
So far my Raspberry Pi 3 is a good media server - low power and runs 24/7 with USB flash drives as the media storage with minidlna. It also has been a reliable DNS-over-TLS forwarder using unbound (surprisingly easy to configure).
Neither solution is good for a non-technical end user, so I continue to look at OMV, Plex, etc for future use by friends and family.
33 • NAS at Home (by Paul Nodine on 2019-02-05 00:04:37 GMT from United States)
I have a Synology NAS that I have had for about 4 years. Ive had it so long I dont think I could live without it now. I use it for self cloud storage as well as my media files. I can access it from any operating system and they have a Drive app (simulated drive for files) that works on Windows, Mac and Linux systems. I use Plex now for my Roku but there are native video, audio and photo streaming apps, just not as refined as Plex. I would be lost without my NAS now, thats how reliant I am on it since I have multiple Windows and Linux systems as well as Android and a iPhone
34 • systemd (by Kim on 2019-02-05 01:21:16 GMT from Austria)
Funny, first time I have read that someone is calling systemd a virus. Seems that some people don't like it, but it is here to stay nevertheless. Lots of distros are using it nowadays, no one I know has ever had an issue with it. Just the usual bunch of people whining as always whenever good ol' Linux is progressing from its state of the 90's ...
35 • NAS (by chalekorea on 2019-02-05 02:43:52 GMT from Philippines)
I have a NAS online at home. Runs on Amahi. Easy to setup and reliable. It runs on an intel atom itx motherboard 24/7 which allows me and my family access to files (media, documents, project materials, etc) from any of the other four computers (+ the tablets) from anywhere in the house. It is like having your own local 'cloud'. Don't know how i did without it before.
36 • NAS at home (by David D on 2019-02-05 03:03:49 GMT from United States)
Like @33 I have a Synology NAS (DS214) that has been working very well for about 4 years for files from Mac, iOS, Linux, and Win10. Prior to that I used NAS4Free, which met most of my needs but which was noisy, large (in my "case"), and a bit too much trouble to maintain and back up.
The internal Synology cloud feature, Synology Drive, has one major disadvantage: To work on a file, one has to pull it into another location, edit and save in that location, and then returned to it's location within Synology Drive. That process became so inconvenient that I finally moved files needing frequent attention to Dropbox, which is recognized by wp and spreadsheet applications I use.
The Synology box is small, quiet, port rich, and easy to service. In fact, if a drive fails, it can be hot swapped. I dread the day I have to confirm that feature, by the way. ;-)
I'm no expert, just a consumer regarding servers. Much of the jargon is above my level, so I struggle with whatever is out there, Synology included. But I've muddled through, and it's working well for the most part. A lot of available features I simply don't use.
37 • NAS (by Ron on 2019-02-05 03:54:50 GMT from United States)
Did I miss something along the way?
N A S ?
Do I use a NAS, maybe so, let's see:
1) I have a Network
2) I have a hard drive Attached to a Raspberry Pi
3) It stores and serves files
Someone please tell me what's this NAS all about, does it require some kind of anointment to be a real NAS?
38 • @37--WHAT?! No NAS? (by R. Cain on 2019-02-05 14:41:21 GMT from United States)
Unless you have server responsibility and want the highest possible reliable operation of your _server SYSTEM_, then, no, you haven't missed a thing. Just like you haven't missed a thing if you don't have a RAID system for your personal computer (which is often used with NAS). If you don't have responsibility for a *major* server system, then not having NAS is is like not having AIDS...or like the *ordinary* user not knowing and using a powerful database program.
If you have a PERSONAL computer, used as a personal computer and not as a serious 'file server', then no: you haven't missed a thing...except being able to brag about how you "...run a NAS system...".
[Funny how this 'bandwagon' thing works: I've been using PCs since before the IBM 8088 PC, and have NEVER had the need for a NAS system even though a lot of 'with-it' acquaintances have continually kept telling me how 'behind-the times' I am...]
39 • nas (by Tim on 2019-02-05 15:45:26 GMT from United States)
I had an NAS going for a while, and didn't feel like it was worth the trouble for a home network with just a couple of people. I may revisit in a few years because my family has grown and having a simple way to back everything up from more computers might be attractive. The only thing I'd warn @37 is that external hard drives are pretty spotty- I've had some perform far beyond their expected duties and some fail instantly. I would never just have one copy.
I think much more important is off-site backup. I have several big external hard drives, and I make sure that there's another copy of data both in my home but also somewhere else, preferably at least a couple of counties away in case of wildfire, tornado outbreak, etc.
40 • 40 • @37--WHAT?! No NAS? (by Ron on 2019-02-05 15:36:25 GMT from United States)
Thanks R. Cain
Just what I thought. I do have a NAS.
"I've been using PCs since before the IBM 8088 PC, and have NEVER had the need for a NAS system even though a lot of 'with-it' acquaintances have continually kept telling me how 'behind-the times' I am...]"
I started with a little solder-it-yourself computer, a "Z80", or something like that! Then on to a CPM monster with 8 inch floppy drives in a large steel box. Then an IBM clone among hundreds like it. But now - yippee MX-Linux and Raspberry Pi.
41 • 40 â€¢ @37--WHAT?! No NAS? (by Ron on 2019-02-05 15:36:25 GMT from United States)
Thanks R. Cain
Just what I thought. I do have a NAS.
"I've been using PCs since before the IBM 8088 PC, and have NEVER had the need for a NAS system even though a lot of 'with-it' acquaintances have continually kept telling me how 'behind-the times' I am...]"
I started with a little solder-it-yourself computer, a "Z80", or something like that! Then on to a CPM monster with 8 inch floppy drives in a large steel box. Then an IBM clone among hundreds like it. But now - yippee MX-Linux and Raspberry Pi.
42 • If you only need Tor Browser then Tails will be an easier choice. (by Unknown OS on 2019-02-05 20:09:48 GMT from Finland)
And it's not about which one is prettier.
43 • No NAS (by Roger on 2019-02-05 23:26:28 GMT from Belgium)
I have been thinking about a NAS for some two years but decided against one.
Now I have one TB in the cloud and it's enough for my needs, also I make backups on external SSD and HD.
I don't game, stream movies or music, so that 1 TB covers me in case of fire, theft and so on.
It works so easy from every PC, I had to take it out years ago.
44 • Home NAS (by Neil on 2019-02-05 23:33:47 GMT from United States)
Voted yes on the poll since I've been using a home NAS using OpenMediaVault for a few years now. I've been wanting to try out FreeNAS for a while, but the old machine I use for a NAS is not 64-bit so have stayed with OMV.
45 • Test of two proprietary NAS systems (by Hauke on 2019-02-06 00:19:43 GMT from Fiji)
Like your test of FreeNAS 11.2.
Could you compare the proprietary SYNOLOGY (btrfs) and QNAP (Ext4) expecially ifb it comes to the used file systems? Thank you so much!
46 • NAS OP (by dhoni on 2019-02-06 01:55:57 GMT from Indonesia)
I have NAS at home, im using it for media storage (from couple phone) and to support my 24/7 media server. its been 4 years now and i think i cant live without it..
Im using seagate gateway 2TB for now. I want to make some PC based NAS but that build is not power efficient, maybe next time ill try some SBC that support SATA.
47 • NAS (by purpleblue on 2019-02-06 17:06:45 GMT from Nigeria)
For my NAS needs, I have at various times used OpenSolaris, then OpenIndiana, FreeNAS(before it changed to NAS4Free, but not the current FreeNAS), NAS4Free, and finally now upgraded to XigmaNAS.
Have never had issues with NAS4Free/XigmaNAS, and it works seamlessly. I access it both from Windows and from Linux systems.
I use ZFS and CIFS.
48 • NAS (by Wally on 2019-02-06 18:48:26 GMT from United States)
I use a Synology DS1010+ NAS device, running probably an outdated DSM 5.2. It serves nfs to my one main storage server, and that's it. It uses Synology's N-2 raid implementation where it can tolerate 2 disk failures (in the 5-disk array). Along with my personal contents, I mirror fedora, centos, and epel yum repositories for my home network (served from the heavy-compute storage server, so apache uses the nfs).
My next computer purchase is probably going to be either the NAS expansion doohickey (Synology DX510 or DX513) or a new Synology device or else a white box for CentOS with nfs and dm-raid. I don't really care about ZFS (which shows I haven't ever used it for real; I touched a system with it once at a customer site) or slick web interfaces. Although now with my non-systemd inclinations, maybe I'll try devuan...
49 • Home NAS -- Yes I have serval nas boxes (by Painkiller895 on 2019-02-06 20:17:26 GMT from United States)
2. Open media Vault
3. TurnKey File Server
4. Synology DS918+
These I use for storage for different files.
I also use these to stream media though out my home...
works great !
50 • offsite backups (by Gary W on 2019-02-07 00:39:43 GMT from Australia)
@39 I've been saying for a long, long time that the best backup device is a bigger computer, preferably someone else's. Now called "the cloud"...
51 • Nas (by Closetgeek on 2019-02-07 14:15:16 GMT from Canada)
Been running an Open Media Vault server for years.
52 • Tried FreeNAS for a while: clumsy and slow. (by Miron on 2019-02-07 15:10:29 GMT from France)
First there's figuring out setup, forces ZFS so can't just attach existing drives, then ZFS appears very slow making new files, so with my lots of small ones, took a whole day to fill 250G.
53 • How much content do you have that need NAS? (by hypnotoad on 2019-02-07 18:41:57 GMT from Slovakia)
And how often do you access it?
Also, I notice that several seem to have several computers running at once. Nice way to go green, guys.
54 • @53 (by Justin on 2019-02-07 19:27:58 GMT from United States)
I agree with @53. I can appreciate wanting to keep data from being lost, but some setups sound like overkill. I guess to each his own if you like tinkering and such, but for most people, please KISS.
55 • @52 FreeNAS clumsy and slow (by Rev_Don on 2019-02-07 19:28:39 GMT from United States)
"ZFS appears very slow making new files, so with my lots of small ones, took a whole day to fill 250G."
I've never ran into that even with small files (like text files). FreeNAS with ZFS has always transferred or created files at nearly maximum speed for the interface. The times I've ever seen slow performance was moving files from old USB 2.0 drives. Otherwise it's within 10% of any other file system.
56 • off site (by Tim on 2019-02-08 14:04:10 GMT from United States)
Nothing against the cloud, but I think an off site giant harddrive has a couple of advantages:
1.) It's cheaper. A hundred bucks for 4TB, indefinately
2.) If something happens to you, you can tell your next of kin about its location and then they have it. Sometimes if it's in the cloud it's just lost.
3.) Things do disappear from the cloud. Since it isn't your computer, you can't guard against mistakes people make.
4.) It's faster. Copying over a network for most connections takes a while
For myself, I use both.
57 • NAS for homeuser (by Svajunas on 2019-02-08 14:44:22 GMT from Lithuania)
Using OMV + docker transmission openvpn for some kind of "anonymous" torrenting. System on low budget Amd Am1 itx mobo and etc. Watching movies by network on TV w Android, keeping backups, running VMs. For me "OMV + plugin features" was most good solution after nas4free, freenas, turnkeylinux, xpnology (this was very nice looking and interesting).
58 • NAS (by Von on 2019-02-08 15:06:50 GMT from United States)
I have set up my own personal "router" with an attached NAS using Gentoo.
Makes life alot more simpler.
59 • @31 "If you don't like it - don't use it" (by curious on 2019-02-08 16:53:27 GMT from Germany)
Thats just what the other commenters are saying: *they won't use it*. Therefore, SystemrescueCD has lost them as users.
However, the insinuation that people should not complain is wrong:
Choice *is* being removed. One of the (previously) best and most useful rescue tools now uses a controversial piece of software that some people would like to avoid. And since I don't see replacements appearing like magic, this avoiding of systemD is becoming more and more difficult - unless you have the abilities to make your own distro and remove this dependency hog. I certainly don't have such abilities, and I assume that most other people don't either.
If people don't complain about this, their voices will most certainly not be heard.
60 • nothing is being removed (by Tim on 2019-02-08 19:36:00 GMT from United States)
The problem with this argument is that nothing is being removed. People who don't want systemd are free to use any prior version of SystemRescueCD, which are still freely available.
61 • SystemRescueCD Disappointments (by cpoakes on 2019-02-08 23:06:24 GMT from United States)
I will miss the 32-bit support for legacy systems. And no one has mentioned that the 6.0 ISO image is larger than a CD - call this SystemRescueDVD or SystemRescueUSB. Again only a problem for legacy systems that can't boot DVD/USB. I will stick to the Gentoo version at least until I don't have legacy systems left.
Perhaps time to revisit the Parted Magic project (which last I knew also had no systemd if you're not a fan).
62 • A simple observation on NAS usage reporting. (by R. Cain on 2019-02-09 04:55:41 GMT from United States)
If one uses DistroWatch’s ‘Search Distributions’ function, and chooses the most liberal search criteria, one gets the following returns when one searches DW for a NAS Distribution:
FreeNAS, XigmaNAS, OpenMediaVault, EasyNAS, and Rockstor.
The combined TOTAL of Reader Supplied Ratings for these five are twenty-nine (29).
As of 2317 (EST) on 8 February, 2019, 633 readers had responded that they use a (some) NAS distribution at home. Even assuming that (a) a large percentage of people who use a NAS distro don’t respond to a DW poll, and (b) a large percentage of people who use these five DW ‘search returns’ don’t take the time to “vote” for their choice by responding to the “Reader Ratings”, this LOCAL result--633 readers who say they use a NAS distribution versus a grand TOTAL of TWENTY-NINE Reader Supplied Ratings for ALL FIVE NAS distributions--simply doesn’t make a lot of sense.
63 • NAS (by mmphosis on 2019-02-09 07:35:44 GMT from Canada)
I run SMB on a raspberry pi (Raspbian).
NAS, Network Attached Storage, or "File Sharing" the easy way:
I have old PowerPC Macs running Mac OS X 10.4 (darwin8) and 10.5 (darwin9), and it is way easy to turn on and off Fire Sharing with a checkbox. It has options, yes there is an "Options..." button, that allows file sharing using AFP, FTP and SMB. To save power, I have this Mac turn itself on and off on a schedule. I do NOT recommend using a PowerPC Mac as a NAS, but I do.
File Sharing the hard way:
Also, on the PowerPC Mac, I've figured out how to turn on (and off) NFS and TFTP. It requires a whole heap on incantations from the command line. I use this to network boot PowerPC Macs. I would like to set up the PowerPC network boot on Linux.
The cool thing is that Thunar can see ALL of these shares and connect to AFP, NFS, SMB, and probably some or maybe many more other types. Thank you Linux and all your useful programs.
BTW that was an awesome article about FreeNAS.
64 • FreeNas (by DevonLinux on 2019-02-09 16:57:45 GMT from Canada)
Pro; there is nothing more rock solid than BSD and FreeNAS.
Con; I used FreeNAS back when it was version 7. I had separate data and boot disks and the boot disk failed. Shortly before the failure version 8 was released so that is what I installed on the new boot drive. I was disappointed to find it could not read the old version 7 data. Also no NFS shares with Linux and I never did find out how to do updates other than to install a new version.
My production NAS has been Debian since version 7.
65 • NAS at home (by DaveT on 2019-02-09 18:56:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
NAS4Free version 9.x because it runs on 32bit hardware.
I have a nice little 32bit box with 1GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD for data and a 4GB SSD for the operating system.
It holds only audio data mainly in FLAC format for use with my Sonos hifi system.
It has been working happily for many years but I can't upgrade the OS because FreeBSD abandoned 32-bit at version 10.
No need for RAID - my backup is the CDs and vinyl that I have in my loft. If anything terrible happens to the NAS I get to rip them again! It'll be fun...
For the future? I suppose I will roll my own using NetBSD.
66 • NAS (by mw on 2019-02-09 20:23:51 GMT from Canada)
I use a Seagate GoFlex Home which has a proprietary linux-like os called FreeAgent. I has worked fairly well for the last 8 years. It is slow, but will serve audio and video. It doen't always wake when prompted but eventually come to life. I don't use it as a timed backup because it drops uploads if they continue for a protracted period.
I may try an Arch linux version that is available at some point.
67 • NAS (by Jim on 2019-02-09 22:30:24 GMT from Sweden)
My primary NAS runs Nas4Free (renamed XigmaNAS recently) on a quad-core AMD Phenom-II processor with 16 GB RAM and an Areca RAID controller card. It currently has 10 4TB drives in RAID-6. It presently has been running 24/7/365 for nearly 5 years with no trouble (except when I was fiddling with it and broke something).
I have Nextcloud running on that NAS, and an assortment of connections (iscsi and nfs) to my workstation (I do development, mostly on FreeBSD these days).
My "go to hell" backup NAS runs on an Asrock J3455-ITX. It also is Nas4Free, and runs two 6 TB drives in a ZFS mirror. This provides adequate capacity to hold all my critical stuff, though I don't download things like music files or movies to it. It is remotely located, and my main NAS (and workstation) back up to it periodically. This is my protection against a fire, an H-bomb, or a meteor strike. It does not have much horsepower, and its performance is not what I would call good, but it is adequate for what it does, which is strictly to be remotely located and hold encrypted backups of my critical stuff.
68 • @60 Tim: (by dragonmouth on 2019-02-09 23:58:23 GMT from United States)
"The problem with this argument is that nothing is being removed."
That's like saying that nothing was removed when Slax went from being based on Slackware to being based on Debian Stable. While Slackware abd Debian are both great distros, there are features and apps in Slackware that do not exist in Debian. People who wish to use the old version of Slax and SystemRescueCD may still use them. However, there will come a time when they will have to update and that is when "nothing was removed" will become "a lot was removed".
Before the usual suspects come out with their tired, old argument that "we must move on to newer and better things" let's not forget Canonical's progressive and aggressive move to "newer and better" Unity Desktop. And then, all of a sudden, going back to the archaic and supposedly inferior GNOME. Sometimes "newer" is not "better". Sometimes it is just a "newer fad".
Number of Comments: 68
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|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Full list of all issues|
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