So, I currently have a FreeNAS Mini XL from iXsystems.
It specs out as follows:
Intel Atom Octo-Core 2.4ghz Processor
32 gb ECC Memory
60gb SSD (for OS)
4x3TB WD Drives in RaidZ1 config (roughly 8.1 GB of storage)
4x4TB WD Drives in RaidZ1 config (roughly 10.8 GB of storage)
What I’ve been debating about is getting rid of FreeNAS and installing a Linux Server (probably Ubuntu since 19.10 will have some pretty easy ZFS for it).
I want to use this box as more than just a File Server, and I don’t feel comfortable with FreeNAS for anything other than a file server.
Some of the things I’m looking to do are:
internal web server
a few self-hosting containers
setting up a python instance to go through my data for various things (possibly setting up some DBs)
emby or some other media server for Kodi
While I’ve been a linux user for quite a while, I really haven’t done any server administration at all, so I’m figuring I’m going to need to learn either FreeNAS or Linux, but Linux has more things to teach, and I feel a better outside usable skill set.
So I’m just getting opinions (or maybe some why’s I should do this, or some good why’s I shouldn’t do this from folks who are much more knowledgeable than I.
My personal choice has always been Centos for servers, since selinux is nice and secure, and I’ve been using reshat based systems since I started.
If you’re going to have a solid base, but want access to newer software, try Centos stream. A rolling release with an enterprise backbone.
My Centos 7 servers run emby, transmission, game servers, and is my homelab for experimentation. Making use of Docker/podman for applications has been great, and being able to easily install Ubuntu or debian in a VM for testing is wonderful.
Zfs is still going to be the best os, and is supported in Centos by the openzfs project.
Don’t change yet! Currently Linux does not support booting from ZFS like FreeNAS. Ubuntu is the only distro, that officially supports ZFS. Ubuntu supports ZFS fully for data storage since Ubuntu 16.04 (booting from ext4). For booting from ZFS only a limited support is provided for only desktops in 19.10, you need one full disk.
There are explanations, how to implement booting from ZFS, but that will be incompatible, with what is implemented currently. Wait for Ubuntu 20.04 (April), where booting from ZFS should be supported more fully or accept to boot from ext4. Other Linux distros are far behind and depend on the github support by “ZFS on Linux” (Open ZFS).
I use ZFS on Ubuntu desktop since Ubuntu 18.04 and on FreeBSD for my back-ups (send/receive from 64-bits Ubuntu on 2018 Ryzen to 32-bits FreeBSD on 2003 Pentium-4).