FreeNAS vs. FreeBSD?

Polytropon freebsd at
Sun Oct 27 15:37:40 UTC 2013

On Sun, 27 Oct 2013 15:16:00 +0100, C. P. Ghost wrote:
> Hello,
> up until now, I'm used to run FreeBSD on SuperMicro servers
> with ZFS-over-GELI. Works like a charm, and I'm comfortable
> with it w.r.t. administration and so on.
> Now I'm wondering what's the difference to FreeNAS.

The _primary_ difference, in my opinion, is the addition and
integration of web-based management tools. If this kind of
interface is a requirement for you, using FreeNAS usually
is the better solution. It's properly tested and well docu-
mented. (Still, it's FreeBSD "under the hoos", so you can
relapse to your FreeBSD operations knowledge in worst case
scenarios.) It's easy to install and to use, that's why it
appeals also to beginners.

A personal note: I prefer "bare" FreeBSD. This is primarily
because avoiding the web interface gives you the chance to
automate tasks more easily. I don't like to do manual work,
that's what computers are _made for_. With a normal FreeBSD
installation, you can use all your scripting and remoting
skills without having the need to pay attention to possible
side effects to the additional parts that FreeNAS introduces,
for example damages of the web interface. Also some pre-
configured defaults or "hardcoded settings" might not fit
particular needs, and it's often easier to access and change
those with the known CLI tools, instead of investing time to
find out the corresponding settings in the web GUI (maybe even
with the result of acknowledging that there is no way to tweak
that _specific_ setting through the web interface).

If low-power devices as "storage applicances" are your goal,
probably FreeBSD is easier to strip of any unneccessary over-
head than trying to remove things like e. g. the web server
and the web admin GUI from FreeNAS, with the imaginable result
of making it unusable...

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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