A review of operating systems/software for your NAS

Posted on: Sunday 23 Jan 2022

I’ve used almost all the major NAS operating systems/software for DIY NASes so I wanted to write up a few thoughts on each. At the time of this writing, ZFS is the only serious contender for NAS filesystems, so this review only covers operating systems with ZFS support. At this time, HAMMERFS is still only available on Dragonfly BSD which does not have support for jails and only recently gained VM support. This makes Dragonfly BSD not a suitable host for software such as Plex. At this time, BTRFS is still not stable, and is only available on Linux.

I have installed all these operating systems on the same hardware/ZFS pool, so ZFS has been easily passing the vendor lock-in test. I haven’t had any data loss or incompatibility importing my NAS pool in to any of these installs. My comments are only relating to the administration and general use as a NAS.

At the time of this writing, I am using NixOS on my NAS and would highly recommend either NixOS or FreeNAS, unless you have substantial experience using another system.

Tags: linux bsd solaris nas review