How To: Budget Network Attached Raid 5 Fileserver, Part 3

The server is up and running, the drives are formatted and now serving just under 750gb of Raid5 goodness. Since I have a mixed network of machines, Windows and Mac I need to make it will work with each of those. So we’re going to setup SMB. I could also setup NFS as it’s slightly faster and would add compatibility to Linux machines but it’s not needed in this case. And SMB is actually a more common need since most people run Windows.

Again, counter intuitively I found it was best to setup users first before trying to setup the actual shares. There are two ways to do this. The easy way, or the secure way. If the NAS server is on a local home network, guest access may be the way to go. But I always suggest even in such cases to at least have basic security.Go to Access then Users and Groups. Type in the name of the first user and a password. Leave the User ID to default, it will increment automatically for every new user created. The next option, Primary Group has a drop down list of the standard Unix groups.      

Users and Groups   

The first user should be added to the admin group. Other groups can be staff and wheel. This will give the user maximum permissions to read and write files. Again for home use this is sufficient. Of course FreeNAS also has access to add LDAP and Active Directory authentication. Both of these are simple setups for any System Administrator.Since it’s first on the list, and there are more Windows users around, we’ll explore setting up SMB before NFS. Under Services go to CIFS/SMB. Click on the Shares Tab, then the Plus to add a new share. I simply called the name raid and put in a comment to note which raid it was. (In this case, raid because it’s the only one.) On the path option click on button with three dots. This brings up a filebrowser window, chose the raid directory that we’ve already setup and hit ok.  

File Browser  

 As can be seen below the it automatically puts in /mnt/raid which is what we setup back in Part 2.  


Before clicking the OK button notice two options for increased security. Host Deny and Host Allow. Adding in specific IP addresses to the allow box and ALL for deny will greatly increase security for connections. Keep in mind if the IP address of the computer changes, for instance DHCP on the DSL/Cable router is reset this could cause connection problems later on. At this point, the server is ready to test. Mac OS X 10.5(Leopard) actually sees these connections automatically, even if sharing across SMB (under file sharing) is turned off. Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) will need to connect to the drive via the Connect to Server option. Windows can now be connected just like any other server. Vista Directions are here, and Windows XP is here

FreeNAS is an incredibly powerful program. Even though it’s still only in Beta it seems like a very solid product and does RAID NAS very well. I’ve really enjoyed playing with it and want to give a big congratulations to the development team for a job well done.

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