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Setting up a Ubuntu NAS to backup my FreeNAS server


Permalink 11:32:04 pm by guy, Categories: Linux, NAS , Tags: backup, freenas, linux, nas, ubuntu, xubuntu

I’ve had a recent goal of getting a NAS up and running to properly backup all the accumulating data our family generates. Pictures, Video, and Windows PC Backups are the primary goal for proper backup. Linux is the obvious solution for my implementation and have been trying a FreeNAS (BSD based) install running on some old hardware. I’ve had a lot of struggles with FreeNAS, but in hindsight I think almost all my problems can be traced back to hardware incompatibilities. My FreeNAS server appears to be VERY stable now that I have given up on my external ESATA and USB drives. With the external devices I had lots of kernel panics.

My new goal, now that I have FreeNAS stable, is to try the Umbuntu solution. Trying to roll my own NAS. It seems pretty reasonable and the more I get into it the more excited (yeah, I know, sad) I get about the possibilities of a Linux server. At this point I really like Linux as a server OS, but I wouldn’t consider it for my everyday desktop (commence flame war). Anyway, the pieces that I have been installing include:

- Xubuntu (a minimal GUI distribution of Ubuntu)
- RSync (for backup)
- RSnapshot (for rsync snapshot integration and automation)
- Webmin (very cool web based Linux server management tool)
- SSH (remote command line access)
- GPartEd (gui based partioning and formatting tool)
- NFS (for access to my NFS share on the FreeNAS server)
- SAMBA (to provide Windows file shares)

So what I have done is setup my FreeNAS server with an NFS share of the root of it’s data drive. I then setup a persistant mount point on the ubuntu server. Then I configured rsnapshot to do daily, weekly, and monthly snapshot backups of the FreeNAS data. Installation of everything was done through the GUI or the Webmin interface so it has been pretty easy. The only piece that I’ve had to configure though the command line was rsnapshot, but that was pretty easy and well worth it for what it does.

Why setup a separate server? Why not a second FreeNAS server? No good reason, I could, so I did. I really like the flexibility of the Ubuntu server, but the FreeNAS setup and configuration is hard to beat and pretty feature packed. Both servers choked on my ESATA card that I bought at Frys so I can’t say either one did better with hardware either.

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I'm a generalist, at least if I'm honest. In my job I am primarily a developer, but also a sysadmin, and (as little as possible) technical support. I know a little about a lot of things, a lot about some things, and everything about nothing. Here I will post random learnings...


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