02 Mar

Setting up FreeNAS

I recently put together a new system for FreeNAS. The physical build of the setup went extremely smooth and, as far as I can tell, the hardware’s working perfectly. I did run into a few initial problems detailed below. Read on if you’d like to know about my FreeNAS journey

The first problem I ran into is that I originally installed FreeNAS 9.3 on the USB thumb drive using VirtualBox, but that seemed to have run into some problems during initial setup as I kept getting an error when I attempted to create CIFS shares. So I just reinstalled the OS again using the IPMI web interface and that went off without a hitch. If, for some reason, I need to reinstall the OS again, FreeNAS’s update function is not cumulative and needs to be run until there’s no more updates.

The first thing I got set up was creating a Time Machine data set with an accompanying AFP share by following this guide. The only change that I made is that I had just one dataset and let all three of our Macs back up to it without worrying about quotas. I basically followed the same steps but substituting CIFS shares for AFP to get the Media share set up. I then used this article to get all the music, movies and TV shows off the computer that handles sharing the iTunes library to storing it on the NAS. That’s when I ran into a little bit of a sticking point. I discovered that when the NAS reboots for updates, the Mac didn’t reconnect the network share automatically.

Fortunately, all recent versions of OS X can use auto_mounter to fix that. Start by editing the /etc/auto_mounter file and adding at the end

/Volumes/Media NAS_NAME

And then create a new file called /etc/NAS_NAME with the contents

iTunes -fstype=smbfs ://USER:PASS@NAS_NAME/Media/iTunes

Run sudo chmod 600 /etc/NAS_NAME followed by sudo automount -vc. Once that’s done, you’ll have a share in /Volumes/Media to the Media share on the NAS that should reconnect on reboot of both the Mac and the NAS. If you don’t have your iTunes folder in a share named Media, you’ll probably want to adjust the names, but I’ve found that this way I don’t screw up the normal Volumes folder. If I were to do this again, I’d perform this step first and put the mount point in a different location than /Volumes to make this step saner.

Once I got that taken care of, my next step was to set up CrashPlan in order to back up the Windows computers as well. The first problem was that the default plugin installation for CrashPlan on FreeNAS is broken. After installing it, you have to stop the jail and then edit the /usr/pbi/crashplan-amd64/share/crashplan/bin/run.conf file inside the CrashPlan jail and edit the following lines:

SRV_JAVA_OPTS="-Djava.nio.channels.spi.SelectorProvider=sun.nio.ch.PollSelectorProvider -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 -Dapp=CrashPlanService -DappBaseName=CrashPlan -Xms20m -Xmx512m -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true -Dsun.net.inetaddr.ttl=300 -Dnetworkaddress.cache.ttl=300 -Dsun.net.inetaddr.negative.ttl=0 -Dnetworkaddress.cache.negative.ttl=0 -Dc42.native.md5.enabled=false"
GUI_JAVA_OPTS="-Djava.nio.channels.spi.SelectorProvider=sun.nio.ch.PollSelectorProvider -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 -Dapp=CrashPlanDesktop -DappBaseName=CrashPlan -Xms20m -Xmx512m -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true -Dsun.net.inetaddr.ttl=300 -Dnetworkaddress.cache.ttl=300 -Dsun.net.inetaddr.negative.ttl=0 -Dnetworkaddress.cache.negative.ttl=0 -Dc42.native.md5.enabled=false"

From there, you can turn the Jail back on and the CrashPlan plugin should start up. Follow the rest of the instructions from CrashPlan’s website to configure it on a headless computer and it’ll be ready to back everything up. I still need to get Snapshots set up and start running routine SMART tests on the hard drive to keep an eye on their status.

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