NAS Odyssey: OpenFiler is out, let's try Ubuntu

My love affair with OpenFiler did not last very long. After installation finished, I started browser, pointed to URL I was told by the installer and started to configure. The Web admin was OK, nothing really exciting, but functional. The bad surprise came when I was trying to define users – in order to define volumes later. And here came the screen saying:

Please note that Openfiler needs a central directory service
on the network to function, which it and the client machines can see and use.
You cannot use local users and groups with Openfiler.
Otherwise there is no means to implement authorisation
as one machine’s information about users and groups can differ from another’s.
You can configure the directory service below.

It offered me either use LDAP server or point to Windows domain controller. Well – too bad. I certainly have no intention to install and run LDAP for the four users I have at home, and if I ever will have a Windows server, it will not be an add-on to Linux NAS but a replacement for failed attempt to install Linux NAS (my Plan B). And it certainly will be neither Domain controller nor Active Directory server – as I am not a big fan of either approach. Anyway – I cannot use OpenFiler, the next step is to try out real Linux distributions, in order Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSuse.

So I started to getting the installation images ready. I have downloaded the DVD ISO for Fedora and OpenSuse and CD ISO for Ubuntu. While doing that I practically tried out Bittorrent for the first time. Stop laughing – I was really not using Torents until now. Somehow the fashion of downloading of MP3’s and movies from peer-2-peer networks avoided by me. The client I used was Azureus – beautiful opensource piece of software written in Java. Maybe, with the current superfast dual-core machines and 1-2 GB RAM as minimum, time has come to re-evaluate the idea of thick client written in Java ?

But back to the installs. First series of downloads did not work. Neither of them. Probably because I have downloaded the x86_64 versions. Each of the systems crashed in various stages of loading Linux kernel – so I assume, there must be some issue with HCL of my configuration. I have read few weeks ago somewhere on the Net that “… trying to go with 64 bits is begging for troubles … ” – but did not know how it is.

So I am back to running torrents – the i386 versions of Ubuntu Server 6.10 CD is already downloaded and the other two DVD’s are coming. It will take few hours. We will see if the problems were indeed caused by the x86_64 versions.

Let’s start with Ubuntu ….

To be continued

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6 Comments on “NAS Odyssey: OpenFiler is out, let's try Ubuntu”

  1. Anil Garg Says:

    Openfiler does have a built in LDAP server to define users. It may be a new functionality…

  2. stumo Says:

    Yeah, I initially got put off openFiler by reading that same screen as you. but I thought it can’t be right…

    So I looked on the forum etc and managed to find out how to use the built-in LDAP server to create users/groups. It wasn’t very intuitive to a noob like me, but it worked first time!

  3. krius Says:

    I’m using openfiler on my storage server. it is a dual core 64 bit machine with 5 terabyte drives on raid 6… it’s been running 24/7 for the past 4/5 months without any problems. for authentication I’ve used the built in LDAP server. personally i think openfiler is the best os for a storage server due to its stripped down nature, and the fact that it can actually do raid 6 (i believe ubunto, fedora, and suse cant?). the only negative thing i can mension is how suse(which is on my laptop) handles LDAP and such. The LDAP authentication is done only at login and is a pain when i move from place to place inside my house, switching between wireless and cable…

  4. Luis Murillo Says:

    Well…so far I’ve been testing openfiler and the integrated LDAP is quite useful…untill you come to realize that you are unable to authenticate the clients using the openfiler LDAP…or I’m missing something because the issue I’m having right now is that when I mount the shares over NFS or SMB it brings the permissions from the file server and the UID and GID are different on the clients, like openfiler has UID 500 and the client will have UID 1000, so that’s my biggest issue right now…other than that it works great.

  5. Miro Says:

    Unfortunately, OpenFiler will not work the way you/me/most people would want it without external LDAP server that will create “unified user identity”.

  6. blburns Says:

    you should try freenas then. the only reason i like openfiler better than freenas is because it supports lvm iscsi targets which freenas does not. but if your not doing that or if you dont have the equipment to run a domain controller then openfiler is not a good option. PS. dont you have some vmware servers somewhere. i have 1 server at the house running 4 VMs for domain controllers/vpn it only takes like 256MB of ram to run it somewhere.


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