NAS4Free Hardware – 2015

Lately I’ve been building a ZFS-based NAS machine using the excellent NAS4Free. I’ve been wanting to use ZFS for years, and got rather excited when Apple was planing to include it with OS X years ago. Sadly that effort fell through (over licensing terms I’ve heard), but other OS’ have picked it up, notably FreeBSD. After an external drive died recently (fortunately in a dual-drive mirror, so no data was lost), I decided it was time to take the ZFS plunge. I updated the purchasing advice from DIY NAS 2015 Edition, going with Brian’s choice of:


Brian had trouble fitting his power supply into the case – his is 125mm long and SFX-sized power units are normally 100mm long. With a better fitting power supply:

  • I chose a Silverstone ST30SF, which has a lower wattage but I’m only planning on using six drives. It installs easily into the case.
  • Along with WD Reds and Seagates, I’m mixing in a pair of HGST Deskstar NAS drives, which are very well reviewed.
  • NAS distro: I tried FreeNAS but failed to get it to boot (! – probably user error), so switched to NAS4Free which worked first time, and has been rock-solid.

Items were purchased from,, Fry’s, and Best Buy. This was partly to obtain disks from separate manufacturing batches, so that failures would be unlikely to occur simultaneously.

This build has been rock-solid for several months now. I’m very happy with the chosen components.

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