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I'm setting up a new dev and file share server for myself in the closet from my old desktop. I've been running Debian as long as I can remember and have nothing to blaim. Now I'm looking at ZFS and feeling really intrigued by it's features.

What do you thing, Debian or Opensolaris on my next home server?

My vision is to have some kind of small backup for files in the network (80GB perhaps) and some dev setup. Apache, some Java servers, SQL database, DHCP and perhaps some monitoring. Nothing really critical, just for fun and to keep myself busy.

Some HW specs:

AMD Athlon XP 2400+
80GB + 160GB HDD (IDE)
Nvidia 7600 Graphics (yeah, not needed I know.)

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you're interested in ZFS, then you might want to try FreeBSD. The software selection is better than OpenSolaris.

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Ah, that's true. I've heard something about that. Not familiar with BSD though. Is the step big from Linux to FreeBSD environment? Not that Opensolaris is familiar either... – Jonas G Feb 12 '10 at 20:41
Someone else will have to help you there - I'm afraid. I recently listened to the recent FreeBSD podcast of FLOSS Weekly. They were talking up FreeBSD's simplicity and stability. – Iain Feb 12 '10 at 22:21
You got me hooked. I'm trying out FreeBSD, just to see how it is. If I don't like it, I'll switch to next Opensolaris version when it comes out. – Jonas G Feb 13 '10 at 12:19
Good luck! ~:o) – Iain Feb 13 '10 at 17:09

Wait for Opensolaris 2010.04 to be released. You'll have the deduplication feature available, a more advanced OS than Solaris 10 (next Solaris release will be based on OpenSolaris) and an environment less disruptive than Solaris 10 as you are coming from Gnu/Linux. If you can't wait, just use the dev build 132, which is the latest 2010.04 beta. Although adding RAM definitely won't hurt, your system should work fast enough as a server. Disable the graphic environment when you don't need it.

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I'll try out FreeBSD first and if I don't like it I'll go with the next version of Opensolaris. Thanks for the tip. – Jonas G Feb 13 '10 at 12:21

As an FYI, you could also run Solaris 10, which also supports ZFS, and is a bit less "bleeding-edge" than OpenSolaris.

The biggest thing that I see here is that (Open)Solaris(10) requires a lot more hardware to run smoothly than Linux. With the specs that you list, performance will not be very good. If you add more RAM (4GB+ total), you should see an increase in performance, and a faster, multi-core processor would also be a benefit.

So, in this case I would choose Debian over Solaris.

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Yeah, the performance thing got me thinking also. Might be that, if not else, then for that reason I'll have to not choose Opensolaris. Just to be sure. Don't think I'll invest in any further HW at this point. – Jonas G Feb 12 '10 at 20:39

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