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I want to setup a file server for my own personal use. It will be accessed from a simple home network by about 5 computers, mixed between Linux (Ubuntu, usually) and Windows.

I plan on using FreeNAS to host the network shares. While looking through FreeNAS's features, I noticed it supports iSCSI, something I don't have experience with.

Is iSCSI suitable for a small network? In the past I have tried Samba, FTP, SSH, etc, but none of these have worked as well as I would have liked on both Ubuntu and Windows.

Is iSCSI easy to setup (with FreeNAS), easy to connect to, and have good cross platform support?

Or is there a better choice?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

An iSCSI target is presented to a host as a local disk. It is not suitable for sharing the same volume across multiple computers. You'll want SAMBA or NFS for this.

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It will work just fine but for multiple computers you would need NFS/SAMBA. Since you never used it I would set it up so you can see what its all about.

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Are you saying that multiple computers cannot connect to the same iSCSI Target? If that is the case it is a bit of a deal breaker. – Mike Cooper Sep 13 '09 at 20:17
You can but the set up isn't worth it at least to me with five computers. With NFS/SAMBA you don't have to worry about much they take care of everything for you and you can easily switch between the two depending on what you want to do. – user10547 Sep 13 '09 at 22:36

Well, iSCSI is just a block device, you need a file system. Problem being you need a shareable (cluster) file system that works with linux and windows. There are free (as in beer, 2TB limit), free as in open source (but non trivial to get running), and of course pay options.

There have been questions about this on serverfault.

win and lin, free as in beer to 2TB

Linux only: oracle's ocfs2, GFS, etc ......

And I expect there are others.

And several pay options.

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