I would like to set up a new server at home that should be able to perform the following tasks:

  • Act as firewall/router/NAT for my home network
  • Share lots of files, mostley music
  • Misc. other stuff, webhosting etc.

I've previously used a FreeBSD box but it's running old and the hardware is failing. I would like to have a system with at least ~2TB of storage with appropriate redundancy/backup mechanisms (RAID, ...) in place. The only requirement I have is that it should be able to route the internet traffic (100mbit) without effort and I'd like the local network to be 1Gbit.

  • Which OS is a good choice?
  • What's a good solution for the storage?
  • What's the minimum amount off memory needed?
  • What else should I think about?
  • Are there any good resources for info on the subject?
  • 1
    In my honest opinion this question should be on both as it is valid on both sites and could get better coverage. Aug 24, 2009 at 10:33
  • Diago, it's an edge case for SF. I'm sitting on the fence - but I won't reopen it for now I think that it's a common question more for home users than for IT professionals (music sharing...). Also, there is a link to this question here, so I hope users who know a good ansers will switch to SU.
    – splattne
    Aug 24, 2009 at 11:22

3 Answers 3


pfSense is a FreeBSD based firewall/router/everything and has a web interface. I'm not sure if this is the distro that you're using now, but if it's not it's worth a look. You really should be weary of hosting a file server on an edge device, it's a little scary, but if you're not concerned about security then go for it.

  • Seconded on misgivings about the edge device being a file server. I wouldn't do it that way. I'd recommend 2 separate boxes.
    – emgee
    Aug 24, 2009 at 2:39

You could try ClarkConnect, a CentOS 5 based distro with every conceivable local server feature, from Bandwidth Management to Mail Quarantine and VPN.

  • Firewall, Networking and Security
  • VPN / Virtual Private Networks
  • Web Proxy and Filtering
  • E-mail
  • Groupware
  • File and Print Services
  • Database and Web Server

Requirements here, 512MB RAM recommended.


I think FreeBSD is a very good choice, because it has excellent network performance and good storage capabilities, especially with newly added ZFS. You can use as skeleton either pfSense (easy to manage router) or FreeNAS (easy to manage router). Or if you don't need any kind of Web interface, just setup custom server-router using iso of upcoming FreeBSD 8.0 release

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