ZFS FreeNAS and Servers with Minimal Boot Drives

Discussion in 'Linux Admins, Storage and Virtualization' started by TangoWhiskey9, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. TangoWhiskey9

    TangoWhiskey9 Active Member

    Jun 28, 2013
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    Hello STH,

    Does anyone have a good guide on setting up a Linux system (CentOS or Ubuntu 16.04) to boot from a small hard drive then have all of the other bits installed on a ZFS FreeNAS?

    I don't necessarily want to have full booting over the network since the 1gb will choke if 40 machines booted at the same time. I'd essentially want to map /home/ or maybe everything outside of /boot and swap off the network's FreeNAS ZFS server.

    I know there are guides available I just haven't found one that works.
  2. marcoi

    marcoi Active Member

    Apr 6, 2013
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    i dont have a guide, but i run a freenas vm with nfs enabled then mount that nfs share to other vms and use that as storage. Look under linux for how to mount nfs from freenas. its fairly simple. as a disclaimer I only use it for access to software i install on multiple vms, and limited content files, so not alot of network traffic.
  3. ttabbal

    ttabbal Active Member

    Mar 10, 2016
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    What you're talking about is usually called "NFS Home" or similar. It's pretty common.

    You might try network booting. It may perform better than you think. Even with many machines booting at once. The network might lag a bit while the initial boot runs, but you really only need to move 100MB or so for a fat client boot process. And it's spread over time. The kernel and initrd have to download all at once, but after that it just depends on how quick each machine runs.

    I'm using LTSP for that, single client, but the broken switch it's on is linking at 100Mbit/s. It works quite well. I really need to throw that switch away.... :)
  4. whitey

    whitey Moderator

    Jun 30, 2014
    Likes Received:
    LTSP, now that's turning back the hands of time for me...almost as much as SRSS if you knwo what that is :-D. Had some fun w/ those projects and a few deployments, mostly very successful. I think what you are after is a pretty common thing to do for users home directories, google 'nfs autofs home directories' and if memory serves me correct you will be onto gold.
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