I was looking to build a NAS (Network Attached Storage) to store all my music, photos, files, e-books and important work related files. I also wanted to have a central place for my backups and to be used sometimes as HTPC. So, a "two in one" solution (NAS and HTPC).
Even if there are many ready-to-go NAS solutions I decided to build myself one and having the HTPC on the same machine. Here is mainly what I wanted:
- low powered system (64-bit microprocessor)
- used as a media server (stream movies/music)
- to be used sometimes as a HTPC, so I wanted HDMI (for HD video)
- ZFS file system with all its goodies
- gigabit ethernet interface to take advantage of the network bandwidth
- nice chassis with four hot-swappable 3.5" SATA HDD (I am using just two HDD right now because the motherboard has only 3 SATA)
My NAS/HTPC specs are here:
- Chenbro ES34069 chassis
- Zotac ION-ITX-A Wi-Fi Dual Core 1.6GHz motherboard
- 2 GB Kingston DDR2 800MHz RAM
- 2 x Western Digital Caviar Green 1.0 TB
- 1x Toshiba 2.5" HDD 100 GB (for OS)
I choosed FreeBSD as operating system, because I am more familiar with it than with Solaris. I recompiled mplayer with vdpau support (for HD video).
Here are the steps:
- download the latest mplayer snapshot from their website
- download these two files (ftp://download.nvidia.com/XFree86/vdpau/include/vdpau/) and put them in /usr/include/vdpau (create that directory)
- ./configure --disable-x264-lavc --disable-x264 -–enable-vdpau
- gmake install
- check to see if you have vdpau support with: "mplayer -vo help". If you see something like: "vdpau VDPAU with X11" then everything is ok.
Some additional steps/configs:
- add zfs_enable="YES" in /etc/rc.conf
- add the following in /boot/loader.conf:
vm.kmem_size_max="1024M" vm.kmem_size="1024M" vfs.zfs.arc_max="100M"
- zpool create storage mirror ad4 ad10
- zfs create storage/archives
- zfs create storage/backups
- install samba, duplicity, rsnapshots, rsync, unison, ushare, ...
Right now, everything is working very well, I am very happy with the setup, but I still didn't manage to have sound over HDMI, so, a temporary solution will be to connect an additional speaker system to it.
I don't need any fancy remote control, I have a logitech wifi keyboard/mouse, because I like to be able to read the news in the morning (during cofee time) using google reader
The total power consumption is about 35W idle / 45W load which is pretty good, I think.