Home ZFS NAS Upgrade

Ever since I put together my low budget NAS, I have been wanting to upgrade it. Initially it was a proof of concept, now it needs to be low power and functional. The old NAS was a 32-bit system (32-bit makes ZFS crawl). I wanted a low power and cheap 64 bit system and so I ended up getting a atom 230 based mini-itx system from Intel… The D945GCLF. I fitted 1GB of RAM and used a 4GB CF card as the hard disk (via a CF-IDE adapter). For the OS I used ncp 2.0 alpha 1 (based on Ubuntu Hardy).

I had a few problems with Nexenta on this board:

  • The installation of Nexenta went fine on the CF card, but come time to reboot, I received a “GRUB stage2 read error”. I spent a couple of days trying to figure out what was wrong but as I did not succeed, I am using an old HDD for now.
  • The 2nd issue is that Nexenta kept booting up into 32 bit. This was due to grub not recognizing the atom as 64-bit. This was solved by hard coding ”amd64” in place of ”$ISADIR” in the menu.lst file of grub. Full details of this bug can be found here and here. Use isainfo -vk to make sure
  • The last issue is that the onboard LAN chip is not supported. The chip is a Realtek 8136 and shows up as ”pciex10ec,8136”. For now I have installed an old Netgear PCI card
  • Once I get me NAS up and running, I will then spend some more time trying to fix the CF card issue. The onboard LAN issue will solve itself in time. Until then, I can wait.

    One Response to “Home ZFS NAS Upgrade”

    1. Gene Says:

      Any new updates on this?

      How many hard drives did you give to ZFS on this box?