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will 4GB RAM and a core 2 duo run a home FreeNAS box?

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jnic_

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I have a core 2 duo and 4gb ram machine that I just decommissioned from Windows server 2016, and I was using it for my file server but am now switching to FreeNAS will 4GB RAM work, on the hardware requirements page it says it requires 8 http://www.freenas.org/hardware-requirements/. Will I be able to install it with 4 or will it not even let me install it. Also the total amount of storage will be 1TB on it.
 
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Mirfster

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More than likely it will install (dependent on what version of FreeNAS), but unless you are purely doing this for experimental testing and have no concerns whatsoever about any data; I would highly advise against it.

I could elaborate more and even go so far as to comment on the parts; but will refrain.

Please do yourself a favor and review at least the top three stickied posts at: https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?forums/new-to-freenas.5/

Or look at the Recommended Reading items in my signature.

Judging by the first post you made (Switching from Windows file server to FreeNAS); I would assume that you are relatively new to FreeNAS/ZFS. Best advice is to slow down, read and get informed before moving too fast. ;)

P.S. FWIW, this is IMHO the best place to learn about FreeNAS and while some responses may seem "brutal" the honest truth is that it is all done in "tough love"... :)
 

DrKK

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Not recommended sir.

FreeNAS is serious software for well-equipped systems. On underequipped systems, its performance and reliability, in my view, is not sufficient to justify its use over other, more mundane, solutions.

That being said, if you want to install it on that system and just bang around and see if you like it, with an eye towards maybe investing in a proper mobo, CPU, and RAM, then it will be sufficient for that purpose.
 

wblock

Documentation Engineer
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It will install, with an installer warning. I am working on turning that into a refusal to install. If it were a technical issue, it would be easy. It's not a technical issue.

But we are serious about needing 8G of RAM. If you insist on using less, please remember that (and mention it when asking questions) every time it is slow or does something unexpected.
 

Chris Moore

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on the hardware requirements page it says it requires 8
Why would you even ask that. If it says 8 is the minimum, why would you even ask if it will work with 4.
a core 2 duo
That processor is going to perform poorly. You need something a little bit better.
As an example, if you got this system and upgraded the memory to 8GB, it would be a fine server:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5173247&CatId=329
Notice, it still needs 8GB...
 

danb35

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If it says 8 is the minimum, why would you even ask if it will work with 4.
I really don't understand this. What part of "minimum requirement" is (apparently) so hard to understand?
 

Mirfster

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@jnic_ Don't say I didn't warn you about the "tough love" headed your way.... ;)

It will install, with an installer warning. I am working on turning that into a refusal to install. If it were a technical issue, it would be easy. It's not a technical issue.
Personally, I am on the fence about that. While it would be nice if it did flat out prevent installation (from a support aspect), it may also discourage those that want to "try before buy".

What about something along the lines of a Web GUI being a different annoying color and/or having the header/banner constantly flash some annoying billboard?

Anyways, I guess that is a discussion for a different thread... :)
 

wblock

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Personally, I am on the fence about that. While it would be nice if it did flat out prevent installation (from a support aspect), it may also discourage those that want to "try before buy".
But allowing people to try it without having enough RAM or, say, boot device storage can give misleading failures. "Oh I tried that with 4G of RAM, and it was really slow. And then I tried to update my 2G boot device and it failed." Allowing the install without enforcing the minimum requirements gives the impression that we aren't really serious about those requirements, and that it's okay to cut those corners.
 

danb35

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...and a related issue is that it will, in fact, run on 4 GB (or probably even less)--until it doesn't, possibly resulting in data loss and other unpleasantness.
 

Chris Moore

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Windows 10 will barely do multiple applications (multitasking) with 4GB of memory. I don't know what you were doing with windows server and only 4GB of memory.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

Mirfster

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But allowing people to try it without having enough RAM or, say, boot device storage can give misleading failures. "Oh I tried that with 4G of RAM, and it was really slow. And then I tried to update my 2G boot device and it failed." Allowing the install without enforcing the minimum requirements gives the impression that we aren't really serious about those requirements, and that it's okay to cut those corners.
Oh, I totally agree with your points. I was just adding some food for thought. To me it really doesn't matter much in the end anyways. For sure would cut down on issues pertaining to insufficient RAM.
 

Alecmascot

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I have a core 2 duo and 4gb ram machine that I just decommissioned from Windows server 2016, and I was using it for my file server but am now switching to FreeNAS will 4GB RAM work, on the hardware requirements page it says it requires 8 http://www.freenas.org/hardware-requirements/. Will I be able to install it with 4 or will it not even let me install it. Also the total amount of storage will be 1TB on it.
I would try NAS4Free with the lighter weight hardware you have.
 

DrKK

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I would try NAS4Free with the lighter weight hardware you have.
I wouldn't. Modern versions of ZFS clearly state they expect 8GB of RAM. If you're going to use ZFS on any system (to include NAS4Free---which is correctly priced in my view!! hahaha), you need 8GB, or you need to find a Bose-Einstein bridge to go back in time about 5 years.

I think it's totally safe/fine to create a level-2 virtualization of FreeNAS in VMWare PLayer, for example, and give it (say) 4 or 6GB of RAM, and make little tiny virtual pools, and thusly get your feet wet. Under such conditions, everything should work pretty well. But no one with experience in FreeNAS will tell you you "should" run FreeNAS for realzies, with real data you are trying to protect and efficiently serve, with <8GB these days. That's for starters. After that, most of us will ALSO "strongly recommend" (i.e., insist with the most extragalactic level of tenacity and fierceness) that you have ECC RAM, and a proper server-grade motherboard.

Seriously, if you want something to do with your old, crappy, gamer-grade gear you have in the closet (and this is not to the OP, but for anyone), FreeNAS is not the answer. Go ahead and install some ridiculous Linux flavor, and just do a basic NFS setup or whatever, and call it a day, if that's what you want to use for equipment.
 

Jurgen Segaert

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It will install, with an installer warning. I am working on turning that into a refusal to install.
What about the people testing/trying the nightly builds or trying to reproduce an issue in a VM or on spare hardware? Maybe consider limiting the ability to create a pool > 100GB when the memory is <8GB.
 

wblock

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What about the people testing/trying the nightly builds or trying to reproduce an issue in a VM or on spare hardware?
To me, that seems like exactly the case where minimum requirements should be enforced, or testing is invalid.
 

Jailer

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To me, that seems like exactly the case where minimum requirements should be enforced, or testing is invalid.
Using that logic wouldn't that also mean that if you are testing something in a virtual environment and not on the actual bare metal you will be installing on wouldn't that also make the testing invalid? I bet a lot of users wouldn't think so. It's frequently done that way to vet issues or, you know, test something to see if it works or can be reproduced.
 

danb35

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To me, that seems like exactly the case where minimum requirements should be enforced,
The problem, as I noted above, is that FreeNAS will in fact run on less than 8 GB, so it depends on what you're wanting to test. Performance testing should of course be done on a properly-resourced system. But function testing can often be done with far less than the "minimum" resources. I've spun up instances on a VM several times just to see how it would behave in certain circumstances (often trying to address user issues here on the forum), and sometimes the host machine didn't really have enough RAM to allocate 8 GB to the VM.

I'm of two minds on this. On the one hand, if we say that 8 GB is the minimum required, it only seems sensible that we enforce that. OTOH, that could preclude a lot of the quick-and-dirty testing that's done with the system.
 

DrKK

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I agree with danb35's commentary above.

Before I took the plunge to use FreeNAS, I put it up on a VM just to get my feet wet---setting up pools, replacing vdevs, setting up services, etc., for 3 or 4 weeks, with far less than 8GB of RAM. And that was very useful for when the "real hardware" arrived.

I don't think we want to go down the path of REFUSING to install on underresourced system.

But I'm all for a flashing, pigeons'-blood red death-warning, at install time. :)
 

wblock

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Using that logic wouldn't that also mean that if you are testing something in a virtual environment and not on the actual bare metal you will be installing on wouldn't that also make the testing invalid? I bet a lot of users wouldn't think so. It's frequently done that way to vet issues or, you know, test something to see if it works or can be reproduced.
The concern is that when something doesn't work, there is no way to verify whether it's a bug or due to resources. The current warning is easily ignorable. One way around that would be to make the user enter something affirmative rather than just click an okay button to make it go away. Like "Running FreeNAS without the required minimums is not recommended. To continue anyway, type go ahead." At least that way, the button is not just automatically agreed to without being read, like most warnings.
 

Jailer

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I could live with that.
 
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