Home Server Building Guide07 May 2019
Also published on S&C
Last year, I built a home server based on Linksys Router EA4200 v2, which was with openwrt system. Openwrt is a great router system which you could install Transmission on it. So you could get your objects like:
- Home share;
- Files backup in your own private cloud;
- Download media anytime, anywhere;
It is cheap and useful, however there are some defects:
- limit storage;
- poor CPU and RAM;
- high risk you will lose all you data.
- optional: USB 3 transfer and 2.4G WiFi make noise to each other.
You may need a update NAS proposal.
New Build Properties
In this new build proposal, you will get multiple dual socket 2011 solutions, accessories, upgrades.
- Highly upgradable, with a clear path for upgrades;
- Bargain basement prices on all components;
- Extreme value, even with the base system;
- Support many different possible configurations, and use-cases;
My own build list
- Motherboard: GA-7PESH2
- CPU: dual E5-2630L
- RAM: 32G DDR3 ECC server ram
- Chassis: DIY wood case
- PSU: EVGA Suppernova G1+ 650W dual EPS
- Storage: WD 1T*4, 60G SSD for system
- Coolers: ARCTIC F8 PWM PST 5 pack
- SFF-8087 to SATA: CableCreation Mini SAS 36Pin (SFF-8087) Male to 4 SATA 7Pin Female Cable
- SATA Power Cable: StarTech 4X SATA Power Splitter Adapter Cable
- Optional: SFF-8087 to SFF-8482, eg.Mini SAS Cable Connector SATA Power, Creation Internal Mini SAS 36pin SFF-8087 to (4) 29pin SFF-8482 connectors with SATA Power
And because I build the chassis by myself, I purchased a 4*3.5-Inch HDD Cage at the same time.
GA-7PESH2 is with LSI SAS2008 onboard, gives 2 SAS2 ports which support 8 HDD’s, 2*SATA 3, dual 10GbE via onboard Intel X540(10GbE Base-T), and 4 PCI-E expantions. Remember the onboard LSI SAS2008 will need to be flashed to IT mode. And the BIOS flashed to R17 is better. You may be lucky that all of those have been done when you get the GA-7PESH2.
I suggest you would use this for NAS only. So, you could pick a single E5-2620, E5-2630, E5-2630L or similar. It is enough.
If you want some virtualization, you should consider dual E5-2650, E5-2660v2. Add more RAM by the way.
For those Gamers and who are building workstation, dual E5-2643, dual E5-2667, or dual E5-2690.
Chassis for E-ATX always is okay. Rosewill 4U Server Chassis is a good choise, too. And also, you may want to some full tower chassis like Phanteks Enthoo Pro if you are a gamer.
Make sure your PSU has dual EPS because you may use dual CPU. If not, you will need a long EPS splitter. Your motherboard is 305W x 330D (mm).
- Install everything you need including the Ethernet cable. If you don’t use VGA cable connect to your display, you may need a video card. Because the motherboard only have VGA port.
- Prepare a USB which is written a operating system. I use FreeNAS 11.2. You could find some documents on its website.
- Press F2 to BIOS to setup. First, go to PCI setting to enable the LSI controller. Then set the USB to boot first.
- Choose disk the one you run FreeNAS only. Install normally. You could check details on the FreeNAS documents.
- Login the web shown to you after installation.
In your FreeNAS GUI, go to Storage.
- Storage-Pool, choose a disk to add a pool, named it media for example. Independent disk for media use only.
- Under your media pool, to add a Dataset, named it transmission for example.
- Add a user admin and set it to the group transmission. You could also set it to the group media at the same time.
- Go back to the media pool, transmission dataset, to edit the permission. Set user to admin, and group to transmission.
- Go to the Jails, activate media pool for Jail Manager.
- Go to Plugins, install the transmission, and other plugins like Plex or Emby as you like.
- Stop the plugin.
- Edit transmission jail, or other plugin jail which you want to setup. Add Mount Point.
Set Source Share(
/mnt/media/FolderName) and set Destination(
- If you are Editing Configuration for Plex, I suggest to use DHCP, unless you do know the network settings. And you should Check VNET and Berkeley Packet Filter, and in the next step to Select
- Launch Management from the plugin menu.
- Set the Folder to
Set Share Folders
In the Sharing section, you should setup SMB, NFS or others sharing. Therefor you could access to your media files on other devices.
If you have issues, like:
- Plugins not working after system update.
NEVER DELETE YOUR DATASET which have your files.
Try to get help from the FreeNAS documents or their forum.