March 26, 2019

5 Free or Open NAS Servers - page 2

Linux and BSD Power

  • August 16, 2010
  • By Eric Geier


Openfiler is another full-fledged NAS server, like FreeNAS. It's a Linux distribution based on rPath. It's released under the GPLv2 license. It's installable onto PCs or servers, plus it can run as a virtual machine instance. Openfiler is a heavier server requiring more on the minimum specs: 1GHz CPU, 2GB RAM, 10GB disk space, and an Ethernet adapter.

Openfiler supports the following network protocols: SMB/CIFS, NFS, HTTP/WebDAV and FTP. Network directories supported by Openfiler include NIS, LDAP, Active Directory, and Hesiod. The Kerberos 5 authentication protocol is also supported.

Openfiler also offers extensive sharing management features, such as multi-group based access control on a per-share basis, SMB/CIFS shadow copy, and public/guest shares.


NASLite-M2 is one of a few commercial Linux-based NAS distributions developed by Server Elements. It's available via a downloadable ISO CD image file for $34.95. Unfortunately, it's not freely distributable.

NASLite-M2 supports the following networking protocols: SMB/CIFS, NFS, AFP, FTP, HTTP and RSYNC. The DAAP (Digital Audio Access Protocol) and UPNP (Universal Plug and Play) protocols are also supported. This gives you the ability to stream audio and video content, such as to iTunes, gaming consoles, and Windows Media Player

The NASLite server suite is optimized to perform at maximum efficiency with minimum hardware requirements. It can be installed or booted directly to RAM, similar to LiveCDs but NanoNAS uses a floppy disk. Still it only requires at least 64MBs of RAM.

Similar to CryptoNAS, NASLite isn't a full-fledged NAS server. It does not offer user management, disk quotas, or the ability to join domains. However, it is probably more than enough for home and small business networks.


NanoNAS is also from Server Elements and is the slimmest version of the NASLite server. Again, it's Linux-based but is commercialized and thus not freely distributable. You can download it for $9.95.

The NanoNAS CD-ROM can run in two modes, both booting off and saving the configuration settings to floppy disk. The NanoNAS SMB mode supports SMB/CIFS and HTTP, primarily for Windows clients. The NanoNAS AFP mode supports AFP and HTTP and is designed for Mac OS X clients.

NanoNAS is only bootable to RAM via a floppy disk, which only requires 32MBs of RAM.

Eric Geier is a freelance tech writer. He's authored many networking and computing books for brands like For Dummies and Cisco Press. He is also the Founder and CEO of NoWiresSecurity, which helps businesses easily protect their Wi-Fi networks with the Enterprise mode of WPA/WPA2 encryption.

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