For the longest time, I have had an old computer running Ubuntu with your typical samba setup so I could keep my music, videos, and backups stored in one spot, in a RAID 1 array of course. Where this setup sucks is when you want to handle using that share for Time Machine or to stream videos to your PS3/360. Sure there are ways to do it, I have tried a few with limited success, but nothing as simple as what I just experienced with FreeNAS.
This isn’t a setup guide, not really, I just wanted to point out how blindingly easy it was to get everything I have wanted out of my central storage server for a long time. Want to have Time Machine backup to your new NAS?
BAM! Done! One drop down and you now can use the machine for a central Time Machine backup location. Next up on the list is to be able to stream video and music to a game system. What does FreeNAS have for us?
You really can’t ask for more here, just another drop down and you are all set to go. Just make sure to enable the web user interface, or it won’t show up as a server when you power up your PS3.
Like I said, you can’t beat how easy this was, no weird hacks or spending hours on forums. Just a few drop downs after the initial setup and you are golden. True I already knew what I was doing so it may not be as smooth for others, but I think if you follow this LifeHacker guide, you will be fine too.