Using Proxmox as NAS for different VMs + Windows Clients

KingSlaier

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Feb 11, 2022
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Hello Everyone,

I am new to Proxmox coming from FreeNas. I used FreeNAS as a NAS and shared it with the plugins I had running in FreeNAS, and also was able to access the NAS from my Windows PC to manage the store when sitting at my desktop. This is running on a homebuilt server with 4 internal HDD.

I am trying to recreate this using Proxmox, but without using FreeNAS. I have been searching online to find a way to create a NAS with the host Proxmox OS and share that with the VMs that I will be running and also access the NAS from my windows PC when at my desktop.

Would the best way to accomplish this be to have a VM running as a NAS, and not the host Proxmox? I am just looking for best practices or what is recommended by the community before digging myself into a hole and starting all over.

I am looking to use a VM running Ubuntu to run qbittottent and would like to store the data I download onto the NAS

I am looking to use another Ubuntu VM to run my Plex server

I am looking to set up a filesystem something like below and be able to map these to my Windows PC and Ubuntu VMs

\\Proxmox NAS IP\Storeage\Files
\\Proxmox NAS IP\Storeage\Media
\\Proxmox NAS IP\Storeage\Backups


I did already start doing some research online and found out how to create a zfs storage in Proxmox and added it as a Directory in Proxmox. So it seems like the only next step would be to mount or share this directory with my VMs and Windows PC. So I guess my real question here is how to share this folder in a way that it can be accessed by all VMs and my Windows PC?

Thanks for any advice in advance!!!
 

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Dunuin

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PVE got no NAS functionalities but its a full Linux based on Debian 11, so you can do everything with your PVE server that you could do with a Debian. But all that requires you to do everything on your own in CLI. If you want a WebUI to manage your network shares and permissions I would recommend to setup a LXC or VM as your NAS. You can have a look at TrueNAS, Unraid, OpenMediaVault or Xpenology. But keep in mind that you can't physically passthrough single disks into a VM. There is the "qm set" passthrough which can passthrough single disks into a VM but this is still all just virtualized and your VMs guest OS will only see a virtual disk (so for example the sector size will be 512B instead of 4K and SMART isn't working from inside the VM). For a passthrough of the real physical disks you would need to use PCI passthrough to passthrough a complete HBA with all of its ports into that VM.
 
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KingSlaier

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Thanks for getting back to me.

I was able to run a NAS as a container and achieve what I was trying to accomplish with Proxmox.
 

rcd

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Jul 12, 2019
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Thanks for getting back to me.

I was able to run a NAS as a container and achieve what I was trying to accomplish with Proxmox.
Were you able to run TrueNAS in a LXC container, or did I misunderstand?

I'm kinda considering going the opposite way, and replace Proxmox on my home server with TrueNAS scale. Effectively I only use it as a NAS and Docker server anyway, so might as well de-complicate matters.

I'd like to try it out first though, to get a feeling for how it works, and with an LXC container you can bindmount the existing filesystems which is why I don't want to install into a full VM.

Any particular reason you chose to stop using TrueNAS?
 

Dunuin

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Were you able to run TrueNAS in a LXC container, or did I misunderstand?
Atleast TrueNAS Core won't work as LXCs can only run Linux and TrueNAS Core is Unix. Not sure if TrueNAS Scale would work, as this is based on Linux, but TrueNAS Scale is only in beta so I would atleast avoid it for 1 or 2 years until it gets a bit more mature.
Any particular reason you chose to stop using TrueNAS?
I bought an additional PVE server in addition to my two TrueNAS Core servers because TrueNAS Core is sometimes very annoying:
  • its an appliance, so you can't individualize anything, because everything you change will be wiped with each update
  • because its an appliance you only get updates every several months...really bad if a update make something buggy and unusable (and I bascially got such game breaking bugs with every new release) and then you have to wait for months until a new version is released that fixes it but breaks new things where you need to wait months again for a fix. Basically most of the time something important like replication, backups, snapshots or whatever isn't working...not being able to do backups for months is really a no-go.
  • I really don't like the community support...posted several problems there where not a single person replied even after waiting for weeks. Creating a ticket in the bug tracker will force the developers to answer sooner or later but even then you only get a fix with the next release which might take months
  • its fine as a NAS but bad as a hypervisor. So much missing virtualization features.
  • energy saving isn't working well. You can set a tunable to to allow it to dynamically adjust the CPU frequencies but it can only adjust all cores at once. So each time there is a single thread that needs alot of computation for a second all cores will go to 100% clock and it takes a long time until the clock is low again. So basically all the cores are most of the time at 80-100% of the max frequency, even if nearly all cores are actually idleing
  • its unix so you are very limited what you can run in a jail. I often had to compile the software by myself because the developers only offered Win/Mac/Linux support but not Unix
  • Unix is picky when it comes to driver support, so not all hardware will work
So I'm really happy that I moved all services away from TrueNAS to PVE. Now the TrueNAS servers are really only working as NAS providing NFS/SMB/iSCSI shares and everything else I do on PVE which causes way less problems.
 
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KingSlaier

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Feb 11, 2022
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Were you able to run TrueNAS in a LXC container, or did I misunderstand?

I'm kinda considering going the opposite way, and replace Proxmox on my home server with TrueNAS scale. Effectively I only use it as a NAS and Docker server anyway, so might as well de-complicate matters.

I'd like to try it out first though, to get a feeling for how it works, and with an LXC container you can bindmount the existing filesystems which is why I don't want to install into a full VM.

Any particular reason you chose to stop using TrueNAS?
When I had TrueNAS running on on PC itself it would freeze like every 6-7 days.I could ne
 

KingSlaier

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Feb 11, 2022
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When I had TrueNAS running on on PC itself it would freeze like every 6-7 days.I could ne
When I had TrueNAS running on on PC itself it would freeze like every 6-7 days.I could never find out why it would not stay on longer then that. It was annoying since I had a Plex server running on it and my mom would call me to restart the PC lol.

I didnt end up using TrueNAS at all. I just created a container and setup it up as a NAS, and just mount my shares to that. No need for a OS like truenas if linux can do it without it.

I choose Proxmox so I can run more then one VM at a time. I can have a few VM running different things.
 

rcd

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Atleast TrueNAS Core won't work as LXCs can only run Linux and TrueNAS Core is Unix. Not sure if TrueNAS Scale would work, as this is based on Linux, but TrueNAS Scale is only in beta so I would atleast avoid it for 1 or 2 years until it gets a bit more mature.

Right, I did mean TrueNAS Scale. I think it's relatively stable, the kernel is Linux mostly it's the UI that's beta, and the community seems to suggest it's stable enough for home use.

I bought an additional PVE server in addition to my two TrueNAS Core servers because TrueNAS Core is sometimes very annoying:
  • its an appliance, so you can't individualize anything, because everything you change will be wiped with each update

Yes that would sound like a serious showstopper if you had to start all over every time there's an update. Is that really so?

  • because its an appliance you only get updates every several months...really bad if a update make something buggy and unusable (and I bascially got such game breaking bugs with every new release) and then you have to wait for months until a new version is released that fixes it but breaks new things where you need to wait months again for a fix. Basically most of the time something important like replication, backups, snapshots or whatever isn't working...not being able to do backups for months is really a no-go.

True, though in the case of backups I use BorgBackup so that wouldn't be a problem for me.

  • I really don't like the community support...posted several problems there where not a single person replied even after waiting for weeks. Creating a ticket in the bug tracker will force the developers to answer sooner or later but even then you only get a fix with the next release which might take months

I some time have the same experience here ;)

  • its fine as a NAS but bad as a hypervisor. So much missing virtualization features.

Right, but as I explained, I only run two virtual machines, one for NAS and one for Docker, so my point was just to put more of it on autopilot.

  • energy saving isn't working well. You can set a tunable to to allow it to dynamically adjust the CPU frequencies but it can only adjust all cores at once. So each time there is a single thread that needs alot of computation for a second all cores will go to 100% clock and it takes a long time until the clock is low again. So basically all the cores are most of the time at 80-100% of the max frequency, even if nearly all cores are actually idleing

My old tractor of a server doesn't have much in terms of power saving features anyway

  • its unix so you are very limited what you can run in a jail. I often had to compile the software by myself because the developers only offered Win/Mac/Linux support but not Unix
  • Unix is picky when it comes to driver support, so not all hardware will work

I suppose you meant BSD? Like I said, I'm not interested in Core, only Scale.

So I'm really happy that I moved all services away from TrueNAS to PVE. Now the TrueNAS servers are really only working as NAS providing NFS/SMB/iSCSI shares and everything else I do on PVE which causes way less problems.

I get you. I think Scale has native Docker support though, so that's all I need, other than the NAS functionality.
 

Dunuin

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Right, I did mean TrueNAS Scale. I think it's relatively stable, the kernel is Linux mostly it's the UI that's beta, and the community seems to suggest it's stable enough for home use.
There are some youtube videos comparing TrueNAS Scale to TrueNAS Core/Enterprise. Even if many features will work the performance is still really bad. They use the same software and UI for both platforms and everything was optimized over many years for unix. So it might take some years of optimization until stuff will run as fast on Linux as it is now on Unix. I wouldn't trust a OS to securely store my data if that OS is that new, unpolished and untested. Even iXsystems says that you shouldn't use TrueNAS Scale for anything in production.
Yes that would sound like a serious showstopper if you had to start all over every time there's an update. Is that really so?
You can't change anything except what the WebUI allows you to configure as only this will be stored in the TrueNAS config file and that file is the only thing that is persistent across upgrades.
True, though in the case of backups I use BorgBackup so that wouldn't be a problem for me.
That was just an example. Once I used the WebUI to create a snapshot with a name with unsupported characters. This shouldn't be possible but somehow TrueNAS created that snapshot and because of the bad name that snapshot couldn't be deleted. I even tried to manually destroy it on the lowest level on CLI using zfs destroy but that didn't worked neither. Then I backupped everything and tried a zpool destroy to destroy the complete pool. Even that wasn't working. Only way to get rid of that snapshot was to format the disks and create a new pool from scratch. And keeping that snapshot forever wasn't an option either because as long as that snapshot exists nothing can be deleted.
I some time have the same experience here ;)
They you really wouldn't like the TrueNAS support forum, as it is magnitudes worse there. Look at the lastest 100 threads here...in most of them one of the staff will answer and best help you always get from someone who knows the actual source code. And if you really find a bug and post it here it is not unusual that one of that staff answers will a fix it after a few hours or days and report back.
 

Cmnore

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I think I may have setup exactly what you were describing in your OP. I am running Openmediavault as a VM within Proxmox and have it setup hosting Plex and QbittorrentVPN. I am also running PiHole in its own container on PVE. It has been rock solid for months now. Over the past few days I have ALSO set up PBS on another bare metal install(MacMini) and sofar it has worked flawlessly. Just did a 1.5 Tb backup of the OMV/Plex VM last night and it went as planned.
 

titust11

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Nov 18, 2021
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Atleast TrueNAS Core won't work as LXCs can only run Linux and TrueNAS Core is Unix. Not sure if TrueNAS Scale would work, as this is based on Linux, but TrueNAS Scale is only in beta so I would atleast avoid it for 1 or 2 years until it gets a bit more mature.

I bought an additional PVE server in addition to my two TrueNAS Core servers because TrueNAS Core is sometimes very annoying:
  • its an appliance, so you can't individualize anything, because everything you change will be wiped with each update
  • because its an appliance you only get updates every several months...really bad if a update make something buggy and unusable (and I bascially got such game breaking bugs with every new release) and then you have to wait for months until a new version is released that fixes it but breaks new things where you need to wait months again for a fix. Basically most of the time something important like replication, backups, snapshots or whatever isn't working...not being able to do backups for months is really a no-go.
  • I really don't like the community support...posted several problems there where not a single person replied even after waiting for weeks. Creating a ticket in the bug tracker will force the developers to answer sooner or later but even then you only get a fix with the next release which might take months
  • its fine as a NAS but bad as a hypervisor. So much missing virtualization features.
  • energy saving isn't working well. You can set a tunable to to allow it to dynamically adjust the CPU frequencies but it can only adjust all cores at once. So each time there is a single thread that needs alot of computation for a second all cores will go to 100% clock and it takes a long time until the clock is low again. So basically all the cores are most of the time at 80-100% of the max frequency, even if nearly all cores are actually idleing
  • its unix so you are very limited what you can run in a jail. I often had to compile the software by myself because the developers only offered Win/Mac/Linux support but not Unix
  • Unix is picky when it comes to driver support, so not all hardware will work
So I'm really happy that I moved all services away from TrueNAS to PVE. Now the TrueNAS servers are really only working as NAS providing NFS/SMB/iSCSI shares and everything else I do on PVE which causes way less problems.
Try Scale it's a different ball game.
 

Dunuin

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Try Scale it's a different ball game.
But the first 3 point would still the case, even with scale. Its still an appliance so not customizable and with long time between bug fixes and I don't really trust TrueNAS anymore. Too much problems and bugs that don't get fixed, even not after years. For example this error here were I posted in 2020 with "FreeNAS-11.3-U3.2" and I still get that same error in 2022 with "TrueNAS Core 12.0-U8.1". If I always run into critical problems that make core features (no backups/replication working, network not working correctly, snapshots that can't be deleted without wiping the complete pool so nothing deleted can ever be freed up again, memory leaks, ...) of a well matured TrueNAS Core unusable, I don't ant to know how bad it would be with unmatured TrueNAS Scale that even don't got all features added in.
 
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titust11

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But the first 3 point would still the case, even with scale. Its still an appliance so not customizable and with long time between bug fixes and I don't really trust TrueNAS anymore. Too much problems and bugs that don't get fixed, even not after years. For example this error here were I posted in 2020 with "FreeNAS-11.3-U3.2" and I still get that same error in 2022 with "TrueNAS Core 12.0-U8.1". If I always run into critical problems that make core features (no backups/replication working, network not working correctly, snapshots that can't be deleted without wiping the complete pool so nothing deleted can ever be freed up again, memory leaks, ...) of a well matured TrueNAS Core unusable, I don't ant to know how bad it would be with unmatured TrueNAS Scale that even don't got all features added in.
For me is quite stable, and I prefer it to Proxmox which is not a storage system per say, and it's too complex (75% of the things you have to do them command line). The GUI of Proxmox is really a joke, very basic. I used to work with Hyper-V and VMware for years and there is no comparison.
 

Dunuin

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and it's too complex (75% of the things you have to do them command line).
Thats exactly what I like. Atleast I can do everything I want/need, even if I need to do it using the CLI and I'm not just limited to what the GUI allows me to do. I always ran into limitations because TrueNAS was too basic.
The GUI of Proxmox is really a joke, very basic. I used to work with Hyper-V and VMware for years and there is no comparison.
Indeed, GUI is quite basic and is really missing some important option.
 
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I originally installed Proxmox. Had a beef -- don't even remember what it was. I went to TrueNAS Scale. Nothing but problems. I found the GUI to be a mess (things like, I could add something but not delete it). Could not allocate individual USB ports to a VM. Had to allocate the entire controller -- all the USB ports. Had to add another HBA controller in order to have some USB ports for other purposes. This is not a problem with Proxmox. My experience with TrueNAS was just one problem after another. So much so that I ditched the entire thing and came back to Proxmox. Another thing about TrueNAS is that ZFS seems to be the only option for base disk space. That complicated things a lot for me. I'm glad to be back.

P.S.: TrueNAS implores you not to virtualize it and gives several reasons, including that ZFS cannot be ZFS if it's in a virtual machine. My thought is, maybe ZFS-only is the problem?? Also, ZFS is very memory-intensive. And virtualizing its memory will not do.
 
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titust11

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There is no problem in virtualising Truenas. I am sure your problems are due to the way you implemented it. You didn’t give any details about your installation. I have Truenas Scale virtualized on Proxmox, and works perfectly. I use Proxmox for virtualization of all my VMs including the Trunas Scale. I installed an LSI HBA ctrl. in JBOD mode (non-raid) in the Proxmox server and passed it through to the Truenas VM. I connected the drives to the HBA and automatically Truenas is seeing them and creates its volume. This way the ZFS volume is not virtualized, but just the OS disk is. It works perfectly, and BTW the Trunas GUI is very nice, I don’t understand your complaints. Also what’s the reason to use TN Scale for virtualization when you have Proxmox for that.
 
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kvickis

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The way I have set up my Proxmox server as a NAS is to install Xpenology as a VM and let that handle all the file sharing. Works well for me. You should make sure that the disk(s) that Xpenology is to handle is handled exclusively by Xpenology. Proxmox should not mount it or anything. Xpenology needs to format it, make volumes etc on its own.
 

KingSlaier

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Hey Everyone.

Thank you all for your comments.


The way I was able to complete what I was looking to do with Proxmox was by setting up a Docker as a Nas and them having all of my VM mount the drive as a network drive and shared the storage across all VMs as well as being able to manage the storage from my windows/mac PC on the same network.
 

jimbarr

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Mar 31, 2022
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Hey Everyone.

Thank you all for your comments.


The way I was able to complete what I was looking to do with Proxmox was by setting up a Docker as a Nas and them having all of my VM mount the drive as a network drive and shared the storage across all VMs as well as being able to manage the storage from my windows/mac PC on the same network.
Looking to do the same thing. What Docker solution did you use as a NAS?
 

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