I am in the process of planning a new server for home. It will be, most of the time a NAS server (for Time Machine backups and archiving of old, unused files). I decided to go with ZFS. But I would also like it to have VirtualBox running on it because every now and then I need to do a task on Windows, I'd like to run a test MusicBrainz server :) or just try out an OS.

I've considered FreeNAS or FreeBSD and they are strong candidates for the job. But I'd be more inclined towards Linux. Is there a lightweight Linux distribution with good support for ZFS and VirtualBox?


The cleanest possible way to do what you are looking for is to pick from your preferred Linux distro (Opensuse, Ubuntu, Fedora, and others) that has repositories for what you're looking for (ZFS, VirtualBox, VMware). Install Linux, update it, and then use its package manager (apt, yum, rpm) to download ZFS and VirtualBox.

I'm assuming you're familiar with the command-line, if not, you'll have to bloat up your Linux install with a GUI, which will take resources away.

Since you're going with my favorite file system, ZFS, also be sure to throw in two SSD's into your NAS for it to use as a mirrored cache pool, unless you can fit 128 GB of RAM into it.

Your last resort is to install development tools to build and install ZFS and VirtualBox from scratch, which isn't the end of the world, but depends greatly on your patience.

Good luck and have fun

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