Looking for a better NAS than the one my girlfriend own (Synology). Caveat : she don’t care about it, she understand nothing on it, I hate those slow graphical « web desktop » interfaces, I need a lot of free Ram, I want to install everything I need, I bet free/libre NAS are better.
There is three active NAS projects. They can be use on personal and small networks (but not limited to). Have a look : FreeNAS (FreeBSD), NAS4Free (derived from FreeNAS 7), and OpenMediaVault (Debian, from former FreeNAS leader). OpenFiler is for bigger needs and seems unmaintained.
SME Server (Centos, also known as e-smith) and Superb Mini Server (Slackware) provides something like ADSL boxes on steroids, coming with webmail and email server, virus protection, printer server, etc.
But what did I choose ? I find easier to install Debian with the Webmin control panel. I don’t really need Webmin, but as I tends to do a lot of daily work from the web browser, I keep it open in a tab. It let me do what I want, help to not forget something to configure, has a lot of modules, can report (by email) about problems and new packages, can burn CD/DVD, etc. All in all, it takes only a few minutes to install a Debian server and the webmin package — Debian is not mandatory, you can use your favorite distribution.