As previously mentioned, I am a big proponent of FreeNAS (a free network attached storage operating system). In the past I have talked about how to setup SubSonic (an awesome streaming audio/video server) on FreeNAS natively.
I am currently running the v0.7 (legacy) variant of FreeNAS (in my opinion v0.8 is still a bit young) which I recently “turned-on” the bittorrent capability. This is a good thing, because, I can simply fire-up a torrent on the machine and let it download right onto my server (which is up 24 hours a day), instead of my desktop machine which may or may not be on all the time – and which may get updated with a new OS from time to time, blowing away all my seeding torrents.
While setting up bittorrent on FreeNAS is on the surface, really easy, I found some quirks that needed to be ironed out. I decided to capture the information in one place in the hopes it can help someone else out there. Here are the resources that I used to get this going:
1. Setting up the Transmission client on FreeNAS v0.7. A great tutorial can be found at LifeHacker, and even has a nifty video to help you set it up. (http://lifehacker.com/5822590/turn-an-old-computer-into-a-networked-backup-streaming-or-torrenting-machine-with-freenas). Don’t forget to setup the DNS (this is critical for bittorrent to work at all). Update (11/2011): I found that permissions can be quirky with the standard setup – meaning if you’re trying to delete files via SMB/CIFS, you might get denied. To avoid this issue, set the user mask to ‘0000’ in the Transmission setup page via the WebUI which will write your downloads as read/write/execute for all groups.
2. Adding an IP block-list to Transmission under FreeNAS. Because I’m paranoid, I definitely want a block-list running on Transmission. For some reason, this functionality is turned off by default in FreeNAS. This helpful site, gives you the easiest method by which to turn it on and keep it updated. (http://code.google.com/p/freenas-rss-extension/wiki/MyTweaks) Update (11/2011): You’ll want to update your blocklist URL to something more current as the bluetack URL does not seem to work anymore. (http://sourceforge.net/apps/phpbb/freenas/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=11473)
3. Using a remote GUI to control Transmission, monitor/start torrents. While some folks may find it perfectly acceptable to use the WebUI and a watch directory, as described in the LifeHacker article, I find that process kind of clunky. I prefer to send the torrent files to a remote transmission client directly from my browser. (for example, when I click on a torrent link, the browser downloads the torrent and launches the remote Transmission client automatically – no need to open up remote directories and pass files around). Because I’m using Ubuntu on my home computer, I simply installed Transmission Remote GUI. When clicking a torrent, simply point your browser at “/usr/bin/transgui” to start that software up.
That’s it folks. Have fun torrenting on your FreeNAS server!