Re: anyone use freenas
It's very easy to set up - if you're after a no nonsense file server with a configurable front end out of the box, then this is the way to go. If however you think you'll want your server to perform other tasks in the future, you might be better off setting things up manually from a more generic linux installation.
A few years back I always used to use Gentoo for this sort of stuff because it was so configurable, these days I'd opt for something like Ubuntu and strip out all of the stuff I didn't need instead.
Save the whales, feed the hungry, free the mallocs.