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What OS to install for a homelab?

Well glad you didn't asked, I highly recommend Truenas Scale as a appliance NAS OS.

For a general NAS experience without all the bells and whistles then Truenas Core will be a better option for you.

TrueNAS is a popular open-source storage platform that combines the power of FreeBSD with the simplicity and ease-of-use of a graphical user interface. It is designed to provide robust and reliable storage for a variety of use cases, including file sharing, backup, and virtualization.

TrueNAS offers two distinct versions of its software: TrueNAS Core and TrueNAS Scale. While TrueNAS Core is based on the FreeBSD operating system, TrueNAS Scale is based on the Debian operating system. These two versions differ significantly in terms of their features and intended use cases.

TrueNAS Scale is the enterprise-grade version of the software, designed for large-scale storage deployments in mission-critical environments. It offers a wide range of advanced features and capabilities, including support for high-availability configurations, snapshotting, replication, and more. TrueNAS Scale is ideal for organizations that need to store and manage large amounts of data with the highest levels of performance, reliability, and security.

TrueNAS Core, on the other hand, is a more stripped-down version of the software, designed for small-scale storage deployments and home labs. It includes many of the same features as TrueNAS Scale, but it has a more streamlined interface and is generally easier to use. TrueNAS Core is a good choice for individuals or small organizations that need a simple, reliable storage solution without the need for advanced features and capabilities.

Overall, the main difference between TrueNAS Scale and TrueNAS Core is their intended use cases and the level of features and functionality they offer. TrueNAS Scale is geared towards enterprise-level storage deployments, while TrueNAS Core is more suitable for small-scale and home lab environments. Both versions of the software are based on the same underlying FreeBSD operating system and offer a wide range of features and capabilities for storing and managing data.