The FreeNAS® Users Guide uses the following typographic conventions: Configuration examples can be found in section The FreeNAS™ Users Guide is a work in progress and relies on the contributions of Configuration examples can be found in section The FreeNAS® User Guide is a work in progress and relies on the Figure shows the screen that opens on clicking Interfaces → Add Interface. Table

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What’s the best budget NAS? Our libraries are also growing rapidly: We also want our data to be itinerant, or at least seem that way. That is, if you want to take a book or disc to another room of your abode, you pull it from the bookshelf and take it with you. Similarly, if you’re working on a document upstairs on your desktop and you want to freenae to the den with your laptop, you’ll need the proper infrastructure working in the rreenas to enable that kind of wizardry.

So, gide can we create this “digital bookshelf? Can you build it in your garage? As it turns out, the answer is “yes” on all counts.

You could go out and buy a Drobo device but in this case, we’re going to assemble our own. And we’re going to do that with the help of an open source storage platform called FreeNAS. So how involved a process is that?

Meet us after the break to find out. What is FreeNAS you say? Put simply, it’s is an operating system based on FreeBSD that brings with it a snazzy web interface for management, and all the protocols you need to share files between Windows, Mac and Linux. In other words, a perfect solution for gjide digital bookshelf.

Let’s get to it.

Here’s what 7.2 need, hardware-wise: A bit Intel or AMD processor. More on that later. A system board with a decent amount of SATA ports. We found 4GB worked just fine. At least three SATA hard drives. As with RAM, the more hard drives you have, the better. This thing needs to connect to your home network, obviously. Howeversince the economy is tough and budgets are tight, we wanted to show that you don’t necessarily need the bee’s knees of hardware to get FreeNAS up and running.

We had the following components lying around, and they worked stupendously: Drives are supremely important here. If you wanted to take it one step further, you could mirror the ZIL with two solid-state drives. This would provide a .72 redundant and high-performing NAS. However, the scope of this how-to is strictly getting a cheap FreeNAS environment up and running with the most basic of hardware.

Especially since flooding in the Asia-Pacific areas have caused HD prices to nearly double in price, 1TB drives do not come cheap compared to a year ago. If you’re one of those extremely cautious people who has to double check everythinghere’s a URL to the FreeNAS hardware requirements.


We recommend you at least glance at them if you’re going to go out and hunt down shiny new hardware. Once you’ve got your hardware squared away we have to get some things freenas in the open: FreeNAS can not utilize the drive on which it’s installed for storage. So, that’s why you need rfeenas USB stick. Think about where you want to keep your FreeNAS box.

Once you install the OS you can throw the box in a closet with power and a network connection, and let ‘er run. Once the initial setup is complete, you can manage the configuration using the web interface. We know your little wheels are spinning — just forget it. Trust us on this one. Other than those three items, there’s not much more to worry about — it’s time to install FreeNAS. To make things extra simple, we’ll break this into numbered steps for you. You can get the file here. Don’t insert it into one of those front panel sockets; to be safe it should be in the back of the PC.

Yours truly had some weird results using front panel USB ports, which included installations crashing and very slow operation. Power up your machine and head directly to your BIOS config. We have freenad be sure to set the boot devices in the proper order.

Since BIOS options vary from device to device, here’s the basic the order you want: Save your settings, place the freshly baked CD in your drive and reboot.

If everything went well with the last step you should now be booting to the first bootloader. You’ll see some text scrolling and gibberish like so: Next you’ll get to the bootloader, which looks like this: At this point you can either press Enter or allow the timer to count down.

Guode you choose, you’ll end up in yser actual FreeNAS installer here: You’ll be selecting the first option: Odds are your device will frfenas listed as da0 on this screen as well.

Double check the description and size to be sure. As you can see, in our case it plainly reads, “SanDisk Cruzer 8. Select your device and press Enter. The installer here gives us a nice little warning which states that all data will be wiped from your drive for installation.

Hit “Yes” to proceed.

As soon as you press Enter you’ll notice the dialogue beginning at the bottom of the screen. Eventually, you’ll see a message reassuring you the installation is complete and that it’s time to reboot again.

It does as it’s told. At this point, if you see this screen, go ahead and let out a single “woot! Congratulations, you’ve now got FreeNAS installed. Okay, now get a hold of yourself, as we’ve still gotta carve out some disk volumes and share ’em. Create disc volumes 1.


How-To: Set up a home file server using FreeNAS

Make note of the guidr line on the screen highlighted in green below: If a storm knocks out power to your home and everything reboots, you may have to check this screen again if your DHCP client tables gets wiped out, as the address may change.

If you happen to be running a network where you statically set IP addresses, good for you. We won’t cover configuring static addresses in this how-to, so you’re on your own there. Let’s open up the frenas interface now. From usfr computer on your network, open up a web browser and enter the address you see on your FreeNAS machine.

You should see this: Notice in the top right you see that red “Alert” light blinking. FreeNAS is warning us there’s no password.

Anyway, let’s go ahead and set one. Enter a password that’s not “password” and click “Change Admin.

Create a user Next up, we need to create a regular, non-administrator user.

In the left menu, expand “Account”, then “Users” and click “Add User. With that business out of the way, it’s time to set up our disks and file sharing. But first, we need to make sure you understand two key points.

How-To: Set up a home file server using FreeNAS

For starters, FreeNAS supports two types of file systems and three sharing protocols. Let’s discuss the two file systems first. An old stand-by, the Unix File System. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a solid system; we just don’t want to use it here. The hot new kid on the block. Freensa is the file system we want to use, mostly because of ZFS’ data integrity, which promises safer, more resilient storage. We could spend a great deal of time talking about ZFS, but that’s a topic for another day. Uer now, let’s get on with it and talk about FreeNAS’ sharing protocols.

As we said, FreeNAS supports three guise methods: Network File System All three of these have their advantages and trade-offs. For simplicity’s sake, we’re going to show you how to set up a CIFS share. First, we have to set up our disk volumes. In the left menu, expand “Storage,” then “Volumes” and select “Create Guidde. Before you check any disks, give the volume a name and click “ZFS. Notice iyou can select None, Log, Cache or Spare for each disk listed.