FreeNAS setup step by step

5 (100%) 1 vote

freenas logo
We are going to see how to setup a FreeNAS, if you don’t know what FreeNAS is you can check my previous article about FreeNAS here.

The FreeNAS is available for Windows, Linux and OSX. It can be installed natively or be virtualized via the most diverse platforms (XenServer, VirtualBox, VMware, etc.)

Tough it is recommended to install it natively. But If you do choose to run FreeNAS under virtualization, there are some precautions that must be implemented.



Native install requirements


Virtualization requirements
·         CPU 64-Bits

·         8GB RAM

·         2GB Storage memory (for installation)

·         At least one additional disk

·         Network interface


·         At least two vCPUs

·         8GB or more of vRAM, at least 12GB of vRAM if you use jails/plugins

·         Two or more vDisks

·         A vDisk at least 16GB in size for the OS and boot environments

·         One or more vDisks at least 4GB in size for data storage, at least 3 are recommended

·         A bridged network adapter



To get the FreeNAS, just accessthis link here, and download it. There is an official documentation available on the website if needed.


The FreeNAS installation process is very simple and fast. For this tutorial, we will use VMware.

FreeNAS has VMware tools and it’s the platform in which FreeNAS developers have most worked on, you can use Citrix XenServer, there are no tools built in for XenServer but you can have a good virtualization experience. Of course, other hypervisors like KVM, Hyper-V, VirtualBox also work but I have not tested it in any of those.

We will start by creating a new virtual machine:

I am using VMware vSphere, but VMware Workstation will work just fine too.

Virtual Machine creation sreenshot

As you can see in the following picture I have 4 hard disks, one for my system to boot of, and the others I will use for my RAID later on. I also attributed 8GB of RAM and 2 vCPUs as recommended.

After including the ISO file, you can go ahead and turn on the virtual machine.
FreeNAS installer


Choose the right drive and select Yes

Setup your password:

Now you choose Reboot:

And Voila! installation complete.

Initial Configuration

Once the FreeNAS is started, the user has several settings options. You can configure the network parameters (IP, mask, gateway, DNS), link aggregation, VLANs, static routes, change the root password, etc.

Let’s manually set the network settings (anyone who has a DHCP service running on the network can also force the FreeNAS to obtain from there your settings. But, as it is a server, it is good practice to define a static address.

Here is the configuration:

After that you can go to your web browser type the IP address that you set up and login as follow

You are all set, now you can create your volumes and enjoy the features.


Thank you reading,