Programster's Blog

Tutorials focusing on Linux, programming, and open-source

Installing FreeNAS

This is the first in a series of tutorials that I will be creating as I practice setting up a machine for an office's shared storage. Initial deployment will consist of a two machines with one being used for Windows shares and the secondary being used for remote backups.

Most people confuse redundancy (from RAID) and backups. I believe the latter is essential and the former is helpful. Snapshots can act as a backup, however they will also be lost if your RAID dies, so it is good to have backups located off the primary RAID array.


For this tutorial, I have setup a simple VirtualBox VM with 3 drives. One Drive is just 5GB and represents the thumb drive to install to. The other two drives are for the network share. I also made sure to set networking to use a bridged adapter that accepts everything.


Download the FreeNAS ISO from the website.

Burn the ISO to a CD.

Place the CD and into your computer and boot up, ensuring to boot from CD.

Select Install/Upgrade.

Select your thumb drive to install to. You will have to press the space-bar to select the option.

Select Yes to accept that all data on that drive will be lost.

Enter a password.

Wait for installation to complete and click OK to confirm.

You will be taken back to the first menu, from which you need to select reboot.

When the machine restarts, make sure to remove the ISO.

The first boot will take a while as it needs to perform some initialization steps, such as create a strong cryptographic key (you don't have to know what this means). You won't have to wait this long next time you reboot.

When initialization finishes, you will be shown the console menu.


You have now installed FreeNAS. My next tutorials will show you how to:

Last updated: 16th October 2020
First published: 16th August 2018