Building a Home FreeNAS Server - Configuration

Submitted by nigel on Thursday 9th August 2012

It's not my intention to duplicate all the configuration screens documented at FreeNAS, but the first thing you should do is lock down your server by setting the admin password by going to Account -> My Account -> Change Admin User

Change Admin Password

You should also set up the outgoing email facility so alerts and daily health reports can be sent to your account. go to System -> Settings -> Email and populate dependent upon your email system. I use Gmail - so if you do too, then your configuration will look like the above.

Volume Creation
Volume Creation

Now it's time for the fun stuff. Let's create the volume. We'll be using Z-Raid for our 3x2TB drives which is the (better) equivalent of RAID5. Go to Storage -> Volumes -> Volume Manager and fill in the form as above.

Active volumes

Once the process has completed, which takes only a few seconds, you'll see the above. This was a little surprising! I was expecting 4TB but only got 3.6TB!! Ho-hum!

User Creation
User Creation

Next task is create the user who will be accessing the data. This is a system for me and only me. It is for personal use, therefore my system is going to be simple. I created a new user in the form below at Account -> Users -> Add User. A few settings to note - I have set the home directory to the volume where my data will be held, and I have changed the permissions so ensure only me + my own personal group can access the data.

Share Creation
Share Creation

Big decision time. Which protocol to use? I have gone for CIFS / SAMBA since clients are available in Linux, Windows and Mac OS. Go to Sharing -> Windows (CIFS) Shares -> Add Windows (CIFS) Share.


Once the share has been created, the service needs enabling. To make this easy, the system prompts for this so click Yes


When enabled, the system returns the services screen. And that is all there is to it! Time to connect to our new share.

Linux Client Connection
Linux Client

To connect to the share in Linux, I use the Dolphin file manager which is installed in the KDE desktop. So load up Dolphin, right click on the breadcrumb trail, and click on the edit radio button. This opens up the breadcrumb trail so a uri can be specified manually. Use the following convention: smb://username@IP_ADDRESS/share_name. The user credentials dialog box will then be presented - use the user / password combination that was created earlier. The share will then be available.

If you look above, you can see I've connected OK and have created some folders to get me going

Windows Vista Client Connection

To connect to the share using Windows Vista, open an Explorer window and navigate to network. Windows will 'see' the FreeNAS server and by clicking 'FREENAS', the login credential dialog is displayed.


Once connected, all the folders I created with Dolphin can be seen. Note how all the system files are present too - these are there because it's the user's home directory, and they are displayed because that was set in the FreeNAS configuration. They weren't shown in the Dolphin screen grab because Dolphin's own configuration is overwriting the FreeNAS setting.

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