ComTech: IT Support Stirling

FreeNAS Tutorial

ComTech: IT Support Stirling

I have been playing around with old hardware recently and one of the things I have done is install and set up FreeNAS NAS storage. This tutorial will show you how.

Before we do anything you must first find out your network configuration.  In windows open up a command prompt and type ipconfig /all. In Linux open up a terminal and type ifconfig. Write down your IPv4 address, default gateway, subnet mask and DNS servers as we will be using this information later.

Now we need to get our hands on a copy of FreeNAS. The most recent version is 8 and you can get it here.  Once downloaded burn a copy to CD.  The next thing you have to do is decide where you are going to install it.  I chose an old computer I had lying around (thanks Rob) but you could just as well install it within a virtual machine. The computer had 10Gb of storage and I installed another 1.5Tb.  FreeNAS can be installed on a USB penstick thus saving your hard drive for network storage but since I had the 10Gb disk I used that instead.

Insert the CD into your computer and allow the software to install.  Once installed you will arrive at the console setup which will give you the URL to access your installation via a web interface.  For example mine was

Open up your browser of choice and enter your FreeNAS URL.  When prompted the default username and password are:

admin and freenas (we will be changing this later)

You will then be faced with the FreeNAS interface where you can configure your server.


The first thing you need to configure is your network interface and you do this by using the network tab.  Click on the network tab and you will be presented with more settings.  In Global Configuration choose a hostname, enter your default gateway (e.g and your nameserver (usually the same as your default gateway).  Once done press ok.  Next click on Interfaces and then add interface.  You need to set your IPv4 address as static so it doesn’t change. So for example my network goes from – so I chose  When you set this the web interface from now on will always be the address you enter so mine is now set to  Also set your netmask.  Mine was (so /24).


Next thing we need to do is set the users who will be able to access our shares.  Click on Account (left menu) and go to Users – add user.  Add a username and a password (make sure this is the same as the user on your computer that will be accessing the shares).  Now expand Account – Groups – add group and add a new group who will be able to access the shares. Final thing is to add your username to the new group.  Click on Account – Groups – view all groups and then find the new group and click on members.  Add yourself to the new group.


Now we come to adding your storage.  Click on the storage tab and then add volume. Choose volume name, disk and filesystem type (use ZFS).  Once done click add volume.  The disk should now be visible with ONLINE next to it.  Next we need to set the permissions.  Click on Change Permissions and then chose who owns the file (should be set to your username). Then in owner group add the group you set up earlier and then set the permissions as required.  Once completed press save.


We will now set up the shares.  Click on the sharing tab.  If you will be sharing to Windows machines click on Windows, Apple for Apple and Unix for Linux.  Add the share and set up as required.


We now have to make sure that we can see the shares over the network.  Click on the services tab at the top of the screen.  For windows turn on CIFS and for Linux NFS.

Your FreeNAS server is now set up.

Accessing Shares over the network

For windows: right click on computer (Windows 7) and select map network drive.  Browse for the share.

For Linux: enter the following line into the fstab file /mnt/MyDisk1 /media/dev/MyDisk1 nfs hard, 0 0


  • is the static address of your FreeNAS server
  • /mnt/MyDisk1 is the path to your FreeNAS storage
  • /media/dev/MyDisk1 is the mount point
  • nfs is the filesystem

One final thing is to change the default password to the web interface.  To do this expand Account – My Account – Change Password and enter your new password.  Do not forget this!!

About the Author

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Linux and Mac based IT Support to small businesses throughout the Stirling, Falkirk and Alloa areas.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.



5 thoughts on “FreeNAS Tutorial

  1. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am inspired! Extremely useful info specially the final section :) I maintain such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  2. FreeNAS is designed from the ground up to provide network sharing and as such does a bloody good job. There are no unnecessary services or software running which means it is also very streamlined and capable of running on older hardware. You could set up Windows shares but you wouldn’t get the same performance as you get from a dedicated file sharing operating system. You also get more features with FreeNAS and no viruses on either!!!!!

  3. Didn’t even know this existed. Very interested in giving it a try but just one question. Why not just set up shares on a Windows system instead?

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