Documentation by Dysphunkional


Before you start you will need to know how to access your computer’s BIOS. Most computers will show a black screen and there will be a line at the bottom that says something like “Press DEL for setup. Press F12 for boot options.” There are way too many possibilities to cover so if you don’t know what your computer uses you can try booting up and see if the message is there and if not Google around for the manual and it should tell you. You’ll need to know which keys are which later.

To install FreeNAS go to the FreeNAS download page and pick the version you want to install. Pick a stable release unless you require a feature in an alpha/beta/RC version or just like to live on the bleeding edge.

FreeNAS Versions

Once you have chosen the version you want to install there will be a few options on the left for what type of media you will be installing from. If you want to install from a CD pick the CD Installer Image. If you want to install from a USB thumb drive pick the Disk Image option (Remember you will need 2 thumb drives for this type of install: one to install from and the second to install to).

FreeNAS Media


Click the Download button to save the installer.

FreeNAS Download

While FreeNAS is downloading click on the Installation Instructions button to see how to make the bootable USB or CD.

FreeNAS Installation Instructions

Once FreeNAS is downloaded make the bootable media of your choice.

Before you install FreeNAS disconnect the hard drives so you don’t accidentally install to one of them instead of your flash drive.

Plug in the flash drive you want to install FreeNAS to. I like to have my FreeNAS drive in the back of the computer so the front ports are free to plug in a USB hard drive or keyboard. Plug in the installer flash drive it you are using that. Turn on the computer and bring up the BIOS setup. Set your boot order to have the flash drive as the first option. Save the BIOS configuration and when the computer reboots press the key for the boot options. If you are using a CD insert it now. Pick the option to boot from the FreeBSD installer.

Once the installer has booted you should see this screen:

FreeNAS Install 1

Select Install/Upgrade

FreeNAS Install 2

Choose the flash drive you want to install to

FreeNAS Install 3

Accept the warning

Once FreeNAS is installed on your flash drive you will see a message like this:

FreeNAS Install 4

Remove the CD if you have one and press ENTER.

You will be returned to the first screen.

FreeNAS Install 5

Select Shutdown System

If you installed from a flash drive remove it now.

Reconnect the hard drives and then turn the server back on.

When the server is done booting you should see a screen like this:

FreeNAS Console 1


On your normal computer type the URL FreeNAS displayed into a web browser and see if you can connect. If you can connect you are done installing and can move on to configuration. If you couldn’t connect then on the FreeNAS server type the number 1 and then press ENTER to configure the network card on the server. Follow the prompts to configure your network card and then try connecting with your web browser again.


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