Documentation by Dysphunkional


FreeNAS can shares for Windows (CIFS), Unix (NFS), or Apple (AFP) networks.

Windows Shares

To use CIFS shares we first need to configure the service and turn it on.

Configure the CIFS Service

Go to Services -> CIFS.


Choose Local User for the Authentication Model unless you have an LDAP or Active Directory server.

NetBIOS name can be set to whatever you want it is the name clients will see when they browse for file servers. You should probably set it to be the same as the hostname in the network configuration.

Workgroup should be the same as the workgroup on your Windows computers. (You can check this by pressing Win+Pause on the keyboard or going to Control Panel -> System)

Description can be whatever you want.

Unless you have a reason to leave the charset and log level options at their defaults.

Unless you have another server being the NetBIOS local master already you should let your FreeNAS server take up this role since it will probably be online all the time.

Same goes for Time Server for Domain.

Guest account is the account that you want anonymous users to be logged in as.

Leave the file and directory masks alone unless you have a good reason to change them.

Turn on EA Support.

Turn off DOS File Attributes and Allow Empty Password.

Unix Extenions and Enable AIO should be on.

Turn off Zeroconf unless you have Macs on your network.

Turn off Hostnames lookups.

Click the OK button.

FreeNAS CIFS Settings

Turn on CIFS

Go to Services -> Control Services.

FreeNAS Control Services

If the switch for CIFS is in the off position click it to turn CIFS on.

FreeNAS Control Services CIFS

Add a Share

Go to Sharing -> Windows (CIFS) Shares -> Add Windows (CIFS) Share.


Name will be what your clients see as the name of this share.

Comment can be set to whatever you like or left blank.

To set the Path click on the Browse button and find the directory you want to share. Any datasets you created should be available. If you are using UFS you will have to create the directory manually by using the mkdir command or by creating directories in an existing share and then sharing the directories.

Export Read Only will make it impossible to make changes when connected through this share. You can still make changes if this folder is shared under a different name or if it is a subdirectory of another share.

Browsable to Network Clients will make it possible for clients to see the share in their network browser. If it is turned off the share will be hidden and can only be accessed if you know the name of the share.

Inherit Owner and Permissions will cause newly created files and directories to inherit their owner and/or permissions from the directory they are created in.

Export Recycle Bin will let allow Windows clients to use the Recycle Bin with this share.

Show Hidden Files will show hidden files in the share. Unix uses a dot at the beginning of the file name to hide a file. (eg: .hidden)

Allow Guest Access will allow anonymous users connect to this share.

Only Allow Guest Access will force everyone to use the guest account.

Click the OK button to create the share.

FreeNAS Add CIFS Settings

Connect to the Share

On your client browse to the share using the network section of File Explorer.

FreeNAS Browse to Share

If you don’t see the share it may not be browsable or it may be on a different workgroup or you may not have network discovery turned on. You can still get to a share you can’t browse to by typing \\netbiosname\share in File Explorer’s address bar.

FreeNAS Share Address


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