Documentation by Dysphunkional


To be able to use FreeNAS as a file server we have to configure the storage that is hooked up to it first. If your system can handle it go with ZFS for your storage it makes it much easier to manage than UFS.

Creating a ZFS Volume

To create a ZFS pool go to Storage -> Volumes -> ZFS Volume Manager.

FreeNAS ZFS Vol Manager

Give your volume a name in the Volume Name box.

If you click the + button in the Available Disks box FreeNAS will choose the optimal configuration for your drives.

You can change the type of volume and the number of disks in the Volume Layout box. The different types are described in the FreeNAS Raid Overview.

Click the Add Volume button to create the volume.

FreeNAS ZFS Vol Manager Settings

Create a Dataset

ZFS datasets are similar to partitions on regularly managed hard disks in that they split a drive, or ZFS pool in this case, into separate areas that can have different properties, permissions, quotas, etc. It also makes it easy for FreeNAS to share out portions of the overall file system. The only real downside to using datasets is that like with partitions when you move a file from one dataset to another it actually does a copy and delete instead of just changing the index to the file. Datasets can have subdatasets as well so you can create a hierarchy of datasets to organize your storage.

To create a dataset go to Storage -> Volumes -> View Volumes.

FreeNAS ZFS View Volumes

Click on the volume or dataset you want to add a dataset to and then click the Create ZFS Dataset FreeNAS ZFS Add Dataset Buttonbutton at the bottom.

Type a name for the dataset into the Dataset Name box and then click the Add Dataset button.

FreeNAS ZFS Create Dataset

You can repeat these steps to create as many datasets as you need.  I like to create 2 main datasets one called “jails” for Jails and a second dataset called “shares” for all the stuff I plan on sharing. FreeNAS will automatically make subdatasets for any jails you create. I like to make subdatasets in my shares dataset for my private data (data), publicly available data (public) and one for each type of media (pictures, music, and video.) Once you are done creating datasets it should look something like this:

FreeNAS ZFS Dataset List


4 responses to “Storage

  1. Peter November 9, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Very nice and concise description of some topics that often get short shrift in other “how-to” sites! Thanks for your hard work in putting this together.

  2. Dysphunkional December 16, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I’m probably going to wait for version 10 of FreeNAS since it looks like it will be a much bigger change and is already being worked on by IX Systems. That and I just bought a house which is eating all my free time at the moment.

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