What is FreeNAS?
FreeNAS is a free open-source network-attached storage(NAS) operating system based on FreeBSD and the OpenZFS file system. FreeNAS can be installed on Windows, macOS, Unix clients, and virtualized hosts.
FreeNAS runs on x86-64 hardware so we choose to use our new product ODYSSEY – X86J4105 to demonstrate how to build a personal cloud drive by installing the open-source storage operating system.
ODYSSEY is a series of SBC (Single Board Computer), allowing you to build Edge Computing applications with ease. The ODYSSEY – X86J4105, based on Intel Celeron J4105, is a Quad-Core 1.5GHz CPU that bursts up to 2.5GHz. It includes all the powerful features of Mini PC such as including an 8GB LPDDR4 RAM, 64GB eMMC Storage(optional), onboard Wi-Fi/BLE, Dual Gigabyte Ethernet Ports, Audio Input and Output, USB Ports, HDMI, SATA Connectors and PCIe, however, within a cost-effective price starting at $188. With eMMC versions, you even have the Windows 10 Enterprise pre-installed!
Let’s take a look at the step-by-step tutorial!
- A Working Computer
- USB Drive x 2 (<8GB is recommended)
- A Monitor
First, download the FreeNAS OS Image into your drive. It should be an
In this tutorial, FreeNAS 11.3 is used. FreeNAS will need to install on a different drive. You can install the FreeNAS on an HDD or SSD Hard Drive.
Note: In this tutorial, FreeNAS OS is installed onto a USB drive for convenience.
Format one of the USB drive. If you are a Windows user, you can format the USB drive by right-clicking the USB Drive and select
FAT32 for the File System.
Download the Open Source Flash burner balenaEtcher. Download the version according to your operating system(Windows/macOS/Linux).
Select the downloaded Operating System Image, select the formatted USB Drive and Flash! Now, the bootable USB is all set to go.
Plugin your bootable USB, Monitor and keyboard to ODYSSEY – X86J4105, and power up. When booting up, keep pressing DEL key to enter the setup screen. Navigate to
CSM Support and press Enter to enable it.
Reboot your ODYSSEY – X86J4105 and keep pressing
F7 to enter the boot manager screen. Select the bootable USB (Installer) and press Enter.
Note: Remember to choose the one that has the FreeNAS iso image on it.
A boot screen like above should appear. Press
Enter to select the Boot FreeNAS Installer.
Once entered into the installer, an option menu should appear as follow, choose Install/Select and press
Select a drive to install the FreeNAS image. Here we should be able to see the other USB drive.
spacebar to select the USB drive.
A warning will appear stating that everything in the chosen drive will be wiped, simply press Yes.
Create your root password for logging into the FreeNAS from Web interface later.
The installation process will take place, and wait until the installing is finished. When it’s done, it should like the above.
The installing process is all done, you can reboot the ODYSSEY – X86J4105 and unplug the bootable USB(Installer).
Plugin the Ethernet cable for internet and can be accessed to the Web interface.
Reboot the ODYSSEY – X86J4105 and press
F7 again to enter Boot Manager Screen, and choose the USB drive that just installed the FreeNAS.
Note: Can also change it in the set-up by pressing
DEL and set the USB drive as the first boot-up option.
Once booted into the FreeNAS, you should see the Web interface address:
Note: If states Web interface cannot be accessed, please check your internet connection.
Use another computer using the same internet i.e. your laptop to type the address into the web browser:
The user name is
root and the password is the one set during installation.
If you able to see this screen then you have successfully installed the FreeNAS and feel free to add more storage to the ODYSSEY – X86J4105 and have fun with personal cloud drive!
For further development, you can visit the FreeNAS official Forum and find out more about plugins and features
Seeed re_computer is a modular edge computing system. You can re-design your edge solution by choosing existing popular SBCs, select mission board, add I/O modules, and nicely prepare them right enclosures for field usage. For more information, please learn more here.
Other usefull applications:
- Getting Started With FreeNAS 11 Install, Configure, Setup Users, Setup Shares & How Snapshots Work
- How to set up a home file server using FreeNAS
- Backing Up FreeNAS and TrueNAS to Backblaze B2