FreeNAS / 9.3 Beta

A free implementation of a minimal FreeBSD distribution as a network-attached storage
FreeNAS is an open source BSD operating system based on the FreeBSD distribution and designed to provide users with NAS (Network-Attached Storage) services. It is distributed as installable-only minimalistic CD ISO images and deployable on both 64-bit and 32-bit architectures. It support CIFS (Common Internet File System), FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and NFS (Network File System) protocols, fully configurable via a web-based interface.

There's no graphical desktop environment

Being a minimal FreeBSD distribution, FreeNAS doesn't feature a live desktop environment. Therefore, it can only be used by system administrators who want to deploy stable and reliable Network-Attached Storage (NAS) services. FreeNAS uses the powerful ZFS filesystem for new installations. The entire installation will take only a minute. After that, you can reboot the machine and use the operating system, which will automatically configure your hardware components during the boot process.

Distributed as a hybrid CD-sized ISO image

The CD image can be written to a blank CD disc or on a USB stick. It will provide users with the ability to boot into multi user or single user modes, use the command-line programs that are available on the disc, and configure various boot options. If you choose one of the first two options, you’ll be greeted by a text-mode console setup wizard that allows users to install the operating system, upgrade an existing FreeNAS installation, use a shell prompt, as well as to reboot or shutdown the machine.

It can be configured using a web-based interface

After the operating system starts, users will be able to configure the network interfaces, link aggregation, VLAN interface, default route, static routes, and DNS, reset the login credentials of the web interface, reset the system to factory default, drop to a shell prompt, as well as to shutdown or reboot the computer. From here, your FreeNAS server’s web-based interface can be easily accessed via any modern web browser, using the URL provided after the boot process.

Reviewed by , last updated on November 18th, 2014

developed by:
Olivier Cochard
license type:
BSD License 
ROOT \ System \ Operating Systems \ Other


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What's New in version 9.3 Beta
  • This FreeNAS update is a significant evolutionary step from previous FreeNAS releases. It features a simplified and reorganized Web User Interface, support for Windows 2012 clustering, better integration with VMWare, a new and more secure update system with roll-back functionality, and hundreds of other technology enhancements. To encourage use of this BETA, we are also committed to making sure that every FreeNAS 9.3 BETA install will be able to upgrade to FreeNAS 9.3 RELEASE seamlessly!
  • A key feature of the FreeNAS 9.3 BETA release is its revamped user interface. It has been redesigned to place only the most common configuration options first in ‘Standard’ menus, moving the more esoteric options to ‘Advanced’ options, and this design pattern as has been used throughout the UI so everything is essentially more streamlined and less cluttered for novice users who essentially just want to use the defaults.
  • The interface tabs have also been completely removed, a number of features have been rearranged or combined for added fluidity and ease of use, and the whole UI is simply more self-consistent throughout.
  • Updating and applying patches (updates) to the system is now much simpler. A secure update server supplies a regular stream of package updates, which are available both as “deltas” from previous release versions and as full packages, rather than the “one large release” model in place for previous FreeNAS versions. The update server can be checked manually, or automatically at intervals, and any available updates downloaded in the background. The user will receive an alert when new updates are available and be given the opportunity to apply them whenever they wish. Users will also be able to choose what kinds of updates to receive, depending on whether they want to use the most recent versions, test future versions, or stay on a single stable branch. For a demo of that in action, please see my FreeNAS state of the union video!
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Application description

FreeNAS is an open source BSD distribution that provides users with a NAS (Network-attached storage) computi...

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