FAQs:FreeNAS Corral

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General

What is FreeNAS Corral?

FreeNAS Corral is the next release of the world’s most popular Open Source software-defined storage product, FreeNAS. FreeNAS Corral introduces new features such as Docker container support, virtual machine management, a modern graphical user interface, and a powerful command line interface. FreeNAS Corral can be used as the core of a hyper-converged solution to share data over file- and block-based protocols, deploy containers, and spin up VMs.

What do I need to get started with FreeNAS Corral?

FreeNAS Corral uses PC hardware with a 64-bit processor and at least 8GB of RAM. Detailed requirements can be found at FreeNAS Corral Hardware Requirements. If you plan to use virtualization, you will need a 64-bit processor that supports Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI. FreeNAS Corral is intended to be installed on USB Flash drive, with a recommended minimum size of 8GB. Read the FreeNAS Corral Wiki for some usage how-to’s.

Why would I use FreeNAS Corral?

FreeNAS Corral allows your files and applications to be stored in a central location so they can be accessed from multiple devices simultaneously, while keeping your backup and redundancy resources in one place. FreeNAS Corral also lets you deploy containers for many applications such as bittorrent clients, media streaming servers, and cloud backup services, so it can fulfill many roles of a home server as well.

Is FreeNAS Corral a feature-compatible replacement for FreeNAS 9.10?

Our intention is to ensure that the FreeNAS Corral storage services are compatible with FreeNAS Corral 9.10 storage services. If you find that a FreeNAS 9.10 storage service is not supported by FreeNAS Corral, please open a ticket using these instructions.

Can I upgrade/downgrade between FreeNAS 9.10 and FreeNAS Corral?

FreeNAS provides a built-in update manager, allowing the administrator to install a specific release that contains system patches or new features. When the system is updated, a copy of the current system is retained in the boot menu, making it easy to revert to the previous version should the need arise. To upgrade to FreeNAS Corral from FreeNAS 9.10, select FreeNAS-Corral-STABLE from the trains drop-down menu of the System -> Update screen. The upgrade process will migrate the 9.10 configuration into the FreeNAS Corral configuration format. Once the system has been upgraded, you can revert the system to FreeNAS 9.10 by rebooting and selecting that entry in the boot menu. Note that a FreeNAS Corral configuration is different from a FreeNAS 9.10 configuration. This means that you should not attempt to restore a configuration that was saved on FreeNAS 9.10 to FreeNAS Corral and vice versa. If you are using an earlier version of FreeNAS, you should either first upgrade to FreeNAS 9.10 and verify the configuration, or do a fresh install of FreeNAS Corral and recreate the configuration.

Do you recommend backing up data before upgrading FreeNAS 9.10 to FreeNAS Corral?

While the upgrade process is non-disruptive to the storage disks that contain data, it is always a best practice to first backup data to another system. It is recommended to first replicate your data to another FreeNAS 9.10 system. You can also backup your data with Bacula, Veeam, Veritas NetBackup, Yosemite, NAKIVO, and other backup solutions. If you use replication as part of your data backup solution, note that FreeNAS Corral uses a different replication design that only supports replication between FreeNAS Corral systems.

How does FreeNAS Corral use the OpenZFS file system?

FreeNAS Corral uses the OpenZFS file system to ensure the integrity of data. OpenZFS provides advanced features like a copy-on-write file system to ensure that new data never overwrites old. The file system is self-healing and protects files silent corruption, like bit rot. It uses snapshots to keep old versions of files, incremental remote backups to keep data safe on another device, and intelligent compression to efficiently reduce the size of files and speed up network transfers

Why is the storage allocation information at ZFS volume creation time so much different than that displayed after creation?

Before a volume is actually created, FreeNAS tries to show you the trade-offs you're making with different volume topologies (RAIDZ1, RAIDZ2, mirror, etc) by guesstimating how much storage could be lost to parity info. Once the volume is created, however, ZFS itself then uses an entirely different set of metrics to determine how much data is actually allocated because ZFS can choose to make additional copies of blocks (or not), compress data in various ways using user preference information, and essentially do many other things that will make the actual allocation ratios completely impossible to calculate up-front. So, Corral simply reports the stats given to it by ZFS after a volume is created. ZFS is simply too clever, and has too many replication options (like copies=X), to do more than guess at how much space things will take until the data is actually on disk.


Is FreeNAS Corral safe and secure?

FreeNAS Corral is based on the FreeBSD operating system which follows security best practices in development. However, FreeNAS Corral is not designed as security software and needs to be protected from hostile traffic by a properly configured firewall. FreeNAS Corral offers the choice of encrypting the storage drives to prevent them from being read if they are physically removed from the system, but this does not protect against data being read in transit over the network or via compromised user credentials. Like all operating systems, FreeNAS Corral depends on good security practices to keep data safe.

Can FreeNAS Corral be used as a media server?

FreeNAS Corral includes support for a wide variety of Docker containers, including Plex Media Server, which can be used to stream television shows, movies, and music to a wide variety of devices. If you are concerned about system requirements, the FreeNAS Mini and Mini XL storage devices have enough power to support 1080p HD video and still run normal FreeNAS operations.

Where can I get help with FreeNAS Corral?

There are many resources for FreeNAS Corral troubleshooting, including the Community Forums and IRC channel. There is also Wiki here. At this time, professional support is only available for iXsystems TrueNAS storage arrays which are built on the FreeNAS 9.10 codebase and have the same familiar UI as FreeNAS 9.10. Learn more about TrueNAS.

CLI

I forgot my FreeNAS password. How do I reset it from the CLI?

Enter this command, substituting with the desired password.

account user root set password=newpassword