[Guide] How to Install FreeNAS 0.8 on VirtualBox 4

Install FreeNAS 0.8 on VirtualBox 4

FreeNAS is the best choice to create iSCSI disks and ZFS files systems in local PC with normal hard disk by using virtual machine or physical computer. Sysprobs already published several articles about FreeNAS on VMware and VirtualBox to configure and connect iSCSI disks, test VirtualBox teleportation and even Windows 2008 R2 Failover cluster. The latest 0.8  version is a complete revamped distribution with new features and interface. Version RC3 latest release as of today and this quick guide shows how to install FreeNAS 0.8 on VirtualBox 4.

I have used openfiler and FreeNAS for my virtual storage requirements, somehow I prefer FreeNAS  for easy installation, management and configuration. Recently I published a guide on installing FreeNAS 0.8 beta RC1 on VMware which did not bring any options to create disks or manage, I think that could be a bug in RC1.

Latest version is having all the options to create iSCSI disks, ZFS, edit networks and more. The improved features  in this version are;

  • A volume importer
  • Better AFP and CIFS configuration
  • Reworked and improved iSCSI support.
  • Support for 6gbps 3Ware RAID controllers (and the command line utility tw_cli for managing them)
  • HTTPS access for the GUI


Steps to Install FreeNAS 0.8 on VirtualBox

1) Download the correct ISO from here.

For 32 Bit OS – Download the FreeNAS-8.0-RC3-i386.iso

For 64 Bit OS – Download the FreeNAS-8.0-RC3-amd64.iso

2) Create a new virtual machine in Oracle VirtualBox,

Install FreeNAS 0.8 on VirtualBox 4

Select Operating System as – BSD and Version is – FreeBSD

3) Allocate memory size ( Minimum 256MB, recommended 512MB) and create a new hard disk. I suggest to create a small hard disk VDI file (2GB) to install OS only, then add few hard disks for the storage purpose later.

summary of new vm

4) Now mount the downloaded FreeNAS 0.8 ISO file to CD Drive of virtual machine and start.

desktop virtualization software

5) With this version you can’t run from Live CD without installing to a disk like how we did in earlier 0.7 versions. Start it with default option in first screen.

desktop virtualization software

6) Select the hard disk you want to install OS and press OK.

storage virtualization

That’s it, installation should be completed smoothly. Remove the ISO file and restart the FreeNAS virtual machine.

7) Make sure VirtualBox virtual machine’s network configured properly ( NAT, Bridged or Host-only) to communicate with other virtual or physical computers. Then configure the IP address for FreeNAS OS by option 1 in Console Setup screen. Follow the each steps and give a static IP for virtual machine.

Install FreeNAS 0.8 on VirtualBox 4

Normally if you added one network adapter only, then em0 will be the interface. Give a name for the interface, I have given ‘lan1’ in this example. Type your IP address with subnet mask class, I used second example and mine was (Class C network

Now, FreeNAS 0.8 is ready to connect via web browser, make sure your client PC can ping to virtual machine’s new IP.

8.) Open the internet browser and type, User name is ‘admin’ and password is ‘freenas’. This will bring the main page of FreeNAS 0.8 which is totally different from earlier version FreeNAS 0.7.

storage virtualization


9) Here is the working FreeNAS 0.8 RC3 inside Oracle VirtualBox as a virtual machine.

Install FreeNAS 0.8 on VirtualBox 4


Its having really cool and modified features compare to earlier versions. Creating iSCSI disks in FreeNAS 0.8 with VirtualBox and VMware will be interested and useful for learning purpose.  You can expect some more tutorials on this topic in future.

Stay tuned.