FreeNAS is a NAS Operating System which can make your computer (physical or virtual) as a Network Attached Storage (NAS) and media server. It is a free and open-source Operating System based on FreeBSD and OpenZFS file system. Here we have installed it on Oracle VirtualBox and prepared the pre-installed VirtualBox image of FreeNAS version 11.2.
By using this image, you can virtualize your host computer and its physical disks to make it as an open-source NAS. It simply creates centralized and easily accessible network storage at your home or office. FreeNAS and OpenZFS allow you to protect, backup and store your all kind of data at the central location over the network. Even it can work as the best home media server to stream your stored media files.
FreeNAS has a userfriendly web interface and secure file sharing option. Also, with the ZFS open source file system, we can manage the RAID, volumes, and maintain the data integrity. In production, FreeNAS is available as a hardware box with physical disks and installed OS, but their OS freely available to download and install on most of the Operating Systems and any virtualization platform.
Earlier, we used FreeNAS as a virtual machine and used their storage to create a Windows failover cluster. It is an ideal way to install as VM and experiment the FreeNAS OS and its features. It will help you a lot to have a NAS at your home or office.
How to Use?
The below image has the only Operating System disk. You need to add a few more virtual hard disks (VDI) to the virtual machine to create disks, pools and shares by using this image. We have already talked about how to install FreeNAS on VirtualBox and create shares. Do check the guide to learn more about adding new disks and creating network shares in FreeNAS.