There are a million guides on setting up FreeNAS. This is yet another one of them. Your storage should always be on real hardware!  Note, any hard-drives/flash-drives used in this guide will be erased.  Make sure you have good backups of any data on them you wish to keep.

  1.  Download the ISO from In this case I am using 11.3-U3.2
  2.  Burn the CD to a CD, USB, etc. If using something like iLO, just set it to network mount. Additionally, attach another USB key to your freenas server. We are going to be using it the root storage pool. FreeNAS does not allow you to use the drive it installs to for actual pool sharing, so loosing a full drive to the OS is just not the way to go. Have another spare USB ready, as later in the guide we will be mirroring the root pool for redundancy.
  3. Remove all other disks from the system. Just makes it easier overall. Continue reading “FreeNAS Setup”

In this god-only-knows how many part series, I will be walking you through the steps I took to build a completely automated home lab/network/setup/etc.

The idea behind this was that I was tired of rebuilding/patching/etc and just wanted everything to work.  I realize there is an irony in the idea that I was going to spend years building a way to save minutes, but honestly, it was fun and good practice for my day job.

Continue reading “Building an automated lab – Idea and Background”