8. Network

The Network section of the web interface contains these components for viewing and configuring network settings on the FreeNAS® system:

  • Global Configuration: general network settings.
  • Interfaces: settings for each network interface.
  • IPMI: settings controlling connection to the appliance through the hardware side-band management interface if the user interface becomes unavailable.
  • Link Aggregations: settings for network link aggregation and link failover.
  • Static Routes: add static routes.
  • VLANs: configure IEEE 802.1q tagging for virtual LANs.

Each of these is described in more detail in this section.


Making changes to the network interface the web interface uses can result in losing connection to the FreeNAS® system! Misconfiguring network settings might require command line knowledge or physical access to the FreeNAS® system to fix. Be very careful when configuring Interfaces and Link Aggregations.

8.1. Global Configuration

Network ➞ Global Configuration, shown in Figure 8.1.1, is for general network settings that are not unique to any particular network interface.


Fig. 8.1.1 Global Network Configuration

Table 8.1.1 summarizes the settings on the Global Configuration tab. Hostname and Domain fields are pre-filled as shown in Figure 8.1.1, but can be changed to meet requirements of the local network.

Table 8.1.1 Global Configuration Settings
Setting Value Description
Hostname string System host name. Upper and lower case alphanumeric, ., and - characters are allowed.
Domain string System domain name.
Additional Domains string Additional space-delimited domains to search. Adding search domains can cause slow DNS lookups.
IPv4 Default Gateway IP address Typically not set. See this note about Gateways. If set, used instead of the default gateway provided by DHCP.
IPv6 Default Gateway IP address Typically not set. See this note about Gateways.
Nameserver 1 IP address Primary DNS server.
Nameserver 2 IP address Secondary DNS server.
Nameserver 3 IP address Tertiary DNS server.
HTTP Proxy string Enter the proxy information for the network in the format http://my.proxy.server:3128 or http://user:password@my.proxy.server:3128.
Enable netwait feature checkbox If enabled, network services do not start at boot until the interface is able to ping the addresses listed in the Netwait IP list.
Netwait IP list string Only appears when Enable netwait feature is set. Enter a space-delimited list of IP addresses to ping(8). Each address is tried until one is successful or the list is exhausted. Leave empty to use the default gateway.
Host name database string Used to add one entry per line which will be appended to /etc/hosts. Use the format IP_address space hostname where multiple hostnames can be used if separated by a space.

When using Active Directory, set the IP address of the realm DNS server in the Nameserver 1 field.

If the network does not have a DNS server, or NFS, SSH, or FTP users are receiving “reverse DNS” or timeout errors, add an entry for the IP address of the FreeNAS® system in the Host name database field.


In many cases, a FreeNAS® configuration does not include default gateway information as a way to make it more difficult for a remote attacker to communicate with the server. While this is a reasonable precaution, such a configuration does not restrict inbound traffic from sources within the local network. However, omitting a default gateway will prevent the FreeNAS® system from communicating with DNS servers, time servers, and mail servers that are located outside of the local network. In this case, it is recommended to add Static Routes to be able to reach external DNS, NTP, and mail servers which are configured with static IP addresses. When a gateway to the Internet is added, make sure the FreeNAS® system is protected by a properly configured firewall.

8.2. Interfaces

Network ➞ Interfaces shows which interfaces are manually configured and allows adding or editing a manually configured interface.

See this warning about changing the interface that the web interface uses.

Figure 8.2.1 shows the screen that appears after clicking ADD from the Interfaces page. Table 8.2.1 summarizes the configuration options shown when adding an interface or editing an existing interface.


An interface can only be added when there is a NIC that has not already been configured. Clicking ADD when there are no NICs available will display a message across the bottom of the screen that All interfaces are already in use..


Fig. 8.2.1 Adding or Editing an Interface

Table 8.2.1 Interface Configuration Settings
Setting Value Description
NIC drop-down menu The FreeBSD device name of the interface. This is read-only when editing an interface.
Interface Name string Description of interface.
DHCP checkbox Requires static IPv4 or IPv6 configuration if unselected. Only one interface can be configured for DHCP.
IPv4 Address IP address Enter a static IP address if DHCP is unset.
IPv4 Netmask drop-down menu Enter a netmask if DHCP is unset.
Auto configure IPv6 checkbox Only one interface can be configured for this option. If unset, manual configuration is required to use IPv6.
IPv6 Address IPv6 address Must be unique on the network.
IPv6 Prefix Length drop-down menu Match the prefix used on the network.
Options string Additional parameters from ifconfig(8). Separate multiple parameters with a space. For example: mtu 9000 increases the MTU for interfaces which support jumbo frames. See this note about MTU and lagg interfaces.

Multiple interfaces cannot be members of the same subnet. See Multiple network interfaces on a single subnet for more information. Check the subnet mask if an error is shown when setting the IP addresses on multiple interfaces.

Set only the IPv4 or IPv6 address for the new interface.

8.3. IPMI

Beginning with version 9.2.1, FreeNAS® provides a graphical screen for configuring an IPMI interface. This screen will only appear if the system hardware includes a Baseboard Management Controller (BMC).

IPMI provides side-band management if the graphical administrative interface becomes unresponsive. This allows for a few vital functions, such as checking the log, accessing the BIOS setup, and powering on the system without requiring physical access to the system. IPMI is also used to give another person remote access to the system to assist with a configuration or troubleshooting issue. Before configuring IPMI, ensure that the management interface is physically connected to the network. The IPMI device may share the primary Ethernet interface, or it may be a dedicated separate IPMI interface.


It is recommended to first ensure that the IPMI has been patched against the Remote Management Vulnerability before enabling IPMI. This article provides more information about the vulnerability and how to fix it.


Some IPMI implementations require updates to work with newer versions of Java. See PSA: Java 8 Update 131 breaks ASRock’s IPMI Virtual console for more information.

IPMI is configured from Network ➞ IPMI. The IPMI configuration screen, shown in Figure 8.3.1, provides a shortcut to the most basic IPMI configuration. Those already familiar with IPMI management tools can use them instead. Table 8.3.1 summarizes the options available when configuring IPMI with the FreeNAS® web interface.


Fig. 8.3.1 IPMI Configuration

Table 8.3.1 IPMI Options
Setting Value Description
Channel drop-down menu Select the channel to use.
Password string Enter the password used to connect to the IPMI interface from a web browser. The maximum length is 20 characters.
DHCP checkbox If left unset, IPv4 Address, IPv4 Netmask, and Ipv4 Default Gateway must be set.
IPv4 Address string IP address used to connect to the IPMI web interface.
IPv4 Netmask drop-down menu Subnet mask associated with the IP address.
IPv4 Default Gateway string Default gateway associated with the IP address.
VLAN ID string Enter the VLAN identifier if the IPMI out-of-band management interface is not on the same VLAN as management networking.

After configuration, the IPMI interface is accessed using a web browser and the IP address specified in the configuration. The management interface prompts for a username and the configured password. Refer to the IPMI device documentation to determine the default administrative username.

After logging in to the management interface, the default administrative username can be changed, and additional users created. The appearance of the IPMI utility and the functions that are available vary depending on the hardware.

A command-line utility called ipmitool is available to control many features of the IPMI interface. See How To: Change IPMI Sensor Thresholds using ipmitool for some examples.

8.5. Network Summary

Network ➞ Network Summary shows a quick summary of the addressing information of every configured interface. For each interface name, the configured IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, default routes, and DNS namerservers are displayed.

8.6. Static Routes

No static routes are defined on a default FreeNAS® system. If a static route is required to reach portions of the network, add the route by going to Network ➞ Static Routes, and clicking ADD. This is shown in Figure 8.6.1.


Fig. 8.6.1 Adding a Static Route

The available options are summarized in Table 8.6.1.

Table 8.6.1 Static Route Options
Setting Value Description
Destination integer Use the format A.B.C.D/E where E is the CIDR mask.
Gateway integer Enter the IP address of the gateway.
Description string Optional. Add any notes about the route.

Added static routes are shown in Network ➞ Static Routes. Click  (Options) on a route entry to access the Edit and Delete buttons.

8.7. VLANs

FreeNAS® uses FreeBSD’s vlan(4) interface to demultiplex frames with IEEE 802.1q tags. This allows nodes on different VLANs to communicate through a layer 3 switch or router. A vlan interface must be assigned a parent interface and a numeric VLAN tag. A single parent can be assigned to multiple vlan interfaces provided they have different tags.


VLAN tagging is the only 802.1q feature that is implemented. Additionally, not all Ethernet interfaces support full VLAN processing. See the HARDWARE section of vlan(4) for details.

Go to Network ➞ VLANs and click ADD to see the screen shown in Figure 8.7.1.


Fig. 8.7.1 Adding a VLAN

Table 8.7.1 summarizes the configurable fields.

Table 8.7.1 Adding a VLAN
Setting Value Description
Virtual Interface string Use the format vlanX where X is a number representing a VLAN interface not currently being used as a parent.
Parent Interface drop-down menu Usually an Ethernet card connected to a properly configured switch port. Newly created Link Aggregations do not appear in the drop-down until the system is rebooted.
Vlan Tag integer Enter a number between 1 and 4095 which matches a numeric tag set up in the switched network.
Description string Optional. Enter any notes about this VLAN.
Priority Code Point drop-down menu Available 802.1p Class of Service ranges from Best Effort (default) to Network Control (highest).

The parent interface of a VLAN must be up, but it can either have an IP address or be unconfigured, depending upon the requirements of the VLAN configuration. This makes it difficult for the web interface to do the right thing without trampling the configuration. To remedy this, add the VLAN, then select Network ➞ Interfaces, and click ADD. Choose the parent interface from the NIC drop-down menu and in the Options field, type up. This brings up the parent interface. If an IP address is required, configure it using the rest of the options in the ADD screen.


Creating a VLAN causes an interruption to network connectivity. The web interface provides a warning about this interruption.