5. System

The System section of the web interface contains these entries:

  • Information provides general FreeNAS® system information such as hostname, operating system version, platform, and uptime
  • General configures general settings such as HTTPS access, the language, and the timezone
  • Boot creates, renames, and deletes boot environments. It also shows the condition of the Boot Volume.
  • Advanced configures advanced settings such as the serial console, swap space, and console messages
  • Email configures the email address to receive notifications
  • System Dataset configures the location where logs and reporting graphs are stored
  • Tunables provides a front-end for tuning in real-time and to load additional kernel modules at boot time
  • Update performs upgrades and checks for system updates
  • Cloud Credentials is used to enter connection credentials for remote cloud service providers
  • Alerts lists the available Alert conditions and provides configuration of the notification frequency for each alert.
  • Alert Services configures services used to notify the administrator about system events.
  • CAs: import or create internal or intermediate CAs (Certificate Authorities)
  • Certificates: import existing certificates or create self-signed certificates
  • Support: report a bug or request a new feature.

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

5.1. Information

System ‣ Information displays general information about the FreeNAS® system. An example is seen in Figure 5.1.1.

The information includes hostname, build version, type of CPU (platform), amount of memory, current system time, system uptime, number of users connected at the console or by serial, telnet, or SSH connections, and current load average. On systems supplied or certified by iXsystems, an additional Serial Number field showing the hardware serial number is displayed.

To change the system hostname, click the Edit button, type in the new hostname, and click OK. The hostname must include the domain name. If the network does not use a domain name, add .local after the hostname.


Fig. 5.1.1 System Information Tab

5.2. General

System ‣ General is shown in Figure 5.2.1.


Fig. 5.2.1 General Screen

Table 5.2.1 summarizes the configurable settings in the General tab:

Table 5.2.1 General Configuration Settings
Setting Value Description
Protocol drop-down menu Set the web protocol to use when connecting to the web interface from a browser. To change the default HTTP to HTTPS or to HTTP+HTTPS, select a certificate to use in Certificate. If there are no certificates, first create a CA then a certificate.
Certificate drop-down menu Required for HTTPS. Browse to the location of the certificate to use for encrypted connections.
WebGUI IPv4 Address drop-down menu Choose a recent IP address to limit the usage when accessing the web interface. The built-in HTTP server binds to the wildcard address of (any address) and issues an alert if the specified address becomes unavailable.
WebGUI IPv6 Address drop-down menu Choose a recent IPv6 address to limit the usage when accessing the web interface. The built-in HTTP server binds to any address issues an alert if the specified address becomes unavailable.
WebGUI HTTP Port integer Allow configuring a non-standard port for accessing the web interface over HTTP. Changing this setting can also require changing a Firefox configuration setting.
WebGUI HTTPS Port integer Allow configuring a non-standard port for accessing the web interface over HTTPS.
WebGUI HTTP –> HTTPS Redirect checkbox Set to redirect HTTP connections to HTTPS. HTTPS must be selected in Protocol.
Language drop-down menu Select a localization. View the status of the localization at weblate.trueos.org.
Console Keyboard Map drop-down menu Select a keyboard layout.
Timezone drop-down menu Select a timezone.
Syslog level drop-down menu When Syslog server is defined, only logs matching this level are sent.
Syslog server string Select an IP address_or_hostname:optional_port_number to send logs to. Set to write log entries to both the console and the remote server.

After making any changes, click the Save button.

This screen also contains these buttons:

Reset Configuration to Defaults: reset the configuration database to the default base version. This does not delete user SSH keys or any other data stored in a user home directory. Since configuration changes stored in the configuration database are erased, this option is useful when a mistake has been made or to return a test system to the original configuration.

Save Config: save a backup copy of the current configuration database in the format hostname-version-architecture to the computer accessing the administrative interface. Saving the configuration after making any configuration changes is highly recommended. FreeNAS® automatically backs up the configuration database to the system dataset every morning at 3:45. However, this backup does not occur if the system is shut down at that time. If the system dataset is stored on the boot pool and the boot pool becomes unavailable, the backup will also not be available. The location of the system dataset is viewed or set using System ‣ System Dataset.


SSH keys are not stored in the configuration database and must be backed up separately.

There are two types of passwords. User account passwords for the base operating system are stored as hashed values, do not need to be encrypted to be secure, and are saved in the system configuration backup. Other passwords, like iSCSI CHAP passwords, Active Directory bind credentials, and cloud credentials are stored in an encrypted form to prevent them from being visible as plain text in the saved system configuration. The key or seed for this encryption is normally stored only on the boot device. When Save Config is chosen, a dialog gives the option to Export Password Secret Seed with the saved configuration, allowing the configuration file to be restored to a different boot device where the decryption seed is not already present. Configuration backups containing the seed must be physically secured to prevent decryption of passwords and unauthorized access.


The Export Password Secret Seed option is off by default and should only be used when making a configuration backup that will be stored securely. After moving a configuration to new hardware, media containing a configuration backup with a decryption seed should be securely erased before reuse.

Upload Config: allows browsing to the location of a previously saved configuration file to restore that configuration. The screen turns red as an indication that the system will need to reboot to load the restored configuration.

NTP Servers: The network time protocol (NTP) is used to synchronize the time on the computers in a network. Accurate time is necessary for the successful operation of time sensitive applications such as Active Directory or other directory services. By default, FreeNAS® is pre-configured to use three public NTP servers. If the network is using a directory service, ensure that the FreeNAS® system and the server running the directory service have been configured to use the same NTP servers.

Available NTP servers can be found at https://support.ntp.org/bin/view/Servers/NTPPoolServers. For time accuracy, choose NTP servers that are geographically close to the physical location of the FreeNAS® system.

Click NTP Servers ‣ Add NTP Server to add an NTP server. Figure 5.2.2 shows the screen that appears. Table 5.2.2 summarizes the options available when adding an NTP server. ntp.conf(5) explains these options in more detail.


Fig. 5.2.2 Add an NTP Server

Table 5.2.2 NTP Servers Configuration Options
Setting Value Description
Address string Enter the hostname or IP address of the NTP server.
Burst checkbox Recommended when Max. Poll is greater than 10. Only use on private servers. Do not use with a public NTP server.
IBurst checkbox Speed up the initial synchronization, taking seconds rather than minutes.
Prefer checkbox This option is only recommended for highly accurate NTP servers, such as those with time monitoring hardware.
Min. Poll integer Minimum polling time in seconds. Must be a power of 2, and cannot be lower than 4 or higher than Max. Poll.
Max. Poll integer Maximum polling time in seconds. Must be a power of 2, and cannot be higher than 17 or lower than Min. Poll.
Force checkbox Force the addition of the NTP server, even if it is currently unreachable.

5.3. Boot

FreeNAS® supports a ZFS feature known as multiple boot environments. With multiple boot environments, the process of updating the operating system becomes a low-risk operation. The updater automatically creates a snapshot of the current boot environment and adds it to the boot menu before applying the update.

If an update fails, reboot the system and select the previous boot environment, using the instructions in If Something Goes Wrong, to instruct the system to go back to that system state.


Boot environments are separate from the configuration database. Boot environments are a snapshot of the operating system at a specified time. When a FreeNAS® system boots, it loads the specified boot environment, or operating system, then reads the configuration database to load the current configuration values. If the intent is to make configuration changes rather than operating system changes, make a backup of the configuration database first using System ‣ General ‣ Save Config.

As seen in Figure 5.3.1, FreeNAS® displays the condition and statistics of the Boot Volume. It also shows the two boot environments that are created when FreeNAS® is installed. The system will boot into the default boot environment and users can make their changes and update from this version. The Initial-Install boot environment can be booted into if the system needs to be returned to a non-configured version of the installation.

If the Wizard was used, a third boot environment called Wizard-date is also created, indicating the date and time the Wizard was run.


Fig. 5.3.1 Viewing Boot Environments

Each boot environment entry contains this information:

  • Name: the name of the boot entry as it will appear in the boot menu.
  • Active: indicates which entry will boot by default if the user does not select another entry in the boot menu.
  • Created: indicates the date and time the boot entry was created.
  • Keep: indicates whether or not this boot environment can be pruned if an update does not have enough space to proceed. Click Keep for an entry if that boot environment should not be automatically pruned.

Highlight an entry to view the configuration buttons for it. These configuration buttons are shown:

  • Rename: used to change the name of the boot environment.
  • Keep/Unkeep: used to toggle whether or not the updater can prune (automatically delete) this boot environment if there is not enough space to proceed with the update.
  • Clone: makes a new boot environment from the selected boot environment.
  • Delete: used to delete the highlighted entry, which also removes that entry from the boot menu. Since an activated entry cannot be deleted, this button does not appear for the active boot environment. To delete an entry that is currently activated, first activate another entry, which will clear the On reboot field of the currently activated entry. Note that this button does not appear for the default boot environment as this entry is needed to return the system to the original installation state.
  • Activate: only appears on entries which are not currently set to Active. Changes the selected entry to the default boot entry on next boot. The status changes to On Reboot and the current Active entry changes from On Reboot, Now to Now, indicating that it was used on the last boot but will not be used on the next boot.

The buttons above the boot entries can be used to:

  • Create: makes a new boot environment from the active environment. The active boot environment contains the text On Reboot, Now in the Active column. Only alphanumeric characters, underscores, and dashes are allowed in the name.
  • Scrub Boot: can be used to perform a manual scrub of the boot devices. By default, the boot device is scrubbed every 7 days. To change the default interval, change the number in the Automatic scrub interval (in days) field. The date and results of the last scrub are also listed in this screen. The condition of the boot device should be listed as HEALTHY.
  • Status: click this button to see the status of the boot devices. Figure 5.3.2, shows only one boot device, which is ONLINE.


Using Clone to clone the active boot environment functions the same as using Create.


Fig. 5.3.2 Viewing the Status of the Boot Device

If the system has a mirrored boot pool, there will be a Detach button in addition to the Replace button. To remove a device from the boot pool, highlight the device and click its Detach button. Alternately, if one of the boot devices has an OFFLINE Status, click the device to replace, then click Replace to rebuild the boot mirror.

Note that the boot device cannot be replaced if it is the only boot device because it contains the operating system itself.

5.3.1. Mirroring the Boot Device

If the system is currently booting from a device, another device can be added to create a mirrored boot device. If one device in a mirror fails, the remaining device can still be used to boot the system.


When adding another boot device for a mirror, the new device must have at least the same capacity as the existing boot device. Larger capacity devices can be added, but the mirror will only have the capacity of the smallest device. Different models of devices which advertise the same nominal size are not necessarily the same actual size. For this reason, adding another of the same model of boot device is recommended.

In the example shown in Figure 5.3.3, the user has clicked System ‣ Boot ‣ Status to display the current status of the boot device. The example indicates that there is currently one device, ada0p2, its status is ONLINE, and it is currently the only boot device as indicated by the word stripe. To create a mirrored boot device, click either the entry called freenas-boot or stripe, then click the Attach button. If another device is available, it appears in the Member disk drop-down menu. Select the desired device.

The Use all disk space option gives control of how much of the new device is made available to ZFS. The new device is partitioned to the same size as the existing device by default. Select Use all disk space to use all available space on the new device. If either device in the mirror fails, it can be replaced with another of the same size as the original boot device.

When Use all disk space is enabled, the entire capacity of the new device is used. If the original boot device fails and is removed, the boot mirror will consist of just the newer drive, and will grow to whatever capacity it provides. However, new devices added to this mirror must now be as large as the new capacity.

Click Attach Disk to attach the new disk to the mirror.


Fig. 5.3.3 Mirroring a Boot Device

After the mirror is created, the Status screen indicates that it is now a mirror. The number of devices in the mirror are shown as in Figure 5.3.4.


Fig. 5.3.4 Viewing the Status of a Mirrored Boot Device

5.4. Advanced

System ‣ Advanced is shown in Figure 5.4.1. The configurable settings are summarized in Table 5.4.1.


Fig. 5.4.1 Advanced Screen

Table 5.4.1 Advanced Configuration Settings
Setting Value Description
Show Text Console without Password Prompt checkbox Set for the system to immediately display the text console after booting. Unset to require logging into the system before the console menu is shown.
Use Serial Console checkbox Do not enable this option if the serial port is disabled.
Serial Port Address string Select the serial port address in hex.
Serial Port Speed drop-down menu Select the speed used by the serial port.
Enable powerd (Power Saving Daemon) checkbox powerd(8) monitors the system state and sets the CPU frequency accordingly.
Swap size non-zero integer representing GiB By default, all data disks are created with this amount of swap. Log or cache devices do not create with swap and are unaffected. Setting to 0 disables swap creation completely. This is strongly discouraged.
Show console messages in the footer checkbox Set to display console messages in real time at the bottom of the browser. Click the console to bring up a scrollable screen. Set Stop refresh in the scrollable screen to pause updating, and deselect the option to continue to watch the messages as they occur.
Show tracebacks in case of fatal errors checkbox Open a pop-up of diagnostic information when a fatal error occurs.
Show advanced fields by default checkbox Show Advanced Mode fields by default.
Enable autotune checkbox Enable an Autotune script which attempts to optimize the system based on the installed hardware. Warning: Autotuning is only used as a temporary measure and is not a permanent fix for system hardware issues.
Enable debug kernel checkbox Use a debug version of the kernel on the next boot.
MOTD banner string This message is shown when a user logs in with SSH.
Periodic Notification User drop-down menu Choose a user to receive security output emails. This output runs nightly but only sends email when the system reboots or encounters an error.
Report CPU usage in percentage checkbox Display CPU usage as percentages in Reporting.
Remote Graphite Server hostname string IP address or hostname of a remote server running Graphite.
Use FQDN for logging checkbox Include the Fully-Qualified Domain Name in logs to precisely identify systems with similar hostnames.
ATA Security User drop-down menu User passed to camcontrol security -u for unlocking Self-Encrypting Drives. Values are User or Master.
SED Password string Global password used to unlock Self-Encrypting Drives.
Reset SED Password checkbox Select to clear the Password for SED column of Storage ‣ View Disks.

Click the Save button after making any changes.

This tab also contains this button:

Save Debug: used to generate a text file of diagnostic information. After the debug data is collected, the system prompts for a location to save the compressed .tgz text file.

5.4.1. Autotune

FreeNAS® provides an autotune script which optimizes the system depending on the installed hardware. For example, if a ZFS volume exists on a system with limited RAM, the autotune script automatically adjusts some ZFS sysctl values in an attempt to minimize ZFS memory starvation issues. It should only be used as a temporary measure on a system that hangs until the underlying hardware issue is addressed by adding more RAM. Autotune will always slow such a system, as it caps the ARC.

The Enable autotune option in System ‣ Advanced is off by default. Enable this option to run the autotuner at boot time. To run the script immediately, reboot the system.

If the autotune script adjusts any settings, the changed values appear in System ‣ Tunables. These values can be modified and overridden. Note that deleting tunables that were created by autotune only affects the current session, as autotune-set tunables are recreated at boot.

When attempting to increase the performance of the FreeNAS® system, and particularly when the current hardware may be limiting performance, try enabling autotune.

For those who wish to see which checks are performed, the autotune script is located in /usr/local/bin/autotune.

5.4.2. Self-Encrypting Drives

FreeNAS® version 11.1-U5 introduced Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) support.

Three types of SED devices are supported:

  • Legacy interface for older ATA devices. Not recommended for security-critical environments
  • TCG OPAL 2 standard for newer consumer-grade devices (HDD or SSD over PCIe or SATA)
  • TCG Enterprise standard for newer enterprise-grade SAS devices

The FreeNAS® middleware implements the security capabilities of camcontrol (for legacy devices) and sedutil-cli (for TCG devices). When managing SED devices from the command line, it is important to use sedutil-cli rather than camcontrol to access the full capabilities of the device. FreeNAS® provides the sedhelper wrapper script to ease SED device administration from the command line.

By default, SED devices are not locked until the administrator takes ownership of them. This is done by explicitly configuring a global or per-device password in the FreeNAS® web interface and adding the password to the SED devices.

Once configured, the system automatically unlocks all SEDs during the boot process, without requiring manual intervention. This allows a pool to contain a mix of SED and non-SED devices.

A password-protected SED device protects the data stored on the device when the device is physically removed from the FreeNAS® system. This allows secure disposal of the device without having to first wipe its contents. If the device is instead removed to be repurposed on another system, it can only be unlocked if the password is known.


It is important to remember the password! Without it, the device is unlockable and its data remains unavailable. While it is possible to specify the PSID number on the label of the device with the sedutil-cli command, doing so will erase the contents of the device rather than unlock it. Always record SED passwords whenever they are configured or modified and store them in a safe place!

When SED devices are detected during system boot, the middleware checks for global and device-specific passwords. Devices with their own password are unlocked with their password and any remaining devices, without a device-specific password, are unlocked using the global password.

To configure a global password, go to System ‣ Advanced ‣ SED Password and enter the password. Recording the password and storing it in a safe place is recommended.

To determine which devices support SED and their device names:

sedutil-cli --scan

In the results:

  • no indicates a non-SED device
  • 1 indicates a legacy TCG OPAL 1 device
  • 2 indicates a modern TCG OPAL 2 device
  • E indicates a TCG Enterprise device

To specify a password for a device, go to Storage ‣ View Disks. Highlight the device name for the confirmed SED device and click Edit. Enter and confirm the password in the Password for SED and Confirm SED Password fields. Disks that have a configured password will show bullets in their row of the Password for SED column of Storage ‣ View Disks. Conversely, the rows in that column will be empty for disks that do not support SED or which are unlocked using the global password.

Remember to take ownership of the devices:

sedhelper setup password

This command ensures that all detected SED disks are properly setup using the specified password.


Rerun sedhelper setup password every time a new SED disk is placed in the system.

This command is used to unlock all available SED disks:

sedhelper unlock

5.5. Email

An automatic script sends a nightly email to the root user account containing important information such as the health of the disks. Alert events are also emailed to the root user account. Problems with Scrubs are reported separately in an email sent at 03:00AM.


S.M.A.R.T. reports are mailed separately to the address configured in that service.

The administrator typically does not read email directly on the FreeNAS® system. Instead, these emails are usually sent to an external email address where they can be read more conveniently. It is important to configure the system so it can send these emails to the administrator’s remote email account so they are aware of problems or status changes.

The first step is to set the remote address where email will be sent. Select Account ‣ Users, click on root to highlight that user, then click Modify User. In the E-mail field, enter the email address on the remote system where email is to be sent, like admin@example.com. Click OK to save the settings.

Additional configuration is performed with System ‣ Email, shown in Figure 5.5.1.


Fig. 5.5.1 Email Screen

Table 5.5.1 Email Configuration Settings
Setting Value Description
From email string Setting a known From address is helpful in filtering mail on the receiving system.
Outgoing mail server string or IP address Hostname or IP address of SMTP server used for sending this email.
Port to connect to integer SMTP port number. Typically 25, 465 (secure SMTP), or 587 (submission).
TLS/SSL drop-down menu Choose an encryption type. Choices are Plain, SSL, or TLS
Use SMTP Authentication checkbox Enable or disable SMTP AUTH using PLAIN SASL. If enabled, enter the required Username and Password.
Username string Enter the SMTP username if the SMTP server requires authentication.
Password string Enter the SMTP password if the SMTP server requires authentication. Only plain text characters (7-bit ASCII) are allowed in passwords. UTF or composed characters are not allowed.
Password Confirmation string Confirm the SMTP password.

Click the Send Test Mail button to verify that the configured email settings are working. If the test email fails, double-check that the E-mail field of the root user is correctly configured by clicking the Modify User button for the root account in Account ‣ Users ‣ View Users.

Configuring email for TLS/SSL email providers is described in Are you having trouble getting FreeNAS to email you in Gmail?.


The FreeNAS® user who receives periodic email is set in the Periodic Notification User field in System ‣ Advanced.

5.6. System Dataset

System ‣ System Dataset, shown in Figure 5.6.1, is used to select the pool which contains the persistent system dataset. The system dataset stores debugging core files and Samba4 metadata such as the user or group cache and share level permissions. If the FreeNAS® system is configured to be a Domain Controller, all of the domain controller state is stored there as well, including domain controller users and groups.


When the system dataset is moved, a new dataset is created and set active. The old dataset is intentionally not deleted by the system because the move might be transient or the information in the old dataset might be useful for later recovery.


Fig. 5.6.1 System Dataset Screen


Encrypted, locked volumes are not displayed in the System dataset pool drop-down menu.

The system dataset can optionally be configured to also store the system log and Reporting information. If there are lots of log entries or reporting information, moving these to the system dataset will prevent /var/ on the device holding the operating system from filling up as /var/ has limited space.

Use the drop-down menu to select the ZFS volume (pool) to contain the system dataset. Whenever the location of the system dataset is changed, a pop-up warning indicates that the SMB service must be restarted, causing a temporary outage of any active SMB connections.

To store the system log on the system dataset, enable the Syslog option.

To store the reporting information on the system dataset, enable the Reporting Database option. When this option is not enabled, a RAM disk is created to prevent reporting information from filling up /var.

Click the Save button to save changes.

If the pool storing the system dataset is changed at a later time, FreeNAS® migrates the existing data in the system dataset to the new location.


Depending on configuration, the system dataset can occupy a large amount of space and receive frequent writes. Do not put the system dataset on a flash drive or other media with limited space or write life.

5.7. Tunables

System ‣ Tunables can be used to manage:

  1. FreeBSD sysctls: a sysctl(8) makes changes to the FreeBSD kernel running on a FreeNAS® system and can be used to tune the system.
  2. FreeBSD loaders: a loader is only loaded when a FreeBSD-based system boots and can be used to pass a parameter to the kernel or to load an additional kernel module such as a FreeBSD hardware driver.
  3. FreeBSD rc.conf options: rc.conf(5) is used to pass system configuration options to the system startup scripts as the system boots. Since FreeNAS® has been optimized for storage, not all of the services mentioned in rc.conf(5) are available for configuration. Note that in FreeNAS®, customized rc.conf options are stored in /tmp/rc.conf.freenas.


Adding a sysctl, loader, or rc.conf option is an advanced feature. A sysctl immediately affects the kernel running the FreeNAS® system and a loader could adversely affect the ability of the FreeNAS® system to successfully boot. Do not create a tunable on a production system unless it is understood and ramifications have been tested for that change.

Since sysctl, loader, and rc.conf values are specific to the kernel parameter to be tuned, the driver to be loaded, or the service to configure, descriptions and suggested values can be found in the man page for the specific driver and in many sections of the FreeBSD Handbook.

To add a loader, sysctl, or rc.conf option, go to System ‣ Tunables ‣ Add Tunable, to access the screen shown in Figure 5.7.1.


Fig. 5.7.1 Adding a Tunable

Table 5.7.1 summarizes the options when adding a tunable.

Table 5.7.1 Adding a Tunable
Setting Value Description
Variable string The name of the sysctl or driver to load.
Value integer or string Set a value for the Variable. Refer to the man page for the specific driver or the FreeBSD Handbook for suggested values.
Type drop-down menu Choices are Loader, rc.conf, or Sysctl.
Comment string Enter a userful description of this tunable.
Enabled checkbox Unset this option to disable the tunable without deleting it.


As soon as a Sysctl is added or edited, the running kernel changes that variable to the value specified. However, when a Loader or rc.conf value is changed, it does not take effect until the system is rebooted. Regardless of the type of tunable, changes persist at each boot and across upgrades unless the tunable is deleted or the Enabled option is deselected.

Any added tunables are listed in System ‣ Tunables. To change the value of an existing tunable, click its Edit button. To remove a tunable, click its Delete button.

Restarting the FreeNAS® system after making sysctl changes is recommended. Some sysctls only take effect at system startup, and restarting the system guarantees that the setting values correspond with what is being used by the running system.

The web interface does not display the sysctls that are pre-set when FreeNAS® is installed. FreeNAS® 11.2 ships with the sysctls set:


Do not add or edit these default sysctls as doing so may render the system unusable.

The web interface does not display the loaders that are pre-set when FreeNAS® is installed. FreeNAS® 11.2 ships with these loaders set:

loader_menu_title="Welcome to FreeNAS"
loader_version=" "

Do not add or edit the default tunables. Changing the default tunables can make the system unusable.

The ZFS version used in 11.2 deprecates these tunables:


After upgrading from an earlier version of FreeNAS®, these tunables are automatically deleted. Please do not manually add them back.

5.8. Update

FreeNAS® has an integrated update system to make it easy to keep up to date.

5.8.1. Preparing for Updates

It is best to perform updates at times the FreeNAS® system is idle, with no clients connected and no scrubs or other disk activity going on. Most updates require a system reboot. Plan updates around scheduled maintenance times to avoid disrupting user activities.

The update process will not proceed unless there is enough free space in the boot pool for the new update files. If a space warning is shown, use Boot to remove unneeded boot environments.

5.8.2. Updates and Trains

Cryptographically signed update files are used to update FreeNAS®. Update files provide flexibility in deciding when to upgrade the system. Boot environments make it possible to test an update.

Figure 5.8.1 shows an example of the System ‣ Update screen.


Fig. 5.8.1 Update Options

The system checks daily for updates and downloads an update if one is available. An alert is issued when a new update becomes available. The automatic check and download of updates can be disabled by unsetting Check for Updates Daily and Download if Available.

This screen lists the URL of the official update server in case that information is needed in a network with outbound firewall restrictions. It also shows which software branch, or train, is being tracked for updates.

Several trains are available for updates. Update trains are labeled with a numeric version and a short description.

The current version of FreeNAS® receives regular bug fixes and new features. Supported older versions of FreeNAS® only receive maintenance updates. Several specific words are used to describe the type of train:

  • STABLE: Bug fixes and new features are available from this train. Upgrades available from a STABLE train are tested and ready to apply to a production environment.
  • Nightlies: Experimental train used for testing future versions of FreeNAS®.
  • SDK: Software Developer Kit train. This has additional development tools for testing and debugging FreeNAS®.


Only STABLE trains are recommended for regular usage. Other trains are made available for pre-production testing and updates to legacy versions. Pre-production testing trains are provided only to permit testing of new versions before switching to a new branch. Before using a non-production train, be prepared to experience bugs or problems. Testers are encouraged to submit bug reports at https://redmine.ixsystems.com/projects/freenas/issues.

The train selector does not allow downgrades. For example, a FreeNAS® system using a Nightlies upgrade train is not allowed to switch to a STABLE train. A version 9.10 train cannot be selected while booted in a version 11 boot environment. To go back to an earlier version after testing or running a more recent version of FreeNAS®, reboot and select a boot environment for that earlier version. System ‣ Update can then be used to check for updates from the related train.

The Verify Install button verifies that the operating system files in the current installation do not have any inconsistencies. If any problems are found, a pop-up menu lists the files with checksum mismatches or permission errors.

5.8.3. Checking for Updates

Check for updates by making sure the desired train is selected and clicking the Check Now button. Any available updates are listed. In the example shown in Figure 5.8.2, the numbers which begin with a # represent the issue number from the issue tracker. Numbers which do not begin with a # represent a git commit. Click the ChangeLog link to open the log of changes in a web browser. Click the ReleaseNotes link to open the Release Notes in the browser.


Fig. 5.8.2 Reviewing Updates

5.8.4. Applying Updates

Make sure the system is in a low-usage state as described above in Preparing for Updates.

Click the OK button to immediately download and install an update. Be aware that some updates automatically reboot the system after they are applied.


Each update creates a boot environment. If the update process needs more space, it attempts to remove old boot environments. Boot environments marked with the Keep attribute as shown in Boot will not be removed. If space for a new boot environment is not available, the upgrade fails. Space on the boot device can be manually freed using System ‣ Boot. Review the boot environments and remove the Keep attribute or delete any boot environments that are no longer needed.

During the update process a progress dialog appears. Do not interrupt the update until it completes.

Updates can also be downloaded and applied later. To do so, unset the Apply updates after downloading option before pressing OK. In this case, this screen closes after updates are downloaded. Downloaded updates are listed in the Pending Updates section of the screen shown in Figure 5.8.1. When ready to apply the previously downloaded updates, click the Apply Pending Updates button. Remember that the system reboots after the updates are applied.


After updates have completed, reboot the system. Configuration changes made after an update but before that final reboot will not be saved.

5.8.5. Manual Updates

Updates can be manually downloaded as a file ending with -manual-update-unsigned.tar. These updates are then applied with the Manual Update button. After obtaining the update file, click Manual Update and choose a location to temporarily store the file on the FreeNAS® system. Use the file browser to locate the update file, then click Apply Update to apply it.

There is also an option to back up the system configuration before updating. Click Click here and select any options to export in the configuration file. Click OK to open a popup window to save the system configuration. A progress dialog is displayed during the update. Do not interrupt the update.


Manual updates cannot be used to upgrade from older major versions.

5.9. Cloud Credentials

FreeNAS® can use cloud services for features like Cloud Sync. The credentials to provide secure connections with cloud services are entered here. Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, Box, Dropbox, FTP, Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, HTTP, Hubic, Mega, Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, Microsoft OneDrive, pCloud, SFTP, WebDAV, and Yandex are supported.


Cloud Credentials are stored in encrypted form. To be able to restore Cloud Credentials from a saved configuration, “Export Password Secret Seed” must be set when saving that configuration.

Select System ‣ Cloud Credentials to see the screen shown in Figure 5.9.1.


Fig. 5.9.1 Cloud Credentials List

The list shows the Account Name and Provider for each credential. There are options to Edit and Delete a credential after selecting it. Click Add Cloud Credential to display the dialog shown in Figure 5.9.2.


Fig. 5.9.2 Adding Cloud Credentials

Amazon Cloud Drive options are shown by default. Enter a descriptive and unique name for the cloud credential in the Account Name field, then select a Provider. The remaining options vary by provider, and are shown in Table 5.9.1.

Table 5.9.1 Cloud Credential Options
Provider Setting Description
Amazon Cloud Drive Application Client ID, Application Key Enter the Amazon application client ID and application key.
Amazon S3 Access Key ID Enter the Amazon Web Services Key ID. This is found on Amazon AWS by going through My account –> Security Credentials –> Access Keys.
Amazon S3 Secret Access Key Enter the Amazon Web Services password. If the Secret Access Key cannot be found or remembered, go to My Account –> Security Credentials –> Access Keys and create a new key pair.
Amazon S3 Endpoint URL Leave blank when using AWS as the available buckets are fetched dynamically. Only enter an Endpoint URL if using custom S3 API. URL general format: bucket-name.s3-website-region.amazonaws.com. Refer to the AWS Documentation for a list of Simple Storage Service Websites Endpoints.
Amazon S3 Enpoint does not support regions Skip automatic detection of the Endpoint URL region. Set this when configuring a custom Endpoint URL.
Amazon S3 Use v2 signatures Force using Signature Version 2 to sign API requests. Set this when configuring a custom Endpoint URL.
Backblaze B2 Account ID or Application Key ID, Application Key Enter the Account ID and Master Application Key for the Backblaze B2 account. These are visible after logging into the account, clicking Buckets, and clicking Show Account ID and Application Key. An Application Key with limited permissions can be used in place of the Account ID. Create a new Application Key, enter the key string in the Application Key field, and replace the Account ID with the keyID.
Box Access Token Enter the Box access token.
Dropbox Access Token Enter the Dropbox access token. The token is located on the App Console. After creating an app, go to Settings and click Generate under the Generated access token field.
FTP Host, Port Enter the FTP host and port.
FTP Username, Password Enter the FTP username and password.
Google Cloud Storage JSON Service Account Key Browse to the location of the saved Google Cloud Storage key and select it.
Google Drive Access Token, Team Drive ID Enter the Google Drive Access Token. Team Drive ID is only used when connecting to a Team Drive. The ID is also the ID of the top level folder of the Team Drive.
HTTP URL Enter the URL.
Hubic Access Token Enter the access token.
Mega Username, Password Enter the Mega username and password.
Microsoft Azure Blob Storage Account Name, Account Key Enter the Azure Blob Storage account name and key.
Microsoft OneDrive Access Token, Drive Account Type, Drive ID Enter the access token. Choose the account type: PERSONAL, BUSINESS, or SharePoint DOCUMENT_LIBRARY. Enter the unique drive identifier. Open the Shell, enter rclone config, and follow the prompts to find these values. The rclone OneDrive documentation guides through the configuration process.
pCloud Access Token Enter the access token.
SFTP Host, Port Enter the SFTP host and port.
SFTP Username, Password, key file path Enter the SFTP username, password, and PEM-encoded private key file path.
WebDAV URL, WebDAV Service Enter URL and use the dropdown to select the WebDAV service.
WebDAV Username, Password Enter the username and password.
Yandex Access Token Enter the access token.

Additional fields are displayed after Provider is selected. For Amazon S3, Access Key and Secret Key are shown. These values are found on the Amazon AWS website by clicking on the account name, then My Security Credentials and Access Keys (Access Key ID and Secret Access Key). Copy the Access Key value to the FreeNAS® Cloud Credential Access Key field, then enter the Secret Key value saved when the key pair was created. If the Secret Key value is unknown, a new key pair can be created on the same Amazon screen. The Google Cloud Storage JSON Service Account Key is found on the Google Cloud Platform Console.

More details about individual Provider settings are available in the rclone documentation.

5.10. Alerts

System ‣ Alerts displays the default notification frequency for each type of Alert. An example is seen in Figure 5.10.1.


Fig. 5.10.1 Configure Alert Notification Frequency

To change the notification frequency of an alert, click its drop-down menu and select IMMEDIATELY, HOURLY, DAILY, or NEVER.


To configure where to send alerts, use Alert Services.

5.11. Alert Services

FreeNAS® can use a number of methods to notify the administrator of system events that require attention. These events are system Alerts marked WARN or CRITICAL.

Currently available alert services:


These alert services might use a third party commercial vendor not directly affiliated with iXsystems. Please investigate and fully understand that vendor’s pricing policies and services before using their alert service. iXsystems is not responsible for any charges incurred from the use of third party vendors with the Alert Services feature.

Select System ‣ Alert Services to show the Alert Services screen. Click Add Service to display the dialog shown in Figure 5.11.1.


Fig. 5.11.1 Add Alert Service

The Service Name drop-down menu is used to pick a specific alert service. The fields shown in the rest of the dialog change to those required by that service. Enter the required information, set the Enabled option, then click OK to save the settings.

System alerts marked WARN or CRITICAL are sent to each alert service that has been configured and enabled.

Alert services are deleted from this list by clicking them and then clicking the Delete button at the bottom of the window. To disable an alert service temporarily, click Edit and remove the checkmark from the Enabled option.


To send a test alert, highlight an alert entry, click Edit, and click the Send Test Alert button.

5.11.1. How it Works

A nas-health service is registered with Consul. This service runs /usr/local/etc/consul-checks/freenas_health.sh periodically, currently every two minutes. If an alert marked WARNING or CRITICAL is found, the nas-health service is marked as “unhealthy”, triggering consul-alerts to notify configured alert services.

5.12. CAs

FreeNAS® can act as a Certificate Authority (CA). When encrypting SSL or TLS connections to the FreeNAS® system, either import an existing certificate, or create a CA on the FreeNAS® system, then create a certificate. This certificate will appear in the drop-down menus for services that support SSL or TLS.

For secure LDAP, the public key of an existing CA is imported with Import CA, or a new CA created on the FreeNAS® system and used on the LDAP server also.

Figure 5.12.1 shows the screen after clicking System ‣ CAs.


Fig. 5.12.1 Initial CA Screen

If the organization already has a CA, the CA certificate and key can be imported. Click the Import CA button to open the configuration screen shown in Figure 5.12.2. The configurable options are summarized in Table 5.12.1.


Fig. 5.12.2 Importing a CA

Table 5.12.1 Importing a CA Options
Setting Value Description
Identifier string Enter a descriptive name for the CA using only alphanumeric, underscore (_), and dash (-) characters.
Certificate string Paste in the certificate for the CA.
Private Key string If there is a private key associated with the Certificate, paste it here. Private keys must be at least 1024 bits long.
Passphrase string If the Private Key is protected by a passphrase, enter it here and repeat it in the “Confirm Passphrase” field.
Serial string Enter the serial number for the certificate.

To create a new CA, first decide if it will be the only CA which will sign certificates for internal use or if the CA will be part of a certificate chain.

To create a CA for internal use only, click the Create Internal CA button which will open the screen shown in Figure 5.12.3.


Fig. 5.12.3 Creating an Internal CA

The configurable options are described in Table 5.12.2. When completing the fields for the certificate authority, supply the information for the organization.

Table 5.12.2 Internal CA Options
Setting Value Description
Identifier string Enter a descriptive name for the CA using only alphanumeric, underscore (_), and dash (-) characters.
Key Length drop-down menu For security reasons, a minimum of 2048 is recommended.
Digest Algorithm drop-down menu The default is acceptable unless the organization requires a different algorithm.
Lifetime integer The lifetime of the CA is specified in days.
Country drop-down menu Select the country for the organization.
State string Enter the state or province of the organization.
Locality string Enter the location of the organization.
Organization string Enter the name of the company or organization.
Email Address string Enter the email address for the person responsible for the CA.
Common Name string Enter the fully-qualified hostname (FQDN) of the system. The Common Name must be unique within a certificate chain.
Subject Alternate Names string Multi-domain support. Enter additional domain names and separate them with a space.

To create an intermediate CA which is part of a certificate chain, click Create Intermediate CA. This screen adds one more option to the screen shown in Figure 5.12.3:

  • Signing Certificate Authority: this drop-down menu is used to specify the root CA in the certificate chain. This CA must first be imported or created.

Imported or created CAs are added as entries in System ‣ CAs. The columns in this screen indicate the name of the CA, whether it is an internal CA, whether the issuer is self-signed, the number of certificates that have been issued by the CA, the distinguished name of the CA, the date and time the CA was created, and the date and time the CA expires.

Clicking the entry for a CA causes these buttons to become available:

  • Sign CSR: used to sign internal Certificate Signing Requests created using System ‣ Certificates ‣ Create Certificate Signing Request.
  • Export Certificate: prompts to browse to the location to save a copy of the CA X.509 certificate on the computer being used to access the FreeNAS® system.
  • Export Private Key: prompts to browse to the location to save a copy of the CA private key on the computer being used to access the FreeNAS® system. This option only appears if the CA has a private key.
  • Delete: prompts for confirmation before deleting the CA.

5.13. Certificates

FreeNAS® can import existing certificates, create new certificates, and issue certificate signing requests so that created certificates can be signed by the CA which was previously imported or created in CAs.

Figure 5.13.1 shows the initial screen after clicking System ‣ Certificates.


Fig. 5.13.1 Initial Certificates Screen

To import an existing certificate, click Import Certificate to open the configuration screen shown in Figure 5.13.2. When importing a certificate chain, paste the primary certificate, followed by any intermediate certificates, followed by the root CA certificate.

The configurable options are summarized in Table 5.13.1.


Fig. 5.13.2 Importing a Certificate

Table 5.13.1 Certificate Import Options
Setting Value Description
Identifier string Enter a descriptive name for the certificate using only alphanumeric, underscore (_), and dash (-) characters.
Certificate string Paste the contents of the certificate.
Private Key string Paste the private key associated with the certificate. Private keys must be at least 1024 bits long.
Passphrase string If the private key is protected by a passphrase, enter it here and repeat it in the Confirm Passphrase field.

To create a new self-signed certificate, click the Create Internal Certificate button to see the screen shown in Figure 5.13.3. The configurable options are summarized in Table 5.13.2. When completing the fields for the certificate authority, use the information for the organization. Since this is a self-signed certificate, use the CA that was imported or created with CAs as the signing authority.


Fig. 5.13.3 Creating a New Certificate

Table 5.13.2 Certificate Creation Options
Setting Value Description
Signing Certificate Authority drop-down menu Select the CA which was previously imported or created using CAs.
Identifier string Enter a descriptive name for the certificate using only alphanumeric, underscore (_), and dash (-) characters.
Key Length drop-down menu For security reasons, a minimum of 2048 is recommended.
Digest Algorithm drop-down menu The default is acceptable unless the organization requires a different algorithm.
Lifetime integer The lifetime of the certificate is specified in days.
Country drop-down menu Select the country for the organization.
State string State or province for the organization.
Locality string Location of the organization.
Organization string Name of the company or organization.
Email Address string Email address for the person responsible for the CA.
Common Name string Enter the fully-qualified hostname (FQDN) of the system. The Common Name must be unique within a certificate chain.
Subject Alternate Names string Multi-domain support. Enter additional domain names and separate them with a space.

If the certificate is signed by an external CA, such as Verisign, instead create a certificate signing request. To do so, click Create Certificate Signing Request. A screen like the one in Figure 5.13.3 opens, but without the Signing Certificate Authority field.

Certificates that are imported, self-signed, or for which a certificate signing request is created are added as entries to System ‣ Certificates. In the example shown in Figure 5.13.4, a self-signed certificate and a certificate signing request have been created for the fictional organization My Company. The self-signed certificate was issued by the internal CA named My Company and the administrator has not yet sent the certificate signing request to Verisign so that it can be signed. Once that certificate is signed and returned by the external CA, it should be imported using Import Certificate so it is available as a configurable option for encrypting connections.


Fig. 5.13.4 Managing Certificates

Clicking an entry activates these configuration buttons:

  • View: use this option to view the contents of an existing certificate or to edit the Identifier.
  • Export Certificate saves a copy of the certificate or certificate signing request to the system being used to access the FreeNAS® system. For a certificate signing request, send the exported certificate to the external signing authority so that it can be signed.
  • Export Private Key saves a copy of the private key associated with the certificate or certificate signing request to the system being used to access the FreeNAS® system.
  • Delete is used to delete a certificate or certificate signing request.

5.14. Support

The FreeNAS® Support tab, shown in Figure 5.14.1, provides a built-in ticketing system for generating bug reports and feature requests.


Fig. 5.14.1 Support Tab

This screen provides a built-in interface to the FreeNAS® issue tracker located at https://redmine.ixsystems.com/projects/freenas/issues. When using the FreeNAS® bug tracker for the first time, go to the website, click the Register link, fill out the form, and reply to the registration email. This will create a username and password which can be used to create bug reports and receive notifications as the reports are actioned.

Before creating a bug report or feature request, ensure that an existing report does not already exist at https://redmine.ixsystems.com/projects/freenas/issues. If a similar issue is already present and has not been marked as Closed or Resolved, comment on that issue, adding new information to help solve it. If similar issues have already been Closed or Resolved, create a new issue and refer to the previous issue.


Update the system to the latest version of STABLE and retest before reporting an issue. Newer versions of the software might have already fixed the problem.

To generate a report using the built-in Support screen, complete these fields:

  • Username: enter the login name created when registering at https://redmine.ixsystems.com/projects/freenas/issues.
  • Password: enter the password associated with the registered login name.
  • Type: select Bug when reporting an issue or Feature when requesting a new feature.
  • Category: this drop-down menu is empty until a registered Username and Password are entered. An error message is displayed if either value is incorrect. After the Username and Password are validated, possible categories are populated to the drop-down menu. Select the one that best describes the bug or feature being reported.
  • Attach Debug Info: enabling this option is recommended so an overview of the system hardware, build string, and configuration is automatically generated and included with the ticket. Generating and attaching a debug to the ticket can take some time. An error will occur if the debug is more than the file size limit of 20 MiB.
  • Subject: enter a descriptive title for the ticket. A good Subject makes it easy to find similar reports.
  • Description: enter a one- to three-paragraph summary of the issue that describes the problem, and if applicable, what steps can be taken to reproduce it.
  • Attachments: this is the only optional field. It is useful for including configuration files or screenshots of any errors or tracebacks.

Click Submit to automatically generate and upload the report to the bug tracker. This process can take several minutes while information is collected and sent.

After the new ticket is created, the URL is shown for updating with more information.