7. Network

The Network section of the administrative GUI 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 graphical user interface becomes unavailable.
  • Link Aggregations: settings for network link aggregation and link failover.
  • Network Summary: display an overview of the current network settings.
  • 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.

7.1. Global Configuration

Network Global Configuration, shown in Figure 7.1.1, is for general network settings that are not unique to any particular network interface.


Fig. 7.1.1 Global Network Configuration

Table 7.1.1 summarizes the settings on the Global Configuration tab. Hostname and domain fields are pre-filled as shown in Figure 7.1.1, but can be changed to meet requirements of the local network.

Table 7.1.1 Global Configuration Settings
Setting Value Description
Hostname string system host name
Domain string system domain name
IPv4 Default Gateway IP address typically not set (see NOTE below)
IPv6 Default Gateway IP address typically not set (see NOTE below)
Nameserver 1 IP address primary DNS server (typically in Windows domain)
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 are not started at boot until the interface is able to ping the addresses listed in Netwait IP list
Netwait IP list string if Enable netwait feature is checked, list of IP addresses to ping; otherwise, ping 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 Active Directory is being used, set the IP address of the realm’s 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 that the FreeNAS® system is protected by a properly configured firewall.

7.2. Interfaces

Network Interfaces shows which interfaces have been manually configured and allows adding or editing a manually configured interface.


Typically, the interface used to access the FreeNAS® administrative GUI is configured by DHCP. This interface does not appear in this screen, even though it is already dynamically configured and in use.

Figure 7.2.1 shows the screen that opens on clicking Interfaces Add Interface. Table 7.2.1 summarizes the configuration options shown when adding an interface or editing an already configured interface. Note that if any changes to this screen require a network restart, the screen will turn red when the OK button is clicked and a pop-up message will point out that network connectivity to the FreeNAS® system will be interrupted while the changes are applied.


Fig. 7.2.1 Adding or Editing an Interface

Table 7.2.1 Interface Configuration Settings
Setting Value Description
NIC drop-down menu the FreeBSD device name of the interface; a read-only field when editing an interface
Interface Name string description of interface
DHCP checkbox requires static IPv4 or IPv6 configuration if unchecked; only one interface can be configured for DHCP
IPv4 Address IP address enter a static IP address if DHCP is unchecked
IPv4 Netmask drop-down menu enter a netmask if DHCP is unchecked
Auto configure IPv6 checkbox only one interface can be configured for this option; if unchecked, manual configuration is required to use IPv6
IPv6 Address IPv6 address must be unique on network
IPv6 Prefix Length drop-down menu match the prefix used on 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

This screen also provides for the configuration of IP aliases, making it possible for a single interface to have multiple IP addresses. To set multiple aliases, click the Add extra alias link for each alias. Aliases are deleted by clicking the interface in the tree, clicking the Edit button, checking the Delete checkbox below the alias, then clicking the OK button.


Aliases are deleted by checking the Delete checkbox in the alias area, then clicking OK for the interface. Do not click the Delete button at the bottom of this screen, which deletes the entire interface.

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.

This screen will not allow an interface’s IPv4 and IPv6 addresses to both be set as primary addresses. An error is shown if both the IPv4 address and IPv6 address fields are filled in. Instead, set only one of these address fields and create an alias for the other address.

7.3. 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 can also be used to allow 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.

IPMI is configured from Network IPMI. The IPMI configuration screen, shown in Figure 7.3.1, provides a shortcut to the most basic IPMI configuration. Those already familiar with IPMI management tools can use them instead. Table 7.3.1 summarizes the options available when configuring IPMI with the FreeNAS® GUI.


Fig. 7.3.1 IPMI Configuration

Table 7.3.1 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
DHCP checkbox if left unchecked, the following three fields must be set
IPv4 Address string IP address used to connect to the IPMI web GUI
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’s 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.

7.5. 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, DNS servers, and default gateway are displayed.

7.6. 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 with Network Static Routes Add Static Route, shown in Figure 7.6.1.


Fig. 7.6.1 Adding a Static Route

The available options are summarized in Table 7.6.1.

Table 7.6.1 Static Route Options
Setting Value Description
Destination network 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

Added static routes are shown in View Static Routes. Click a route’s entry to access the Edit and Delete buttons.

7.7. 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.

Click Network VLANs Add VLAN, to see the screen shown in Figure 7.7.1.


Fig. 7.7.1 Adding a VLAN

Table 7.7.1 summarizes the configurable fields.

Table 7.7.1 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; note that newly created Link Aggregations will not appear in the drop-down until the system is rebooted
VLAN Tag integer number between 1 and 4095 which matches a numeric tag set up in the switched network
Description string optional

The parent interface of a VLAN must be up, but it can have an IP address or it can be unconfigured, depending upon the requirements of the VLAN configuration. This makes it difficult for the GUI to do the right thing without trampling the configuration. To remedy this, after adding the VLAN, go to Network Interfaces Add Interface. Select the parent interface from the NIC drop-down menu and in the Options field, type up. This will bring up the parent interface. If an IP address is required, it can be configured using the rest of the options in the Add Interface screen.


Creating a vlan will cause network connectivity to be interrupted. Accordingly, the GUI will provide a warning and an opportunity to cancel the vlan creation.