If you’ve been following along with the other FreeNAS articles, we have installed and performed basic system configuration for the FreeNAS server. Now we are ready to configure the disks in the system.
Add Hard Drives to FreeNAS
The first action that we need to perform is adding the hard drives on the system to FreeNAS. By default, FreeNAS is unaware of the hard drives in the system.
Start by clicking on the Management item under the Disks menu to bring up the disk management interface.
Click on the icon to start the hard disk addition process.
You will now be presented with a screen containing a number of drop down options.
In general, most of the options can be left to their defaults. The only drop down that you will probably need to use is the Disk drop down. This lists all of the hard drives on your system. Simply select the hard drive that you would like to add to FreeNAS and click the button.
Repeat this process for each hard drive in the system.
The only exception to this rule is the drive that contains the FreeNAS operating system. You will have to set the Preformated FS option to UFS.
When you have completed adding all of the disks, click on the button to activate the changes made.
If you have done everything correctly, you should now have completed the hard drive additions.
Format the Disks
Now that we have all of the drives in FreeNAS, you will now format the disks.
Note: Do NOT format the disk that contains the FreeNAS operating system.
Click on the Format tab on the disk configuration page. The two drop downs that we are concerned with are the Disk and File System drop downs.
The Disk drop down lists all of the disks that you added to the FreeNAS system in the previous step. You only need to format the disks the do not contain the FreeNAS operating system. The disk containing the FreeNAS OS was formatted as part of the installation process.
Select the first non-FreeNAS disk. Next, in the File System drop down, select a file system. Your file system options are:
- UFS with Soft Updates (use 8% space disk)
- UFS (EFI/GPT) with Soft Updates (use 8% space disk)
- UFS (EFI/GPT)
- Software RAID: gmirror
- Software RAID: graid5
- Software RAID: gvinum
There could be a long discussion behind which file system to use. I will be using UFS. Why? Because this is the file system that FreeNAS uses. (Sometimes decisions need not be complicated.)
Once you have selected your file system, click on .
Warning! Formatting the disk will erase the entire contents of the disk and you will not be able to get any data stored on that disk back. Make sure that any data that you still want to keep has been copied off these disks!
Click OK on the format confirmation to dialog and the formatting will begin.
The actual disk formatting may take some time, depending on the size of the disk. When it is complete, you will receive a message something like this:
Disk initialization details:
******* Working on device /dev/ad1 *******
/dev/ad1s1: 1023.7MB (2096576 sectors) block size 16384, fragment size 2048
using 6 cylinder groups of 183.77MB, 11761 blks, 23552 inodes.
super-block backups (for fsck -b #) at:
160, 376512, 752864, 1129216, 1505568, 1881920
Repeat this process for all non-FreeNAS disks.
Once you have formatted all of your non-FreeNAS disks, go back to the Manage tab.
All of your disks should now show a file system.
Once the formatting process is complete, you now need to mount the disks in the FreeNAS system. By mounting the disks, this gives FreeNAS access to the file system that you just put on the disks and FreeNAS can start doing things (such as saving and sharing) with actual files.
To begin, click on Mount Point under the Disks menu to see your mount point settings.
To add a mount point, click on the button.
You are now presented with the add mount point window. There are five field to fill out:
- Disk - The disk that contains the partition you wish to mount. The disks listed here will be the same as the disks added earlier.
- Partition - Generally, this will be partition 1. The main exception to this rule is if you are mounting the DATA partition on the disk containing the FreeNAS operating system. Then this will be partition 2.
- File system - This is the same as file system you formatted the disk to be.
- Share Name - This is what the people on the network will see. Make it short and sweet, yet logical. E.g. data, documents, music, etc.
- Description - Make this a good descriptive phrase that will help you out in case the share name leaves something to be desired.
The last two entries, share name and description are not required but I suggest that you take ten seconds to fill them out as it will make your life a whole lot easier 2 years from now when you haven’t got a hot clue as to what disk_ad0_part_s2 means!
Repeat this process for all of your disks.
Once you have created mount points for all of your disk partitions, click on to write the mount point information to disk and make it permanent. You should end up with something like this:
You have now successfully configured your disks to work with FreeNAS. Your system is now ready to be put to work for whatever you see fit.
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