How to perform initial FreeNAS configuration

As the storage needs grow in todays computing world, a centralized storage solution is a must. It brings many benefits for managing, searching and backing up your files. A NAS (Network Attached Storage) device can help you implement this solution. The FreeNAS appliance is a free open source product that has a great potential. It can be configured to provide many advance features such as redundancy, fault tolerance and advanced reporting. In an earlier article segment we showed you how to prepare a virtual machine where you can setup the FreeNAS server to configure and learn it, in the next step today we will show you how to do the initial configuration of this virtual machine.


This article assumes that you are familiar with installing a VMWare server and you have already got one running with a virtual machine prepared and ready to be configured for its initial run. If you want to review how this is done, you can review our earlier segment that shows how to prepare a virtual machine to install FreeNAS 

In this demo, we will show how to configure the virtual FreeNAS itself for its initial boot, so you can connect to its web interface and configure it further according to your network and data needs. The other features and its configuration will be discussed in subsequent article segments. 

FreeNAS needs a formatted partition to store the xml config file, either a floppy or a hard drive with minimum two partitions, on which it will use the first to store the xml. We recommend you create a small 100 MB partition for this

Detailed information, download files can be found at the FreeNAS website located at



- Start by booting your virtual machine and then choosing the default option (1) from the boot menu.


Step 2:

- On Console Setup menu choose option 1 to assign interfaces


Step 3:

- Choose your Network (NIC) card, if you have only one available, it will be lanc0 and hit ok


Step 4:

- Next step, choose any optional interfaces (Network Cards) you want, if you have only one network card available, choose none and hit next


Step 5:

- Answer yes to the confirmation prompt for the NIC interfaces, you will be returned to the console setup menu after this


Step 6:

- From the console setup menu, choose option 2 this time to set up a LAN IP address


Step 7:

- You will be asked if you want DHCP for this interface, we recommend for the initial configuration you choose yes. Once you are setup, you can always change this to a static IP through the web browser configuration

Step 8:

- When asked if you want IP V6 configuration for this interface, choose NO, as most places still use IP V4