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Installing FreeNAS on VMware Workstation

Ok so before we proceed into the more advanced services like Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) I think its best that we do a post on FreeNAS. FreeNAS is a stripped-down version of FreeBSD it supports sharing across Windows, Mac and Linux. The latest version of FreeNas 8 includes ZFS which supports high storage capacities and integrates file systems and volume management into a single piece of software.

The main reason we are going to use FreeNAS is because of its support for iSCSI shared storage which we require for Failover and clustering.

If you are using it for production environment it is highly recommended that you do not use any of the beta versions and only install the latest stable releases.

Download FreeNAS from

Ok so let’s begin the creation of the VM.

1. Launch VMware Workstation 9. Click on Create a New Virtual Machine.

2.  Click on Custom (advanced) on New Virtual Machine Wizard.

3. Click Next on Virtual Machine Hardware compatibility.

4.  Select Installer disc image file (iso) and browse to the location where you have saved the FreeNAS iso. Click Next.

5.  Select other and Select FreeBSD 64-bit. Click Next.

6.  Enter a name for the VM and browse to the location you want to save the VM. Click Next.

7.  FreeNAS is very low on resource utilization, please visit too get the recommended System requirements. We are going to leave it at 1 processor and 1 core. Click Next.

8.  Recommended Memory is 512MB, we are going to keep it at 1 GB. Click Next.

9.  Select your Network Connection method. I use Bridged networking for all my VM.

10. We don’t need to change anything here. Click Next.

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  1.'s Gravatar
    December 11, 2013    

    Thank you for this fantastic information . but I stuck in . I couldn’t start the iSCSI Service.
    What could be the reason?
    Please Advice .

  2.'s Gravatar
    September 9, 2013    

    Thank you for this wonderful article. I couldn’t change the password and got stuck in step 25. The alert is always red. What could be the reason?

    • September 10, 2013    

      The Alert is probably Red because the password was not changed. Ensure that you are entering 8 characters Alphanumeric password and make sure you match password in both the fields & you should be good to proceed.

      •'s Gravatar
        September 10, 2013    

        Its working today. I tried firefox instead of ie.
        Thank you.

  3.'s Gravatar
    July 30, 2013    

    Hi and thanks for a Very nice guide

    But i seem to have problem creating the Quorum disk.
    I have followed the instructions but not success. At step 49 i cannot browse to the Path to the extent. In the iscsi Tab, under device extents
    i have two Volumes .
    Volume1 Disk /dev/da0
    Volume2 Disk /dev/da1
    Please advice

    • August 14, 2013    

      Then you have probably missed a step there.

      After adding extent (step 45 & 46) you need to go into Storage and add the volumes you created. after which you can continue the rest of the steps.

  4. Ben's Gravatar Ben
    April 7, 2013    

    Fantastic Guide ……..Thanks a lot ……

  5. dn's Gravatar dn
    March 29, 2013    

    I’m stuck on 47. I don’t have a Quorum Disk

  6. marcus's Gravatar marcus
    March 25, 2013    

    Very nice guide. Glad it came up in my Google searches. I’m using FreeNAS for a VMware home lab, and this made it easy to set up. Thanks.

  7. December 5, 2012    

    I bow down hmubly in the presence of such greatness.

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