Download and install VirtualBox from

Download FreeNas ISO from

When installing FreeNas in a virtual machine with a 64bit OS you may encounter: "Your Computer does not support Long Mode."

One possible fix is to go into your computer's BIOS and enable Virtualization Technology. If that doesn’t work then download the 32 bit version of FreeNas because for some reason the 64 bit version doesn't appear to work within the virtual machine.

How to install VirtualBox

First install VirtualBox with the default settings.

After installing VirtualBox , start it by clicking on the icon in the Start menu.

Select the option to create a new virtual machine by clicking on the "New" button at the top.

Follow the prompts and input a name for your virtual machine under VM Name one OS Type . I just named it FreeNas and selected BSD, Free BSD.

Select how much memory you would like to allocate to the VM. The recommended base memory of 128 MB is fine.

On the next screen select Create New Hard disk and leave Startup disk checked.

Choose VDMK for the type of virtual disk so it may also be used with VMware later if needbe.

On the next screen leave it as Dynamically allocated to ensure the VM and virtual drive saves as much of the local disk space as possible.

On the next screen select the size of the virtual disk for the FreeNas OS to run. In this case 2GB should be fine. Give the disk a name. I leave it as FreeNas or FreeNasHDD .

On the next screen choose "Create"

How to install the FreeNas software from an ISO.

With VirtualBox open, click on the Settings button.

Click on Storage on the left and click on the virtual disk drive.

In the next window select the Virtual DVD drive and click on the disc icon in the upper right.


Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file...


Find the FreeNas ISO file you downloaded and select it.

Click to open ISO file and then click OK to exit the settings screen.

Now you can click to Start the Virtual Machine.

Choose to Install/Upgrade to hard drive/flash device. Follow the prompts with the default settings.After installation it will want to reboot. Choose to shutdown because the virtual media needs to first be removed before you can boot.

After it is shutdown, click on the Settings button like before and Storage. Then select the virtual DVD drive and click on the disc icon next to it. Choose to remove disk from virtual drive and click Ok to exit the settings screen.

Next click on Start to boot up the virtual machine. Make sure it boots up properly and then shutdown so we can add a storage drive.

How to add storage drive to FreeNas

On the main VirtualBox screen with the virtual machine powered off, click on the Settings button.

Click on Storage like we did to install FreeNas from an ISO.

Click on the Add Hard disk button at the bottom.


Choose to Create New Disk.

Choose the VDMK format for compatibility reasons with VMWare.

On the next screen choose Dynamically Allocated.

On the next screen input a name for the storage drive and select a size. Make sure the size is greater than 3GB.

**If you receive an error creating a mount point in freeNAS it is most likely because the size of the virtual drive is under 3GB**

Choose next and Create.

How to get to the web GUI

First we need to make some changes to the network settings.

In the main VirtualBox menu choose the Settings button.

This part requires the Virtual Machine be shutdown or else you cannot make changes.

Select Network on the left and Adapter 1.

Changed "Attached to" to a Bridges Adapter. Make sure your ethernet adapter is selected.


After booting up the FreeNas VM there will be an IP address listed that you can use to access the web GUI from a web browser. This IP address can be changed by choosing the option 1 to Configure Network Interfaces. Keep in mind if you choose the option to DHCP that the address may change. It is probably best to set it as a static IP address on the same subnet as the computer you are using.


In order for this to work on the same computer as the installed virtual machine I made some changes to my network adapter settings.

I am not sure if this is necessary but I seemed to have problems with connecting when the VirtualBox Host-Only Network adapter said it wasn't connected.

Go into your Control Panel under Windows and Network Connections. In Windows 7 choose Change Adapter Settings.

Right click on the VirtualBox Host-Only Network adapter and select Properties.


Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 and select Properties.

Set the IP address to a static address on the same subnet as the computer. I set mine to Set it to something different from the FreeNAS web GUI you set earlier. Type in the subnet mask then Click OK to save settings. The VirtualBox Host-Only Network adapter should now say it's connected.

If you are currently plugged into the router and the FreeNas VM is booted up you should be able to open a browser and go to the IP address listed in the FreeNas Virtual Machine window. Make sure wireless is disabled if you are having issues connecting.

See for a possible way of doing this without being plugged into a router.

Adding Virtual Storage to FreeNas

Now that you are able to access the web interface we can add the virtual storage we created earlier.

Open a web browser and go to the IP address listed in the VirtualBox window. Mine was set to

By default there isn't a password set so it should go to the main screen. Click on Storage on the left, Volumes, and Create Volume.

fn7.png fn8.PNG

Give the storage drive a name and check the Member disks listed. Select Filesystem type and click Add Volume. I don't know the difference between the two formats. I chose UFS.

This would be where you would get the error message about not being able to mount the drive if it was below 3GB. An error briefly displays at the top of the webpage.

Under the Volumes section of the webpage you can click on the volume you just created and change permissions for a particular group and choose if they can write to the directory. Keep in mind that the CIFS service needs to be started under the Services>Control Services part of the menu tree on the left in order for the volume to be visible.

You also need to give your share a name for it to be visible. If you click on Services > CIFS you can set the NETBIOS name for the storage volumes. This is the name for accessing FreeNas . After selecting this you can either access it by going to Start>Run in windows and typing \\freenas or \\ <---the IP address for FreeNas listed in the VirtualBox screen.

It is supposed to show up as a windows share under My Computer in Windows 7 when you click on Network. It takes a bit of time for the drive to show up so don't think it's not working if you don't see it right away. CIFS Windows shares are extremely slow. It is much quicker to type in \\freenas and run it from the start menu.


Other useful information

Windows and Shares remembers your login information. If you manage to get user accounts setup with different home directories and you want to test multiple users you will need to delete the active shares that are cached in windows.

So you are unable to switch users easily or even logout. The only way I've found to disconnect is by command prompt: net use * /del /yes to delete all active/saved shares. You need to make sure there isn't a window of the shared drive open at the time you do this and wait a few moments before trying to login again. Windows shares doesn't respond quickly even when deleting saved login information from the command prompt.

-- MaryWillette - 2012-05-19

Topic attachments
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PNGPNG FN4.PNG manage 14.5 K 2012-05-19 - 15:11 MaryWillette  
Pngpng fn1.png manage 58.1 K 2012-05-19 - 14:40 MaryWillette  
Pngpng fn2.png manage 43.2 K 2012-05-19 - 14:42 MaryWillette  
PNGPNG fn3.PNG manage 118.8 K 2012-05-19 - 14:50 MaryWillette  
PNGPNG fn5.PNG manage 44.1 K 2012-05-19 - 15:15 MaryWillette  
Pngpng fn6.png manage 64.4 K 2012-05-19 - 15:21 MaryWillette  
Pngpng fn7.png manage 16.1 K 2012-05-19 - 15:38 MaryWillette  
PNGPNG fn8.PNG manage 12.4 K 2012-05-19 - 15:40 MaryWillette  
Pngpng fn9.png manage 36.4 K 2012-05-19 - 15:52 MaryWillette  
Topic revision: r1 - 2012-05-19 - MaryWillette
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