Set up TrueNAS

I decided to give up my attempts with configuring NAS on rockpro64 and just go with an existing solution: TrueNAS. This involved buying more convential hardware but that is a boring story.

Basic configuration

  • Change root user password
  • Set date/time format and timezone in System -> General
  • Configure SMTP authentication in System -> General
    • For my mailbox.org server use: smtp.mailbox.org:465 and SSL (Implicit SSL) security
  • Add a new encrypted pool. Use Encryption type = Key

    TrueNAS will automatically decrypt pool on boot with key encryption type. The key is stored on the device. Use passphase encryption for sensitive datasets. Those datasets will need to be manually decrypted with a passphrase after every reboot.

  • Create a dataset for each future user you plan to create.
  • Create users:
    • Choose dataset directory you created in the previous step as Home directory
    • Set shell to nologin
    • Enable Samba authententication
  • Create Samba shares in Sharing -> Windows Shares (SMB)
    • Select user's home directory
    • Edit ACLs -> Select a restricted preset
    • Use permissions editor for simpler ACL config
  • Set up periodic snapshot tasks
    • A monthly task that keeps snapshots for one year
    • A weekly task that keeps snapshots for four weeks
    • A daily task that keeps snapshots for seven days
    • An hourly task that keeps snapshots for one day
  • Set up SMART test. Choose Short type.

Import data from NTFS device

I have an external HDD that I wanted to import data from. You can easily do this from Storage -> Import Disk but this will import everything from your disk into specified directory.

I wanted to copy only some directories so had to do this process manually.

# Load fuse Kernel module
kldload fuse

# Find your device 
geom disk list
# Find your partition
gpart show da0

# Mount the device to /media in read-only mode
ntfs-3g /dev/da0s1 /media -o ro

# Copy all files from /media/photos/* into /mnt/roman/photos directory
# Notice the tailing slash. It is important to have it otherwise rsync
# will copy the directory and not just the files inside of it.
rsync /media/photos/ /mnt/roman/photos

# Unmount the device
umount /dev/da0s1


I want to be able to access my NAS from outside of home network. ZeroTier and Tailscale seem to suit my use case. I have decided to give Tailscale a go this time.

TrueNAS doesn't want you to modifying the system by installing the packages. I couldn't find a decent way on how to install Tailscale in a jail which everybody recommends. I simply don't know enough about FreeBSD and jails to configure it correctly. So I decided to just install a Tailscale binary with pkg on the host.

TrueNAS resets many directories on reboot so I had to create a script that would configure Tailscale each time server starts. My nas pool is mounted in /mnt/nas.

  • Prepare a directory mkdir -p /mnt/nas/custom/tailscale

  • Link directory ln -s /mnt/nas/custom/tailscale /var/db/tailscale

  • Install tailscale

    sed -i .orig 's/enabled: yes/enabled: no/' /usr/local/etc/pkg/repos/local.conf
    sed -i .orig 's/enabled: no/enabled: yes/' /usr/local/etc/pkg/repos/FreeBSD.conf
    pkg update
    pkg install -y tailscale
  • Log in tailscale up. This is an interactive process so should be done manually once.

  • Store tailscale rc.d in /mnt/nas/custom/tailscaled.service

    • I had to replace %%PREFIX%% with /usr/local though
  • Create a setup script /mnt/nas/custom/setup-tailscale.sh:

    #!/usr/bin/env sh
    set -e
    echo "Setting up Tailscale..."
    ln -s /mnt/nas/custom/tailscale /var/db/tailscale
    cp /mnt/nas/custom/tailscaled.service /usr/local/etc/rc.d/tailscaled
    chmod +x /usr/local/etc/rc.d/tailscaled
    echo "Starting tailscaled service..."
    service tailscaled onestart
    sleep 1
    echo "Connecting to tailscale..."
    tailscale up --advertise-exit-node
    # Or if you don't want exit node support
    # tailscale up 
    echo "Done."
  • Make script executable chmod +x /mnt/nas/custom/setup-tailscale.sh

  • Tasks -> Init/Shutdown Scripts: Add a new task that would run the setup script on Post Init

  • Reboot and verify that TrueNAS connects to Tailscale network automatically.

In a nutshell we persist tailscale database and rc.d script elsewhere since TrueNAS will override the directories.

Debug rc.d scripts

During my setup process I have struggled to run Tailscale in a service. To help you debug the issues add these lines to /etc/rc.conf:


and then watch the logs in /var/log/messages.


SMB share browsing is slow on macOS

Prevent macOS from reading .DS_Store files: see the guide

defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores -bool TRUE

then log out and log back in.

Time machine doesn't see SMB share

For Time machine to see your SMB share make sure to select Multi-user time machine in the Purpose section when creating a share.