Getting Started with TrueNAS Scale | Part 1 | Hardware, Installation and Initial Configuration

Introduction

Welcome!
This Guide will be the first in a series of Wikis to get you started with TrueNAS Scale.

In this Wiki, you’ll learn everything you need to get from zero to being ready for setting up your first storage pool.

Hardware Recommendations

The Following Specifications are what I would personally recommend for a reasonable minimum of a Server that will run in (Home) Production 24/7. If you’re just experimenting with TrueNAS, less will be sufficient and it is even possible to do so in a Virtual Machine.

Processor:

  • At least 4 Cores, more are better but not neccessary to start out with
  • Virtualization Support
  • AES-NI is not neccessary, but without it ZFS Encryption is highly impractical

Memory:

  • 16 GB for a basic NAS-only Installation, 32 GB are recommended for multiple Containers and VMs.
  • ECC RAM, while not strictly neccessary, is highly preferred due to the Nature of ZFS. If you have the choice, choose ECC.

Storage:

  • One SATA 2.5" or M.2 SSD of at leat 64GB as the Boot Drive, depending on what your Motherboard and/or Case Supports.
    → If you’re on a budget, stick with a Single SSD. If you don’t have to compromise somewhere else, a Mirror of SSDs for the boot pool can add redundancy, but due to TrueNAS handling configurations in an easy-to-back-up Database, this is not a high priority.

  • Two or More SSDs or HDDs of the same size and type for your main Storage Pool(s)
    → Consider what your Application will be. If you’re focused on large amounts of storage, choose low-speed and quite NAS HDDs. To run many Applications, faster Hard Drives or ideally a second SSD Pool is the way to go.
    → A dedicated L2Aarc SSD won’t make sense in most cases, unless you have 128GB+ of RAM

  • Make sure that TrueNAS has direct access to your Storage Media. If you are using an HBA or a Motherboard Chipset that has Raid Functions, it has to be set to IT-Mode and fully pass through the drives and control of them.

Networking:

  • At least One Gigabit LAN Port, Preferably Two or more for LACP and/or separate VLANs for Applications running on your host.
  • If you have the choice, go for an Intel one

Installation

This Section will guide you through Verifying and Burning an ISO and subsequently installing TrueNAS Scale to your Boot Drive(s).

Downloading and Burning the ISO

I’ll keep this section brief as it has already been explained many times by others. In Short:

echo "CHECKSUM FILENAME.ISO" | sha256sum --check 
  • After confirming Integrity of the File, burn it to a USB Stick with a tool of your choice. On MacOS and Windows, I recommend balenaEtcher. On Linux, use dd or a graphical tool like Gnome Disk Utility.
  • Insert the USB Drive into your Server’s USB Port and Boot from it

Installation from USB

After Booting the TrueNAS Scale USB Installation Stick just created, you will be greeted with a graphical menu.
During this Process, you will navigate using Arrow Keys, Select Using the Space Bar and Confirm with Enter.
Follow the Instructions below to Install TrueNAS Scale:

  • Confirm “Install / Upgrade”

  • Navigate to your Desired Boot Drive (an SSD of 64+ GB), select it with Space and Confirm with Enter:

  • If Prompted due to a Prior Install, Confirm “Fresh Install”.
    → If you want to preserve previous configurations of a TrueNAS Core Installation, this is an option here.
    → Then, confirm “Format Boot Device” and the Warning about it’s data being erased with “Yes”

  • Enter an Initial Password, this can be changed later when TrueNAS is installed and you’re able to paste a Password from a Password Generator:


    → Watch out for the Keyboard Layout being US by default during this step
    → It’s up to you whether to choose a better password now, but I prefer pasting it with my password manager after installation has completed

  • Select “Create Swap” if prompted, although this is optional if you have a reason to choose otherwise:

Now TrueNAS Scale will Install Debian and all of its packages to your selected Boot Drive.

When the above Screen appears, click OK and then restart your Server, removing the USB Stick before it boots again.

Initial Configuration

You now should have a working Install of TrueNAS Scale. You might have to change your Boot Order or Mode after the Restart, but in most Servers it should boot as the first priority.

By default, TrueNAS Scale will set up your First Network Interface with DHCP and should greet you in the Console with different Options of Configuration and an IP-Address to Access the Web Interface:

If you’re using DHCP Static Mappings the Network Settings aren’t relevant for now, but otherwise you should configure a Static IP Address for now.

How to change TrueNAS Scale Network Settings via Console if no DHCP is used
  • Enter “1” to configure Network Interfaces:
    Screenshot from 2022-02-25 09-35-20

  • Choose the Network Interface that you want to configure with Enter:

  • Navigate to “ipv4_dhcp: yes” and hit Enter:

  • Change the Setting to “No” and Confirm with “Ok”
    Screenshot from 2022-02-25 09-33-49

  • Navigate to “Aliases” and Hit Enter

  • Type in a New IPv4 Address and Confirm with “Ok”
    Screenshot from 2022-04-04 08-05-56
    → Watch out! You need to also type in your subnet mask (most times /24) in this step!

  • Confirm “Save”
    Screenshot from 2022-04-04 08-06-18

  • Now, you have to press “a” to apply and “p” to persist:
    Screenshot from 2022-04-04 08-06-29
    Screenshot from 2022-04-04 08-06-36

  • Enter “2” to Configure Network Settings:
    Screenshot from 2022-02-27 12-26-43

  • Navigate to “ipv4gateway” and Hit Enter:
    Screenshot from 2022-02-27 12-27-27

  • Change the Default Gateway to your Router and Confirm with “OK”:
    Screenshot from 2022-02-27 12-30-37
    → Repeat the same process for IPv6 if you want to do so in your setup, this is optional

  • Navigate to “nameserver1” and Hit Enter:
    Screenshot from 2022-02-27 12-32-57

  • Depending on your Network, set the IP of your DNS Server/Forwarder (e.g. your Pi-Hole, Router, other DNS Server). If you don’t know which one, type in the IP-Address of your Router:
    Screenshot from 2022-02-27 12-34-33

  • Confirm the Changes with “Save”:
    Screenshot from 2022-02-27 12-36-15

When your Server has a Network Connection, navigate to the IP-Address displayed in the Console through your Browser, by typing https://IPADRESS.
You might have to confirm to proceed with an insecure connection:

Afterwards, log in with the user “root” and the password chosen during installation:

Change the Root User’s Password

This Step can be skipped if you had the correct Keyboard Layout and were brave enough to blindly type in a Random Password during Installation.

Changing General System Settings

After this, wait for the Web Interface to reload and log back in with the new root user Credentials.

Initial Updates

Conclusion

Congratulations!
You now have a working Installation of TrueNAS Scale.
The Next Wiki Entrys to come will go about:

  • How to set up a Storage Pool, User/Group Permissons and Share it via the Network
  • Getting Started with Docker/Kubernetes Containers and TrueCharts Apps, as well as Virtualization
  • And more!
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Part 2: Getting Started with TrueNAS Scale | Part 2 | Learning ZFS Storage in TrueNAS; Creating a Pool, Dataset and Snapshot Task

Part 3: Getting Started with TrueNAS Scale | Part 3 | Installing Jellyfin via the GUI + Apps Explainer

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