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I’m in the process of making a NAS and I have a plethora of hardware on hand I’ve narrowed down my motherboard to the M5A97 R2, a FX 6300, and 5x500GB WD Blues
I haven’t installed FreeNAS yet but I intend on using ZFS’s version of raid 5 (I think)

I got a selection of RAM and I was wondering how much do I need I have 4x1GB and 4x4GB unbuffered unregistered ECC dimms

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ZFS will use everything it can get for caching. So I would go with the 4x4gb kit.

@oO.o any thoughts?


Is it possible to do read caching but not write caching so I don’t corrupt anything if power goes out and write speed isn’t a super big concern

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The ram caching is read only I think, it is called ARC, and you can also setup read cache on a ssd called L2ARC.


No harm in trying out the 4GB kit, but you may need at least 8gb. I’ve never set up anything close to a 2tb raidz so I can’t give you an anecdotal recommendation.

Don’t worry about write cache, ZFS will do everything* in its power to protect your data out of the box.

If you want to experiment with l2arc, use the 16gb kit. Ssd cache in this case will increase your ram usage and is not guaranteed to improve performance for every use case. Tbh I’d avoid it.

* Technically, you can tweak the writer buffer to be more conservative, but the defaults should be fine for most applications. Here’s some stuff about that:


Okay what about CPU usage, I want to encrypt my files, I don’t have a personal interest in it but it would be handy to know

I was considering turning off one core per module to conserve power

Newer version of FreeNAS will not let you install the OS unless it detects at least 8gb of RAM. Any additional RAM is used for the ARC (Adaptive Read Cache). The common thing you hear about ZFS is “1gb of RAM per 1tb of Hard Drive space” but this is only if you’re enabling deduplication (DON’T. SERIOUSLY DON’T). Side note: you could need more RAM if you want to use an L2ARC, but an L2ARC in general just isn’t that necessary, and you wouldn’t want to bother until you’ve maxed out your RAM anyway


Lzw compression shouldn’t ever give you cpu problems. Gzip will though. I’ve never used FreeNAS’s encryption before and I recommend against it because it should soon be superseded by the native encryption that was developed for ZoL.

I have no idea what the copy usage os’s in either case.


Also I’m not going to be using a SSD for caching

Noticed that one of my 500GB WD Blues are slightly different, hope that won’t affect things too much

Naw, you’re good.

I have a 32TB raid z1, got 60 GB SSD cache, didn’t configure anything specific to reduce memory use. It eats in the area of 40 to 50 GB of memory. Haven’t paid too much attention to the memory usage, since I have enough available, it is however quite a bit. Maybe there’s something specific to do to prevent this.

Getting there, I think it’s some kind of rosewill home server case

Didn’t quite line the hardrives up

That’s a bit better


ZFS default config is to have 4GB of ARC.

You’ll want to have at least 8 so you don’t go OOM due to ZFS.

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Since zfs is a software raid I just leave bios as achi jbod, I’m about to install freenas

You know it might help if I suggest out some sata cables to actually hook up the hard drives

okay the requirement was 8GB flashdrive but is that a hard 8GB becuase my flashdrives read as 7.64GB and when I choose boot via UEFI it says I don’t have enough space and when I choose boot via Bios I get this

I don’t yet speak linux

now it says
random: unblocking device.

okay like 10 minutes later it says its installing base-os (1 of 4)

My WoW brain just kicked in and was like “since when is nerd a mana-based class?”
… Thanks, Blizzard.

You want the BIOS to leave all drives separate. I hope that’s what you mean. JBOD, as far as I understand it, is still a way to combine drives. ZFS wants direct access to the drives, not to a volume.

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Everything is kinda taking forever and I get this

Its “progressing” through the initial setup but it keeps going through various "file not found"and “middleware daemon not running” errors

Should I just buy a brand new flashdrive…

Okay after forever now it’s asking for a username and pass but I never made one? It just asked for a password at the beginning?