Many computer users use an external hard drive or use a removable USB stick to back up their data, but another way to back up data is called NAS or Network Attached Storage. Whether you are at home or at a company, this method is very efficient, especially when you have more than 3 devices. Usually, some companies manufacture a particular device that will become a NAS, the cheapest NAS costs around ₱10,000 and range up to ₱50,000, but only a few people know that you can make your own NAS at home. This tutorial will teach you how to make your own NAS server using the Odyssey X86 and TrueNAS. The only catch is that Odyssey X86 is not free, but the performance is better than other proprietary hardware out there in the market.
What is TrueNAS?
TrueNAS (called FreeNAS before) is a free, open-source network-attached storage(NAS) operating system based on FreeBSD and the OpenZFS file system. FreeNAS can be installed on Windows, macOS, Unix clients, and virtualized hosts.
FreeNAS runs on x86-64 hardware, so we choose to use our new product, Odyssey – X86J4105, to demonstrate how to build a personal cloud drive by installing the open-source storage operating system.
Odyssey is a series of SBC (Single Board Computer), allowing you to build Edge Computing applications with ease. The Odyssey – X86J4105, is based on the Intel Celeron J4105, is a Quad-Core 1.5GHz CPU that bursts up to 2.5GHz. It includes all the powerful features of a Mini PC, such as an 8GB LPDDR4 RAM, 64GB eMMC or 128GB SSD Storage(optional), onboard Wi-Fi/BLE, Dual Gigabyte Ethernet Ports, Audio Input and Output, USB Ports, HDMI, SATA Connectors and PCIe, however, within a cost-effective price starting at ₱12,610. With eMMC versions, you even have the Windows 10 Enterprise pre-installed!
Let’s take a look at the step-by-step tutorial!
Download the TrueNAS Core image
Before you can use TrueNAS on your Odyssey X86 or any computer, you need to download first the image file from the website or click the link here. Don't worry, the project is open-source so that means they won't charge you anything, and on top of that they won't need you to register to download the software. Just click the link that says "No Thank you, I have already signed up."
Burn the image file on a USB stick
After you have downloaded the image file, you need a bootable USB drive. If you don't know how to make a bootable USB drive, please check out our other blog that focuses on how to make a bootable USB for installing images.
Installing the TrueNAS
With the installer added to a device, you can now install TrueNAS onto the desired system. Insert the install media and reboot or boot the system. press the DEL key for Odyssey X86 to boot into the motherboard UEFI/BIOS at the motherboard splash screen. Navigate to Advanced -> CSM Support and press Enter to enable it.
If your system supports SecureBoot, you will need to either disable it or set it to “Other OS” to boot the install media.
Reboot your ODYSSEY - X86 and keep pressing F7 to enter the boot manager screen. Select the bootable USB (Installer) and press Enter. If the USB stick is not shown as a boot option, try a different USB slot. Which slots are available for boot differs by hardware.
After the system has booted into the installer, follow these steps.
1.) Select Install/Upgrade.
2.) Select the desired install drive.
3.) Select Yes
Enter a password for the root user to log in to the web interface.
After following the steps to install, reboot the system and remove the install media.
Reboot the ODYSSEY - X86J4105 and press F7 again to enter Boot Manager Screen, and choose the USB drive that just installed the TrueNAS.
Note: You can also change it by pressing DEL and setting the USB drive as the first boot-up option.
To disable the Console Setup menu, go to System > Advanced and unset Show Text Console without Password Prompt.
Once booted into the TrueNAS, you should see the Web interface address:
The menu provides these options:
Configure Network Interfaces provides a configuration wizard to set up the system’s network interfaces. If the system has been licensed for High Availability (HA), the wizard prompts for IP addresses for both “This Controller” and “TrueNAS Controller 2”.
Configure Link Aggregation is for creating or deleting link aggregations.
Configure VLAN Interface is used to create or delete VLAN interfaces.
Configure Default Route is used to set the IPv4 or IPv6 default gateway. When prompted, enter the IP address of the default gateway.
Configure Static Routes prompts for the destination network and gateway IP address. Re-enter this option for each static route needed.
Configure DNS prompts for the name of the DNS domain and the IP address of the first DNS server. When adding multiple DNS servers, press Enter to enter the next one. Press Enter twice to leave this option.
Reset Root Password is used to reset a lost or forgotten root password. Select this option and follow the prompts to set the password.
Reset Configuration to Defaults Caution! This option deletes all of the configuration settings made in the administrative GUI and is used to reset TrueNAS® back to defaults. Before selecting this option, make a full backup of all data and make sure all encryption keys and passphrases are known! After this option is selected, the configuration is reset to defaults and the system reboots. Storage ➞ Pools ➞ Import Pool can be used to re-import pools.
Shell starts a shell for running FreeBSD commands. To leave the shell, type exit.
Reboot reboots the system.
Shut Down shuts down the system.
On a computer that can access the same network as the TrueNAS system, enter the hostname and domain or IP address in a web browser to connect to the web interface. You can use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Brave Browser.
After logging in, The browser will show the system Dashboard of TrueNAS. The installed version, systems component usage, and network traffic are all presented on this screen. For users with compatible TrueNAS Hardware, clicking the system image will take you to the System> View Enclosure page.
If you able see this screen then you have successfully installed the TrueNAS and feel free to add more storage to the ODYSSEY - X86 and have fun with personal cloud drive!
Explaining Computers video about NAS on Odyssey X86:
Whether you need storage for home use or for business use, it's important to have your own NAS device. One main reason to have a NAS on your premise is it's cheap, even if you bought the proprietary NAS device it is still beneficial than paying monthly or annually to a third party. Second, controlling your own data, if you use third-party storage services, sometimes they don't respect customer's privacy, they can and will use your data for their own gain, so be careful. Thirdly, It's more organized; some people or businesses use different external hard drives to back up their data, sometimes these external hard drives are scattered around and there will be a possibility that it can be lost. Lastly, sharing is more efficient for users; with only one NAS that can be shared for all users it is better than relying on one external hard drive, this can cause confusion and they cannot use it at the same time with other users, this can cause problems and time-consuming.