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TrueNAS SCALE is a brilliant Network Attached Storage solution with an easy learning curve

Jack Wallen introduces you to the open-source TrueNAS SCALE NAS solution and shows you how to get started once you’ve installed it.

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Image: VectorMine/Adobe Stock

Your business or family probably uses something similar to Google Drive to store files and folders. That makes perfect sense, since everyone always needs instant access to data. But there are some pieces of data that you don’t want to be housed by a third-party service, such as sensitive information that you don’t want to risk becoming public.

If you have such information, or want easy access to file storage within your LAN, you should turn to open source solutions such as TrueNAS

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TrueNAS recently released TrueNAS SCALE, a hyper-converged storage solution that can meet the high demand. With TrueNAS, you can create integrated Linux virtual machines and containers, deploy them as a single node or in a cluster, extend with third-party apps, manage data with snapshots, and much more. TrueNAS is truly your one-stop shop for NAS storage needs.

TrueNAS is arguably one of the most powerful, flexible NAS solutions on the market. And even better, it can be deployed on standard hardware or as a virtual machine.

Installing TrueNAS is relatively easy, as it goes through a traditional Linux distribution. If you’ve ever installed Linux, you’ll have no problem getting TrueNAS up and running. However, once it’s up and running, you may not know what next steps to take. I’ll walk you through what to do once you get TrueNAS up and running.

What you need

For this to work as expected, TrueNAS must be installed and additional drives must be added for storage purposes. If you deploy TrueNAS as a virtual machine, you need to connect some additional disks. When deploying TrueNAS through VirtualBox, you can follow: this tutorial to find out how to add additional storage drives

And that’s all you need. Let’s start.

Add a new pool

The first thing to do is add a new pool that will house our shares. Log in to TrueNAS with the root user account and password you created during installation, then click Storage in the left navigation (Image A

Image A

The TrueNAS dashboard is the page that greets you the first time you log in.

When you get to the storage page, you will be prompted to create a new pool (Figure B

Figure B

The TrueNAS Storage page is currently blank, so a new pool needs to be created.

Click Create Pool to display the Pool Manager (Figure C

Figure C

You create your pools in the Pool Manager.

It should automatically detect your available drives. If not, click Suggest Layout and TrueNAS will guess the type of layout best suited to the available drives.

As you can see (back in Figure C), TrueNAS built my pool with the two drives I added to VirtualBox. All you need to do is name the new pool and click Create.

Once the pool is created, you are ready to proceed.

How to create a user

I am assuming that you are not connecting to an LDAP or AD directory and that you are manually creating users. To create a new user, click on Credentials in the left navigation and then in the resulting pop-up window (Figure D) click Local Users.

Figure D

The Credentials side panel in action.

In the resulting window (Figure E), click Add.

Figure E

The Local User Management window.

You should see a new popup window (Figure F) where you can fill in the necessary information for the new users.

Figure F

Create a new local user in TrueNAS.

Make sure to check the box for Samba authentication at the bottom. You can also add an SSH public key for even more secure access. When you’re done adding the user information, scroll down and click Save. Continue this process until you have all the users you need.

How do you create a share?

Now that you have both a pool and users, we can create a new Share, which will be accessible to the local users you created. Click Shares in the left navigation, then click Add under Windows (SMB) Shares.

In the resulting popup (Figure G), fill in the necessary information for the share. As for the path, you are limited to the folder of the pool you created earlier.

Figure G

Create a new SMB share in TrueNAS.

For Target, select the Default Share parameters from the drop-down list, name the share, make sure Enabled is checked and click Save. If you want to allow guest access so that users who do not have a local account can access the share, you need to click Advanced Options and then click the checkbox for Allow guest access (figure H

figure H

Allow guest access in TrueNAS.

Of course, most won’t allow guest access unless you have a specific need for it.

With your pool, users and share created, TrueNAS is ready to go. Those with a local TrueNAS account should be able to access the share through their OS file system and add files and folders.

Congratulations! You now have a powerful NAS solution connected to your LAN that can be expanded to meet and exceed your needs.

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