FreeNAS vs NAS4Free

FreeNAS and NAS4Free are Open Source network-attached storage operating systems based on FreeBSD. Both support the SMB, AFP, and NFS sharing protocols, the OpenZFS file system, disk encryption, and virtualization.


This Open Source project was started in October 2005 by Olivier Cochard-Labbé and quickly grew as a popular network-attached storage operating system. By September 2009, the development team realized that FreeNAS would need to be completely rewritten in order to incorporate modern features like a plugin architecture, updates to the base system, and a modern User Interface. To carry this out, the original FreeNAS Team transferred the project to iXsystems, who moved from a m0n0wall and PHP-based architecture to one based on FreeBSD’s NanoBSD embedded build system, the Python programming language, the Django CMS, and the Dojo JavaScript toolkit.


This Open Source project is based on the original FreeNAS 0.7 code and is led by developers Daisuke Aoyama and Michael Zoon. NAS4Free preserves the m0n0wall/PHP architecture used by the original FreeNAS.

Overview FreeNAS 11.1 NAS4Free
Ease of Use Graphical User Interface Graphical User Interface
Documentation User Guide, How-To Videos, Training Videos Wiki
Certified Hardware Available Yes No
Open Source Licence 2-clause BSD 2-clause BSD
Base Operating System FreeBSD 11.1-STABLE FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE
File System OpenZFS UFS, FAT32, EXT2, OpenZFS
Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
Downloads Over 10 million Over 2.5 million
Development Language Python, Angular PHP
Open Source Repository
Core Developers 33 3
Forums 62,500+ users and over 434,000 posts 11,000+ users and over 58,750 posts
YouTube Community Videos 61,800+ results 4,800+ results
Social Media 25,000+ Facebook likes, 10,300 Twitter followers, 3,400+ Google+ members 500+ Facebook likes, 746 Twitter followers
Restorability Download/Upload configuration file, default settings restore, boot environments Download/Upload configuration file, default settings restore
Built-in Visual Reporting CPU, disk, memory, network, processes, uptime, iSCSI, ZFS CPU, disk, memory, network, processes, UPS, uptime, ZFS
Supported Disk Configurations Stripe, mirror, RAIDZ1, Z2, Z3, hot-swap Stripe, mirror, RAIDZ1, Z2,Z3, RAID5, hardware RAID
Third Party Application Support Plugins, Jails, Bhyve VMs, Docker VMs FreeBSD packages (CLI)
GUI Configurable File System Features Compression, deduplication, instantaneous snapshots, remote replication, disk encryption snapshots
Alert Services GUI and email alerts, integration with AWS-SNS, Hipchat, InfluxDB, Slack, Mattermost, OpsGenie, PagerDuty, VictorOps GUI and email alerts
Built-in Sharing Protocols SMB, NFS, AFP, WebDAV SMB, NFS, AFP, WebDAV, Bittorrent
Built-in Block Protocols iSCSI iSCSI
Other Built-in Protocols rsync, FTP, TFTP, LLDP, SSH, DDNS, SNMP rsync, FTP, TFTP, SSH, DDNS, SNMP, Unison, HAST, UPnP
Built-in Cloud Synchronization Amazon S3, Azure, Backblaze B2, Google Cloud none
Built-in Directory Services Active Directory, LDAP, Kerberos, NIS Active Directory, LDAP
Built-in Hardware Protocols S.M.A.R.T., UPS S.M.A.R.T., UPS. LCDproc
Built-in Virtualization Bhyve, Docker Virtualbox

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