FreeNAS vs Rockstor

FreeNAS and Rockstor are Open Source network-attached storage operating systems that support SMB shares, Copy-on-Write, and snapshots. Each operating system provides a web interface for easy management and both feature a plugin system for managing additional applications.


FreeNAS is an operating system that can be installed on virtually any hardware platform to share data over a network. FreeNAS is the simplest way to create a centralized and easily accessible place for your data. Use FreeNAS with ZFS to protect, store, and back up all of your data. FreeNAS is used everywhere, for the home, small business, and the enterprise.


Rockstor began development in 2012 and is based on CentOS Linux and the BTRFS filesystem. Rockstor utilizes Docker containers to support additional plugin functionality which it calls “Rock-ons”.

Overview FreeNAS 11.3 Rockstor
Ease of Use Graphical User Interface Graphical User Interface
Documentation User Guide, How-To Videos, Training Videos User Guide
Certified Hardware Available SoHo and Business No
Open Source Licence Primarily 2-clause BSD LGPLv2
Base Operating System FreeBSD 11.3 CentOS Linux
File System OpenZFS BTRFS
Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
Downloads Over 10 million 148,600+
Development Language Python, Angular Python, Javascript
Open Source Repository
Core Developers 25+ Rockstor
Forums 66,500+ users and over 550,000 posts 1,920 topics
YouTube Community Videos 134,000+ results and 22K+ subscribers 3,790 results
Social Media 28,800+ Facebook likes, 13,700 Twitter followers 334 Twitter followers
Restorability Download/Upload configuration file, default settings restore, boot environments Configuration backup/restore (experimental)
Built-in Visual Reporting CPU, disk, memory, network, processes, uptime, iSCSI, ZFS CPU, memory, disk, network, shares
Supported Disk Configurations Stripe, mirror, RAIDZ1, Z2, Z3, hot-swap RAID0, 1, 5, 6, 10
Encrypted Storage Support Software Disk Encryption, Self-Encrypting Drives (SED), and Dataset Encryption in TrueNAS CORE 12 Software Disk Encryption
Third Party Application Support Plugins, Jails, bhyve VMs, Docker VMs Rock-ons
API REST, websockets REST
Alerting Services GUI, email, and SNMP alerts, integration with AWS-SNS, InfluxDB, Slack, Mattermost, OpsGenie, PagerDuty, VictorOps email alerts
Built-in File Sharing Protocols SMB, NFS, AFP, WebDAV SMB, NFS, AFP, WebDAV
Built-in Block Storage Protocols iSCSI none
Other Built-in Network Protocols rsync, FTP, TFTP, LLDP, SSH, DDNS, SNMP rsync, SFTP, SSH, SNMP (beta)
Built-in Cloud Synchronization Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, Box, Dropbox, FTP, Google Cloud Storage, HTTP, Hubic, Mega, Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, Microsoft OneDrive, pCloud, SFTP, WebDAV, Yandex  
Built-in Directory Services Active Directory, LDAP, Kerberos, NIS Active Directory, LDAP, NIS
Built-in Hardware Protocols S.M.A.R.T., SCSI Enclosure Services (SES), UPS S.M.A.R.T., UPS
Built-in Virtualization bhyve, Docker none
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