FreeNAS and UnRAID are network-attached storage operating systems based on Open Source operating systems. Both support the SMB, AFP, and NFS sharing protocols, Open Source filesystems, 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.


unRAID Server OS 6 is a consumer-oriented, server operating system designed to scale with a system’s hardware and developed by Lime Technology. Its RAID design supports a mix of devices, filesystems, and sharing policies.

Overview FreeNAS 11.1 UnRAID
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 Commercial, requires paid licensing key
Base Operating System FreeBSD 11.1-STABLE unRAID Server OS 6
File System OpenZFS XFS (default), BTRFS
Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
Downloads Unknown
Development Language Python, Angular Closed source
Open Source Repository Closed source
Core Developers 33 Lime Technology
Forums 62,500+ users and over 434,000 posts over 630,000 posts
YouTube Community Videos 61,800+ results 56,800 results
Social Media 25,000+ Facebook likes, 10,300 Twitter followers, 3,400+ Google+ members 7,425 twitter followers, 124 Google+ members
Restorability Download/Upload configuration file, default settings restore, boot environments /previous folder (CLI)
Built-in Visual Reporting CPU, disk, memory, network, processes, uptime, iSCSI, ZFS none
Supported Disk Configurations Stripe, mirror, RAIDZ1, Z2, Z3, hot-swap Stripe, single parity, dual parity
Third Party Application Support Plugins, Jails, Bhyve VMs, Docker VMs Docker, KVM, Qemu
GUI Configurable File System Features Compression, deduplication, instantaneous snapshots, remote replication, disk encryption Disk encryption
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
Built-in Block Protocols iSCSI none
Other Built-in Protocols rsync, FTP, TFTP, LLDP, SSH, DDNS, SNMP FTP, rsync (CLI), SSH (CLI)
Built-in Cloud Synchronization Amazon S3, Azure, Backblaze B2, Google Cloud none
Built-in Directory Services Active Directory, LDAP, Kerberos, NIS none
Built-in Hardware Protocols S.M.A.R.T., UPS S.M.A.R.T., UPS (APC only)
Built-in Virtualization Bhyve, Docker KVM, Qemu

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