QNAP TS-877 Truenas Journal

I had previously experimented with truenas using 2 different qnap models.

a TS-253D (scale) and a TS-653A (core).

I tested how truenas worked (since it was my first time), and i was checking how that would work on a QNAP. Familiarizing myself with truenas, and also how would setting up truenas on a QNAP to make that possible and test how stable this would be.

this was the original project to make that work (credits to elvis and trex)

Having done all the preparation, now i am planning to do this for the TS-877.

Before doing this, i of backed up everything so i can roll back. Always have a backup no matter what.

There a few ways to move to truenas. Some users opt to remove the dom physically but i don’t think that is necessary. All i did last time was simply remove the dom from the bios boot, that is all. This way if you ever need to roll back, you can do so easily. So i don’t think physically removing the dom module is necessary. Too much effort/hassle.

For QNAP models with a LCD, you would need to add a script to make sure the LCD remains off. Elvis from qnap forum made a script which i tested working on the TS-653a previously.

For OS i opted for the truenas scale dragonfly. It’s not meant for production so i won’t suggest that for others (stick to the stable releases). I have ample backups and want to test it out. Am interested in the smb performance improvements. I am wondering whether moving from QTS to truenas it will improve smb performance or not.

As of the time this thread was created, TrueNAS SCALE 23.10.2 is the stable release. TrueNAS SCALE 24.04-RC.1 is a release candidate only meant for beta testers *this is what i will be using

pros and cons moving from QNAP QTS to truenas


  • ZFS (was suppose to have a license for zfs, never happened, so this is the only way to get zfs for this model besides unraid)

  • truenas ecosystem (this os is heavily praised by the nas community. i’ve used it myself as a test bed and i also think it is quite good)


  • probably can’t connect to my TL-D400S expansion box (moving this to another qnap nas still running on QTS for the purpose just to connect to the box which is used as a backup)

  • ZFS performance slower than EXT4 (this has always been something people keep bringing it up. I will test it for myself and see how well it does. That said i put emphasis on keeping data safe which ZFS does much better, so i don’t some performance penalty)

  • truenas core vm apps not good (but i am going to use scale so this shouldn’t be an issue, but thought i should mention it)

I am curious whether switching from QTS to truenas, whether my 10GTEK SFP+ fiber optic transceivers will work or not (it didn’t for QTS). So i will do that test.

One of my initial concerns for moving to truenas from qts, was what would replace HBS (hybrid backup sync) probably the only app i liked the most for the QTS platform.

Truenas has a RSYNC module which should work best with other truenas installed nas, OR even non truenas nas devices. I’ve tested how this works, so i’m comfortable enough to make the transition. But in case i don’t like it, i can always still use HBS from a different NAS which is still running QTS, to access HBS to perform backup or recovery. But my main nas will be using truenas if everything goes as planned.

The other thing that held me back from moving to truenas was moving my docker homelab server to the new OS. It will take some work to get it back up and running, but i am not running anything mission critical, so i can slowly bring things back online over time.

Not to mention even when i was using QNAP qts for docker, i’ve used mostly portainer rather than container station for managing my dockers. The one thing i will need to adapt to is how the networking will be like on truenas vs QTS virtual network switches. But i don’t think it should be a problem.


hardware parts

  • TS-877 NAS

  • 2x 500gb Crucial MX500 sata SSD (based on current prices, i would recommend 1-2tb ssd these days and M.2 NVME gen3 or better ideally if your hardware supports it)

  • 4x Seagate Ironwolf 4tb (previously used western digital red, but due to the SMR fiasco i opted to stick to Seagate until WD get their act together again)

  • 2x 16gb DDR4 ram (32gb total) *sadly it’s not ECC. ECC would have been ideal for ZFS, but i read people can use it non ecc for zfs though it’s not ideal

  • 1x 2.5gbe QNAP NIC addon card (replacing this for 10Gtek 10Gb PCI-E NIC Network Card, Single SFP+ Port, with Intel 82599EN Controller, Compatible with Intel X520-DA1. I have 2 of these, one for desktop and another for the NAS)

  • 4x 10Gtek 10GBase-SR SFP+ 850nm 300m Multi-mode Fiber Transceiver (2 to connect desktop to switch, and another 2 to connect nas to switch)

  • 10Gtek 4Pack Fiber Patch Cable-LC to LC OM3 10Gb/Gigabit Jumper Duplex 50/125 LSZH for SFP/Computer Fiber Networks (have 2 cables with different lengths. 3 meters and a 2 meter. These cables are fragile, so if you lay them on the floor be careful they aren’t threaded on. Something to be mindful of)

  • RJ45 CAT6A ethernet cables (won’t be needing if the sfp+ fiber or dac work. will see. If not will have to fall back from 10g sfp+ to 2.5gbe via qnap nic addon card)

  • pfsense router (1gbe ports :cry: )

  • 2.5gbe and sfp+ 10g network switch (i had transitioned my switch from 1gbe to multigig)

Is fiber optic necessary? probably not. Maybe if you are going long distances, then yes for sure. But i am a network hobbyist so i am just testing it. A DAC should have been more than sufficient especially for connecting a NAS and switch within the same rack for short distances. In terms of power consumption a passive DAC or fiber optic is good to use.

note: if you want to get the SFP+ pcie, stick to compatibility list to save trouble. For myself i am merely testing because i was curious based on amazon reviews why 10gtek worked for some qnap users but not for others. It didn’t for me, so now i am trying truenas to check if it makes a difference or not.

For SFP transceivers, if you plan to change switch models often, then you may be interested fs.com transceivers because they have a toolbox that can reprogram transceivers to match the new brand of networking equipment. This tool is pricey but may be worth it for some people. there are at least 2 alternative brand competitors to FS that have something similar if you prefer

10GTEK don’t have that, but it’s cheap and good quality


What you need before getting started

  1. usb flash drive (this is to install truenas from. You have to use rufus to create a bootable thumb drive for the truenas iso file)

  2. truenas core or truenas scale iso. decide which truenas you want to use. scale tends to be better for docker app self hosting which is why i picked that.

  3. a boot drive. gonna try install into the 2x internal sata ssds as a raid1 zfs

  4. a keyboard (to connect to the qnap, so you can access the bios)

  5. a monitor and the hdmi display cable (to connect to the qnap to view bios). For older nas models you may require a VGA cable (not many monitors have vga these days, so might need a vga to hdmi convertor). For the TS-877 it doesn’t have any graphics card output, so you have to install a graphics card to connect to the monitor. i tested a 1050gtx MSI Aero which worked well with it before.

  6. lots of ram. The minimal requirement is 8gb ram. Some other users claim 4gb ram worked although it’s not recommended. if you want to use things like deduplication, you may need 16gb ram or probably more


I’ve been hoping to see more QNAP hardware users going to TrueNAS!!

I’m gonna follow this so I can see what options are / how well it runs / etc


Ok the next step is installing and setup

  1. setting up the usb flash drive using rufus to create a bootable usb flash drive with the truenas iso.

  2. boot up the QNAP then keep pressing F7 to enter boot selection. Pick the usb flash stick with truenas iso on it

  1. go through the truenas UI install procedure. once it completes, from the UI select restart

  2. go back into bios (either its F7 then setup, or it’s F8, F2, Delete or some other key i forgot which. Just spam one of those to get into bios), and change boot order. Move DOM to the LAST ENTRY. Add truenas OS to the 1st boot device. Then DISABLE DOM *very important. Then save the bios settings.

  3. truenas will boot up. Look at the monitor, it will display what ip to access your truenas ui from. so at this point switch to your other monitor (i used a single monitor, so i switch the output back to my desktop), then login to truenas using a web browser with that lan ip.

  4. setup truenas via the UI. You can youtube how to setup truenas. Tip however, if you see the DOM in the disks listed, DO NOT put any data on it. Just do not mess with that dom device. Instead i will select the 2x ssds to create a raid1 zfs pool to install truenas onto

  5. if your qnap model has a LCD, edit the truenas script with elvis fix (this was for a ts-453a, so it may need some possible editting)

*in regards to truenas setup, i won’t go through the entire process necessarily as you can youtube this. However i will mention a few things when coming from a QNAP QTS OS to an unfamiliar truenas OS

  • the default root user CANNOT do smb sharing. Instead you are asked to create your own user e.g. i called mine admin which i am familiar with.

  • shares which you are familiar in QTS, are called datasets on truenas zfs. So just like shares, you have to create these datasets on your raid pool in order to have a place to store your data. You ALSO need to change the ownership for those datasets to that new user you created. DO NOT use root for the owner to these datasets. Root is only used for accessing truenas UI to manage, that’s all.

  • highly recommended to setup a static lan ip for your truenas. You can set this either on your router issuing DHCP or on in truenas. Just make sure the lan ip is not within the router DHCP range to avoid potential ip conflicts.

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i had previously took out my graphics card and have to reinstall that first before i can proceed.

This was a non issue for the TS-653A and the TS-253D because they both had a HDMI port to connect the monitor. But for the TS-877, you really need that graphics card installed.

Hopefully i can find where i placed that graphics card otherwise i will have to postpone to order a second hand online. Some people like having a graphics card to do stuff like transcoding, AI acceleration or even to connect to monitor for a VM passthrough with it. but since i plan to populate the slot1 pcie x16 for the sfp+ pcie card, i am unable to do that :sob:

For something like a Nvidia 1050 GTX MSI Aero, no power cable is required. Simply plugging into the pcie is enough to power the graphics card. It won’t win any performance trophies, but if all you need simply is to connect to a monitor, something like that is more than sufficient.

Right now i am more in the prep stages. Almost done backing up. And just reposting the steps mostly for myself (and coincidentally helping others if they are also interested to make that transition), so i have everything planned ahead of time and i got the steps in order. It also helped that i had already done this before so i know what to do this time around.

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I’m not unique in doing this (converting QTS to Truenas for a QNAP NAS). Not the first and definitely not the last. Others have done so before and i’ve taken inspiration from that to have even tried this in the first place.





Even in qnaps wiki they suggested an alternative OS which was debian or ubuntu. But you know what? For the newer qnap nas models we can do better :wink: Hence truenas. There have been many previous success stories proving it.


Looks like a box with a 4 port sff-8088 connector.

Ergo it’s probably just sata over external sas cabling.

If scale supports the qnap card, then I think it would work.

Otherwise an LSI hba with an external 4e connector should work.

If backing up to another truenas instance, replication is the way to go.


Investigate the sandboxes. I was able to port my docker-compose based system very easily.


i will investigate this and report back. good thing i have a 2nd backup just incase this tl box needs to be wiped.

previously i had wondered if i can use tl-d400s for truenas outside the qts ecosystem. but i could find no answer till now beside your post on this. so i will dig further.



the plan is to be able to access this tl-d400s via truenas to setup a raid pool for the drives in that box. so i would have 2 raid z1 pools. one for the ts-877 and another for the tl box. the later will be the backup.

in qts there is an eject for the tl box, but what about truenas? how do you eject this sort of expansion box? to safely unmount so you can turn off power. and later plug it back in to remoun the raid pool successfully :thinking:

this is the sfp+ pcie and transceivers from 10gtek i ordered. Transceivers come in such a cute tin box. the card on box is the qnap 2.5gbe pcie addon card which i am replacing for the new sfp+ pcie 10g from 10gtek (if it works)

i installed the 2 transceivers into my sfp+ 10g switch in my homelabs network rack mount

basically i got the same server rack as this youtuber

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For LCD fix

  1. if your qnap model has a LCD, edit the truenas script with elvis fix (this was for a ts-453a, so it may need some possible editting)
    GitHub - elvisimprsntr/QnapFreeLCD: Scripts to display TrueNAS CORE information on QNAP LCD.

What does this do? Well here is an example

This is before (lcd can’t turn off and remains static 24/7). basically after installing truenas it breaks the LCD and makes it act like this. Some people suggested taping it over with dark tape, but i think we can do better :wink:

after applying fix, it shows this after finishing bootup, then it turns off. Perfection :face_with_monocle:

basically you had to go into truenas commandline to apply the fix

all credits to elvis for solving the lcd issue. he is a truenas resident here


From that link:

have TrueNAS Core installed on a Dell Optiplex 5040 fitted with an LSI 9207-4i4e, and got the TL-400S enclosure set up today. Patrick wasn’t exaggerating when he said the SFF-8088 plugs were more robust. I had to push hard to get them to go in the sockets, and I’m not sure if they’ll ever come out.

So. Seems good.

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One of my experiments was to kick out the TL-D400S box and give it a new home connected to a TS-253D i had lying around.

The only purpose for this device is merely to access the TL-D400S via QTS (until i can figure out how to get the TL box to work with truenas. then i don’t have to do it this way. But till then…)

So that works.

i know what you’re thinking. bad drive going to hell. I will replace that when i have time. Point here is, TL-D400S works on a TS-253D no problem.

So what does this do?

Basically i can then kick off the TL box to a SEPARATE device, then my backup is truly a SEPARATE storage device. before i had to piggy back off the mothership (TS-877). And this prevented me from switching to truenas. Because had i done so, i would not have access to my backup (the TL-D400S) *because i had setup the raid using QTS. The only way to get raid5 on the 4 drives afaik.

But thkfully i had a spare QNAP nas with QTS which supported this TL box. So i will be accessing it over the switch 2.5gbe over lan for backing up and restoring data from now on. It might not be as good as connecting directly via SFF, but it’s good enough.

The other benefit, is that i will have access to hybrid backup sync which i was reluctant to part with because i am use to it and find it useful for backing up and restoring my NAS data. This way i won’t lose that feature even after moving to truenas for my main nas.

The only thing that didn’t work was the face plate for the QXP SFF pcie card. I had to remove that in order to get it to fit inside the slot. Because it had a metalic piece that was blocking inserting it into the slot. I could probably have filed that piece away to get it to fit, but it was a hassle.

There was a plastic piece on the QXP that would fall out when not attached to the metalic slot face plate. So i did a hack job and super glued it to the chip. I know shoddy work but w/e :rofl: I don’t have a 3d printing machine, or care to order a face plate if qnap had one (we all know the store is pricey for these parts…)

Inserting the SFF cable into the TS-253D QXP pcie addon card carefully, then after that don’t touch it. Because it doesn’t have a face plate to keep it stable in that slot, so you don’t want to mess with that. Not ideal but thought i’d report the issue i encountered.

The only other faceplate i had for this QXP was the longer slot version which clearly would not fit. I don’t have any other afaik.

Anyway tested accessing my backup via smb on windows desktop 11 pc, works fine.

All that is left is to find my graphics card, install truenas onto the TS-877.

My backup is all done already so i am ready :saluting_face:


You can run that lcd fix with an init script.

Although. If you can output stuff, surely it’d be cooler to have real stats.

See the Spencer and multi-report scripts.


correct. I think i have that setup on the TS-653A. When i boot it up i will check my truenas config and share the init script i have for it.


as promised.

If you want to use scripts, in truenas system settings, it will look like this

also as you can see here, there is also even a script not to boot up the dom during nas boot up sequence, to avoid it showing up in the disk list (alternative to this is go to bios and don’t add the dom to the active boot up devices). but even if it does boot up, simply just ignore it. Don’t add it to pool or do anything with it, it’s fine.

If you do however overwrite the data on it or wipe it, and later you want to roll back to qts *doubtful but not beyond belief especially if later you are reselling the nas). You will have to go through a long series of nas recovery to do so. it’s just not worth the effort.

that’s why i rather not do anything with the dom.

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did a bit more work on the TS-253D running QTS.

Had bad drives, so replaced those for a working one.

I had a m.2 nvme ssd connected to the QXP pcie card, but for some reason it’s not detected. So i took it out, wiped the m.2 ssd on pc (i used a separate m.2 external enclosure to do that) via usb. Then reinstalled it, restarted. Still no dice.

I suspected maybe cause bios was configured previously that may have messed things up, but i couldn’t connect to the qnap bios for some reason. (or maybe it only support m.2 sata not nvme? )

The monitor connected to the QNAp worked fine, because i saw the screen mention a few things at one point in time, e.g. missing drives, need to install hdstation for hdmi, or qts is starting. So yes the monitor connected to the QNAP TS-253D worked.

Tried spaming F2, Delete, F7, F8 but didn’t work.

Also looked for the dom, cauz reddit said if you remove dom you might be able to get into bios.

So i dissasembled the whole TS-253D (it’s not too hard, but rather tedious. note down which groups of screws go where when undoing what you did later)

This is what that looked like after stripping it down

Couldn’t find the dom. If it’s there it’s probably soldered so can’t do anything about that. But i found the bios cmos battery. So i removed that for a few minutes hoping that will reset bios back to defaults without having to get into bios to do that.

Could also be that perhaps the cmos battery needs replacing. But i didn’t have a spare on hand, so i couldn’t check that.

So re-assembled everything, factory reset, and install qts into a new hard drive (well old but still works fine. i just need to be able to install qts and a few minor apps like hbs that is all)

m.2 SSD still not detected, no idea why (i used m.2 nvme, maybe it only support m.2 sata? no idea) . I did check that it’s inserted properly into the slot so i don’t think that is the reason. And it’s not the m.2 ssd at fault since i tested that working on desktop just fine.

So guess i have to forgo the m.2 ssd and just stick to the Hard drive to install qts and the apps, no problem.

note: earlier i mentioned i like hbs. that is true, but it isn’t without it’s issues.

Example, right now the latest HBS 3 Hybrid Backup Sync 24.0.0304 has a bug where sync gets stuck at 100% and doesn’t complete. Just check the qnap forum others also noticed this

So you may want to roll back to HBS 3 Hybrid Backup Sync 23.1.1116

Also for older QNAP models, they may not allow you to update to the latest HBS, so you will be stuck with an old version. Why is that bad? because some HBS are just broken. Example one of my qnap nas models the HBS is an old version and the RTRR is broken. There is a fix, but they refuse to add the patch simply because the NAS is an old model so support refuse to help with it.

The solution to the issue was to switch to RSYNC which still worked.

So HBS when it works, it does ok. When it doesn’t … :smiling_face_with_tear:


That thing is a very fragile design, connectivity-wise, but the external chassis is dumb. Replace the PCIe SATA controller with something actually reliable in the main box and it should work.


Well the way i see it, you can save yourself a huge headache by simply just getting a 4bay nas instead of something like this. saves a lot of hassle trying to get that to work with anything other than a QNAP.

Only if you were very commited to qts ecosystem, you might not have an issue with this. But i think more accessibility is the better option (you can connect it to non qnap stuff to access your data and manage the device). For a user having to connect it to another QNAP to access is not good if anything happens to your qnap nas. Will you get another qnap? (and even then it has to be in the compatibility list) then fine. But if not, then you are in trouble :cry:

Yes it has SFF to make speedy access (i logged 250 MB/s), but there are downsides it puts a leash on you forcing you into the qnap qts ecosystem making it harder to leave.

I have transitioned from 1gbe to 10g sfp+ so i don’t have to rely on such things for fast speeds.

tried to post this yesterday but got hit by posting limit

note: in regards to the TL-D400S, not everyone will have multiple QNAP nas. So i’m not a fan of the TL box being very dependent on a QNAP QTS in order to access the data. Yes you could setup raid with windows 11, but it’s fake raid and the performance is awful (Don’t do it).

The only other product which is self reliant is the TR series which has a hardware raid. However, in 2024, hardware raid sucks…

So if we can have a backup that can work on any pc (even if you had to go through the hassle of installing a QXP pcie with the SFF slot to do so), that would be for the better. It just goes to show just useful usb or type c is. Just plug and play, so quick and convenient ain’t it.


Bumped up your trust level a notch, should be better now. We’re still figuring out the fine tuning of these options.

That does not seem particularly relevant to TrueNAS. Surely the thing is a dumb disk box, exposing four SATA disks to a SATA controller (or SAS controller). The rest is up to ZFS and we don’t need to care about their stupid pseudo-solutions.