Welcome to TrueNAS SCALE - Beginners Intro

Since mid 2021 we have had many new users of TrueNAS wanting to try SCALE. Here are some things that are helpful for new TrueNAS SCALE users to know;

  • SCALE is a specialized & targeted OS based on a Linux distro. However, SCALE is NOT a Linux distro, and updates are by full replacement with a new version of SCALE.
  • Installing additional packages on SCALE’s base OS will likely lead to frustration as they will disappear after an update.
  • Modification of SCALE outside of the GUI and Middleware CLI is highly discouraged, as this has led to many problems requiring far too much time to troubleshoot.
  • TrueNAS SCALE is based on Linux, while TrueNAS Core uses FreeBSD, and uses different user land packages
  • Both SCALE & Core only use ZFS for data storage. If you are looking for something disk compatible with MS-Windows, look elsewhere. (But network accessible from MS-Windows is a fully supported feature.)
  • TrueNAS, both SCALE & Core, use dedicated boot devices:

I have to waste an entire drive just for booting?

With the advent of TrueNAS Scale, we seem to be getting a large number of people from the Linux community who are not quite grasping what TrueNAS is. TrueNAS is not a “Linux distro” and it is not designed to try to meet your arbitrarily spec’d…

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  • SCALE is still under development, so some features may not be complete or fully functional, even as of 2024/02/23
  • One key difference between Core & SCALE is that SCALE can use Apps based on Kubernetes. This allows containerized programs to be more easily deployed, than Core’s Jails, Plugins or VMs. But, it is still a work in progress, (and Kubernetes is NOT Docker).
  • Users with questions or in need of support for TrueCharts should perform basic research on the website;

TrueCharts | TrueCharts

TrueCharts - Your source for Helm Charts

Then if needed, ask questions in the Discord channel;

Join the TrueCharts Discord Server!

Check out the TrueCharts community on Discord - hang out with 12899 other members and enjoy free voice and text chat.

  • SCALE Bluefin added a “hostPathValidation” setting for App access to host data. See:

Understanding the TrueNAS SCALE “hostPathValidation” setting

What is the “hostPathValidation” setting? With the recent release of TrueNAS SCALE “Bluefin” 22.12.1, there have been a number of reports of issues with the Kubernetes “hostPathValidation” configuration setting, and requests for clarification regarding this security measure. The…

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  • With SCALE based on Linux, the ZFS ARC, (Adaptive Read Cache), will act differently than on Core, (which is based on FreeBSD). Linux users can increase their ARC size to a larger percent of RAM, because Linux uses a fixed percent of memory for ARC. Not all un-used memory like FreeBSD.
  • Just because SCALE is based on Linux, random / recycled / old hardware may not work faster or more reliable than Core. A good NAS server will want to be reliable & protect your data, which random, recycled or old hardware may not do.
  • SCALE is not an upgrade from Core, they are similar products with slightly different feature sets
  • Core will likely be a bit more stable than SCALE, due to difference in kernel development procedures. Further, Core has had many years of work to make it stable, reliable & fast, where SCALE is a spring chicken by comparison.
  • TrueNAS does not support sharing storage devices between vDevs or pools, except spares.
  • Sometimes troubleshooting requires logging in via SHELL, (SSH or GUI SHELL), to run commands. If you never want to do this, neither TrueNAS SCALE or Core, is likely the right fit for you.
  • YouTube is generally entertainment, so take any ZFS or TrueNAS videos with a lump of salt. But, running a production NAS server is generally not entertainment, even if it is for your home.
  • Why did you select SCALE & ZFS?
    Just because others show it is easy, does not mean it will be easy, and appropriate for you. Here is a helpful introduction to ZFS:

Introduction to ZFS

This is a short introduction to ZFS. It is really only intended to convey the bare minimum knowledge needed to start diving into ZFS and is in no way meant to cut Michael W. Lucas’ and Allan Jude’s book income. It is a bit of a spiritual…

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  • ZFS pool & datasets are different enough, that unless you know the basics, you can make some serious mistakes. Some mistakes will require a full backup and restore to remedy. See this helpful guide:

ZFS Storage Pool Layout

This amazing document, created by iXsystems in February 2022 as a “White Paper”, cleanly explains how to qualify pool performance touching briefly on how ZFS stores data and presents the advantages, performance and disadvantages of each pool…

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  • Just because “it works” after install does not mean that your TrueNAS SCALE server will be reliable in the long run. Or even in the short run. A properly designed, configured and parted out NAS server will generally be reliable. But, many people throw parts together and assume they are suitable. Which may not be the case.