Category: efi

FreeNAS USB Drive Installation

FreeNAS USB Drive Installation

In order to fully utilize system by FreeNAS, also like to test whether similar hanging issue happened when directly installed on USB drive without ESXi, installation had been done with following steps.

Create on USB drive from ISO image

Creating USB drive on Mac using steps mentioned below.

Preparing the Media

Using rdiskX, which is raw device (not read-only device), will be faster as mentioned in the instructions.

dd if=FreeNAS-9.3-RELEASE-x64.iso of=/dev/rdisk1 bs=64k

Boot from USB drive

Boot from the USB drive created above, and another USB drive will be used for installation.

Select BIOS mode

By choosing BIOS instead of UEFI, the PC bios could not set as auto boot from USB drive, but it can be chosen for manual boot. So choose UEFI mode instead.

Secure Boot in PC bios also requires to be set to Other OS instead of Windows UEFI, otherwise, following error will occurre.

System found unauthorized changes on the firmware error...

Configure network

To set aggragation mode, two original interfaces which had configured, will not be displayed in aggragation menu.

IP address will be configured on aggragation interface.

Boot from small USB drive with iscsi root filesystem

Boot from small USB drive with iscsi root filesystem

Boot from small size USB drive only holding boot partitions, rest of filesystems are on iscsi drives. Tested in EFI boot in Fedora 34.


  • /boot partition can be 256M, can be very small, but better bigger
Filesystem                         Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb2                          428M  190M  212M  48% /boot
  • /boot/efi is an almost static very small filesystem, can be very small
Filesystem                         Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb1                          512M   31M  482M   6% /boot/efi

grub configuration

Define iscsi login info

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="netroot=iscsi:<user>:<password>@<ip>::3260::<iqn> rd.iscsi.initiator=<client iqn> rhgb quiet ...

Define network interface with static ip, gateway, nameserver, interface enp0s10.

ip= nameserver=

Define network with bridge interface br0 on network interface enp0s10

ip= nameserver= ifname=enp0s10:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx bridge=br0:enp0s10"

Update grub using following command

grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg