Installing TrueNAS on QNAP Devices

I have had my 3 QNAP devices for a while now and want to continue to the hardware but install TrueNAS on them instead of the QNAP QTS software. The devices that I have and plan to migrate are two TS-451s and a TS853A. I did do some testing on one of the TS-451 boxes and had no issues installing and running TrueNAS for a weekend using some spare drives. I did remove the QNAP DOM before installing TrueNAS to 2 USB flash drives in a mirror setup. Since then I have upgraded all three boxes to 16GB ram and have purchased 6 new ScanDisk 64GB USB 3.0 flash drives and I have a few extra (4 to be exact) USB flash drives in case any of them fail.

While I know installing to USB is no longer recommended I want to be able to use all the bays for storage drives until I have the funds to migrate to custom-built 4U storage servers. Are there any gotchas or other issues that I am no seeing in this setup or did not encounter in my weekend testing? I know I will have to migrate the data off the boxes before I can add them to TrueNAS and will then have to move the data back over. I also plan to move one box first and run it for a week before moving the next and then allowing both to run for 2 weeks before doing the last box as the first is storing VM backup data from Proxmox, the second is storing VM disk data from Proxmox and the third is my main data storage device.

To make sure there is not too much R/W for the USB go in the “System” menu and make sure the “Dataset” is set to the storage drives.

USB3 drives tend to fail early, they get too hot. Lots of comments about this on the Freenas forums and I’ve experienced this myself.

how do you install truenas on qnap ? how you are able to change the boot order to usb ?
I have a qnap 4 bay but even there is no vga.

My devices have an HDMI port and when connected with a keyboard I am able to enter the bios and also select a boot media just as on any other computer.

As for USB I will be moving the system dataset and running mirror ZFS for boot devices as well as having extra on hand.

Even though I did not fall victim to recent QNAP ransomware since I don’t expose my NAS to the WAN, I finally got tired of all the hard coded credentials and vulnerabilities in QTS.

I was able to successfully install TrueNAS CORE on both the TS-253A and TS-453A, and even figured out how to control the LCD display on the TS-453A. GitHub - elvisimprsntr/QnapFreeLCD: Scripts to display TrueNAS CORE information on QNAP LCD.

There is a thread on QNAP forum with posts from myself and others installing TrueNAS CORE on QNAP hardware.

I am pleased to report I have finally excommunicated QNAP QTS from my home!


@elvisimprsntr – I have a TS-853A and saw that you are running TrueNAS on your TS-453A. Did you find it ran warmer than before? I just installed it and noticed it is running around the 50 degrees Celsius mark. Also, how did you get the LCD display script installed and configured? Oh, one more question did you have to set up a script or anything to get the fans to work properly?

  1. Same CPU temps as before, typically ~50C. No different than my pfSense protectli box.
  2. Simply put the SH scripts somewhere on a data pool, then config scripts via Tasks → Init/Shutdown Scripts. The KSH scripts are still a WIP, but feel free to tinker with them if you like. Seems like the TrueNAS GUI is better for displays stats, so I stopped working on the KSH scripts.
  3. Did not need to do anything for fan, but I think my TS-[24]53A units have a single fan controlled by BIOS.

Thanks for the details, I got the fans sorted out by putting them into manual in the bios and the LCD script was perfect, shows a nice startup and shutdown message and then is off while it’s running. I have 2 more QNAPs to do both are TS-451s and then I need to build another custom box for TrueNAS, gonna run scale on that one as it’s for more testing and throw away data.

FYI, I changed all three of my QNAP TrueNAS (2 CORE, 1 SCSLE) chassis fan BIOS setting to MANUAL, which did lower my CPU temps from ~50C to ~40C, but started running into problems when the chassis fans were running at full speed.

TS-253A running CORE would detect a error and detach my boot pool every few hours, which would lock up the system.
TS-453A running SCALE would experience random re-boots every day.

Put BIOS fan setting back to AUTO on all three system and haven’t had any issues in more that 48 hours.

Both the TS-[24]53A CPUs are passively cooled, so not sure how to make sense of that.

Time slices where CPU temp is zero is when the system locked up and stopped recording CPU temps.