FreeNAS Installation


I currently have a FreeNAS server running in my house which runs FreeBSD. It has the option on installing an instance of FreeBSD in a jail, which runs isolated and securely and assigns an IP on my local network.

I’d like to install OpenHAB in a FreeBSD jail and run it that way. Does anyone have any experience in this working? Or where to start?

I believe I can create a virtual machine and install Linux, worst case… I’d much rather use the lightweight jail with BSD though…


Can FreeBSD run Docker? That is the way I would go if it can.

Search the forums and you find lots of pieces of information here and there with things people have done to make it work. The three big gotchas seem to be from memory:

  • passing USB controllers to the jail
  • installing Oracle Java
  • the paths in the scripts won’t work with where everything is installed in FreeBSD

It can be done. F=Good luck!

No official Docker yet. There are guides that Forum members have created to manually set them up via VM. IXsystems is working on native Docker support, no official release date yet but they were possibly aiming for 11.1 release which could still be months away. I’ve been following their progress as well for the same.
I had setup a Linux VM and installed OpenHAB a while ago, but decided to stay with my RasPi OpenHabian until docker is official. It was more for learning experience and didn’t get too far with having OpenHAB fully set up with my home devices as I’m still learning it as well. The FreeNAS and OpenHAB forums are full of great information and I had it up and running rather quickly.


I was thinking Docker as well, but it isn’t ready yet… The Raspberry PI is fairly easy, but I’d rather use the big old machine I have running all the time anyhow.

So maybe you can clarify what I need to attach to communicate with different things? Am I going to need multiple dongles to pick up z-wave and zigbee? Seems zigbee is a little hairy right now, and my current alarm system uses zigbee, so I’d like that to work…

Got a lot to do to set this up, but I like to learn first and only do it once.

Luckily there is a dual dongle that supports both ZWave and Zigbee that will work with both the ZWave and Zigbee bindings after a firmware update.

Linear HUSBZB-1

But if you want to do stuff with 433 MHz RFXcom or other similar technologies you will need another dongle. Also, the dongle above gets mounted as two devices, I don’t know if that will cause problems for the jail.

That’s the exact one i asked about in another post yesterday. Just ordered it…

I know FreeNAS is working on adding the USB passthrough to a VM, so I’m hoping that is my route. This would allow for snapshot backups of the entire VM file system with ZFS, so I can take an immediate backup before any big changes in case Murphy calls…

Sorry for the noob questions but I just discovered OpenHAB, and from what I see, it is the best option. If not now, it will be after more development.

Not sure what the 433 MHz RFXcom stuff is that you mentioned. I think I can find options for everything in either z-wave or zigbee going forward. Right now I only have a zigbee alarm system, and Hue lighting.

Thanks for the help!

Actually USB Passthrough may be pretty far off at FreeNAS. It’s supported in bhyve but not implemented into FreeNAS.

Any news on this? What is the best way of installing openHAB (2) on FreeNAS now?

FreeNAS 11.1 has been released and is has Docker support. Under “VM” there is an option to install RancherOS which is for installing Docker images.
I have not yet tried it out as my FreeNAS boot drive died on me a few weeks ago so can’t offer any input as to how to set everything up or how well it performs.
As mentioned in the posts above USB passthrough may be an issue so when I replaced my boot drive, I decided to experiment with EXSi due to being able to utilise passthrough.