Although this is going to be similar to my New Year update at the beginning of 2020, this New Year TrueNAS update feels very different!

I’ve been working from home since March 2020 and for at least some of the year had a little more time to play around with things.

Similar to the beginning of 2020, I start 2021 with most things up to date.  Midway through December, I upgraded my FreeNAS machines to the latest version of TrueNAS Core, which I blogged about here.  Although there were a few bumps, everything has been running well since, and I’ve also upgraded all of the jails without too many issues.

FreeNAS0 has performed fantastically during 2020, and while I did have an issue with one of the HDD in the pool. it was replaced with the cold-spare and the RMA process with WD worked flawlessly, which I blogged about briefly here.

I also replaced my UPS during 2020, although this was a simple return process through Amazon and an identical replacement from eBuyer.  The old one had been shutting down randomly, which kind of defeats the object, and Amazon’s solution was to return it for a full refund.  They couldn’t provide a replacement, so I picked one up from eBuyer, saving about £30 and that’s run 24×7 since it was switched on, as you’d expect from a UPS.


From a VM perspective, very little has changed.  I still have Ubuntu VMs running ONLYOFFICE, CrashPlan and Docker, although I have a new one configured with Docker just for running Pi-hole.  I also had a VM running NGINX Proxy Manager although that’s been moved across to my Raspberry Pi now.

I still have a couple of VMs for playing with Windows and TrueNAS, although they spend most of the time switched off.  Other than a couple of sharing issues, which were easily resolved, the TrueNAS update for the VMs was excellent.

In terms of the iocage jails, here’s an update on those, in ‘jail-name’ alphabetical order:


This is a new one from last year which I built in June and blogged about here.  Given I’ve spent most of 2020 at home, it’s not really been all that useful but I imagine I will use it a little more when things start to return back to the new normal.


emby is still my media server and there’s no going back to Plex. It’s running, which is the latest stable release.


Another new one, which I’ve blogged about a few times in 2020.  I’m not really using it for anything, but hope to find something at some point.


This is probably the jail I’d be most lost without, although the WordPress one might put up a strong case.  I use this for syncing files across all of my devices (iMac, MacBook, iPhones, etc.) but also for accessing files remotely when I’m not on my own devices.  The integration with ONLYOFFICE just adds the cherry on top!  I’m up to date running the latest 20.0.4, PHP 7.4.13 and can only see my use of this continuing to grow in 2021.


This was my newest jail last year and has been used again this year to run a couple of small surveys for my daughters Out Of School Club again. It’s updated less regularly now as I tend to do it manually rather than paying for the privilege of using the built-in Comfort updater.  It takes a little longer but is saving me £80-90 a year.


Still working well for connecting back into my network securely whilst away from home, although again it’s had less use this year given I’ve spent most of my time at home! Having just upgraded all of my jails with TrueNAS, it’s also surprisingly up to date running 2.4.9.


As with last year, I’ve still got the same WordPress jail for my company website and this blog, and a Docker container running another version of testing.  They are both up to date running 5.6, although my test instance is a little behind on PHP 7.3.12 while the live system is running 7.4.13.

And that’s it, so a few haven’t made it to the end of 2020! 

I replaced the SSL Proxy jail in June when I was running NGINX Proxy Manager in a small VM.  Around October this move to my Raspberry Pi.  It’s a much cleaner tool for managing this, but I’m glad I ran things manually for a little while and have some understanding about what this is doing in the background.  I moved all the old config and deleted the jail, but I can’t imagine ever going back to doing things manually.

The Home Assistant jail was moved to a Raspberry Pi as there’s so much more functionality available running and Home Assistant Core than you can via the virtual python environment used to power things on FreeBSD.  I didn’t blog about this at the time, but I perhaps will sometime this year as I really need to move the OS onto an SSD rather than the default micro SD card.

I switched to running Calibe-web in a Docker container almost straight after my 2020 update, which I blogged about here.  It’s so much better and is running the latest 0.6.9 version.  I still have the calibre jail, although it’s switched off and is another one to delete this year.

And lastly, my DNS jail.  This was replaced with a VM running Pi-hole in February and has again proved to be a much nicer solution.

So as with 2020, almost everything is up-to-date and running well, and in many cases better than it was 12 months ago.  I still have over 18TB of storage capacity on FreeNAS0 and the jail SSDs are still running less than 50% capacity.  FreeNAS1 on the other hand is approaching 80%, although given that’s really just a backup target, I don’t think I need to worry about that limit.  So long as I don’t hit 100% everything should be fine, and I can always be a little more selective about what I backup.  At some point, I will replace the 4TB drives with 8TB drives from FreeNAS0, but I shouldn’t need to do that this year. 

Anyway, that was my New Year TrueNAS update!  Have a prosperous New Year and hopefully, 2021 will be a much more normal year.  If you didn’t get around to playing with FreeNAS in 2020, makes 2021 one to check out TrueNAS…