FreeNAS Home Directories

I guess many of us use a NAS for storage & some of us will have chosen FreeNAS. I went through the recent malarkey of downgrading from Corral to version 11. Anyway I’ve never got home directories working properly on FreeNAS and it’s bugged me; till now! In the last few days I sorted it & now each user only sees their own “home drive”.

The FreeNAS documentation around home directories is sketchy and leaves many questions unanswered. If you read it and try to set home directories, you’ll end up probably in a bit of a mess and unsure what you actually need to do to get it working properly. So, this is what I did to get it working fully.


In FreeNAS, you need a “root dataset” to store the home directories. I created a dataset called “Homes”. This can be set as a Windows or UNIX Share Type when you create it. You then need an SMB share for Homes, default permissions are fine, you need to select Use as a home share and ensure Browsable to network clients is unticked.

I then created a dataset for each user on my network. So for my Windows account martin, I created a dataset called martin within the Homes dataset. I did this for all my users.  I set the share type as Windows, but I don’t think that matters here. You don’t need to create SMB shares here for each user. If you match your usernames identically in FreeNAS to your Windows usernames then everything works fine.

I then added a Group called Family.

I then created users in FreeNAS that matched their Windows usernames; and gave each account the same password as it has in Windows. I then set the home directory for each user to point to the dataset that I created for that user within the Homes dataset. e.g. /mnt/VOL1/Homes/martin 

I set the Primary Group for each user to be Family.

I changed the Permissions on each dataset to Permission Type Windows, set the Owner (user) to be the specific user, and the Owner (Group) to be Family.

I then stopped/started the SMB service to tidy up & ensure all changes reflected.

Now when my users browse to \\FreeNAS, they automatically see a share with their name & have full permissions to this dataset. No one else see’s this share or has access to it.

I hope this helps anyone else that has stumbled through FreeNAS with home directories!

Best of luck with yours!


Did this fix your problem? Leave a comment!




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