Newbie Kicking the Tyres

I’ve been a ReadyNAS user for over 10 years (first with a Duo, and currently a 314 4x8TB.

For ages I’ve been meaning to build my own NAS with FreeNAS, having tried PC-BSD years ago, but they’ve seemed to me to be churning a lot, and they don’t seem to have many plugins at the moment.
(And Btrfs seems simpler and more flexible than ZFS)

I’m thinking of turning over my 10 year old desktop PC to it, when I build a new one to replace it.
It has 6xSATA ports, so would have 1 system, 4 data and 1 spare for backing up/upgrading space.

So I’ve installed 3.9.1 on Virtual Manager, and so far it looks good. will subscribe I think.

I have a couple of questions to start with ( well, just one now. I searched for the other one):

  1. I’ve tried “upgrading” the disks on my virtualmanager instance (Raid5 because I’m just trying it out) If I understand correctly, I should Remove a drive, let it balance, then Add a drive and let it balance, for each drive I’m upgrading? (Been spoiled by ReadyNAS, where you hotswap a smaller drive for a larger one, and it detects it and does the remove-add-rebalance in one go, for each drive)


@HarryHUK Welcome to the Rockstor community and thanks for the introduction.


Yes, that sounds about right. Btrfs does have a more efficient method where you can replace one disk for another in one operation, although currently if the replacement is larger it then has to be ‘expanded in a second operation’. But unfortunately our Web-UI doesn’t yet support this replace operation, only the remove, add. But we do have an issue open for it that goes into some of the advantages of going it this way:

Hope that helps.


Cheers. The comments seem to imply that you add the new before removing the old, is that right? (You would need a spare disk port) I’ve got lots of reading to do, think I’m going to need to get to know btrfs a lot better.

Hi @HarryHUK,

Yes, that is generally preferred. The reason is simply that the alternative would mean booting the system with a disk missing in which case Btrfs will mount the pool noticing that a device is missing, which is always better to avoid if you have an extra SATA port available.

Always a good approach :wink: You should find plenty of information on this forum (note the search icon just to the left of your avatar icon in the top banner), as well as on the Btrfs wiki. The following section will be of interest:
Rockstor’s webUI provides an interface to run most of the commands and operations listed on this page, bar the replace action as @phillxnet mentioned above.

Hope this helps!



BTW, Anyone else find the search icon is (nearly) invisible until you mouse over it?

Yes, that’s something known and I have a quick fix in line that I should hopefully be able to implement soon. I believe it’s the result of how Discourse (our forum backend) and its theming have evolved throughout the years creating this oddity in our implementation. The forum is a very precious resource for Rockstor, however, so any change (even like this one) should be taken very cautiously.

Sorry about the inconvenience.


[quote=“HarryHUK, post:5, topic:7410”]
BTW, Anyone else find the search icon is (nearly) invisible until you mouse over it?
Yes indeed, and the hamburger next to it which I found purely by accident


During my testing of the Rockstor 4 beta installler for x86 and ARM I tried both ways, and definitely the way to go is add before removing if possible. The other way around turned out to be too messy, with a degraded pool etc. Its doable, but not something I’d recommend if you can add first.