A Step-by-Step Guide to Install TrueNAS on a Ugreen NAS

Installing TrueNAS on a Ugreen NAS can significantly enhance your network storage capabilities by providing a robust, open-source operating system designed for managing and sharing data. This guide will walk you through the detailed process of setting up TrueNAS on your Ugreen NAS, from initial preparation and data backup to BIOS configuration and final installation. Whether you are replacing the existing SSD or disabling it to install TrueNAS, these steps ensure a smooth and efficient setup. Additionally, we provide an alternative method for installing other third-party operating systems, such as UnRAID, using the Ugreen NAS GUI and BIOS modifications.

Important – The UGREEN NAS Software is still in it’s first year of active development, and this follows several months of Kickstarter crowdfunding. Therefore the software is still in it’s early stages of development. It IS a decent enough NAS operating system, that the manufacturer assures users will see more and more AAA+ features added to it in a planned roadmap. So, I would recommend taking some time with the UGOS NAS software before making a switch to a 3rd Party OS. Additionally, it is worth noting that UGREEN have also made it clear that choosing to use a 3rd Party NAS OS will not invalidate your hardware warranty, as long as the software does not negatively impact the hardware (eg overclocking the CPU to fry it, disabling fans and that harms the internal components through overheating, etc).

What You Need:

  • Ugreen NAS system
  • USB drive (at least 8GB recommended)
  • HDMI output cable
  • Keyboard (and optionally, a mouse)
  • USB docking station or splitter (recommended)
  • New SSD (if replacing the existing one)


Ensure you have all the necessary tools and components before starting the installation.

1. Backup Data:

  • Access Ugreen NAS settings:
    • Login to the Ugreen NAS management interface.

  • Backup configuration and data:
    • Backup configuration to a local file or Ugreen cloud.
    • Use the Backup and Sync tool or the Net Tool to back up files to OneDrive, another remote NAS, or another Ugreen NAS system.

  • Ensure all critical data is securely backed up to prevent data loss during the installation process.

2. Prepare the NAS:

  • Decide on OS SSD usage:
    • If you plan to use the existing SSD, note that it will be wiped during the installation.
    • If replacing, open the NAS and remove the SSD.

  • Refer to specific guides for your model (2-bay, 4-bay, etc.) to dismantle the NAS and access the SSD. Ugreen models typically use a 2280 SSD, while smaller models may use a 2242 SSD.
  • Alternatively, (LATER ON) disable the internal SSD in BIOS to prevent overwriting.

3. Download Necessary Tools:

  • Download Rufus:
    • Visit the Rufus website and download the latest version of Rufus.

4. Create a Bootable USB:

  • Insert the USB drive into your PC.

  • Open Rufus:
    • Launch Rufus.
    • Select the USB drive in the “Device” dropdown.
    • Click “SELECT” and choose the TrueNAS ISO you downloaded.
    • Leave other settings at their default and click “START” to create the bootable USB.
  • Safely remove the USB drive after the process completes.

5. Setup the NAS for Installation:

  • Insert the bootable USB into the Ugreen NAS.
  • Connect the NAS to a monitor using an HDMI cable.
  • Connect a keyboard (and mouse if available).
  • Connect the NAS to a network via an Ethernet cable.

6. Boot and Enter BIOS:

  • Power on the NAS and repeatedly press the F12 and Delete keys to enter BIOS.

  • Disable the Watchdog timer:
    • Navigate to the “Advanced” tab.
    • Locate the “Watchdog Timer” option and disable it to prevent the system from shutting down during installation.

  • Note – if you are running the i5 UGREEN NAS systems, the Watchdog option might be in the ‘FAST’ tab – see below:

  • Change the boot order:
    • Navigate to the “Boot” tab.
    • Set the USB drive as the first boot option.

  • Disable the internal SSD drive:
    • Navigate to the “Boot” tab or “Advanced” tab (depending on your BIOS version).
    • Find the internal SSD listed in the drives and disable it to ensure it isn’t used during the installation.
    • IF you want to keep the internal UGREEN NAS OS on the internal SSD, but do not want to risk ‘overwriting it’ or booting from it in error, you can DISABLE the SSD bay in the BIOS

7. Install TrueNAS:

  • Save BIOS settings and reboot.
  • The system should boot from the USB and start the TrueNAS installation process.

  • Follow the on-screen instructions to install TrueNAS on the SSD or chosen storage.
  • Set up TrueNAS with a name, root/admin access, and other configuration details.

8. Complete Installation:

  • Reboot the system after installation.
  • Ensure the NAS is connected to the network for easier access.

9. Access and Configure TrueNAS:

  • Once rebooted, TrueNAS should be accessible on the network.
  • Use a web browser on a PC connected to the same network to find the NAS IP address.
    • Example: Open a browser and enter http://<NAS_IP_ADDRESS>.
  • Complete the TrueNAS setup:
    • Create storage pools.
    • Configure shares and other settings as needed.

Additional Resources:

  • Detailed instructions and troubleshooting:
    • Refer to guides provided in the video description.
    • Check specific Ugreen NAS model guides for dismantling and SSD replacement.
  • Further setup and advanced configurations:

By following these steps, you should be able to install and set up TrueNAS on your Ugreen NAS efficiently.

Alternative Way to Install a Third-Party OS on a Ugreen NAS

If you want the system to boot into BIOS without having to spam the Ctl+F12 keys, you can arrange this via the UGREEN UGOS NAS software GUI. Below outlines an alternative method to install a third-party OS (e.g., UnRAID or TrueNAS) on a Ugreen NAS using both the Ugreen NAS GUI and BIOS modifications. You will still need a Keyboard/Video output, however, later on:

Initial Setup Using Ugreen NAS GUI:

  • Power on and connect the NAS:
    • Connect your NAS to a monitor via HDMI.
    • Connect a keyboard and mouse to the NAS.
    • Connect the NAS to your network via an Ethernet cable.
  • Download the Ugreen app:
    • Install the Ugreen app on your mobile device (available on iOS and Android).
  • Initialize the NAS:
    • Open the Ugreen app and follow the prompts to initialize your NAS.
    • Set an admin account and configure basic settings.
    • Skip setting up a Ugreen Cloud account if not needed.
  • Enable SSH Access:
    • In the Ugreen NAS GUI, go to Control Panel.
    • Navigate to Terminal and enable SSH access.

Modifying UGOS and BIOS:

  • Access the NAS via SSH:
    • On your PC, open Command Prompt.
    • Type ssh [username]@[NAS IP] and press Enter.
    • Type yes if prompted to continue connecting.
    • Enter the NAS user password when prompted.
  • Identify the Boot Partition:
    • In the SSH session, type lsblk to list block devices.
    • Identify the nvme drive with the boot partition (usually labeled as nvme0n1p1).
  • Gain Superuser Access:
    • Type sudo su and press Enter.
    • Enter your password when prompted.
  • Mount the Boot Partition:
    • Type mkdir /mnt/nvme_efi and press Enter to create a mount directory.
    • Type mount /dev/nvme0n1p1 /mnt/nvme_efi and press Enter (replace nvme0n1p1 with your actual partition name).
  • Rename EFI Directory:
    • Type cd /mnt/nvme_efi and press Enter.
    • Type ls to list the directory contents.
    • Type mv EFI EFI_RENAME and press Enter to rename the EFI directory.
    • Type ls again to confirm the directory has been renamed.
  • Reboot to BIOS:
    • Type reboot and press Enter.
    • The NAS should reboot and enter the UEFI setup screen.
  • Disable Watchdog Control in BIOS:
    • Navigate to the Advanced tab.
    • Select Watchdog Settings.
    • Disable Watchdog Control to prevent the system from rebooting every 3 minutes if UGOS is not detected.

Installing UnRAID or TrueNAS:

  • Prepare UnRAID or TrueNAS Bootable USB:
    • For UnRAID: Create a bootable UnRAID USB drive using the UnRAID USB Creator tool on your PC.
    • UnRAID USB will load the NAS software into the system cache/memory.
    • For TrueNAS: Download the TrueNAS Core or Scale ISO from the TrueNAS website.
    • Use Rufus to create a bootable USB from the TrueNAS ISO.
    • TrueNAS installation USB will load into the installer, which installs the TrueNAS Core/Scale OS onto an internal SSD.
  • Insert Bootable USB:
    • Plug the UnRAID or TrueNAS USB drive into the NAS.
  • Save BIOS Changes and Reboot:
    • Save the BIOS changes and reboot the NAS.
    • The NAS should now boot from the USB drive and start the respective OS installation process.

By following these steps, you should be able to install a third-party OS on your Ugreen NAS.


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      34 thoughts on “TrueNAS on a UGREEN NAS – INSTALLATION GUIDE

      1. Bought the 8 bay in KS, booted their OS once just to check around, then immediately installed TrueNAS Scale because they don’t have the features I need yet, iSCSI and a few others. Very happy with the system though, 8 16TB HDDs with NVME cache.

      2. I bought the 6 Bay / DXP6800, haven’t even opened it yet. Will wait a couple more months before I do to save myself from the first round of bugs / limited OS challenges. I am brand new to NAS and don’t have the comfort level to run / install TrueNAS, UNRAID, etc.. Thanks for the update video!

      3. Still not available to buy, and some complaints from people who haven’t yet received their Nas – I can’t see whether that is 1% or 10%, and I think they made it too complicated with that whole discount the $5 reservation fee thingy, and having to fill out forms with address, etc. I’m looking forward to seeing where they expand availability – hint: pick me, pick me, pick the UK. I need iSCSI but I don’t suppose that is in yet. It’s early so we have no idea if the h/w is reliable, but all their other h/w seems very reliable.

      4. So far almost unusable. New errors are added every day. There are a lot of complaints in the Facebook group and on the Discord. Often the whole raid breaks down and cannot be restored. The support ignores requests. I am currently very unhappy with this.

      5. Great summary of the OS so far, I decided to keep using the UGOS instead of using an 3rd party. However, you’ve missed that the connection to active directory doesn’t work and that fine for home users but for homelabs and businesses it’s major oversight.

      6. I would never use it since I don`t have a use case for a prebuild NAS like this, but if i had one I would be very please with this. Looking at it being their first try on NAS Systems from a company that was not in that business before is quite good and sure, a lot of things aren’t there yet, but as long as the support and development continues, that’s mostly fine with me. I will follow their development and maybe in the future I`ll even recommend them to my friends

      7. It looks like it works well if used as a basic file sharing storage locally

        But those promised/soon/will be there/in progress functions seem still not there “yet” ????

        There is even no timetable for those things

        If just need a basic storage device there are many options in the market

      8. Great update video, do wish ugreen had more useful apps. Is it possible u can do a video on how to install tailsacle thru docker on the ugreen NAS?

      9. I picked up the 4 bay “pro” model. I have only used it to host some SMB shares and for those its run flawlessly. I am very happy with it, but my usage is pretty limited.

      10. Haven’t seen it done yet, but will this run Xpenology? The hardware seems to be a great value, but hearing about shared keys and lack of proper security features worries me. This could be the perfect host for gray-market Synology DSM! And I do realize that’s very much a gray area since DSM isn’t properly open-sourced – though it possibly should be.
        But licensing aside, will it run?

      11. One of the huge drawbacks is that they override permissions on the homedir every reboot. This makes SSH unusable with keys, only password! I asked the support and got a response that nothing they can do about permission change on the .ssh directory, that’s by design.

      12. I hate seagulls! But I will admit the YouTube algorithm loves them.
        I am waiting to purchase enough drives to fill my 6 bay up, but hopefully soon I can replace two of my Synology NAS with this running TrueNAS. I appreciate your updates on the Ugreen software.

      13. I don’t trust them. They added and removed links to NAS from their homepage with no indication of a wider release to the public. I’ll wait for the next Asustor and Qnap offerings

      14. iSCSI LUN support wouldn’t go amiss either. Support for accessing external (USB and Thunderbolt) storage with MacOS Finder and Windows Explorer (not just through UGOS) is a sorely missed feature.

      15. Happy owner of a UGREEN NAS, great hardware????!
        The software is nice but lacks essential features like encryption and snapshots.

        I recommend installing TrueNAS Scale, you don’t need to open the device, and I’ve backed up the original OS on a USB stick.
        Zero risk, TrueNAS is 100x better for advances users ????