Build a full-featured NAS with an Ubuntu box and this playbook.
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Latest commit a908417 Sep 21, 2018

Ansible NAS

After getting burned by broken FreeNAS updates one too many times, I figured I could do a much better job myself using just a stock Ubuntu install, some clever Ansible config and a bunch of docker containers.

What This Sets Up

  • Any number of Samba shares for you to store your stuff
  • A BitTorrent client
  • Various media management tools - Sonarr, Sickrage, CouchPotato, Radarr
  • A Docker host with Portainer for image and container management
  • Various ways to see stats about your NAS - Glances, dashboards in Grafana
  • A backup tool - allows scheduled backups to Amazon S3, OneDrive, Dropbox etc
  • An IRC bouncer

Docker Containers Used

  • CouchPotato for downloading and managing movies
  • Duplicati for backing up your stuff
  • Glances for seeing the state of your system via a web browser
  • Grafana - Dashboarding tool
  • InfluxDB - Time series database used for stats collection
  • Nextcloud - A self-hosted Dropbox alternative
  • Portainer for managing Docker and running custom images
  • Radarr for organising and downloading movies
  • Sickrage for managing TV episodes
  • Sonarr for downloading and managing TV episodes
  • Telegraf - Metrics collection agent
  • Transmission BitTorrent client (with OpenVPN if you have a supported VPN provider)
  • ZNC - IRC bouncer to stay connected to favourite IRC networks and channels

What This Could Do

Ansible-NAS can run anything that's in a Docker image, which is why Portainer is included. A NAS configuration is a pretty personal thing based on what you download, what media you view, how many photos you it's difficult to please everyone.

That said, if specific functionality you want isn't included and you think others could benefit, add it and raise a PR!

What This Doesn't Do

Ansible NAS doesn't set up your disk partitions, primarily because getting it wrong can be incredibly destructive. That aside, configuring partitions is usually a one-time (or very infrequent) event, so there's not much to be gained by automating it.


Ansible NAS should work on any recent Ubuntu box. Development is done on Ubuntu Server 18.04.1 LTS.

TODO: Test against a Raspberry Pi!

How To Use

  1. Enable the Ubuntu Universe repository: sudo add-apt-repository universe
  2. Install Ansible: sudo apt install ansible
  3. git clone && cd ansible-nas
  4. Copy group_vars/all.yml.dist to group_vars/all.yml.
  5. Open up group_vars/all.yml and follow the instructions there for configuring your Ansible NAS.
  6. If you plan to use Transmission with OpenVPN, also copy group_vars/vpn_credentials.yml.dist to group_vars/vpn_credentials.yml and fill in your settings.
  7. Modify inventory and update it with the hostname of your NAS box, or use localhost ansible_connection=local if you want to run the playbook on the same box you want to use as your ansible-nas.
  8. Install the dependent roles: ansible-galaxy install -r requirements.yml (you might need sudo to install Ansible roles)
  9. Run the playbook - something like ansible-playbook -i inventory nas.yml -b -K should do you nicely.

Migrating from FreeNAS

Assuming that your Ubuntu system disk is separate from your storage (it should be!):

  1. Disconnect your drives.
  2. Run Ansible NAS against your server.
  3. Reconnect your drives.
  4. SSH to the server and run zpool list to determine available ZFS pools.
  5. zpool import <pool_name> against the pools you want to attach.
  6. chown -R root:root /mnt/<pool_name> to fix the ownership of the data.


  1. Get the tests working on Docker
  2. Create useful Grafana dashboards
  3. Handle Docker containers being enabled then subsequently disabled (i.e clean up afterwards)
  4. SMART disk monitoring


Contributions welcome, please feel free to raise a PR!