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USB Boot Device Suggestions For TrueNAS

pab49162

Dabbler
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
36
I would appreciate suggestions/comments relative to hardware options for booting from SSDs instead of USB flash drives when I upgrade to TrueNAS 12.

My Dell T20 server has only space, power and SATA ports for the four existing WD Red drives. It also appears that a T20’s BIOS does not support booting from a PCIe controller card. So my best option looks to be using a pair of SDDs connected via USB ports as the mirrored boot devices.

One way to achieve this would be to use an external M.2 SSD to USB adapter along with a small M.2 SDD. An alternative approach would be to simply use a small portable external USB SSD.

I would appreciate suggestions/comments on which approach (adapter or portable eternal) might be better along any recommendations on specific hardware that would be a good fit. Also, is there a preference for using an NVMe or SATA M.2 SSD for this application? Feel free to add other ideas/alternatives that you think I should consider.

My wife said I need to keep the cost around 50 to 75 USD for the total solution (a set of two boot devices). :smile:

Thanks in advance, Paul
 

Dav1d

Cadet
Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Messages
1
Hi There,

Im new to truenas but been in the pc hobby since the 286 days... Cant believe I've not got into this before, great fun and its always cool having another type of build in the house. Mrs wouldn't let me build a pc for the dog...?

I have two (Mirrored) 120g usb boot drives connected with the below cables. No issues at all. The truenas operating system is no where near as read/write intensive as say windows... I would keep jail drives and vm drives on sata-sta-nmve and in my experience keep the jail and vm on seperate drives.

Nmve is overkill for the boot drive, 120g ssd or m.2 with adapter would be the best all round in my opinion. Looks like the norm was to run the os of of a usb thumb drive not that long ago and they will be much much slower than an actual 2.5 inch ssd let along less reliable.

Id say the best bang for buck is 2 mirrored 120g ssd with below cables unless you already have your own. But neatest/coolest solution is the twin m.2 in external enclosure in raid 1 through usb. Get some good old velcro tape and BOSH!

Im sure someone with alot more truenas experience will chip in but this works for me.

 

Alecmascot

Guru
Joined
Mar 18, 2014
Messages
1,004

pab49162

Dabbler
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
36
Thank you @Dav1d and @Alecmascot for the feedback.

@Dav1d - I hadn't seen cables like that before and those would definitely work. If I got two of these cable and two small SATA SSDs, I believe I would be in business.

@Alecmascot - I don't a card like this would work for me as my T20’s BIOS does not support booting from a PCIe controller card. :frown:
 

Spearfoot

He of the long foot
Moderator
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
2,478
I know it's not recommended practice, but in your case it might be easiest to simply boot from a USB stick.

I booted from 16GB SanDisk Cruzer Fit USB 2.0 flash drives for over two years without problems. Even were the thumb drive to fail, it's easy to restore your system as long as you backup your configuration regularly and keep a spare stick on hand.

EDIT: Another good choice is the Samsung NUF-32AB/AM FIT Plus.
 
Last edited:

cellardoor

Dabbler
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
25
Hi,
try a m-sata ssd and a m-sata usb adapter.
If you need two because of redundancy, take two. You only need a second internal
type A usb.
 

ThreeDee

Guru
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
680
I used the SATA to USB cable for quite awhile with a cheap 120GB SSD on my old build without issue .. had it plugged in to my internal USB port so no cable mess on the outside.
 
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