How to install unraid

First, what is Unraid? Unraid is an operating system that you can use to create your own server or network-attached storage. It’s easy to use and can be customized to your needs, whether you’re using it for gaming, content creation, data storage, or multi-OS testing. Unraid can help you store and protect your data, run any program via an application server, and quickly create virtual machines. It uses a modern Linux kernel with up-to-date hardware drivers and supports parity-protected arrays, user shares, and cache pools. You can manage your Unraid system through an intuitive web interface, which is significantly easier to use than the typical CLI nature of Linux.

Before you begin, make sure you USB used for Unraid meets the requirements as well as having a UUID: USB Recommendations

Here are the steps to install Unraid:

  1. Download the Unraid OS and create a bootable USB flash drive using the USB Flash Creator tool.
    • Here create the name of your server and select whether your server is DHCP or static IP.
  2. Insert the USB flash drive into your server and boot into the BIOS settings. Configure the system to boot from the USB flash drive and enable virtualization-specific features. This is necessary only if you are going to deploy virtual machines (VMs) on your Unraid server.
  3. Boot into Unraid and get a trial key or purchase a license key for the OS.
  4. Assign the drives to the array, choosing the data, parity, and cache devices. Unraid will not boot without an array drive assigned whereas cache and parity are optional. A cache drive is typically a SSD or NVME used for array performance. A parity drive is recommended to protect your array from a disk failure, with up to two parity drives allowed per system.
  5. Start the array and format the drives.
  6. Create a share for the media files, choosing the allocation method, minimum free space, split level, and cache disk options.
    • It is recommended to keep fast access files such as appdata, isos, and domains on the cache for optimal performance as it will not write to the slower array disks.
  7. Start using your Unraid server by deploying dockers, VMs, and copying over your data to the array.

Once you tested Unraid and want to purchase a license, here are the steps:

  1. Once your server is up and running, log in to your Unraid server’s webgui.
  2. Navigate to the Tools -> Registration page in the webGui and click “Purchase Key.” Select the corresponding license you purchased via activation code and enter the activation code in the “Your Activation Code” box to complete the activation process.
  3. Your registration key will be emailed to you with instructions for installation.

Good luck and have fun playing around with Unraid!

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