Hardware Requirements

This page contains detailed information about the hardware requirements for each of the three primary functions of unRAID Server OS 6.

USB Flash Device

unRAID Server runs entirely from RAM, minimizing writes to the Flash device; however, it is also used to store vital system configuration data and must remain installed in your server during operation.  In addition, to obtain a registration key for unRAID Server OS, your flash device must contain a unique GUID (Globally Unique Identifier) and needs to be at least 1GB in size, but no larger than 32GB.  A few of the brands that are known for this include:

There are a number of USB Flash devices that do not have a valid serial number and can not be registered:

home_page-colorNAS imageStore and Protect Data

In order to install and begin taking advantage of the basic NAS capabilities unRAID Server OS 6 has to offer, you will need to meet the following minimum hardware requirements:

  1. A 64-bit capable processor (1.0 GHz or better)
  2. At least 1GB of RAM
  3. Linux hardware driver support (for storage, Ethernet, and USB controllers)
  4. At least one hard disk drive (two if you wish to protect your data with a parity disk)

To add applications or virtual machines, additional requirements will apply.

home_page-9appsServe Applications

Applications on unRAID can be used to serve/transcode media, share files, backup other devices, or a variety of other tasks. You will need to supply more compute resources (CPU and memory) to support them. The more applications you want to load, the more resources you may require.  Here are some examples of the most demanding applications which are then linked to an article on their system requirements:

For those that wish to run a wide gamut of applications on their system, a fairly safe system design would consist of a quad-core CPU (2.4 GHz or faster) and 4-8GB of RAM.  For more guidance, you can consult with our user community in the Lime Technology Forums.

Virtualization-apps-rc2Create Virtual Machines

unRAID Server OS 6 - Hardware Requirements by VM Type v3To run virtual machines on your system, you must have HVM (hardware-assisted virtualization) support on your processor/motherboard (Intel VT-x / AMD-V).  If you wish to assign host-based PCI devices (such as graphics and sound) to your VMs, your CPU and motherboard must also support IOMMU (Intel VT-d / AMD-Vi).  To determine if a particular processor has support for HVM or IOMMU, see this section of our wiki manual.

There are three types of VMs you can create on unRAID Server OS 6, each with slightly different hardware requirements for virtualization support.

Virtual Servers

Offers tunable operating systems for advanced users that wish to install server-based applications in a more controlled environment.

Virtual Desktops

Can be gateways to running applications on devices that don’t support them by remotely streaming an entire desktop’s graphics to the device.

Hybrid VMs

Combine the benefits of virtual and physical hardware by assigning PCI devices installed on your system directly to VMs for control.

Assigning Graphics Devices to Hybrid VMs

If you want to specifically assign a GPU (graphics card) to a VM to operate as a media player, gaming system, or a desktop/workstation, there are additional important considerations:

  1. Integrated graphics devices (on-board GPUs) are not assignable to virtual machines at this time.
  2. Not all motherboard/GPU combinations will work for GPU assignment.
  3. Lime Technology provides a list of validated and tested hardware combinations within the wiki.
  4. Additional community-tested configurations can be found in this spreadsheet.
  5. You can also discuss hardware selection in the Lime Technology Forums.

If you have an existing system for which you wish to test with graphics device assignment, download unRAID 6 today and give it a try!  See this guide in the wiki for additional tips and tricks to improving your chances for success.

Streaming to Other Devices

If your primary interest in virtual machines is to stream desktops and games to other devices you may own, the following chart will help you understand the hardware requirements.  Note that neither Microsoft RDP nor VNC requires your system to use a physical GPU, which is why virtual desktops do not require IOMMU support either.

unRAID Server OS 6 - Graphics Streaming Capabilities for Virtual Machines v3

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