Migrating TrueNAS CORE to SCALE

Migration Overview

This article provides information and instructions for migrating from TrueNAS CORE to SCALE.

TrueNAS Enterprise

High Availability (HA) systems cannot migrate directly from CORE to SCALE.

Enterprise customers with HA systems should contact iXsystems Support before attempting any migration.

iXsystems Support

Customers who purchase iXsystems hardware or that want additional support must have a support contract to use iXsystems Support Services. The TrueNAS Community forums provides free support for users without an iXsystems Support contract.

Contact MethodContact Options
TelephoneMonday - Friday, 6:00AM to 6:00PM Pacific Standard Time:

US-only toll-free: 1-855-473-7449 option 2
Local and international: 1-408-943-4100 option 2
TelephoneAfter Hours (24x7 Gold Level Support only):

US-only toll-free: 1-855-499-5131
International: 1-408-878-3140 (international calling
rates apply)

Migrating TrueNAS from CORE to SCALE is a one-way operation. Attempting to activate or roll back to a CORE boot environment can break the system.

Upgrade your CORE system to the latest publicly-available 13.0-Ux release before attempting to migrate from CORE to SCALE.

SCALE Bluefin deprecates and Cobia removes the built-in DDNS, OpenVPN server and client, rsync, S3, and TFTP service. The WebDAV service and share feature are also deprecated in Bluefin and removed in Cobia. New applications are available in Bluefin to serve as replacements for the functions these services provided.

To migrate from CORE to SCALE Cobia, first upgrade to and migrate from the latest CORE release to the latest release of SCALE 22.12 (Bluefin). While running SCALE Bluefin, take the necessary steps to transition from these deprecated services to the applications that replace them, then upgrade to SCALE 23.10 (Cobia). The replacement applications are available in SCALE 22.12 and 23.10.

What Can and Cannot Migrate?

Although TrueNAS attempts to keep most of your CORE configuration data when upgrading to SCALE, some CORE-specific items do not transfer. These are the items that don’t migrate from CORE:

  • FreeBSD GELI encryption. If you have GELI-encrypted pools on your system that you plan to import into SCALE, you must migrate your data from the GELI pool to a non-GELI encrypted pool before migrating to SCALE.
  • Malformed certificates. TrueNAS SCALE validates the system certificates when a CORE system migrates to SCALE. When a malformed certificate is found, SCALE generates a new self-signed certificate to ensure system accessibility.
  • CORE plugins and jails. Save the configuration information for your plugin and back up any stored data. After completing the SCALE install, add the equivalent SCALE application using the Apps option. If your CORE plugin is not listed as an available application in SCALE, use the Launch Docker Image option to add it as an application and import data from the backup into a new SCALE dataset for the application.
  • NIS data.
  • System tunables.
  • ZFS boot environments.
  • AFP shares also do not transfer, but migrate into an SMB share with AFP compatibility enabled.
  • CORE netcli utility. A new CLI utility is used for the Console Setup Menu and other commands issued in a CLI. By default, any TrueNAS user account with netcli as the chosen Shell updates to use the nologin option instead. See the Users Screens reference article for descriptions of all Shell options.
  • SAS multipath is not supported in TrueNAS SCALE.
  • TrueNAS CORE account names beginning with a number are not supported in TrueNAS SCALE. Usernames in SCALE must begin with a letter or an underscore. Before attempting a CORE to SCALE migration, review the local user accounts and rename or replace any accounts that begin with a numeric character (0-9).

VM storage and its basic configuration transfer over during a migration, but you need to double-check the VM configuration and the network interface settings specifically before starting the VM.

Init/shutdown scripts transfer, but can break. Review them before use.

Migration Methods

You can migrate from CORE to SCALE through a clean install using an iso file. Alternately, some CORE 13.0 releases can migrate using the CORE UI Upgrade function with the SCALE update file downloaded from the website. The easiest method is to upgrade from the CORE system UI, but your system must have the CORE 13.0 major release installed and updated to the latest maintenance release to use this method. Note the CORE 13.0-U3 release might not work when updating from the CORE UI using the Update function.

If you do a clean-install with a SCALE iso file, you need to reconfigure your CORE settings in SCALE and import your data.

When TrueNAS SCALE boots, you might need to use the Shell to configure networking interfaces to enable GUI accessibility.

Migrating using the CORE UI Manual Update

Upgrade CORE to the latest publicly-available release before attempting to migrate from CORE to SCALE!

This method of using the CORE UI Manual Update to migrate using a SCALE update file might fail if using CORE 13.0-U3 but if using CORE 13.0-U2 it should work. If it fails, retry using the iso file upgrade process in the section above.

Take all the preparation steps mentioned in Preparing for Migration.

Start by downloading the SCALE manual update file. Confirm that the TrueNAS CORE system is on the latest public release, 13.0-U3 or better.

Click CHECK FOR UPDATES in the System Information card on the Dashboard or go to System > Update.



Click SAVE CONFIGURATION to download a backup file that can restore the system configuration in the event something goes wrong with the migration. This is recommended but is not required.


Select a Temporary Storage Location (either Memory Device or a Pool) for the manual update file. Click Choose File and select the TrueNAS-SCALE.update file you downloaded.


Then click APPLY UPDATE.

After the update completes, reboot the system if it does not reboot automatically.


After migration, we strongly recommend you review each area of the UI that was previously configured in CORE.

Migrating by Clean Install

If it becomes necessary to do a clean install to migrate your CORE system to SCALE using the .iso file, follow the instructions in the Install articles.

Root is the system administration account for CORE and the Angelfish and early Bluefin releases of SCALE. Users migrating from CORE to SCALE or from the pre 22.12.3 release of SCALE Bluefin must manually create an admin user account. Only fresh installations using an iso file provide the option to create the admin user during the installation process.

SCALE Bluefin systems with only the root user account can log in to the TrueNAS web interface as the root user and then create the admin account. After logging in as root, TrueNAS alerts you to create the local administrator account.

As part of security hardening and to comply with Federal Information Processing standards (FIPS), iXsystems plans to completely disable root login in a future release.

System administrators should create and begin using a new admin user.