Basic Concepts


A disk is a block device that is usable by Rockstor. Disks can be locally attached SCSI or SATA drives or can be SAN backed block devices, there is also increasing support for some virtual block devices for when Rockstor is installed in a virtual machine.

N.B. Rockstor only works with whole drives and not partitions. If a disk has partitions it is displayed in the list of available disks but is unusable. However the UI does provide a facility to remove any existing partition tables so that those disks might become usable.

Disks can be added online as long as it is supported by the underlying hardware. Rockstor can rescan to detect new disks and make them available. See our Disks section for a more detailed explanation.


A pool is a collection of disks with predefined redundancy strategy. Available redundancy options include RAID0, RAID1 and RAID10. Redundancy strategy must be chosen during pool creation but cannot be changed afterwards.

A pool can be resized at anytime by adding or removing drives. Obviously, success of these operations depends on the state of the pool including current usage. See our Pools section for a more detailed explanation.


A share is created by carving out a chunk from a pool. Shares can be resized at a later time as well as exported via NFS, SMB, or SFTP protocols. See our Shares section for a more detailed explanation.


A snapshot is a read-only point in time copy of a share. Since BTRFS is a CoW filesystem, snapshots are created instantly and take up no extra space when created. See our Snapshots section for a more detailed explanation.

Web UI

The easiest way to manage your storage with Rockstor is via it’s web-ui. It can be accessed by visiting the appliance’s management IP over https using the Firefox browser. Note that other browsers are not supported. See our Web-UI section for a more detailed explanation.

Secure Shell

Console access to Rockstor is possible by logging in as one of the admin users using SSH. During normal operations this should not be required but is provided for advanced configurations and development purposes.

Smart Manager

Smart Manager includes the dashboard of WebUI, smart probes, analytics and other features that increase operational efficiency of the storage infrastructure.


This is our made-up term to reference the built-in docker based plugin system. See our Rock-ons (Docker Plugins) section for a more detailed explanation.