[UNRAID] Unassigned Devices Tutorial

I’d really like a tutorial on ways of using Unassigned Devices in ways that improve Unraid.


  • File Unpacking w/setup
  • Unassigned Appdata w/setup
  • Actual uses for VMs w/examples

I hope others in the community are looking for the same, because unfortunately, I don’t know the best place to start on learning these.

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I’ve got a Lego build in progress and unraid will be my first delve into Linux as well.

For my case I want to set up ip cameras, so the intent is to have an unassigned WD purple working with blue iris or similar program in a docker (or vm if needed).

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If i recall spaceinvader one has a video on this. Check out his videos.

I have an unassigned 4TB WD Purple which I pass though to my Win10 VM for recording IP Cameras.

First thing is to get its device address. You want to use the device id as this remains persistent across reboots or if you rearrange your drives in your system.

  • Open the Unraid Terminal from the web GUI or SSH in if you prefer.

  • Navigate to /dev/disk/by-id/ and ‘ls’ to see all your physical disks and partitions.

  • In my case I am using a WD Purple 4TB which I know the model is WD40PURX. If you have more than one or are unsure, use the serial number to identify the correct disk.

  • Copy the entire name of the device which is NOT suffixed (i.e. not the -part1 or -part2 entries)

Next is to assign the unassigned drive to your VM so make sure your VM is shut down and then edit its settings.
You want to add a second vDisk location. Change to location to 'manual.
In the location entry section type “dev/disk/by-id/” and then paste the name of the disk you copied earlier.


Update the settings and start your VM. Winning.

P.S. Just as a reminder, unassigned disks are not protected by parity.

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Would you mind making a standalone post in #resources:software-installation or #resources:general-information?

That’s awesome, thank you @Kiz. That’s the setup I had in mind.

Out of curiosity, does unraid let you set up a 2nd standalone raid? I assume not unless you count the cache drive (assuming you have 2)

Indeed :slight_smile:

@drunkwater From my understanding, Unraid could not create a second RAID. However, if you use a hardware RAID controller to create a RAID array, that should appear to Unraid as a single disk with its own disk ID which you could pass through in the same fashion.

To clarify its not a raid but a disk array and unraid only allows for one with their current model.

However 9/10 times you can accomplish different but similar things by using/excluding disks from a share.

I added two unassigned HDDs to my VM with passthrough, but I had to do it through the XML interface.

Here is the code I used:

<disk type='block' device='disk'>
  <driver name='qemu' type='raw' cache='writeback'/>
  <source dev='/dev/disk/by-id/XXXXXXXXXXX' index='1'/>
  <target dev='hdd' bus='virtio'/>
  <alias name='virtio-disk3'/>
  <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x01' slot='0x01' function='0x0'/>
<disk type='block' device='disk'>
  <driver name='qemu' type='raw' cache='writeback'/>
  <source dev='/dev/disk/by-id/XXXXXXXXXXX' index='2'/>
  <target dev='hde' bus='virtio'/>
  <alias name='virtio-disk4'/>
  <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x01' slot='0x02' function='0x0'/>

I used an entirely different PCIe bus that my other devices. Note that the alias name, target dev=hdx, and slot=0x0x musy be unique.