TerraMaster TOS 6.0 desktop

My thoughts after testing the TOS 6.0 beta for an hour

by

The TerraMaster TOS 6.0 beta is live and I took it for a spin on the TerraMaster F4-424 Pro. Using one of the company’s flagship enclosures, I wanted to see how much has been improved with the next major release of the OS. Notable TOS 6.0 improvements are listed on the official website, including a refreshed UI, improved search, and snappier performance.

TOS 6.0 is still rough around the edges

Those holding out hope for a redesigned TerraMaster OS will have to continue waiting as the 6.0 beta isn’t bringing a refresh to the UI. TOS 5 and now by extension TOS 6.0 aren’t bad-looking software but they aren’t keeping up with the competition. The TerraMaster marketing states a three-times user-friendliness but I’m not seeing it.

Changes have been made to the UI, however. TerraMaster moved icons from the desktop to the top navigation bar. This also has a new shortcut to display all the installed apps, so don’t worry if you reckon you could fill up the entire bar with icons. It’s a better system for finding apps and keeping things clutter-free.

The new animations look neat and cause windows to slide and fade around the screen as you open and close apps. The new dashboard looks similar to the one in 5.0 but you can now easily move widgets around, though I think some of the new ones in 6.0 look worse, such as the system information one that requires scrolling.

The new dark mode is excellent on the eyes

And I don’t simply mean it’s better for evening sessions. The new dark mode in TOS 6.0 makes the OS look modern though there are instances where it needs some work. The dashboard will have dark widgets and a light background, which looks terrible and is something I hope they address before the beta ends.

This is a system-wide dark mode, which should work with many apps, and changing the accent color does reflect throughout TOS too. Overall, the design changes to TOS 6.0 are positive, but I would have liked to see TerraMaster spend more time here and push the UI to make it one of the best-looking interfaces.

Control Panel is more convenient through search

One area where some NAS operating systems failed in the past was making the control panel or settings app more difficult to use than required. TerraMaster keeps most functions within the Contro Panel in TOS 6.0, but they’ve added a powerful keyword search that reliably gets you where you need to be.

Setting permissions is much more involved now with enhanced access control lists (ACL). Managing groups is also better with TOS 6.0 recycle bin access can now be configured to avoid accidental deletion of files. (I still recommend you regularly back up all files on your NAS regardless.)

Improved performance across the board

One highlight of TOS 6.0 is improved performance and it shows. The system feels snappy and loads quickly, though the TerraMaster F4-424 Pro should be running TOS 6.0 well with a capable Intel Core i3-N300 processor and 32 GB of RAM. TOS 6.0 uses Linux Kernal 6.1 with various additions, including support for Intel Meteor Lake processors.

A cool addition to SMB 3.0 is SMB Multichannel, which allows more than one network link to provide additional bandwidth for file transfers. Link aggregation does this for multiple clients, but not for a single connection. SMB Multichannel addresses this so you can combine two 1Gb or 2.5Gb network links for faster transfer speeds.

TOS 6.0 is rapid. No more performance complaints here!

New TRAID+ for storing lots of data

TerraMaster’s new TRAID+ is great for larger deployments. Built off RAID 6, this new RAID type provides an elevated standard of data storage security with additional redundancies, automated disk space aggregation, and seamless expansion. It’s ideal for those who don’t wish to build arrays.

Although it technically launched before TOS 6.0, you’ll want to update the OS to utilize TRAID+. RAID 6 and TRAID+ are double-parity RAID, using two parity stripes across the array and shielding you against data loss with up to two drives failing. TerraMaster’s TRAID+ shares similar characteristics as RAID 6, amalgamating multiple storage units into a versatile array configuration.

A minimum of four drives is required because of how TRAID+ (and RAID 6) operates.

So, how is TOS 6.0?

TOS 6.0 is a decent update for TerraMaster’s NAS enclosures. It’s still not quite there on a consistent user experience. Some UI design elements are questionable and look rough but if TerraMaster keeps improving at this rate, TOS could be an OS to recommend soon enough.

The company’s NAS enclosures continue to offer excellent value with the F4-424 leading the pack. Making it easy for NAS owners to switch the OS doesn’t help TerraMaster’s software developments, but it does provide a great way for TerraMaster NAS to be customized.

See all the other changes in TOS 6.0 on the TerraMaster forum. I’m going to spend more time testing this new update and will provide additional coverage once released. So far, so good!

Categories
Richard Pinnock-Edmonds Avatar

Latest articles