HP MicroServer N40L Wiki

Operating systems known to work on the N40L[]

OS and Version Install to USB? Notes
ArchLinux Yes Tested on N54L
Centos 5.6, 6 and 7 Yes Test with 6.2, 6.3 and 7.0

On N54L needed "initcall_blacklist=clocksource_done_booting" option to boot installation

ClearOS 5.2 and 6.4 tested and working.
FreeBSD 8-11 Yes Tested (8.3, 9.X, 10.0, 11.2)
FreeNAS 8.2.0 Yes, Native
FreeNAS 8.3.0 Yes, Native
FreeNAS Yes, Native


Yes, Native Tested on N54L
FreeNAS 11.1 Yes Tested on N40L, N54L, Gen 8
FreeNAS 11.2 Yes Tested on N40L, N54L
Gentoo Install from USB minimal gentoo iso
Joyent SmartOS Yes This plus Netatalk makes for a great file server for Mac clients
Mac OS X 10.6 'Snow Leopard' Yes Install guide
Mikrotik RouterOS 5.20

Initial install must be done with hard drive attached to the optical drive SATA connector, once installed, drive can be moved to the internal array.

NAS4Free 9.0.x Yes, Native

See comments section below

NAS4Free, 11 Yes, Native Name changed since v11 to XigmaNAS
NetBSD 7-9 Yes Tested (7.0, 8.0, 9.2)
OmniOS No USB thumb drive, Yes USB optical drive
OpenIndiana b151 Yes Works great when paired with Napp-It as a NAS
OpenIndiana build 151a
OpenMediaVault (Debian based) Yes, but not optimized/supported Forum thread for OMV on N36L/N40L
Proxmox VE Yes Tested on N54L and G10.
SambaEdu3, Debian Squeeze version Installs without a hitch and all components detected.
ScientificLinux 6.1 x64 Yes, Native
Solaris Express Google docs guide
SunOS 5.11 (Solaris 11.0) No issues with any Solaris 11 release up to the latest FRU ( as of Feb. 2017) on an N40L with up to 4 drives and 16GB ECC memory
Ubuntu 12.04 Server 64-bit Yes http://releases.ubuntu.com/precise/
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Yes
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Yes
unRAID 5.0-beta14 AiO Yes, Native
VMware ESXi 5.0, 5.1, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5 Yes 5.0 patch required to run Windows 8 guests; 5.1 required to run vSphere client on Windows 8; HP customized ESXi images
VoidLinux Yes
Windows 7

Installs without any major issues. Onboard RAID: requires AMD drivers for hardware raid (load from USB during setup). Drivers not required if using AHCI mode. Windows software raid supports only raid 0, 1 and jbod. No support for software raid 5.

Onboard Graphics: recommend AMD catalyst WDDM drivers for full Aero support.

Windows 8


Installs without a hitch and all components detected. Very fast!

Windows 8.1 with update


Installs without any issues.

Windows 10


Must have latest HP Bios 15 November 2013 (2013.10.01A) for NIC to work.
Windows 8 Server Preview
Windows Home Server (2007) Yes Very fast. Drivers need to be installed manually.
Windows Home Server 2011 Yes Installs, Without any Issues. AMD CCC will not work properly, can eat up your RAM and CPU load.
Windows Server 2008 R2 Yes
Windows Server 2011 SBS Standard Installs providing you use the RAID bay for primary HDD and not the optical SATA connector, otherwise install crashes
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter 64-bit Yes Works and very fast, but crashed with BSOD when using 2 different memory sticks (both unbuffered ECC). Windows 2008 and slackware 14 were fine so bug with win 2012 DC.
Windows Server 2012 RTM Yes

Pretty fast


Windows Server 2012 Standard 64-bit Yes Works also perfect
Windows Server 2012 Essentials 64-bit Yes Works Great can now use those larger than 2TB drives for backups
Windows Server 2012 Storage Server R2



New BIOS available from HP as of 15 Nov 2013 that fixes the network card boot issue. However, currently no BIOS hack available.

BIOS v2013.10.01(A)(15 Nov 2013) update

Works fine, but need to disable onboard nic to stop hanging, installed dual port NetXtreme nic, bios hack and 4x WD RED 3TB drives works perfectly , use for data storage/media streaming to atv2, ipad etc

Windows Server 2016 nano still I cannot make bcd to work properly with USB device - "INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE" BSOD. looks like win issue, usb device has no letter at bcd stage and drive attribute cannot be GUID On modded BIOS from 2011 lunches, but cannot obtain IP from DHCP on integrated NIC

However, works fine on modded latest BIOS.

Windows NANO built with standard OEMDrivers.

Tested on N54L

Windows Server 2019 Datacenter 64-bit Works fine with latest (10/01/2013) BIOS (modded). In-place upgrade from 2008 R2 via 2012 R2 without problems.
Windows Vista

Installs with little issues, drivers had to be found here searching for the hardware ID.

Tested on N36L

Windows XP 32-bit

Install without any problems, but driver support might be an issue. HP only provide drivers for higher  server versions of Win. And e.g. no NIC drivers.Drivers can be found using hardware ID here. limited to 4GB RAM also.

Tested on N36L

XCP 1.5
XigmaNAS 11 Yes, Native Exceptional using ZFS for RAID.
XPEnology See detailed article on XPEnology here
Xubuntu 11.10
Zentyal 4.0 Yes on N54L