Category Archives: freenas

FreeNAS vs NAS4free

I've (finally) tried both FreeNAS and NAS4free and I'd like to share some thoughts and experiences. Both of these are "NAS-in-a-box" products intended to be installed on computers with a large number of drives, which they will export to the world in a variety of protocols. Both are based on FreeBSD, both fully support ZFS and they even share a common history.

The tl;dr of this post would be something like "yes, they are similar enough to be interchangable, BUT...", as I actually cannot give a more specific advice. Read on for why.

Read more...

New FreeNAS beta snapshot released (r5648)

We've released the next beta snapshot of FreeNAS.
You can read the release notes for all the details.
Here's a highlight of the issues that we've fixed since the last beta (r5606):
  • Upgrades from prior FreeNAS 8 beta releases are now supported.
  • zfs creation failures have been fixed. The gui would indicate it succeeded, but you couldn't share it.
  • ufs creation failures have been fixed.
  • booting off USB or SCSI cdrom is now supported.
  • Many disk initialization errors that showed up as odd failures have been corrected.
  • lagg has been introduced.
  • Errors in the network screen have been corrected.
  • The storage wizard no longer says 'of X' when creating the storage unit. This eliminates the confusing 1 of 3 -> 2 of 2 dialog heading.
  • Improved compatibility with IE and Safari.
  • The installer has been streamlined.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised today when I logged in and found 19 comments from my last blog entry. I'm not used to so many, so hadn't been checking. I'll be checking more here. I'll also write a blog entry to address many of the issues raised in them.
You can download the latest from sourceforge.

New FreeNAS beta snapshot released (r5648)

We've released the next beta snapshot of FreeNAS.

You can read the release notes for all the details.

Here's a highlight of the issues that we've fixed since the last beta (r5606):
  • Upgrades from prior FreeNAS 8 beta releases are now supported.
  • zfs creation failures have been fixed. The gui would indicate it succeeded, but you couldn't share it.
  • ufs creation failures have been fixed.
  • booting off USB or SCSI cdrom is now supported.
  • Many disk initialization errors that showed up as odd failures have been corrected.
  • lagg has been introduced.
  • Errors in the network screen have been corrected.
  • The storage wizard no longer says 'of X' when creating the storage unit. This eliminates the confusing 1 of 3 -> 2 of 2 dialog heading.
  • Improved compatibility with IE and Safari.
  • The installer has been streamlined.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised today when I logged in and found 19 comments from my last blog entry. I'm not used to so many, so hadn't been checking. I'll be checking more here. I'll also write a blog entry to address many of the issues raised in them.


You can download the latest from sourceforge.

New FreeNAS Beta (r5606)

Just after the release of the first beta, a couple of serious problems came to life. As such, we've respun the release to fix these issues.
  • gmirror error displayed bogusly
  • the extremely long write times for disks
  • The lack of feedback during the installation (although with the significantly faster imaging, this is much less of an issue).
  • Default ownership and permission for Windows shares has been fixed
  • Shares are browseable by default now
  • The extra and redundant steps in the installer have been eliminated
  • The inconsistent menus in the installer have been made regular
  • A ZFS issue on reboot has been corrected
  • Multi-line config fields have been fixed
  • Problems with snmp have been resolve
  • proftpd's config file is now generated properly the second time
  • minor nits fixed in many places
You can find the release notes or the release. Stay tuned for more updates.

New FreeNAS Beta (r5606)

Just after the release of the first beta, a couple of serious problems came to life. As such, we've respun the release to fix these issues.

  • gmirror error displayed bogusly
  • the extremely long write times for disks
  • The lack of feedback during the installation (although with the significantly faster imaging, this is much less of an issue).
  • Default ownership and permission for Windows shares has been fixed
  • Shares are browseable by default now
  • The extra and redundant steps in the installer have been eliminated
  • The inconsistent menus in the installer have been made regular
  • A ZFS issue on reboot has been corrected
  • Multi-line config fields have been fixed
  • Problems with snmp have been resolve
  • proftpd's config file is now generated properly the second time
  • minor nits fixed in many places
You can find the release notes or the release. Stay tuned for more updates.

FreeNAS 8 Beta released

iXsystems is pleased to announced FreeNAS 8.0 Beta. FreeNAS 8.0 has undergone a complete rewrite. We've redesigned the GUI to be easier to use and extend. We've upgraded many technologies in the system for improved hardware support, faster I/O, better modularity, and easier upgrades. We trust that you'll find the system easier to use and, in time, much more feature rich than the current FreeNAS offering.The base system has migrated from FreeBSD 7.x and the m0m0wall build system to FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE and NanoBSD. The system startup has migrated from the older php scripts to the standard FreeBSD rc.d boot system. We've pushed many of the bug fixes and system improvements back into FreeBSD.We've rewritten the GUI using Python and Django. We've completely removed the old php system. In addition to Django, we're using Dojango and Dojo to implement AJAX features. The new system is much more modular than the old system. We will use this modularity in a future version for easy integration of custom features into your FreeNAS box.The installer has been rewritten using pc-sysinstall, the future FreeBSD installation technology. The scripts have a similar feel to the old PHP scripts for users of the current system. The ISO now is only an installer. You can no longer run in live mode from a CDROM.The installation types have changed; there's no longer an embedded or full install, nor can the image be installed on a data disk. You must now install FreeNAS onto a dedicated device. FreeNAS supports USB flash, CompactFlash, hard drives, ssd or any other mass storage device supported by FreeBSD.FreeNAS 8.0 features ZFS version 14.FreeNAS 8.0 beta has retained the core functionality of a storage appliance. The media center features of the box have not been reimplemented in the core FreeNAS package. A media center add-on package will provide this functionality in the future. We've focused on creating a robust, easy-to-use, and extensible system. We're creating the base to allow other types of packages to be added, such as printer support, scanner support, or home automation. To help prioritize what current features are turned into packages in future FreeNAS releases, please visit http://support.freenas.org/ to provide feedback. Please add feature requests tickets. If a feature you would like to see in FreeNAS already has a ticket please just subscribe to it add a small comment, even if it's a "++." It will help us better judge and meet community needs.You can download FreeNAS from Source Forge and read all the release notes on our wiki.

FreeNAS 8 Beta released

iXsystems is pleased to announced FreeNAS 8.0 Beta. FreeNAS 8.0 has undergone a complete rewrite. We've redesigned the GUI to be easier to use and extend. We've upgraded many technologies in the system for improved hardware support, faster I/O, better modularity, and easier upgrades. We trust that you'll find the system easier to use and, in time, much more feature rich than the current FreeNAS offering.

The base system has migrated from FreeBSD 7.x and the m0m0wall build system to FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE and NanoBSD. The system startup has migrated from the older php scripts to the standard FreeBSD rc.d boot system. We've pushed many of the bug fixes and system improvements back into FreeBSD.

We've rewritten the GUI using Python and Django. We've completely removed the old php system. In addition to Django, we're using Dojango and Dojo to implement AJAX features. The new system is much more modular than the old system. We will use this modularity in a future version for easy integration of custom features into your FreeNAS box.

The installer has been rewritten using pc-sysinstall, the future FreeBSD installation technology. The scripts have a similar feel to the old PHP scripts for users of the current system. The ISO now is only an installer. You can no longer run in live mode from a CDROM.

The installation types have changed; there's no longer an embedded or full install, nor can the image be installed on a data disk. You must now install FreeNAS onto a dedicated device. FreeNAS supports USB flash, CompactFlash, hard drives, ssd or any other mass storage device supported by FreeBSD.

FreeNAS 8.0 features ZFS version 14.

FreeNAS 8.0 beta has retained the core functionality of a storage appliance. The media center features of the box have not been reimplemented in the core FreeNAS package. A media center add-on package will provide this functionality in the future. We've focused on creating a robust, easy-to-use, and extensible system. We're creating the base to allow other types of packages to be added, such as printer support, scanner support, or home automation.

To help prioritize what current features are turned into packages in future FreeNAS releases, please visit http://support.freenas.org/ to provide feedback. Please add feature requests tickets. If a feature you would like to see in FreeNAS already has a ticket please just subscribe to it add a small comment, even if it's a "++." It will help us better judge and meet community needs.

You can download FreeNAS from Source Forge and read all the release notes on our wiki.

New FreeNAS alpha

After a few unforeseen delays, we have a new FreeNAS snapshot available over at source forge. As an experiment, we are distributing these snapshots using xz as well as bzip2 compressed images. It makes a big difference.What's new?First and foremost, we have a completely new GUI look and feel. We've imported dojango into the GUI to take advantage of Dojo JavaScript Toolkit. The flow of the interface is much nicer, it looks better, and we've added additional help to make it easier to use. We think you'll like this new GUI. We've made dozens of improvements over the past few weeks to the GUI. We hope you like the new location for enabling shares.We've also added support for Apple's AFP protocol to the new GUI. You can now use the GUI to export CIFS, AFP and NFS shares (which we'll be calling Windows, Apple and Unix shares in the GUI). We've added back-end support for FTP as well. The major protocols are now all supported, although some media options are still unimplemented.This image has a universal booting feature. The first image was difficult to use on some VM systems since they were exclusively SCSI disks (appearing as da0, rather than the ad0 that was hard-coded into the fstab). We've added support for using UFS filesystem labels to nanobsd, so we're now able to produce an image that you can put on any kind of disk that FreeBSD supports and have it boot, since it finds the partitions for /, etc by looking for a label on the filesystem rather than insisting on ad0s1a.At the present time, we support only adding NEW volumes to the system. If you add a volume to the system, we will always initialize it. This means that you shouldn't (yet) attach old volumes to FreeNAS 8. We will try to correct this problem for the forthcoming FreeNAS 8 beta. While we've made every effort to make things reliable, we've not put this software through a complete QA cycle, so it should be used for testing purposes only.

New FreeNAS alpha

After a few unforeseen delays, we have a new FreeNAS snapshot available over at source forge. As an experiment, we are distributing these snapshots using xz as well as bzip2 compressed images. It makes a big difference.

What's new?

First and foremost, we have a completely new GUI look and feel. We've imported dojango into the GUI to take advantage of Dojo JavaScript Toolkit. The flow of the interface is much nicer, it looks better, and we've added additional help to make it easier to use. We think you'll like this new GUI. We've made dozens of improvements over the past few weeks to the GUI. We hope you like the new location for enabling shares.

We've also added support for Apple's AFP protocol to the new GUI. You can now use the GUI to export CIFS, AFP and NFS shares (which we'll be calling Windows, Apple and Unix shares in the GUI). We've added back-end support for FTP as well. The major protocols are now all supported, although some media options are still unimplemented.

This image has a universal booting feature. The first image was difficult to use on some VM systems since they were exclusively SCSI disks (appearing as da0, rather than the ad0 that was hard-coded into the fstab). We've added support for using UFS filesystem labels to nanobsd, so we're now able to produce an image that you can put on any kind of disk that FreeBSD supports and have it boot, since it finds the partitions for /, etc by looking for a label on the filesystem rather than insisting on ad0s1a.

At the present time, we support only adding NEW volumes to the system. If you add a volume to the system, we will always initialize it. This means that you shouldn't (yet) attach old volumes to FreeNAS 8. We will try to correct this problem for the forthcoming FreeNAS 8 beta. While we've made every effort to make things reliable, we've not put this software through a complete QA cycle, so it should be used for testing purposes only.

My BSDTalk Interview

I just gave Will Backman over at BSDTalk an interview on FreeNAS 8, NanoBSD, ZFS and embedding FreeBSD. You can check it out at the BSDtalk blog. Hope you all enjoy.Another FreeNAS Alpha snapshot is slated for early this week. Stay tuned. It will include a revamped user interface, local user support, FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE ports and a few other goodies.

My BSDTalk Interview

I just gave Will Backman over at BSDTalk an interview on FreeNAS 8, NanoBSD, ZFS and embedding FreeBSD. You can check it out at the BSDtalk blog. Hope you all enjoy.

Another FreeNAS Alpha snapshot is slated for early this week. Stay tuned. It will include a revamped user interface, local user support, FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE ports and a few other goodies.

FreeNAS 8 — First alpha snapshots

My blog has been somewhat quiet lately. I've been busy with other things lately.The biggest of the other things is FreeNAS. iXsystems stepped up to the plate late last year when FreeNAS was going to become a Linux based platform.The iXsystems engineering team has moderized FreeNAS in a number of ways. We wanted a platform that was more extensible than the current m0m0wall-based framework allowed. We wanted to create a platform that could be expandable by modules (possibly not even written by us). We wanted to make it easier to upgrade the base FreeBSD release, as well as leverage more base FreeBSD technology that has been integrated into the system since FreeNAS was originally developed.We've migrated the build to be NanoBSD based. This allows us to leverage the embedded work that has gone into NanoBSD. It also allows us to push some of the features that are important to FreeNAS back into the base FreeBSD distribution. NanoBSD gives us the flexibility that we need. Since we're using the FreeBSD package system to add ports and packages, users will be able to add their own packages (we'll likely expand the basics to use the PBI's that PC-BSD produces for ease of installation). We're using the normal rc.d system, so upgrading is easier as well.On the GUI side we've moved to using django. This is a python-based front-end to sqlite3 which is extensible and easy to use. While we've kept things rather plain so far, we plan on jazzing things up a bit now that we have the basics working fairly well. Since the GUI is based on django, we'll be able to allow packages to hook into the GUI to present a united interface to the user.The GUI calls into a middleware layer that manages the services on the box. This middleware is responsible for generating updated config files, as well as starting, stopping and restarting daemons on the system. The same code generates the files at boot as well. Having all the configuration data in one database makes it easier to upgrade from release to release, since you don't have to merge your changes into the config files: the system takes care of that details.If you'd like to read about the nuts and bolts about trying out the latest snapshot, you can check out my forum post on the topic over at the FreeNAS forums.

FreeNAS 8 — First alpha snapshots

My blog has been somewhat quiet lately. I've been busy with other things lately.

The biggest of the other things is FreeNAS. iXsystems stepped up to the plate late last year when FreeNAS was going to become a Linux based platform.

The iXsystems engineering team has moderized FreeNAS in a number of ways. We wanted a platform that was more extensible than the current m0m0wall-based framework allowed. We wanted to create a platform that could be expandable by modules (possibly not even written by us). We wanted to make it easier to upgrade the base FreeBSD release, as well as leverage more base FreeBSD technology that has been integrated into the system since FreeNAS was originally developed.

We've migrated the build to be NanoBSD based. This allows us to leverage the embedded work that has gone into NanoBSD. It also allows us to push some of the features that are important to FreeNAS back into the base FreeBSD distribution. NanoBSD gives us the flexibility that we need. Since we're using the FreeBSD package system to add ports and packages, users will be able to add their own packages (we'll likely expand the basics to use the PBI's that PC-BSD produces for ease of installation). We're using the normal rc.d system, so upgrading is easier as well.

On the GUI side we've moved to using django. This is a python-based front-end to sqlite3 which is extensible and easy to use. While we've kept things rather plain so far, we plan on jazzing things up a bit now that we have the basics working fairly well. Since the GUI is based on django, we'll be able to allow packages to hook into the GUI to present a united interface to the user.

The GUI calls into a middleware layer that manages the services on the box. This middleware is responsible for generating updated config files, as well as starting, stopping and restarting daemons on the system. The same code generates the files at boot as well. Having all the configuration data in one database makes it easier to upgrade from release to release, since you don't have to merge your changes into the config files: the system takes care of that details.

If you'd like to read about the nuts and bolts about trying out the latest snapshot, you can check out my forum post on the topic over at the FreeNAS forums.