Author Archive

FreeNAS 9.2.1.9 is now available

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Hi Folks!

With 9.3-RELEASE just around the corner, we thought it was time to give the folks still running 9.2.1.x a little early Christmas present – an update release to the 9.2.1-BRANCH which fixes just a few strategic bugs that are nonetheless impacting folks (the ZFS memory leak in particular).  All of these fixes are also in the 9.3-BETA train, of course, but not everyone is ready to jump on a BETA, particularly in production, and we don’t blame them!

Please get it from the usual place: http://www.freenas.org/download/

This should, knock on wood, be the very last release on the 9.2.1-BRANCH and also the last 32 bit version of FreeNAS, so if you’ve got some older hardware you just have to keep using, this is the release to run!

Please see  https://bugs.freenas.org/projects/freenas/issues?query_id=104 for all bugs addressed in this release, though the list is very short:

  • Fix a bug preventing Directory Server mode from working.
  • Fix a memory leak in ZFS that is triggered by having a compressed dataset and an L2ARC device.
  • Preserve the Samba SID across reboots and upgrades.
  • Fix two problems in the config file generator for CTL:
    1. Unbreak device extents when using physical devices or multi path devices.
    2. Unbreak the case when target auth or discover auth is set to Auto.
  • Fix a priviledge escalation issue.
  • Save debug now includes the output of zpool history.

Again, this release is intentional very minimal and attempts to fix only the most significant and impactful bugs from 9.2.1.x  We hope it serves its intended user community well and gives folks on the fence the luxury of more time to consider when they’re ready to jump on the 9.3 train.

Regards,
The FreeNAS Development Team

FreeNAS 9.3-BETA is Now Out!

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Today, we are very proud to announce the BETA release of FreeNAS 9.3!

This FreeNAS update is a significant evolutionary step from previous FreeNAS releases.  It features a simplified and reorganized Web User Interface, support for Windows 2012 clustering, better integration with VMWare, a new and more secure update system with roll-back functionality, and hundreds of other technology enhancements. To encourage use of this BETA, we are also committed to making sure that every FreeNAS 9.3 BETA install will be able to upgrade to FreeNAS 9.3 RELEASE seamlessly!

A key feature of the FreeNAS 9.3 BETA release is its revamped user interface. It has been redesigned to place only the most common configuration options first in ‘Standard’ menus, moving the more esoteric options to ‘Advanced’ options, and this design pattern as has been used throughout the UI so everything is essentially more streamlined and less cluttered for novice users who essentially just want to use the defaults.

The interface tabs have also been completely removed, a number of features have been rearranged or combined for added fluidity and ease of use, and the whole UI is simply more self-consistent throughout.

Updating and applying patches (updates) to the system is now much simpler. A secure update server supplies a regular stream of package updates, which are available both as “deltas” from previous release versions and as full packages, rather than the “one large release” model in place for previous FreeNAS versions. The update server can be checked manually, or automatically at intervals, and any available updates downloaded in the background. The user will receive an alert when new updates are available and be given the opportunity to apply them whenever they wish. Users will also be able to choose what kinds of updates to receive, depending on whether they want to use the most recent versions, test future versions, or stay on a single stable branch.  For a demo of that in action, please see my FreeNAS state of the union video!

From the “long-requested feature list”, a configuration wizard has finally been added to FreeNAS. On a new install, this wizard will run at the first login, making it easy to quickly create a volume, its associated share(s), and set various options.  Users who still prefer to manually create their volumes and shares can exit the wizard and create these in the usual way, but the new set-up wizard can handle the most common types of configuration at installation time, or, as desired, later in the set-up process.  We also anticipate that the Wizard will continue to grow functionality as time progresses – this is simply the first version!

FreeNAS 9.3 now NFSv4 support, including Kerberos integration, and allows configuration of NFSv4 from the UI, another long-requested feature.

Perhaps the most significant feature of FreeNAS 9.3 is the fact that it now formats the boot device as a ZFS pool instead of the more limited UFS filesystem we used before, allowing a number of new features to be supported.  One such feature is that the boot process now uses the GRUB boot loader and provides support for multiple boot environments, allowing easy recovery from a failed upgrade or configuration change.  Being a ZFS pool, the boot device can also now be mirrored and scrubbed periodically to ensure that no impending hardware failures are present.

Finally, FreeNAS 9.3 also changes the default iSCSI target from the userland-based istgt to the in-kernel Cam Target Layer (CTL). This adds a number of features, including compatibility with Windows 2012 clustering, support for additional VAAI primitives, and increased performance in most use cases.  The snapshot UI has also been enhanced to coordinate snapshots with VMWare so that VMs using associated datastore(s) can be restored to a stable state if needed.

This is only a sampling of all the new features in 9.3, and since our last release, we have fixed over 725 tickets in the 9.3 branch and have even more enhancements in the pipeline.  This is a great FreeNAS release, and we look forward to being able to use the new update mechanism in delivering more timely and granular updates, the ZFS boot, clone and roll-back options giving users even greater confidence in applying them!

Again, please check out my state of the union video if you’d like a “live demo” and walkthrough of the new UI and features, and by all means please read the 9.3-BETA Release Notes for an even more exhaustive list of new features. Those who have been following the documentation will also be pleased to see an entirely revamped “live HTML” version of the FreeNAS 9.3 documentation which is being kept up-to-date using the same source code management tools that the source code for FreeNAS itself uses, allowing everything to be much better coordinated and in-synch.

Enjoy this release!

Jordan Hubbard
FreeNAS Project Manager and iXsystems CTO

iXsystems Unleashes FreeNAS 9.3-BETA Unto the World

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Simplified and revamped Web UI, automated updates, new set-up wizard, ZFS boot environments, and a commitment that all users will be able to upgrade through to 9.3-RELEASE.

iXsystems today announced the BETA release of FreeNAS version 9.3. This FreeNAS update is a significant evolutionary step from previous FreeNAS releases, featuring a simplified and reorganized Web User Interface, support for Windows 2012 clustering, better integration with VMware, a new and more secure update system with roll-back functionality, and hundreds of other technology enhancements. To encourage use of this BETA, iXsystems has committed to making sure that every FreeNAS 9.3-BETA install will be able to upgrade to FreeNAS 9.3-RELEASE seamlessly.

Jordan Hubbard, CTO of iXsystems and Director of the FreeNAS Project, says, “This latest release demonstrates our ongoing commitment to making FreeNAS as secure, reliable, and easy to use as possible. From the reorganization and cleanup of the UI, to the improvements in the update system, and the use of ZFS cloned snapshots for the boot device, the 9.3 version offers many features and enhancements of importance to both the hobbyist and the more technical FreeNAS user. We don’t often make much ado about our BETA launches, but this one is a big step forward for this software. We’re really encouraging the world at large to try this one out and give their feedback so that we can make sure the 9.3-RELEASE is our best ever.”

Updating and applying patches (updates) to the system is now significantly simpler. A secure update server supplies a regular stream of package updates, which are available both as “deltas” from previous release versions and as full packages, rather than the “one large release” model in place for previous FreeNAS versions. The update server can be checked manually, or automatically at intervals, and any available updates downloaded in the background. The user will receive an alert when new updates are available and be given the opportunity to apply them whenever they wish. Users will also be able to choose what kinds of updates to receive, depending on whether they want to use the most recent versions, test future versions, or stay on a single stable branch.

Furthermore, a configuration wizard has been added. On a fresh install, this wizard will run at the first login, making it easy to quickly create a volume, its associated share(s), and set various options. Users who still prefer to manually create their volumes and shares can exit the wizard and create these in the usual way. The new set-up wizard can handle the most common types of configuration at installation time, or, as desired, later in the set-up process.

In addition, FreeNAS 9.3 introduces NFSv4 support, including the use of NFS with Kerberos, and allows setting various NFSv4 and Kerberos options from the UI.

Most significantly, FreeNAS now formats the boot device as a ZFS pool rather than a more limited UFS filesystem, allowing a number of new features to be supported. For example, the boot process now uses the GRUB boot loader and provides support for multiple boot environments, allowing easy recovery from a failed upgrade or configuration change.

FreeNAS 9.3 also changes the default iSCSI target from the userland-based istgt to the in-kernel Cam Target Layer (CTL). This adds a number of features, including compatibility with Windows 2012 clustering, support for additional VAAI primitives, and increased performance in most use cases. The snapshot UI has also been enhanced to coordinate snapshots with VMware so that VMs using associated datastore(s) can be restored to a stable state if needed.

Steven Sedory of Vertical Computers says, “We’ve been using FreeNAS for about three years, and in that time all our production boxes have continued to function as designed. If that weren’t enough, iXsystems’ amazing and dedicated team of developers have been very responsive to the feedback of the FreeNAS community. As a result, we now use and recommend FreeNAS for provisioning Cluster Shared Volumes in Microsoft’s Failover Cluster Environment, as well as for large storage arrays that we build for surveillance and other specific applications.”

FreeNAS 9.3 BETA is available at download.freenas.org/9.3/BETA/