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FreeNAS and the Heartbleed Bug…

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Hello FreeNAS users!

It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride, but FreeNAS is finally out. Slowly but surely, we’re getting there. Read on to find out how you can be a part of the next release, and as always, we’ve got some tutorials and pointers in this edition for you as well. A big thanks to everyone who’s been involved in the development of FreeNAS so far. We couldn’t have done it without all of our dedicated beta testers and community members. Here’s to greater things ahead!


The FreeNAS Team

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How Heartbleed Affected FreeNAS

A few people have asked about this and well, the short answer is: it didn’t. We are happy to say that FreeNAS was completely unaffected by the Heartbleed vulnerability because the current branch of FreeNAS is based on FreeBSD 9.2, which uses OpenSSL 0.9.8. Please be advised that users of FreeBSD 10 and FreeBSD 10-based systems like PC-BSD 10 Joule Edition were affected by the bug. To test your own server for the bug, try out this nifty tool.


FreeBSD is now available for download. It fixes more bugs in the 9.2.1.x series. We’re currently working on another point release to squash out the last of the remaining bugs in the 9.2.1-BRANCH, but we’re taking our time with the because we’d really like it to be good. That being said, we
need your help!

If you have some spare hardware, care about making sure that FreeNAS will be the release everyone wants it to be, and are willing to put a little time and effort into testing the latest nightly builds, we’d like to invite you to join our newly re-launched mailing list.

The 9.2.1.x series has been a bit rocky for us, partially because we bit off more than we could chew with the Samba 4 upgrade and partially because, well… we just couldn’t seem to stop breaking things in our attempt to fix other things. We are now attempting to learn from our mistakes.

We know that the community would obviously like to be really good too, shipping with all the bugs from fixed and no new bugs introduced. So if you would like to be a part of making that happen, please subscribe to the mailing list and follow the updates from the release engineering and QA teams as things progress.

FreeNAS Mini Review

One of the FreeNAS forum users recently reviewed the new FreeNAS Mini. You may have heard of cyberj0ck – he’s a pretty prolific forum contributor. He recently utilized his FreeNAS expertise and examined the FreeNAS Mini in depth. For his review, he detailed the hardware specs and ran a series of performance tests to see how well it stacks up. His conclusion?

“All of the hardware in the new FreeNAS Mini is awesome. No complaints. The hardware is solid and the hardware is definitely capable of doing what almost all of us could ever do with it… Overall I can’t find any faults at all. The concern that the CPU might not be a good fit for a small home server is clearly unfounded. It passed every one of my tests.”

Thinking about getting a Mini now that it’s been vetted and approved by cyberj0ck? Send us a quote request here and we’ll be happy to help you out. Remember, every purchase helps support the developers of FreeNAS so we can keep making improvements to the project.

BSD Now – Interview with John Hixson

The folks over at BSD Now recently interviewed John Hixson, a senior developer for the FreeNAS project. It’s a pretty insightful look at how one of our own got his start in the world of FreeBSD and the work he’s currently responsible for. He also talks about the direction FreeNAS is taking and explains how people can get involved and help out. For a look inside the FreeNAS project, especially from a
developer’s perspective, give the video a watch.

Setting Up Your First NAS with FreeNAS by Ben Milman

Ben Milman gave a talk at Linuxfest Northwest 2014 to a room full of people who were eager to learn. His talk covered installation, volumes, datasets, users, permissions, and shares with a demo and a short Q&A session afterwards. The slides and a recording of his presentation can be seen on the iXsystems blog. A recap of the event and pictures from Day 1 and Day 2 are also available online. Be sure to check it out if you’d like some pointers on the basics of setting up and configuring your first FreeNAS

Upcoming Live Events

We’ll be at the following conferences. If you’re in the area, drop by and say “hi”!

May 13-15FOSE in Washington DC (booth 1130)

May 14-17BSDCan in Ottawa, ON, Canada

June 13-14Texas Linuxfest in Austin, TX

June 20-22Southeast Linuxfest in Charlotte, NC

Tech Tip #6

Build your storage pool for future capacity needs – getting it right the first time is easier and cheaper than starting over later.

Links of the Month

An Example of Front End Build (feat. Raspberry Pi) via DIY Tryin
Let’s Get RAID via BSD Now
FreeNAS Mini Unboxing Video via Gerard van Essen

Need a Job? We need people!

If you’ve been reading about all the great things we’ve been up to and thought to yourself, “Hmm, I wish I could be a part of that”, well…now you can be!

iXsystems, the company that sponsors FreeNAS, is looking for a few good developers to join our team. We offer competitive salaries, health benefits, stock options, 401k, and access to a fancy-schmancy coffee maker as some of the benefits. We’re a very prominent company in the world of FreeBSD; in fact,
we employ more FreeBSD developers per capita than anyone else you can think of.

Interested? The full job descriptions can be found here. If this sounds like your cup of double-shot espresso, email Jordan Hubbard at with your resume. Cover letters appreciated but not required.

Send Us Your Content

Got a FreeNAS hardware build you’re proud of? Come up with a tech tip while tinkering around in the GUI? Have a link or picture you think we should see? As long as it’s not something you wouldn’t send to your boss, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at We’re always on the lookout for FreeNAS and storage related content to feature in the newsletter and on our social media channels.

Connect with Us

If you need help with your FreeNAS setup or would like to show off your configuration, share your plugins, or just talk with like-minded people, join the conversation on our community forums. For video tutorials, check out our YouTube channel.

Want real-time updates as they happen? Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or add us to your Google+ circle!

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Announcing FreeNAS – waking up edition

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Hey folks,

You remember the ending of the movie “The Wizard of Oz”, where Dorothy woke up and it was all just a dream?

Well, that’s exactly the case with FreeNAS It apparently never happened, we all just dreamed that it did. Haha! You all didn’t really think we’d release something with so many numbers, or with more bugs than, right? Right. Just a bad dream.

So anyway, now that we’re all awake again, we’d just like to point out that the release fairies appear to have done a during the night, which is now available on It fixes even more bugs in the 9.2.1.x series (including those we all dreamed were in and is a more fitting end to the 9.2.1.x series, especially given that 9.2.2 isn’t going to be out for awhile!

Bugs fixed in

Sweet dreams!

– The FreeNAS engineering team

FreeNAS is now available

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Hi folks,

Well, we’ve successfully rolled another good 9.2.1.x point release!   Please come and get it from the usual location. Also as usual, the issues we fixed in this release are best described by looking at the list of fixed tickets in the milestone.  We improved replication speed, we fixed more issues with CIFS, we brought in some ZFS fixes (addressing the zpool history 100% CPU spin, among other things), and just basically did our best to keep whittling away at the issues that made less than complaint-free.

So, since the bug database does a better job than we ever could of describing what we’ve fixed in, let us take this opportunity to talk a bit about the 9.2.1.x series and our plans for 9.2.2!

As most folks have undoubtedly figured out by now, we’ve been putting a substantial amount of effort into evolving the 9.2.1-BRANCH of FreeNAS with this series of 9.2.1.x releases.  There are two primary reasons for this:

  1. We took on a bit more than we expected with the Samba3->Samba4 upgrade, especially given how much more stringent Samba4 is about respecting ACLs and, as we’ve come to understand, the kinds of havoc one can create in FreeBSD by mixing ACLs and chmod(1) since they share the same permission space (and Windows likes ACLs, not Unix mode flags).  We’ve added a few seat-belts here and there and also fixed some outright bugs, but it’s clear we still have some work to do in documenting how to use Samba4 effectively.
  2. We’re strongly motivated to get the 9.2.1.x series polished to the point where we can stop doing frequent releases for it and give both ourselves and the FreeNAS community a bit of a rest in that regard, allowing the documentation and other resources to catch up while we go to work full-time on FreeNAS 9.2.2!

Which brings us to FreeNAS 9.2.2.  Here is some of what we have in store for the next major release of FreeNAS:

  • Live updates:  Explicit downloading and installation of updates (and manually supplying checksums) will become a thing of the past.  FreeNAS will update itself like most other commercial products do – by checking in with an update server, downloading any available updates in the background, and then asking the user for an opportune time to apply them. Worry not, we’re not going to reboot without an admin’s express permission, or give them only one type of update server to use (we know many corporate users are behind firewalls or want to run their own update servers) – we’ll be making provisions to make this as non-intrusive, and as secure, as it should be.  This is a bigger topic than one post can possibly do justice to, however, so please stay tuned for more details!
  • NFSv4:  Yes, it’s time for NFSv4 support.  This will require some fairly substantial NFS sharing UI changes since NFSv4 is a lot more powerful and flexible than NFSv3.
  • HAST:  Fail-over peering is coming to FreeNAS.  For more information, see the link.  The UI for this will also be fairly substantial, and we look forward to your feedback as the feature starts entering the daily BETA builds of 9.2.2!
  • Kernel iSCSI: iSCSI is one of FreeNAS’ more popular features (especially for VMWare folks), and this will be a substantial improvement for this service, both from a performance and feature perspective.

We also have a lot of tickets on our plate for 9.2.2 that cover a positively huge number of enhancements to replication (especially in the UI), performance, “fit and finish” and general bug fixes.  We’re really looking forward to making major major progress on 9.2.2 over the coming year (and no, before you ask, we don’t have a specific release date yet – that will be announced later), but first we need to get this pesky 9.2.1.x series behind us. :)

We hope that you enjoy using as much as we enjoyed making it.  Onwards toward 9.2.2.!

– The FreeNAS Engineering Team