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FreeNAS 9.2.1-RC2 is now available for download

Written by Ben Milman on .

Greetings!

The FreeNAS development team is filled with mixed emotions in announcing the second Release Candidate image of FreeNAS 9.2.1!

On the one hand, we’re happy to say that we’ve fixed a LOT of bugs since 9.2.1-RC was released. Lots. You folks have been going crazy with finding and filing the bugs every day! Seriously, we can hardly keep up (but please don’t stop filing them). We have fixed over 164 bugs in 9.2.1 so far, also adding some new features along the way and doing lots of stuff to make 9.2.1 better in almost every conceivable way!

On the other hand, we still have 16 bugs left, and most of them are in SMB (CIFS), so we’re pretty sure we’re going to have to release a 9.2.1-RC3 before this is all said and done since we just can’t release SMB with known breakages. These aren’t “SMB will eat your data” breakages, these are more subtle issues that most people will never hit, but we know they’re there so we have to fix them!

Therefore, we will not be doing 9.2.1-RELEASE on Feb 7th as originally planned. It would have been nice, but quality before schedule! The new provisional release date for 9.2.1-RELEASE is Feb 12th. We don’t have a LOT of work to do, but we’d like to make our next Release Candidate a genuine “we don’t know of any significant problems with this” release, so that means we’ll kick this RC2 out the door and give it around 5 days to get tested (there’s a lot more to FreeNAS than CIFS), then we’ll roll -RC3 when we’ve fixed all the remaining blockers for release and could conceivably just rename 9.2.1-RC3 to 9.2.1-RELEASE if no show stoppers were found!

Please feel free to file bugs against this build, taking care to note in your bug report that you saw it in 9.2.1-RC2 and also note the datestamp of the build, since we will continuing to release 9.2.1-RC2 nightly builds and it’s otherwise very hard to tell which build you saw the problem in if you don’t tell us.
Please download it now and check it out!

Thanks,

The FreeNAS Development Team

Release notes:

  • Samba (SMB/CIFS support) upgraded to version 4.1.4. This adds support for SMB3, the ability for FreeNAS to be a Windows Domain Controller, and advanced features like server-side copy support in Windows 2012 and later, along with multiple years worth of improvements over the version of Samba that shipped in 9.2.0. It also enables SMB protocol version 3. Previous versions of FreeNAS limited samba to SMB2 because of random crashes that would occur using SMB3.
  • Added the LSI 12G SAS driver as a module to the build. This can be enabled by adding a tunable for mpslsi3_load with a value of YES. This driver is still under development and not yet committed to FreeBSD. It is provided for beta testing only. For production use please consider using a 6G SAS adapter, such as the LSI 9207.
  • Fixed a bug with netatalk that prevented share browsing from working in the finder on OSX. Also enabled options for fuller-fidelity AFP copies with Mac OS ACLs (ACEs) now stored as ZFS ACLs.
  • Remove the non functional share password field from AFP shares.
  • Switched from Avahi to mDNSResponder for Zeroconf network configuration, improving the Mac share browsing experience.
  • Added additional Web API functionality for manipulating ZFS snapshots.
  • Brought back the FreeNAS 8.x volume manager as a “Manual Setup” option. This volume manager allows manual vddv building and offers no seatbelts. Unless you know exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it, using the standard volume manager is highly recommended by the development team!
  • Made some changes to reporting graphs that segregates reports by type, one type per tab. Add graphs that show individual disk activity (and sort them correctly now!)
  • Fixed a bug that prevented building an encrypted volume using multi path devices.
  • Update django (used by the WebUI) to 1.6 and dojo to 1.9.2
  • Add the following ZFS features: enabled_txg hole_birth, extensible_dataset, bookmarks
  • Add trafshow to the image. This utility gives a CLI view of connections and usage to the FreeNAS box.
  • Fix kernel module load for fuse. This is needed for importing NTFS volumes.
  • Add the ability to use a keytab for AD joins. This eliminates the need to use the AD Administrator account to join FreeNAS to AD, closing a long standing issue of needing the AD Admin password in the FreeNAS configuration database.
  • Updated the LSI 6 Gbps HBA driver (mps) to version 16. Please update the firmware of any mps HBAs to phase 16.

iXsystems Announces Revolutionary FreeNAS 9.1.0 Release

Written by Ben Milman on .

New Major version features new volume manager and easy to use plugin management system

The FreeNAS development team is delighted to announce the general release of FreeNAS 9.1.0. This release offers massive improvements to the usability, extensibility, stability, and performance of FreeNAS. Everything from the web user interface, plugin management system, base operating system, ZFS file system, and even the source control used to manage the project have been substantially improved. With FreeNAS 9.1.0, iXsystems sets a new level of excellence and power in open source storage solutions.

Major parts of the Web User Interface have been overhauled to add functionality and improve usability. The volume creation interface has been completely replaced with a new wizard that assists the user in creating the most ideal storage pool and optimal setup for the number of disks available, also helping those unfamiliar with ZFS to make correct early configuration decisions and avoid painful rebuilds later. The encryption interface has also been modified to emphasize the correct steps for safely and securely encrypting a newly created pool.

The FreeNAS plugin system has been completely revamped to cover a wider variety of use cases, from the needs of the beginner to the expert user. Plugins can be installed from a user-configurable central plugin repository as well as uploaded manually through the easy web interface. Multiple jails and jail types, including jails for FreeNAS plugins, PC-BSD ports, and conventional FreeBSD packages, are now supported. FreeNAS also uses the Warden system from PC-BSD and features a completely redesigned user interface. With more choices to extend FreeNAS than ever before, end-users and developers alike will find this to be the most powerful and extensible version ever released!

FreeNAS now includes ZFS feature flags, bringing it in line with the future of ZFS development. This upgrade lets FreeNAS benefit from the most up-to-date open source work on ZFS such as LZ4 compression, which allows compressed datasets to operate at near real-time speed. With ZFS feature flags, every project can pick and choose which features to add to ZFS and implement new ones to be shared with the community. Other improvements to ZFS in FreeNAS 9.1.0 include TRIM support to get better performance from solid-state drives, enhanced drive failure notification, improved memory use, and reliability enhancements.

The underlying operating system in FreeNAS 9.1.0 has been updated to FreeBSD 9-STABLE, a conservative development branch that offers updates in advance of the next FreeBSD RELEASE version. This allows FreeNAS to benefit from the very latest updates and features. iXsystems engineers have also brought in additional performance and stability enhancements from the even more advanced FreeBSD 10-CURRENT branch, where improvements from outside FreeBSD are often introduced. By working with the latest stable code available, enhancements and bug fixes developed for FreeNAS can more easily be passed back to upstream projects where they will benefit users across the open source community.

Behind the scenes, FreeNAS is now using git as its primary source control system. This switch is intended to make it easier for outside developers to make substantive contributions to FreeNAS. Along with the release of FreeNAS 9.1, we are also proud to announce that the FreeNAS source code is now hosted on Github.com as well as Sourceforge.net, introducing it to an even wider developer community. Github users can now see, follow, and fork the repository at github.com/freenas/freenas. We look forward to your pull requests!

Allan Jude, host of the weekly sysadmin podcast TechSNAP.tv, said, “FreeNAS is the go-to solution for managing storage. Viewers of my podcast often ask me about building servers for work, home and the cloud. When storage is involved my answer is always “Just use FreeNAS”. FreeNAS leaves you feeling secure in the knowledge that anyone can operate its web interface, but you can still benefit from the power of the command line.”

About FreeNAS®
FreeNAS is a free and open source Network Attached Storage operating system based on FreeBSD®. The goal of the project is to design a lightweight, BSD-based software package that acts as a full featured NAS server, complete with a Django-based web user interface, full ZFS implementation, and the ability to interface with existing networks – regardless of operating system or protocol. FreeNAS also includes the first Free and Open Source ZFS encryption offering in the world.

About iXsystems®
iXsystems builds rock solid enterprise-class servers and storage solutions. All of our products are assembled, tested, and shipped from our company headquarters in Silicon Valley. Technical support is provided in-house by the same engineers that build the systems. Thousands of companies, universities, and U.S. Government departments have come to rely on iXsystems’ customer-first commitment to excellence. iXsystems champions the cause of Open Source technology by dedicating extensive resources to several FreeBSD community projects: FreeNAS, PC-BSD®, FreeBSD, and TrueOS®.

FreeNAS 9.1.0 RC2 available

Written by Ben Milman on .

FreeNAS 9.1.0 RC2 is available on the download page. RC2 is still pre-production software, please use with caution.

Plugins available in a properly configured repo may now be installed in one step, which will configure and install a plugin jail if that has not yet been done. Administrators may choose alternate repos.

The image size has been reduced to 2GB – this means upgrades from FreeNAS 8.0.1 and later are now supported. Always back up your configuration and data before performing upgrades, especially to non-production versions.