We Bring Gifts: New BTSync Plugin Rocks! FreeNAS 9.2-RC & More

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Hello FreeNAS users!

Oh the weather outside is frightful, so we’re bringing you something delightful. How does the FreeNAS 9.2-RC and a massive plugin update sound? If that’s not enough, we also have some other things we think you’ll like including an interview with Josh Paetzel, a tutorial on using git, a look back at Supercomputing 13, a FreeNAS walkthrough from Computer Power User magazine, and a few more goodies to bring you holiday cheer.

So sit back, grab a hot cup of tea, and read on! We wish you the best this holiday season and we’ll see you in the new year.

The FreeNAS Team

 FreeNAS 9.2-RC is Now Available

The latest update to hit the net is FreeNAS 9.2-RC. With the RC out, FreeNAS 9.2-RELEASE is just around the corner. For now, here’s a quick look at some of the features you can expect in FreeNAS 9.2:

  • Based on FreeBSD 9.2 with added features and hardware support
  • Improved performance of encrypted ZFS volumes
  • Jails templates allow quicker deployments of copies of a model jail
  • Shell button added to jails – makes it easier to access the Shell from Jails
  • Linux jail support

Full release notes can be found here. If you’d like to try out FreeNAS 9.2-RC, the iso can be downloaded here.

 Massive Plugin UPDATE

A record-breaking fifteen-plugin update was recently added to FreeNAS! This update includes several completely new plugins and changes to existing ones. The update to the Plex plugin now allows you to access it from different subnets. Be sure to check out the full list to see what new functionalities you can add to your system. Users of FreeNAS 9.1.x can manually download the plugins here. Plugins will automatically show up in the GUI of FreeNAS 9.2 and later.

Here’s a full list of the plugins that were affected:

CouchPotato BTSync Maraschino
Sickbeard crashPlan MiniDLNA
Firefly Gamez Mylar
Bacula-SD HTPC-Manager OwnCloud
Plex Media Server SABnzbd Transmission


 Featured Plugins: BTSync

We’d like to feature one of the plugins from that update that we think you’ll find incredibly useful. The BTSync plugin for FreeNAS is brought to you by Joshua Parker Ruehlig, who wrote several other plugins for FreeNAS 8.x.

In case you haven’t heard by now, BTSync comes from the makers of BitTorrent and has been making waves for a while now. This plugin allows you to sync your files across all of your devices by sharing them using BitTorrent. No more third-party cloud-based services! With BTSync on FreeNAS, your data is saved on your devices and shared on your networks. For more information about BTSync, check out this BitTorrent blog post.

 Interview with Josh Paetzel

Why is the FreeNAS logo a shark? For the official answer to that question and many more, check out the 15th episode of BSD Now! Titled “Kickin’ NAS”, the episode featured an interview with Josh Paetzel who dressed as Santa. Josh covered the past, present, and future of the FreeNAS project and spoke about the upcoming FreeNAS 9.2 release and the people on the FreeNAS team who help make the project what it is.
After the interview, Allan Jude and Kris Moore ran a demo of FreeNAS and featured its reporting and plugin features.

 Tracking FreeBSD in FreeNAS by Using Git for Newbies by Alfred Perlstein

On November 7, 2013, the FreeBSD Vendor Summit took place at Yahoo! Headquarters in Sunnyvale. Alfred Perlstein gave a talk on the subject of git and afterwards, he wrote up a tutorial based on that talk so that anyone can access it.

If you’d ever like to help commit code to FreeNAS, you should give Alfred’s article a read. The things he covers are very relevant and the article includes diagrams and code examples to help you understand. A PDF version of his article can be accessed here.

 Supercomputing 13 Recap

As we mentioned in the November edition of the newsletter, we had a FreeNAS booth at Supercomputing! When we got there, we found that many people were already familiar with FreeNAS and we had a lot of fun educating people about the newest features. The plugins were a huge hit and people were very impressed by our demo. And to think, that was before we brought out the free beer!

Check out our photos from Day 1 & Setup, Day 2, and Days 3 & 4 .

If you missed out on the fun and or would like to relive the event, a recap of our time can be found here.

 Network World Stacks FreeNAS Against Other NAS Software

Network World reviewed FreeNAS in comparison to other free or open source NAS software. To quote: “If you’re looking for an open source solution that doesn’t limit your storage space and provides easy NAS encryption, you should look into FreeNAS.”

The article runs through the features of FreeNAS including its supported protocols and the ZFS filesystem. The full review can be read here. It’s insider-only access, but sign-up is free.

 Computer Power User Magazine’s FreeNAS Walkthrough

Thanks to our friend, Michael Dexter, for sending this one in. Computer Power User Magazine recently released an article about using FreeNAS to set up a home NAS. The article is well-written and up to date for FreeNAS 9.x and later. It covers hardware and memory recommendations and even touches on FreeNAS security. Be sure to give this one a read if you’d like to gain a stronger foundation of knowledge for FreeNAS.

Tech Tip #1

If you are upgrading FreeNAS from 8.x to 9.x you can upgrade your pool from v28 to v5000, however this is not done automatically. Run zpool upgrade -a from the CLI to upgrade your pools. This step is irreversible, but it’s necessary to get some of the new features of ZFS, such as LZ4 compression.

 Links of the Month

FreeNAS 9.x setup with Samba fileshares, OwnCloud, Bittorrent and Plex* via YouTube

Consumer HDs as Reliable as Enterprise Hardware via PC Pro

Setting up BTSync on FreeNAS 8 via Bittorrent Blog (PS: there’s a plugin for this now.)

*The author is using ZFS with 3GB of RAM. We recommend using 4GB at a minimum.

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!

YouTube channel Facebook Twitter Google +

FreeNAS 9.2.0-RC Available

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Jordan has announced that FreeNAS-9.2.0 Release Candidate is available for download from http://iso.cdn.freenas.org/9.2.0/RC/

Release Notes for FreeNAS 9.2.0-RC

* Version 9.2-RELEASE of FreeBSD with performance improvements, bug fixes, and updated software packages.  For a complete list see

* The Kernel UMA allocator is now the default for ZFS.  This results in higher ZFS performance.

* Avahi (multicast DNS, aka Bonjour) registration of all services, include the web service, means you no longer need to have a head on the box to know its IP address, even for initial configuration.  freenas.local is the default (or freenas-n.local, where n is the # of freenas.local machines already on the local network).  This can be changed by changing the hostname.

* The built-in admin user account is no longer used and the Admin Account removed. The first time the FreeNAS graphical interface is accessed, a pop-up menu will prompt for the root password. Subsequent logins to the graphical interface will require this password.

* A complete REST API has been created for FreeNAS, allowing a FreeNAS instance to be controlled remotely.  See examples/api in the FreeNAS source repository (https://github.com/freenas/freenas/tree/master) for some examples of this in action.  Complete API docs are available in docs/api.

* The “Permit Sudo” field has been added to the add and edit screens for Users and Groups.  A column in View Groups and View Users now indicates whether or not “Permit Sudo” has been set.

* HTTP and HTTPS access to the FreeNAS graphical interface are no longer mutually exclusive. The fields “WebGUI HTTP Port” and “WebGUI HTTPS Port” have been added to System  Settings -> General.

* An “Edit” button has been added to the “Hostname” field of System Information to make the hostname easier to change.

* The results from the latest ZFS scrub now appear in Volume Status.

* Netatalk has been updated to version 3.1.0. See http://netatalk.sourceforge.net/3.1/ReleaseNotes3.1.0.html for a list of changes in this release.  There are also a number of changes made to AFP sharing as a result:

* The Add Apple (AFP) Share menu has been simplified and a “Default umask” option has been added.

* The “Server Name” field has also been removed from AFP; in Netatalk 3, this value is automatically derived from the system hostname.

* “Enable home directories” and “Home directories” options added to AFP.

* The AIO options have been removed from CIFS.

* Samba has been updated to version 3.6.21

* Fourteen TLS-related fields have been added to the Advanced Mode of FTP.

* An “IPv4 Address” column has been added to the View Jails screen.

* A shell button has been added to Jails, making it easy to access the command line of the selected jail.

* A “Create directory” checkbox has been added to the Add Storage function of a jail so that the user does not have to first access the jail’s shell to make sure that the directory already exists. A “Read-Only” checkbox has also been added to this screen.

* A jails templating system has been added, allowing the quick deployment of new jails from existing templates and the ability to create custom templates. Linux jail support has also been added and installation templates are included for Debian-7.1.0, Gentoo-20130820, Ubuntu-13.04, Centos-6.4, Fedora-19, and Suse-12.3.

* A link to the online FreeBSD manual pages has been added to Help.

* Added bxe(4) driver for Broadcom NetXtreme II Ethernet 10Gb PCIe adapter.

* Added padlock(4) driver which provides cryptographic hardware acceleration for VIA C3, C7 and Eden processors.

* Improved performance of encrypted ZFS volumes.

* The iSCSI options have been updated to ensure the GUI constraints match the daemon constraints.  In particular the GUI limited the number of sessions and the number of connections to a low value that may need to be increased if there are large numbers of targets or clients or both.


Update: NEW Crashplan Plugin and FREE BEER

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Hello FreeNAS users!

It’s been a busy month since our last update and we’ve got some great stuff to share with you this issue: a new FreeNAS plugin, a special discount from rsync, and some links from the past month we thought you’d find helpful.

But let’s be honest, if you’re reading this now, you’re probably looking for the free beer. We promise we’ll get to that shortly. In the meantime, read on. Read on for beer.

NEW Plugin Release: CrashPlan

Earlier this month, the official Crashplan plugin became available for FreeNAS. Crashplan is a cloud-based backup target. You can use it to back up the data on your FreeNAS to Crashplan and your data is kept safe in the cloud, making it easy to recover lost data later. The backup process takes place in the background on the schedule you set and all your data is encrypted before sending.

Read the forum announcement for more information. This plugin requires more work to set up than the others, so make sure you’re comfortable using Linux emulation before trying the installation.

Special rsync Discount for FreeNAS Users

A big thanks to the generous folks over at rsync who are offering a special discount rate for FreeNAS users only! Check out the forum for more details. The offer is good until at least through the end of the year, so if this is something that you’ve been meaning to do, don’t wait!

FreeNAS Mini Review in PC Magazine

In case you missed it, the FreeNAS Mini earned a great review from PC Magazine. To quote, “The FreeNAS averaged the highest Read speed tested, to-date, for any NAS at a blazing 111MBps.”

Send us a quote request if you’re interested in buying your own. Every purchase of a FreeNAS Mini supports the developers of FreeNAS, allowing us to add more features and improvements to the project.

FreeNAS – Free BEER! Join Us at Supercomputing 13

For Supercomputing 13, we’ll be providing thirsty conference-goers with free beer! You read that right, kegs of beer will be brought out on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 19 & 20 from 2-4PM.

Look for us at booth #3623 under the exhibitor name “iXsystems”. We’ll be debuting the new FreeNAS backdrop and showing off FreeNAS 9 and the new plugin system. Come meet, drink, and talk about FreeNAS with us!

Happy 20th Birthday to FreeBSD!

Speaking of free drinks, members of the FreeBSD community recently gathered on November 2 at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, CA to celebrate the big 20th anniversary of FreeBSD.

In addition to drinks, the party included a life-sized beastie cake and a live band. Kirk McKusick, Jordan Hubbard, Matthew Olander, and Scott Long made a few opening remarks. Other notable figures in attendance included Kris Moore, Druann Lavigne, Michael Dexter, Allan Jude, and of course, many members of the FreeNAS team.

To relive the night (or to see what you missed), check out the photos of the event on Facebook or Google+. A longer and more detailed recap of the night is also available here.

A big thanks to iXsystems, Intel, Google, Netapp, FreeBSD, the FreeBSD Foundation, Netflix, LSI, No Starch Press, O’Reilly Media, and William Hurley for making this event possible!

Links of the Month

Google Fiber Now Explicitly Allows Home Servers via Arstechnica

Can Your Backup Plan Handle a Ransomware Threat? via ComputerWorld

The Ninth Episode of BSDNow – CURRENT Events via BSDNow

EconoNAS: Economically-friendly NAS Build via Brian Moses’s Blog

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!

YouTube channel Facebook Twitter Google +