FreeNAS 9.1.0 BETA images available

Written by Ben Milman on .

The FreeNAS development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of FreeNAS 9.1.0-BETA images.

Images can be downloaded from The plugin jail is now included in the install image and does not need to be downloaded separately. Plugins should be available soon.

FreeNAS 9.1.0-BETA has many major improvements:

1) Version 9.1.0-STABLE of FreeBSD with performance improvements, bug fixes, and updated software packages.
2) Many improvements to the ZFS filesystem, including feature flags, TRIM support, enhanced drive removal notification, improved ARC memory reclamation and reliability improvements.
3) Improved Plugin Jail subsystem which supports multiple jails and an enhanced UI including enhancements from PC-BSD Warden.
4) Improved Volume manager including auto optimization of volumes for performance.
5) Improvements to the encryption subsystem.
6) Documentation enhancements.

FreeNAS 9.1.0 increases the install size to just under 4GB. This should allow FreeNAS to be installed on USB sticks marketed as 4GB that are actually somewhat smaller. However, this means that GUI UPGRADES FROM FREENAS 8.X ARE NOT SUPPORTED. Upgrades must be performed from the ISO on 4GB or larger devices, or via configuration and pool export and import if the existing boot medium is too small.

ZFS in FreeNAS 9.1.0 now includes “feature flags”, which can enable optional features in ZFS. FreeNAS 9.1.0 ships with several new ZFS features, most notably LZ4 compression, which are not supported by earlier versions of ZFS. Backward compatibility of FreeNAS 9.1.0 ZFS pools with older versions of ZFS is not guaranteed. Upgrade pools with extreme caution, as all ZFS pool upgrades are one-way and only FreeNAS 9.1.0, FreeBSD 9-STABLE, and FreeBSD 8.4 currently support this ZFS pool format.

FreeNAS BETA images are non-production software and should be treated as such.

Bug reports should be filed against the appropriate FreeNAS version at

Which FreeNAS?

Written by James T. Nixon III on .

Lessons from a year in the trenches with BSD’s killer app.

I will confess that the TCP/IP stack is truly BSD’s killer app, giving us the Internet as we know it but that’s pretty old news and it’s no longer the de facto standard. Other contenders for this status are OpenBSD’s OpenSSH and Packet Filter thanks to their reach and occasionally FreeBSD for setting Internet traffic records. Today however I will argue that the single most valuable piece of BSD software to the greatest number of users is FreeNAS, the open source Network Attached Storage distribution maintained by FreeBSD-oriented hardware vendor iXsystems.

What’s New in FreeNAS 8.x

Written by James T. Nixon III on .

This article highlights some of the new features which have been added to FreeNAS 8.x since July, 2012. These include the Plugins Jail, ZFSv28, and GELI encryption.

Since its initial release in May, 2011, the newly designed FreeNAS 8.x series has added many features that make this open source storage operating system an attractive option for everyone from home users up to large enterprise users.

The initial releases concentrated on improving the graphical administrative interface and the “core” NAS features. These core features include the ability to perform the following within a graphical interface from a web browser: