FreeNAS & ZFS: The Indestructible Duo – Except for the Hard Drives

Written by Annie Zhang on .

At this year’s MeetBSD, Joshua Paetzel, a core member of the FreeNAS Development Team, demonstrated the failover capabilities of FreeNAS… by pulling the drives out of two FreeNAS Minis and completely destroying them. SONY DSC Josh ran a build mounted from two FreeNAS Minis populated by four drives each. The compiler was projected on a screen so attendees could see when the build stopped running. Volunteers were then invited to pull out a HDD at random from either of the FreeNAS boxes and destroy them using a selection of tools including a hammer, vice, screwdriver, and tesla coil. Some of the people who gleefully stepped up to participate include:

  • Jordan Hubbard, co-founder of FreeBSD, CTO of iXsystems
  • Kirk McKusick, early developer of BSD, inventor of the Berkeley Fast File System
  • Alfred Perlstein, Sr. Director, Appliance & Kernel Engineering, Norse
  • George Kola, CTO, Voxer
  • Devin Teske, FreeBSD Developer

What was the magic number of drives that had to be destroyed before failover on FreeNAS stopped working? Watch the video to find out:

FreeNAS 9.3 will be released on 2014/12/8

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Hi folks,

Just a quick update on this topic since it has been communicated (by me, even) that FreeNAS 9.3-RELEASE would come out at the end of November. Obviously, it is now the end of November and that hasn’t happened yet, so time for a quick update!

First, we’d like to thank everyone for their involvement and participation in the 9.3-BETA cycle! Over 5000 unique visitors have checked in for the updates (and continue to do so on a daily basis) and we’ve had many dozens of highly quality bugs filed, all of which have really made the difference in our being able to find and fix issues before 9.3-RELEASE. In fact, we have fixed over 800 bugs during the 9.3 development cycle and are down to just 38 bugs blocking the release, which is why we’re slipping the release date to December 8th. We need a bit more time to fix the show-stoppers. Those bugs we don’t deem show-stopping but still worth fixing as part of the first official post-RELEASE update will have their target version set to SU Candidate (Software Update Candidate), so if you file a bug and see it in that milestone, don’t worry – it won’t make the release but it will be fixed shortly thereafter and will simply show up in the new System->Update panel.

Second, we’d also like to give all the BETA testers one last week to report any final show-stoppers so that we can make 9.3-RELEASE truly production quality, so if you haven’t jumped on the BETA train yet, now would be an excellent time to do so! You don’t have to start with the 9.3-BETA release itself, though you can certainly jump forward from there directly to the latest version using the updater, but if you’re going to start now then you might as well start with the latest nightly (on the BETA train) and simply move forward to RELEASE from there.

Again, we really appreciate all of the community involvement around this release; it’s been truly unprecedented, and I don’t believe any release of FreeNAS has ever generated this level of interest or pre-release feedback. We are greatly looking forward to a really great release, as well as being able to ship small, targeted updates using the new update system with a much shorter turn-around time and far less effort for both us and our users!


The FreeNAS Development Team

FreeNAS 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:

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 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.

The FreeNAS Development Team