FreeNAS 8.2-BETA2 Available for Testing

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FreeNAS 8.2-BETA2 is now available for testing. There are many changes between the 8.0.x and 8.2 branches. The 8.2 documentation has been updated with the new screenshots and the new functionality is mostly documented, but is still a work in progress. If you find any bugs in the beta, please search support.freenas.org to see if a ticket has already been created and create one if one does not already exist.

Notable changes from the release notes:

The 8.2 branch of FreeNAS introduces many functional changes when compared with the 8.0.x releases.

ZFS can be manipulated from the CLI, and changes for supported items tracked by FreeNAS will be reflected in the GUI. zvols, datasets, and entire volumes can be created, destroyed, or manipulated on the CLI and will be propagated to the GUI.

The GUI now supports active-passive multipath capable hardware, which targets mainly SAS drives on dual expander backplanes. Any multipath capable devices that are detected will be placed in multipath units which are then exposed to the GUI, and the parent devices will be hidden.

Plugins are now available. Third party modules can be added to FreeNAS which will persist across upgrades and can be manipulated and configured from the GUI. Documentation on using and creating plugins is available at http://doc.freenas.org/index.php/Plugins_Configuration. BitTorrent, DLNA/uPNP, and iTunes plugins are available as of this writing.

The GUI now includes a webshell, which allows you to access a root shell from within a web browser.

The “Create Volume” modal was renamed to “Volume Manager”.

Extending existing pools is more intuitive than it was previously; selecting multiple disks for a storage volume is now done via a multiselect widget instead of checkboxes to improve ease of use when creating volumes.

ZFS volumes can now have periodic scrub tasks configured for them; the default is set to 35 days to be consistent with the OS default.

An autotuning script is now available — disabled by default. It sets various tunables and sysctls based on system resources and components. The predetermined values are exposed through the GUI from the Sysctls and Tunables panes.

A newer web toolkit is used, which behaves better with modal dialogs and more intuitively in general when compared with older versions. It also has better browser compatibility, including compatibility with Android / iOS mobile devices!

 A more responsive service state detection mechanism was added to improve FreeNAS interoperability in VM software (VMware, VirtualBox, etc).

FreeNAS 8.2 Presentation and CDs at NELF

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NorthEast LinuxFest will be held in Worcester, MA on March 17. Dru Lavigne will be giving a presentation on the upcoming 8.2 release and FreeNAS 8.0.4-RELEASE CDs will be given away at the FreeBSD booth in the expo area. Registration is free for this event and there will be an after-party at a local pub. Not a bad way to spend St. Patrick’s Day if you’re in the NorthEast.