FEB2014 – New Sync Hack, 9.2.1 Release, & Hardware Surprise…

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Hello FreeNAS users!

As a token of our love, please accept this newsletter update!

A lot of things happened last month and we’re bursting with excitement to share them with you! First off, FreeNAS 9.2.1 was released! We’ve also got a very special announcement we’re dying to tell you, but you’ll have to read on for more about that.

For those of you who are FreeBSD aficionados, we think you’ll be interested in a new publication called FreeBSD Journal. Also in this issue, find out how you can help the FreeNAS project! We’ve got a few job openings and we’re always looking for more testers. We’ve also added a method for you to submit your own FreeNAS content. As always, there’s a ton of builds and tutorials for you in this edition.

Love,

The FreeNAS Team


FreeNAS 9.2.1-Release is Out!

It’s been less than a month since the release of FreeNAS 9.2, and FreeNAS 9.2.1 is already available. Our dev team has been working around the clock (for mysterious reasons) to get this one out the door. Here are a couple of reasons why you should update:

  • Improved hardware & software support
  • Improved ZFS performance
  • Upgrade to Samba 4.1.3
  • Almost 200 bugfixes

The full release notes can be found here. Sign up for the announcements mailing lists to get updates on new releases as they happen.

We are very proud of this release and the hard work that has gone into it. We are also tremendously grateful to the many people who have taken the time to file bugs, fix bugs and send us pull requests, post helpful comments in the FreeNAS forums, or otherwise be a part of the ever-growing FreeNAS community. We hope you will install 9.2.1 at your earliest opportunity – we have been running it in production for some time and are very happy with the level of “fit and finish” in this release!


We Love Bug Report(er)s

We’re always looking for people to test and report bugs on FreeNAS so we can make improvements and make sure it’s in perfect condition. We’re happy to say that we’ve fixed a LOT of bugs since 9.2.0 was released. Lots. You folks have been going crazy with finding and filing the bugs every day! Since 9.2.0 was released, we have fixed over 189 bugs, added new features, polished the UI, and improved the performance of FreeNAS even further!

Should you encounter any bugs in 9.2.1, or wish to submit enhancement requests, please visit http://bugs.freenas.org and by all means file a bug! We use the bug tracking system quite religiously and screen bugs on a daily basis, so filing a bug report is the best way of making sure that any issues do not get lost! Since no release engineering process is ever truly finished, we are already planning for 9.2.2 and will aim to fix any “fit and finish” bugs we deem appropriate for the next software update. Make sure you note in your bug report which version of FreeNAS you saw it in and also note the datestamp of the build, since we will continue to release nightly builds and it’s otherwise very hard to tell which build you saw the problem in if you don’t tell us.



Announcing the *NEW* FreeNAS Mini

Drum roll please! After much speculation and wild guessing, we’re proud to officially announce the imminent release of a new FreeNAS Mini. These systems are configured so that they are the best-performing home NAS you can buy. The upgraded Mini is more powerful and robust thanks to these new features:

  • 8-core Intel 2.4GHz processor
  • 16GB of ECC memory (with an option to upgrade to 32GB)
  • On-board dual Gigabit network controllers
  • Dedicated IPMI port
  • Hot swap capabilities for the tool-less drive bays

We’re already taking orders, and models will begin to ship in the next couple of weeks. Contact us now to get one of the first ones off the line.


New FreeNAS Schwag in the Mall

By popular request (and some outright demands), new FreeNAS t-shirt designs are now available for purchase in the mall. Be sure to check out the other schwag that’s up for sale while you’re there. Sales support the FreeNAS and the FreeBSD projects.


Sync Hack – Setting up FreeNAS with BT Sync via BitTorrent

BitTorrent recently published a tutorial from our very own Ben Milman about setting up BTSync on FreeNAS. This is not the first post BitTorrent has shared about using BTSync on FreeNAS, but since then, we’ve made a plugin for the service so the setup process is much, much easier. You may know Ben as one of the co-authors of another guide from Admin Magazine. If you enjoyed the other article or if you’re interested in setting up the plugin on your own system, be sure to give this one a read.


FreeNAS Hardware and Software Guide via Tek Syndicate

Tek Syndicate recently uploaded a two-video series featuring FreeNAS. The first video shows off their hardware build, which they’ve dubbed “NASFeratu”. The second is a tutorial about the actual software itself and covers several features including a range of plugins that are accessible in FreeNAS. Both videos are very comprehensive and provide good information for anyone who needs help building and setting up FreeNAS. We definitely recommend you take a look.


FreeNAS featured on Know How… via Twit.tv

A recent episode of Know How… featured FreeNAS with the famous Patrick Norton and Fr. Robert Ballecer. Patrick has a long history with us, back from his days at Tekzilla to his more recent video on DIY Tryin. On this episode, the hosts demonstrated the steps needed to install FreeNAS and covered hardware and RAID options. For an entertaining tutorial on the basics of setting up your own FreeNAS system, check out this video.


Need a job? We need people!

If you’ve been reading about all the great things we’ve been up to and thought to yourself, “Hmm, I wish I could be a part of that”, well… now you can be!

iXsystems, the company that sponsors the development of FreeNAS, is looking for a system administrator and a few good developers to join our team. We offer competitive salaries, health benefits, stock options, 401k, and access to a fancy-schmancy coffee maker as some
of the benefits. We’re a very prominent company in the world of FreeBSD; in fact, we employ more FreeBSD developers per capita than anyone else you can think of.

Interested? The full job descriptions can be found here. If this sounds like your cup of double-shot espresso, email Jordan Hubbard at jkh@ixsystems.com with your resume. Cover letters appreciated but not required.


Tech Tip #3

Backups are more than just data. Document everything!


Links of the Month

DIY: Building a ZFS NAS with FreeNAS via proligde’s WordPress

DIY NAS: 2014 Edition via Brian Moses’s Blog

ZFS – One File System to Rule Them All via Lease Web Labs


User Submissions

Got a FreeNAS hardware build you’re proud of? Come up with a tech tip while tinkering around in the GUI? Have a link or picture you think we should see? As long as it’s not something you wouldn’t send to your boss, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at FNsubmissions@ixsystems.com. We’re always on the lookout for things to feature in the newsletter and on our social media channels.


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!

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Announcing FreeNAS 9.2.1-RELEASE

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Greetings, FreeNAS fans!

After one BETA, two Release Candidates, and many nightly builds (which many of you tested, to our everlasting gratitude) we are, as always, proud to announce the public availability of FreeNAS 9.2.1-RELEASE.

FreeNAS 9.2.0 was a great release, and we’re pleased to say that FreeNAS 9.2.1 is even better!   Since 9.2.0 was released, we have fixed over 189 bugs, added new features, polished the UI, and improved the performance of FreeNAS even further!

The documentation has also been updated for 9.2.1, though the source code (see release notes) is still a useful reference for features like the web API, which comes with several examples in the source tree.

Should you encounter any bugs in this release, or wish to submit enhancement requests, please visit http://bugs.freenas.org and by all means file a bug! We use the bug tracking system quite religiously and screen bugs on a daily basis, so filing a bug report is the best way of making sure that any issues do not get lost! Since no release engineering process is ever truly finished, we are already planning for 9.2.2 and will aim to fix any “fit and finish” bugs we deem appropriate for the next software update.

We also have the FreeNAS forums for general discussion and encourage everyone to use them. Finally, the FreeNAS developers also hang out in the #freenas IRC channel on FreeNode in their copious spare time should you wish to discuss things more in real-time.

We are very proud of this release and the hard work that has gone into it.   We are also tremendously grateful to the many people who have taken the time to file bugs, fix bugs and send us pull requests, post helpful comments in the FreeNAS forums, or otherwise be a part of the ever-growing FreeNAS community.   We hope you will install 9.2.1 at your earliest opportunity – we have been running it in production for some time and are very happy with the level of “fit and finish” in this release!

For the first time, we are also publishing an Errata List for 9.2.1 so people will know about known-issues that were not deemed severe enough to be “show stoppers” for this release.  They will be addressed in due course in 9.2.2, and we will also update the Errata as necessary should any other problems of significance be found.

Again, if you didn’t follow the link in the first paragraph, the bits are in http://download.freenas.org/9.2.1/RELEASE/

Thanks!
The FreeNAS Engineering Team

Release Notes for FreeNAS 9.2.1-RELEASE

  • Samba (SMB/CIFS support) upgraded to version 4.1.3.  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.
  • Added IPMI network configuration support for machines with that capability (enabled by setting ipmi_load tunable to YES).
  • Brought back the FreeNAS 8.x volume manager as a “Manual Setup” option.  This volume manager allows manual vdev building and offers no seat belts. 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.
  •  Fixed a bug that prevented building an encrypted volume using multipath 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.

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.