FreeNAS 9.2.1.4-RELEASE is now available

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Hi folks,

Well, we’ve successfully rolled another good 9.2.1.x point release!   Please come and get it from the usual location. Also as usual, the issues we fixed in this release are best described by looking at the list of fixed tickets in the 9.2.1.4 milestone.  We improved replication speed, we fixed more issues with CIFS, we brought in some ZFS fixes (addressing the zpool history 100% CPU spin, among other things), and just basically did our best to keep whittling away at the issues that made 9.2.1.3 less than complaint-free.

So, since the bug database does a better job than we ever could of describing what we’ve fixed in 9.2.1.4, let us take this opportunity to talk a bit about the 9.2.1.x series and our plans for 9.2.2!

As most folks have undoubtedly figured out by now, we’ve been putting a substantial amount of effort into evolving the 9.2.1-BRANCH of FreeNAS with this series of 9.2.1.x releases.  There are two primary reasons for this:

  1. We took on a bit more than we expected with the Samba3->Samba4 upgrade, especially given how much more stringent Samba4 is about respecting ACLs and, as we’ve come to understand, the kinds of havoc one can create in FreeBSD by mixing ACLs and chmod(1) since they share the same permission space (and Windows likes ACLs, not Unix mode flags).  We’ve added a few seat-belts here and there and also fixed some outright bugs, but it’s clear we still have some work to do in documenting how to use Samba4 effectively.
  2. We’re strongly motivated to get the 9.2.1.x series polished to the point where we can stop doing frequent releases for it and give both ourselves and the FreeNAS community a bit of a rest in that regard, allowing the documentation and other resources to catch up while we go to work full-time on FreeNAS 9.2.2!

Which brings us to FreeNAS 9.2.2.  Here is some of what we have in store for the next major release of FreeNAS:

  • Live updates:  Explicit downloading and installation of updates (and manually supplying checksums) will become a thing of the past.  FreeNAS will update itself like most other commercial products do – by checking in with an update server, downloading any available updates in the background, and then asking the user for an opportune time to apply them. Worry not, we’re not going to reboot without an admin’s express permission, or give them only one type of update server to use (we know many corporate users are behind firewalls or want to run their own update servers) – we’ll be making provisions to make this as non-intrusive, and as secure, as it should be.  This is a bigger topic than one post can possibly do justice to, however, so please stay tuned for more details!
  • NFSv4:  Yes, it’s time for NFSv4 support.  This will require some fairly substantial NFS sharing UI changes since NFSv4 is a lot more powerful and flexible than NFSv3.
  • HAST:  Fail-over peering is coming to FreeNAS.  For more information, see the link.  The UI for this will also be fairly substantial, and we look forward to your feedback as the feature starts entering the daily BETA builds of 9.2.2!
  • Kernel iSCSI: iSCSI is one of FreeNAS’ more popular features (especially for VMWare folks), and this will be a substantial improvement for this service, both from a performance and feature perspective.

We also have a lot of tickets on our plate for 9.2.2 that cover a positively huge number of enhancements to replication (especially in the UI), performance, “fit and finish” and general bug fixes.  We’re really looking forward to making major major progress on 9.2.2 over the coming year (and no, before you ask, we don’t have a specific release date yet – that will be announced later), but first we need to get this pesky 9.2.1.x series behind us. :)

We hope that you enjoy using 9.2.1.4 as much as we enjoyed making it.  Onwards toward 9.2.2.!

- The FreeNAS Engineering Team

NEW Online FreeNAS Classes

Written by Annie Zhang on .

We’re proud to announce new online FreeNAS classes in collaboration with ZFS expert, Linda Kateley. Linda is a professional software educator with over 20 years of experience who specializes in ZFS and storage. We get a lot of questions from users about how to set up their own FreeNAS system and what you can and can’t do with ZFS, so we thought this would provide a great jump-start guide to save people time and effort.

We plan to offer more classes in the future, focusing on a variety of topics. For now, this initial series of classes will introduce you to the FreeNAS GUI and teach you everything you need to know to get started with FreeNAS, including:

  • Basic Setup
  • Volumes and Datasets setup
  • Sharing with AFP, NFS, CIFS
  • Enterprise ZFS Features (Caching, Checksums, Snapshots, Replication)

The first class will begin on April 16th at 10AM CST. Classes are limited to 15 people per session in order to allow for focused collaborative attention and a robust Q&A session. Each class is designed to be topic-specific, taken “a la carte”, and runs no longer than 3-4 hours. Sign up for your spot now!

NEW FreeNAS ZFS Classes and a NEW Addition to the iXsystems Family

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Hello FreeNAS users!

Since you signed up for the FreeNAS newsletter, we expect that you’ve got backups down pat. Still, we hope you celebrated World Backup Day all the same even if you consider every day “backup day”. But if you’re having trouble getting your system just right, you might be interested in knowing that we’re now offering FreeNAS classes. Keep reading for more details.

In other big news, we’re also welcoming FreeBSDNews.net to the iXsystems family. We hope to continue the great work that Gerard’s done on the site for years. With so much happening, we’re also seeing an influx of user-generated content. Our community is growing faster than ever, and we’re thrilled people have an active interest in contributing back as it embodies the values of the Open Source community we’re proud to be a part of. We’ve featured some of those submissions in this month’s edition. Here’s to even greater things ahead.

Cheers,

The FreeNAS Team


NEW FreeNAS classes – Intro to FreeNAS and ZFS

We’re now offering live FreeNAS classes in collaboration with ZFS expert, Linda Kateley. Linda is a professional software educator with over 20 years of experience who specializes in ZFS and storage. This initial series of classes will introduce you to the FreeNAS GUI and teach you everything you need to know to get started with FreeNAS, including:

  • Basic Setup
  • Volumes and Datasets setup
  • Sharing with AFP, NFS, CIFS
  • Enterprise ZFS Features (Caching, Checksums, Snapshots, Replication)

The first class will begin on April 16th at 10AM CST. Classes are limited to 15 people per session in order to allow for focused collaborative attention and a robust Q&A session. Each class is designed to be topic-specific, taken “a la carte”, and no longer than 3-4 hours. Sign up for your spot now.



New Partnership with FreeBSDNews.net

iXsystems has announced a new partnership with Gerard van Essen, the creator of FreeBSDNews.net. As part of our agreement, iXsystems will now maintain and host FreeBSDNews.net. With Gerard’s continued involvement on the reporting and editorial side, our added efforts will allow the website to continue its growth and expand its coverage.

Needless to say, we’re very excited about this. As regular visitors to our site know, we eat, sleep, breathe, and live FreeBSD. With this newest venture, we’ve got the community’s best interests in mind. We are dedicated to the continued delivery of the high quality FreeBSD news, interviews, and announcements that FreeBSDNews.net is known for.

We invite all of our readers to check out FreeBSDNews.net now and subscribe to the RSS feed. We’ve got big ideas for the future and we hope you’ll be a part of it.


 FreeNAS 9.2.1.4-BETA is now available

This point release for 9.2.1 fixes performance issues with ZFS replication, SMB spins / hangs under certain circumstances, and a variety of smaller issues.

All bugs fixed in 9.2.1.4-BETA can be found here. This is a very small point release – very few changes have been made as we endeavor to continue refining 9.2.1.x until no significant bugs are left and we can focus exclusively on 9.2.2, which will have far more substantial changes (see this link for some notion of what is planned for 9.2.2).


 OFFICIAL FreeNAS 9.2.1.3 Installation Video

We’re back with another official tutorial! This time, we’re demonstrating the entire installation process for FreeNAS 9.2.1.3. This is hands down the best FreeNAS installation tutorial this side of the internet (since it’s from the people who develop the software). The video takes you through all of the steps including:

  • Necessary tools
  • Booting the FreeNAS ISO
  • Installing FreeNAS
  • Accessing the web UI

Check out our YouTube channel for more tutorials and subscribe so you don’t miss any. We’ll be coming out with more in the upcoming weeks. If you’ve created your own tutorial (video or article), we’d love to see it! Send it to FNsubmissions@ixsystems.com and you might just see it featured in the newsletter.


 FreeNAS at Great Wide Open

FreeNAS made an appearance at Great Wide Open this year. Dru Lavigne debuted our newest table banner and gave away FreeNAS promotional items. You may be familiar with GWO as the rebranded POSSCON from previous years. As a well-established conference, it draws a usual crowd of 600+ attendees each year. To find out how the conference went, read the recap on the iXsystems blog.


 Unbox the Mini

Wonder what it’s like when you get your FreeNAS Mini? One of the recipients of the Mini system made a video of his unboxing experience. Vaclav interned at the iXsystems headquarters last summer and as part of our thanks, we shipped one of the new Minis to his home.

During the video, Vaclav shows off the hardware, the packaging we use to keep the system safe, and of course, the FreeNAS goodies included in each Mini box. If you’re interested in ordering your own, just send us a quote request. Every purchase of a FreeNAS Mini directly supports the developers of FreeNAS so we can continue making improvements and adding features to the software.

We’ve already made updates to the packaging, so recent FreeNAS Mini customers can expect a change to the unboxing experience. And for those of you who haven’t bought your own Mini yet, keep your eyes peeled for a new video in the coming weeks. Of course, nothing beats the real thing. ;)


 FreeNAS Articles by Kevin Hanson

One user recently made the switch from Synology to FreeNAS and blogged about some of the things that motivated his decision. The biggest reasons Kevin Hanson gave for his switch were the security, customizability, and ZFS that FreeNAS offers. The constant bugs that came with his Synology box didn’t help.

As he started configuring his system, he wrote a tutorial for getting Time Machine set up with multiple Macs for FreeNAS 9.2.1.3. Kevin included diagrams in his easy-to-follow, step-by-step tutorial. Give it a read if you’d like to do something similar with your machine.


 Dick Installs – Back Up to FreeNAS Tutorial Videos

Dick Thomas is back with more FreeNAS videos. He’s a prolific contributor of tutorials such as his earlier videos “FreeNAS 9.x Setup with Samba File Shares, OwnCloud, Bittorrent and Plex” and “FreeNAS 9.2.x with BTSync, Transmission, Couchpotato, SickBeard, and Plex” that focused on plugin setup.

His most recent series demonstrates how to back up to FreeNAS. He started with the video “Windows Backup to FreeNAS”. He followed that up with two CrashPlan videos due to popular demand, one for Windows and one for Macs. Several users have expressed gratitude for his tutorials, so that should tell you how useful they are!


Tech Tip #5

At low drive counts, the non-optimal configuration warning in FreeNAS is less significant than the performance gained by adding one more hard drive.


 Links of the Month

Why One User Chose NOT to Use ECC RAM via Brian Moses
One User’s FreeNAS Build & Performance Reports via Jungle-IT
Episode 32: PXE Dust via BSD Now


 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 FreeNAS, is looking for 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.


 Send Us Your Content

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 FreeNAS and storage related content 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.

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