A FreeNAS 9.2 RELEASE to Ring in the New Year

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Hello FreeNAS users!

Happy New Year! We hope your holidays were well-spent with loved ones. It’s a new year, so we’re taking some time to look back and reflect on the things we’ve accomplished last year… such as the new FreeNAS 9.2 RELEASE! Of course, it’s also about planning for the future, so we’re currently looking to hire new talent to join the FreeNAS team. If that piqued your interest, read on!

In keeping with New Year traditions, we resolve to keep pushing out new releases and features, to listen to your feedback, and to always work with the goal of making FreeNAS better. Thank you for being a part of our community and let’s all work to make 2014 even more successful.

Cheers

The FreeNAS Team


 NEW FreeNAS 9.2 – RELEASE

It’s finally here! We know you’ve been waiting a long time for this and we’re proud to announce the official release of FreeNAS 9.2 stable.

If you’ve got an older version of FreeNAS and it’s working fine, why should you update? Well, along with several bugfixes, the newest version unlocks several great, new features including:

  • Linux jail support
  • Based on FreeBSD 9.2 with added features and hardware support
  • Improved performance of encrypted ZFS volumes
  • Jails templates allow quicker deployments of copies of a model jail
  • Shell button added to jails – makes it easier to access the Shell from Jails

A full list of features can be found in the release notes. Sign up for the announcements mailing lists to get updates on new releases

A big thanks to everyone who helped with development, sent in bug reports, made suggestions, or contributed otherwise to this release. You guys made this all happen; we couldn’t have done it without you!


 Job Opening: Call for Developers

Like what you see? Want to be a part of the next FreeNAS release? Well, iXsystems is looking for a few good developers!

Who are we? iXsystems is the corporate sponsor of the FreeNAS project. We are also the sponsors of PC-BSD, FreeBSD for the desktop, and long-time contributors to the FreeBSD and ZFS projects! You could say that Open Source and OS development is in our blood. If you feel the same way, please read further!

Deep knowledge of Unix and Unix internals is required (Linux is OK, but BSD is a big plus!). Must be extremely fluent in C. Python fluency not required, but a definite plus as our UI is written in Python & Django. Storage/Enterprise market experience is also a plus, though not a strict requirement; if you’re a great Unix + C developer, we can teach you about the storage and enterprise market! You will have the ability to substantially influence the evolution of the FreeNAS product, as well as other future Hardware & OSS Software appliances, with very little internal politics or “silos” to stand in your way. We are a small shop, and those who do great work get long leashes!

iXsystems is based in San Jose, CA so residency or willingness to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area is definitely a plus, but not a strict requirement – for the right person, we will consider full or part time telecommuting from inside or outside the U.S. H1-B VISA sponsorship will also be considered for the right person (if you really kick butt, we’ll go the extra mile in both respects!). We also offer competitive salaries, health benefits, and 401K.

Interested? Think you have what it takes? Contact Jordan Hubbard at jkh@ixsystems.com with a current copy of your resumé. Cover letters appreciated but not required!


 An Introduction to FreeNAS via ADMIN Magazine

ADMIN Magazine recently published an article called “Introduction to FreeNAS” by Ben Milman and Mark VonFange. Both Ben and Mark are employees of iXsystems, so they have close-to-the-source, verified knowledge about the inner workings of FreeNAS. They cover the basics of FreeNAS, how the ZFS filesystem works and lesser known facts like the differences between FreeNAS and TrueNAS. It’s an informative read, so take a look if you’re interested in first-hand pointers that will help you optimize your own FreeNAS system.


 Build a Home Server with FreeNAS via DIY Tryin

Have an old desktop lying around? This episode of DIY Tryin demonstrates how you can use FreeNAS to make a home server. DIY Tryin is a show that focuses on home projects you can build and do yourself. Sure enough, the video takes you through the entire process of setting up a home server, from hardware choices all the way through installation and configuration. Hosts Patrick Norton and Michael Hand did a great job explaining the advantages of having a home NAS and using ZFS. They also took some time to show off how easy the installation process is. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’d like an easy-to-understand and entertaining tutorial that guides you through setup.


 Tech Tip #2

ZFS can get cranky when there’s more than a few thousand snapshots.


 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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FreeNAS 9.2.0 Release

Written by James T. Nixon III on .

Release Notes for FreeNAS 9.2.0-RELEASE

Version 9.2-RELEASE of FreeBSD with performance improvements, bug

fixes, and updated software packages. For a complete list see
http://www.freebsd.org/releases/9.2R/relnotes.html

USB 3.0 support is disabled by default as it currently is not compatible
with some hardware, including Haswell (Lynx point) chipsets. To enable
USB 3.0 support, create a Tunable named xhci_load, set its value to YES,
and reboot the system.

The Kernel UMA allocator is now the default for ZFS. This results in
higher ZFS performance.

ZFS will now alert the administrator for pools that are not 4K-aligned.

By default, FreeNAS will treat all disks as 4K sector (“Advanced Format”)
disks. This is a future-proof setting that allows AF disks to later
be used as replacement drives for older, legacy 512 byte sector drives
without compromising performance. The administrator can optionally disable
this 4K-by-default behavior by setting vfs.zfs.vdev.larger_ashift_minimal
to 0 in both sysctl and loader tunables.

Avahi (multicast DNS, aka Bonjour) registration of all services, include
the web service, means you no longer need to have a head on the box to know
its IP address, even for initial configuration, if the system your browser
is running on supports mDNS (e.g. a Mac or mDNS-enabled Windows/Unix box).
The default address will be freenas.local (or freenas-n.local, where n is
the # of freenas.local instances already on the local network). This can be
changed by changing the hostname in the FreeNAS system or network configuration
screens.

The built-in admin user account is no longer used and the Admin Account
removed. The first time the FreeNAS graphical interface is accessed, a
pop-up menu will prompt for the root password. Subsequent logins to the
graphical interface will require this password.

FreeNAS no longer sends daily emails when email reporting is enabled
unless actual errors or issues of concern have arisen. Simply saying
“all is well!” each and every day was causing email fatigue and obscuring
actual errors. Those wishing for daily “all is well!” reports can simply
add a cron job that does this.

The plugin system now offers in-place updates for plugins, also
segregating installed plugins from available plugins to make the UI
less cluttered.

A complete REST API has been created for FreeNAS, allowing a FreeNAS
instance to be controlled remotely. See examples/api in the FreeNAS
source repository (https://github.com/freenas/freenas/tree/master) for some
examples of this in action. Complete API docs are available in docs/api.

The “Permit Sudo” field has been added to the add and edit screens for
Users and Groups. A column in View Groups and View Users now indicates
whether or not “Permit Sudo” has been set.

HTTP and HTTPS access to the FreeNAS graphical interface are no longer
mutually exclusive. The fields “WebGUI HTTP Port” and “WebGUI HTTPS Port”
have been added to System Settings -> General.

An “Edit” button has been added to the “Hostname” field of System
Information to make the hostname easier to change.

The results from the latest ZFS scrub now appear in Volume Status.

Netatalk has been updated to version 3.1.0. See
http://netatalk.sourceforge.net/3.1/ReleaseNotes3.1.0.html for a list of
changes in this release. There are also a number of changes made to AFP
sharing as a result:

The Add Apple (AFP) Share menu has been simplified and a
“Default umask” option has been added.

The “Server Name” field has also been removed from AFP; in
Netatalk 3, this value is automatically derived from the system
hostname.

“Enable home directories” and “Home directories” options added
to AFP.

The AIO options have been removed from CIFS.

Fourteen TLS-related fields have been added to the Advanced Mode of FTP.

An “IPv4 Address” column has been added to the View Jails screen.

A shell button has been added to Jails, making it easy to access the
command line of the selected jail.

A “Create directory” checkbox has been added to the Add Storage function of
a jail so that the user does not have to first access the jail’s shell to make
sure that the directory already exists. A “Read-Only” checkbox has also been
added to this screen.

A jails templating system has been added, allowing the quick deployment of
new jails from existing templates and the ability to create custom templates.
Linux jail support has also been added and installation templates are included
for Debian-7.1.0, Gentoo-20130820, Ubuntu-13.04, Centos-6.4, Fedora-19, and
Suse-12.3.

A link to the online FreeBSD manual pages has been added to Help.

Added bxe(4) driver for Broadcom NetXtreme II Ethernet 10Gb PCIe adapter.

Added padlock(4) driver which provides cryptographic hardware acceleration
for VIA C3, C7 and Eden processors.

Improved performance of encrypted ZFS volumes.

The iSCSI options have been updated to ensure the GUI constraints match the

daemon constraints. In particular the GUI limited the number of sessions and
the number of connections to a low value that may need to be increased if there
are large numbers of targets or clients or both.

FreeNAS 9.2.0-RC2 is Available

Written by Annie Zhang on .

Jordan has announced that FreeNAS-9.2.0-RC2 is available for download from http://cdn.freenas.org/9.2.0/RC2/.

Release Notes for FreeNAS 9.2.0-RC2

* Version 9.2-RELEASE of FreeBSD with performance improvements, bug fixes, and updated software packages. For a complete list see http://www.freebsd.org/releases/9.2R/relnotes.html

* USB 3.0 support is disabled by default as it currently is not compatible with some hardware, including Haswell (Lynx point) chipsets. To enable USB 3.0 support, create a Tunable named xhci_load, set its value to YES, and reboot the system.

* The Kernel UMA allocator is now the default for ZFS. This results in higher ZFS performance.

* Avahi (multicast DNS, aka Bonjour) registration of all services, include the web service, means you no longer need to have a head on the box to know its IP address, even for initial configuration. freenas.local is the default (or freenas-n.local, where n is the # of freenas.local machines already on the local network). This can be changed by changing the hostname.

* The built-in admin user account is no longer used and the Admin Account removed. The first time the FreeNAS graphical interface is accessed, a pop-up menu will prompt for the root password. Subsequent logins to the graphical interface will require this password.

* FreeNAS no longer sends daily emails when email reporting is enabled unless actual errors or issues of concern have arisen. Simply saying “all is well!” each and every day was causing email fatigue and obscuring actual errors. Those wishing for daily “all is well!” reports can simply add a cron job that does this.

* The plugin system now offers in-place updates for plugins, also segregating installed plugins from available plugins to make the UI less cluttered.

* A complete REST API has been created for FreeNAS, allowing a FreeNAS instance to be controlled remotely. See examples/api in the FreeNAS source repository (https://github.com/freenas/freenas/tree/master) for some examples of this in action. Complete API docs are available in docs/api.

* The “Permit Sudo” field has been added to the add and edit screens for Users and Groups. A column in View Groups and View Users now indicates whether or not “Permit Sudo” has been set.

* HTTP and HTTPS access to the FreeNAS graphical interface are no longer mutually exclusive. The fields “WebGUI HTTP Port” and “WebGUI HTTPS Port” have been added to System Settings -> General.

* An “Edit” button has been added to the “Hostname” field of System Information to make the hostname easier to change.

* The results from the latest ZFS scrub now appear in Volume Status.

* Netatalk has been updated to version 3.1.0. See http://netatalk.sourceforge.net/3.1/ReleaseNotes3.1.0.html for a list of changes in this release. There are also a number of changes made to AFP sharing as a result:

    • * The Add Apple (AFP) Share menu has been simplified and a “Default umask” option has been added.
    • * The “Server Name” field has also been removed from AFP; in Netatalk 3, this value is automatically derived from the system hostname.
    • * “Enable home directories” and “Home directories” options added to AFP.

* The AIO options have been removed from CIFS.

* Fourteen TLS-related fields have been added to the Advanced Mode of FTP.

* An “IPv4 Address” column has been added to the View Jails screen.

* A shell button has been added to Jails, making it easy to access the command line of the selected jail.

* A “Create directory” checkbox has been added to the Add Storage function of a jail so that the user does not have to first access the jail’s shell to make sure that the directory already exists. A “Read-Only” checkbox has also been added to this screen.

* A jails templating system has been added, allowing the quick deployment of new jails from existing templates and the ability to create custom templates. Linux jail support has also been added and installation templates are included for Debian-7.1.0, Gentoo-20130820, Ubuntu-13.04, Centos-6.4, Fedora-19, and Suse-12.3.

* A link to the online FreeBSD manual pages has been added to Help.

* Added bxe(4) driver for Broadcom NetXtreme II Ethernet 10Gb PCIe adapter.

* Added padlock(4) driver which provides cryptographic hardware acceleration for VIA C3, C7 and Eden processors.

* Improved performance of encrypted ZFS volumes.

* The iSCSI options have been updated to ensure the GUI constraints match the daemon constraints. In particular the GUI limited the number of sessions and the number of connections to a low value that may need to be increased if there are large numbers of targets or clients or both.