We can already see a positive impact from iXsystem‘s takeover of the FreeNAS project: “Refactor the build system” and the “one click binary installs”. Two features that PC-BSD (another iXsystems project) already has. PC-BSD has the Push Button GUI installer and iXsystems also provides the hardware for the build servers.
One of the reasons for the former FreeNAS lead developer, Volker Theile, to start his CoreNAS / OpenMediaVault project was that FreeNAS lacked a modular design with the ability to easily compliment the system with plugins or add-ons.
From the roadmap:
Development on FreeBSD RELENG_8. Release, depending on timeframe may be based on a RELENG_8 snapshot or 8.1-RELEASE
Migrate off m0n0wall
Migrate GUI to django
Add support for ada and ahci SATA drivers
Add optional SoftUpdates + Journaling support to UFS2 filesystems
Migration path/tool for previous releases and configurations
Preservation of all existing features of the current FreeNAS release
Refactor FreeNAS build system to allow building FreeNAS without affecting the host environment
FreeNAS package support. Binary one click installs that modify the GUI dynamically.
We’re looking forward to the first iXsystems FreeNAS release. How is it going to compare with OpenMediaVault (unreleased as yet)? Time will tell.
FreeNAS is a free network attached storage server (NAS server) that is under active development and improving with every release. Though its release number may indicate an alpha/beta product (version 0.7), FreeNAS is stable and can be used on production machines. FreeNAS supports CIFS (Samba), FTP, NFS, rsync, AFP protocols, iSCSI, S.M.A.R.T., local user authentication, and software RAID (0,1,5); all this manageable through an intuitive web-based configuration interface.
We are already a few weeks into 2010, but what’s wrong with looking back over 2009? Below I have collected a number of FreeNAS related posts, howto’s and videos that were posted in 2009. Most of these were found via FreeBSD News, Google News (Alerts) and the Learn FreeNAS blog.
The FreeNAS community and forums are vibrant, full of activity. There are always new users with questions and problems, and experienced users to help out. Others write up useful howto’s and share tips. It is difficult how many FreeNAS users there exactly are, but we can be fairly confident it is quite a number, including corporate enterprises.
Late 2009 Voker Theile, the core FreeNAS developer, announced that further development of the FreeBSD-based FreeNAS would be halted. FreeNAS 0.8 was going to be a Debian-based NAS server. This decision was reverted shortly afterwards, when iXsystems, the sponsor behind the PC-BSD project, offered to sponsor further development of (a FreeBSD based) FreeNAS with Olivier Cochard-Labbé, the founder of the FreeNAS project, returning and assisting with the development. OpenMediaVault is the new Debian-based NAS and developed by Volker, independently from FreeNAS.
A Debian based OpenMediaVault will have better hardware support, but it won’t (as it stands now) be able to include the ZFS file system. Later this year I will write a comparison of the two NAS operating systems
I FreeNAS Releases
II FeeNAS videos
III How does FreeNAS Compare?
IV FreeNAS Howto’s
V FreeNAS hands-on Howto’s and guides
VI FreeNAS Book
I FreeNAS Releases
Volker Theile and developers working with him released the following versions in 2009 (in chronological order):
Add TFTP service. It is accessible via ‘Services|TFTP’ in the WebGUI.
Add Samba patch CVE-2008-4314.
Upgrade nano to 2.0.9.
Upgrade PHP to 5.2.8.
Add WOL support for misc NIC’s. Thanks to Tobias Reber for porting WOL patch to FreeBSD 6.4.
Upgrade nfe driver. Thanks to Tobias Reber for backporting FreeBSD 7.0 driver and adding WOL support.
Finally fixed Samba lock file problem (they are located in/var/db/samba now). You can increase the memory filesystem size for /var for LiveCD and’embedded’ installations by modifying the rc.conf variable named ‘varsize’. This is necessary if you are running out of file space for *.tdb files (this normally happens on heavy Samba share usage with many users). The default size
Replace FTP server pure-ftpd 1.0.21 with proftpd 1.3.2rc3. Please note that there can be set additional options via rc.conf variables which are not displayed in the service WebGUI. Please have a look into /etc/rc.d/proftpd script for a detailed list of options.
Add TCP Wrappers. All applications linked against libwrap support this feature, for example services like FTP, TFTP, SSH, NFS… The rules can be configured via WebGUI ‘Network|Hosts’.
Upgrade ATAidle to 2.4.
Upgrade transmission to 1.42.
Upgrade rsync to 3.0.5.
Upgrade cdialog to 1.1.20080316.
Upgrade msmtp to 1.4.17.
Add ability to create a SWAP partition during installation.
Enhance the ‘System|Advanced|Swap’ page to select a file or disk device as swap space.
If you are looking for a good FreeNAS reference book, you may consider buying Gary Sims’Learning FreeNAS: Configure and manage a network attached storage solution book. Packt Publishing has published a few extracts of this book online
That’s it for now. Many links, useful videos and write ups. Do the reading and why not give it a go and build, install and configure your own NAS file server? Doing it yourself saves you a bit of money over buying a NAS appliance, give you hands-on experience and gives true job satisfaction.
Journaled File System or JFS is a 64-bit journaling filesystem created by IBM. It is available as free software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). There are versions for AIX, eComStation, OS/2 and Linux operating systems. HP-UX has another, different filesystem named JFS that is actually an OEM version of Veritas Software’s VxFS (wikipedia)