The History of FreeNAS & TrueNAS

Jordan Hubbard, co-founder of FreeBSD, talks about FreeNAS’s beginnings and its transformation to a new product — TrueNAS.

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The FreeNAS project got its start way back in 2005, when Olivier Cochard-Labbé wanted to turn his old PC into a home server. There wasn’t an open source project that fit all of his needs, so he did what any self-respecting software developer would do: he sat down and wrote his own. Just like that, the software that would eventually become the world’s most popular open source software defined storage was born.

Development continued until 2009, when one of the project developers proposed moving FreeNAS to a Debian Linux based system. This move would have meant losing access to the FreeBSD community and the overall quality of its software, and FreeNAS would also lose its native ZFS support, since the ZFS On Linux project didn’t even exist at that time. iXsystems had used FreeNAS for many years and sold servers specifically made for FreeNAS, so Matt Olander, one of the iXsystems founders, reached out to Olivier and offered to take over FreeNAS development on FreeBSD. Olivier gave his blessing, and iXsystems started immediately working on FreeNAS 8. In order to modernize FreeNAS, the development team at iXsystems rewrote almost all the code and replaced the m0n0wall PHP code with a full featured, easy-to-use webGUI.

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5 Fun Things to Do with FreeNAS

FreeNAS_Icon_263x254pxFreeNAS user Annie Zhang wrote about 5 fun things you can do with your FreeNAS device. From serving media to hosting your own personal cloud, the FreeBSD based storage software has a variety of uses.

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If I asked the average user how they use FreeNAS, they’d probably answer “back up and store files”. While that’s both practical and important, it’s also a bit boring. The software is designed for small and home offices but if you’ve got a system at home, you’re probably wondering what kind of fun you can have with it.

To that end, we’ve rounded up five of the more interesting ways you can use FreeNAS. Some of the tutorials I’ll link to make the assumption you’ve already built and set up your system. If you need some help with that, check out our official FreeNAS guide to hardware design and the FreeNAS YouTube channel.

Many of these projects make extensive use of the plugins system. An overview of plugins and a full list of the ones available can be found in the FreeNAS documentation. The guides range from a simple plugin installation to some command line hacking so make sure you’re comfortable with the difficulty level before attempting any tutorial.

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FreeNAS 9.3-RELEASE is now available

FreeNAS_logo_lightThe developers of FreeNAS have made available the long awaited 9.3 RELEASE. This version features numerous updates ranging from security patches to new features. Some of the changes are listed:

  • New simplified UI
  • New update manager
  • New configuration wizard
  • Boot from ZFS device
  • Support for WebDAV
  • And much, much more

FreeNAS 9.3 - System Info

Full release notes:

Download the ISO/image:

In addition, FreeNAS Team released these tutorials to get you started on installing and upgrading to FreeNAS 9.3.

For more helpful tutorials, check out their channel:

FreeNAS now available

FreeNAS_logo_lightThis should, knock on wood, be the very last release on the 9.2.1-BRANCH and also the last 32 bit version of FreeNAS, so if you’ve got some older hardware you just have to keep using, this is the release to run!

Please see for all bugs addressed in this release, though the list is very short:

  • Fix a bug preventing Directory Server mode from working.
  • Fix a memory leak in ZFS that is triggered by having a compressed dataset and an L2ARC device.
  • Preserve the Samba SID across reboots and upgrades.
  • Fix two problems in the config file generator for CTL:
    1. Unbreak device extents when using physical devices or multi path devices.
    2. Unbreak the case when target auth or discover auth is set to Auto.
  • Fix a priviledge escalation issue.
  • Save debug now includes the output of zpool history.

Download the ISO/image here:

Full announcement:

FreeNAS 9.3 BETA is now available

FreeNAS_logo_lightThis FreeNAS update is a significant evolutionary step from previous FreeNAS releases.  It features a simplified and reorganized Web User Interface, support for Windows 2012 clustering, better integration with VMWare, a new and more secure update system with roll-back functionality, and hundreds of other technology enhancements. To encourage use of this BETA, we are also committed to making sure that every FreeNAS 9.3 BETA install will be able to upgrade to FreeNAS 9.3 RELEASE seamlessly!

A key feature of the FreeNAS 9.3 BETA release is its revamped user interface. It has been redesigned to place only the most common configuration options first in ‘Standard’ menus, moving the more esoteric options to ‘Advanced’ options, and this design pattern as has been used throughout the UI so everything is essentially more streamlined and less cluttered for novice users who essentially just want to use the defaults.

Read more from Jordan Hubbard here:

Download the BETA here:

Watch FreeNAS State of the Union with Jordan Hubbard below:

How to Install Owncloud in a FreeNAS jail

FreeNAS community member DrKK created a tutorial on how to install Owncloud in FreeNAS. Click play below to learn:

This is an oft-requested tutorial from the FreeNAS community. We go through, stream of consciousness style, from a bare FreeNAS, and fully install and configure a working OwnCloud server. I also show the installation and setup of the client software in Windows. It is a long video–around 40 minutes–but I think is worth the investment of time. Those just wanting to learn how to install OwnCloud in FreeBSD itself, or lighttpd in FreeBSD itself, may also find the video useful.

MineOS (Minecraft) Plugin for FreeNAS community member Josh Ruehlig has ported the Minecraft plugin called MineOS. In this video, he shows us how to get it configured and running in FreeNAS. Click play below to learn: