FreeBSD News leftovers (pkgng, FreeNAS, perfect db server)

These are some interesting links I came across over the last few days:

pkgng beta 1

The pkgng developers have released the first beta of FreeBSD’s new package management.

FreeNAS on FLOSS Weekly

There’s an interview on FLOSS Weekly (episode 198) with James Nixon from the FreeNAS Project .

FreeNAS 8.0.3-p1

A few updates for FreeNAS 8.0.3, a network attached server operating system. Checkout the notes and download here. Thanks Ralf

The Perfect Database Server: Firebird 2.5.1 And FreeBSD 9

Here is a guide on installing Firebird 2.5.1 from FreeBSD 9 Ports and creating your first test database.

VirtualBSD 9.0

VirtualBSD 9.0 is now ready. This is a desktop-ready FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE built around the XFCE Desktop Environment for good aesthetics and usability, and is distributed as a VMware appliance.

FreeBSD Events Updates (Scale, AsiaBSDCon, BSDCan)

A new year, a new series of FreeBSD Conferences. Mark them in your diaries if you’re planning to go.

SCALE 2012

iXsystem, FreeNAS, PC-BSD and the FreeBSD Foundation will be represented at SCALE Linux Expo 2012. The Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) is an annual Linux, Open-Source, and Free Software conference held in Los Angeles. This event will be held in Los Angeles from 20-22 Jan.

AsiaBSDCon 2012

AsiaBSDCon 2012 is a conference for users and developers on BSD based systems. The next conference will be held in Tokyo from 22-25 March. You can apply for a FreeBSD Foundation travel grant.

BSDCan 2012

BSDCan 2012 will be held 11-12 May, 2012 in Ottawa at the University of
Ottawa. It will be preceded by two days of tutorials on 9-10 May. There’s a call for papers.

FreeNAS 8.0.3 released

Garrett Cooper has announced the availability of FreeNAS 8.0.3-RELEASE earlier today.

FreeNAS 8.0 is so far missing some of the media streaming capabilities that came with FreeNAS 0.7, and to make up for that gap, a FreeNAS 8.0.3-RELEASE_MULTIMEDIA version will be released soon. This version has support for Bittorrent, iTunes, and DLNA/uPNP, but is only recommended for anyone not afraid of modifying .conf files in order to get things to work. FreeNAS 8.2 should have full support (GUI) for multimedia streaming.

Check out the full release notes for the enhancements, updates and bug fixes, or download the latest version, FreeNAS 8.0.3.

pfSense, 7 years young. Congratulations

pfSense is Seven

The pfSense  (which stands for…) project exists 7 years this week, well, that is the age of the pfSense domain. I’m sure the project existed long before that in Chris Buechler, the project founder’s head.

Congratulations to Chris and his team for the great job they’re doing and all the work they’ve done so far. According to some update stats there are currently ca. 100,000 known live pfSense installs.

pfSense and PBI’s

Some say that PC-BSD‘s PBI package format is not needed in addition to other *BSD ways of installing software, and that it’s “un-UNIX”. I think it’s a very user-friendly, point-and-click way for installing software, and advanced users don’t need to use it.

It’s great to see that not only FreeNAS, the NAS O/S, but also pfSense will be supporting PBI packages in the future:

Moving packages to PBIs – the package system in 2.1 will switch to using the PBI package system, originally from PC-BSD, though also used by some on stock FreeBSD installs. The benefit of using PBIs is each package has all its dependencies included in the package, which eliminates the dependency messes that can happen currently, such as one package requiring a certain version of a dependent package but another requiring a different version, uninstallation of one package stomping on another package by uninstalling a dependency it requires, uninstallation of a package breaking the base system by deleting things it uses (though we already work around that one automatically), easing clean uninstall of packages, amongst other benefits. This will be a great improvement in the package system for 2.1. (source)

If you’re looking for a feature rich (BSD) firewall, why not consider pfSense?

PC-BSD 9.0RC1 available & new website

The first release candidate for the upcoming PC-BSD 9.0 is now available! This release includes the latest FreeBSD 9.0-RC1 base, along with numerous bug fixes and enhancements.

Notable changes in this release are:

  • Added support for installing to BootCamp partitions on Apple OSX systems
  • Added checks for invalid characters in the username
  • Added button to installer allowing toggle between US keyboard layout and currently selected
  • Added improved portjail init scripts
  • Life-Preserver now defaults to backing up to a remote directory set as the client hostname
  • Add some sanity checks to pbi-manager when creating new repositories
  • Fixed bugs setting the proxy server in pbi-manager / AppCafe (Uses the default config in networking GUI)
  • Improved the default firewall ruleset
  • Enable IPv6 support on all nic’s by default
  • Added options to pbi-manager which enables tmpfs memory building
  • Improved pc-thinclient setup to use pre-built FreeBSD world instead of building from source
  • Fix bug in pbi-manager when doing binary updates to ensure it is only attempted on the correct build
  • Fix issues installing with mirrors / raidz on ZFS

Source: PC-BSD 9.0RC1 Available (PC-BSD blog)

Have you seen PC-BSD’s new website? It has now the same look and feel as FreeNAS and iXsystems (Both PC-BSD and FreeNAS are projects supported by iXsystems).


Mixed FreeBSD News: FreeNAS 8.0.2, GhostBSD 2.5, WhatsApp

FreeNAS 8.0.2

iXsystems has released a new update for FreeNAS, FreeNAS 8.0.2, fixing the email subsystem. More release updates here.

GhostBSD 2.5

GhostBSD 2.5 BETA-2 is now available for testing. GhostBSD 2.5 comes in a lite and a DVD version which are based on FreeBSD 9 Beta. GhostBSD is a FreeBSD based desktop operating systems with Gnome

WhatsAPP uses FreeBSD

What kind of operating system does one need for 1 million concurrent TCP/IP sessions? FreeBSD is one of the choices. WhatsApp uses FreeBSD in combination with Erlang to achieve this: One Million.

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messenger that replaces SMS and works through the existing internet data plan of your device. WhatsApp is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Nokia Symbian60 phones. Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends.

A new kind of Cache

It’s called Bullet Cache, created by Ivan Voras.

“Think of Bullet Cache as  “Memcached, only better” :) It offers some unique data query options and is blazingly fast!”

Introduction – Installation & testing.

KDE SC 4.7.2 is available in ports.

FreeNAS 8.0 videos (toosmartguys)

TooSmartGuys have uploaded 4 more FreeNAS releated videos. This time they’re using FreeNAS 8.0, explaining the hardware needed, how to build the machine and how to configure it.

Building A FreeNAS 8 Box – Part 1 – Hardware

FreeNAS 8 – Part 2 – Build And Install

FreeNAS 8 – Part 3 – Configuration

FreeNAS 8 – Part 4 – FTP Server Setup


iXsystems releases FreeNAS 8.0.1

iXsystems has announced the availability of FreeNAS 8.0.1, the latest stable version of this FreeBSD-based network attached operating system.

Features added to FreeNAS 8.0.1 include S.M.A.R.T. and UPS services, USB 3.0 support, and OSX Lion AFP and Time Machine compatibility. In addition, cronjob support and rsync have been added to the GUI, and replication has been improved for increased data integrity.

The most significant changes since FreeNAS 8.0 are:

  • Divorced the volume members in the database from the FreeBSD devices. This resolves an issue where FreeBSD can change devices names and the GUI doesn’t pick up the updates due to the devices names being hard-wired in the database.
  • Support exporting ZFS zvols (virtual devices) as device extents via iSCSI.  8.0 was only able to export physical device nodes or file based extents.
  • The GUI now has an event notification system.
  • The email backend has been refactored.
  • Many many changes in the GUI to help it validate and sanitize inputs that are passed to the backend daemons.
  • Added UPS functionality.
  • Added rsync client and server functionality.
  • Added the ability to schedule cron jobs in the GUI.
  • Vastly improved and reworked snapshot replication.

Since FreeNAS is now following the release schedule of the underlying FreeBSD operating systems, this version is labelled 8.0.1 (update 1, based on FreeBSD 8.0), though 8.1 or 8.5 would have been more appropriate looking at the host of changes and improvements this latest version has received. The next planned version, FreeNAS 8.1 will add a plugin system, based on PC-BSD’s PBI technology,  so the base system can be easily expanded with things like bittorrent, uPNP etc). Hopefully 8.1 will be the best free NAS operating system for both home users and enterprises.

FreeNAS 8.0.1-RC2 available

iXsystems has made the second FreeNAS 8.0.1 release candidate available for testers. If there aren’t any showstoppers, this should be the last RC before the final release.

To give this RC a test-drive you can download it from:

Some of the changes since RC1 are:

  • The mail subsystem has been rewritten due to major interop issues with the previous implementation of the mail subsystem and various mail server setups (including gmail).  This was done by removing msmtp and replacing it’s functionality with python code.
  • The iSCSI target daemon (istgt) has been updated to address interoperability issues with VMWare ESXi 5.0
  • Fix a bug where a failed upgrade after a config was uploaded was resulting in the system “reverting” to using the uploaded config instead of the previous running config.
  • Save config now uses a hostname/date combo in the file name.
  • Fix a bug with replacing devices in place.
  • Add a confirmation password field for dyndns.
  • If the webgui can’t bind to the address specified in the GUI bind to the wildcard.  Set an alert if this is done.
  • Add a save debug button in the system -> advanced GUI to ease collecting diagnostic information when shell access isn’t configured.
  • Allow an interface to accept tagged and untagged packets.
  • Improvements to ataidle.
  • Reverse the list for ipv4 netmask.
  • Fix openldap authenticating against servers that require SSL/STARTTLS
  • Build python with a larger stack size.  This should solve intermittent
  • django stability issue
  • Move the USB 3 driver to a module so it can be disabled for hardware that has issues booting with the module enabled.
  • Allow the iSCSI extent file browser to show files.
  • Allow iSCSI extents to be used by one target->extent mapping.
  • Restrict the iSCSI target name to values allowed by the target and the RFC covering iqns.
  • Restart collectd properly when volumes are created or destroyed.
  • Make timezone changes take effect immediately in django.
  • Use the file browser for editing iSCSI file extents.
  • Ensure that the selection for an iSCSI file extent is a file and not a directory.
  • Allow auto-importer to work when there are zpools that contain subsets of
  • each other’s names.  eg: tank and tank2
  • Update django to 1.3.1 to address multiple security vulnerabilities.
  • Fix a bug where the system would attempt to change permissions from an unknown user to root:wheel.
  • Disable building the weekly locate database.

FreeNAS website | Announcement

FreeNAS releases: FreeNAS 8.0-RC1 and FreeNAS

FreeNAS 8.0-RC1

Josh Paetzel has announced the availability of the first release candidate (RC1) for FreeNAS 8.0.1.

I’m pleased to announce that FreeNAS 8.0.1 Release Candidate 1 is available for download. This is the first release candidate for FreeNAS 8.0.1. At this point, we are no longer including new features or functionality into 8.0.1. From here on out, only bug fixes and regressions will be addressed.

Major changes  are:

  • There is no longer a default password
  • Netatalk 2.2 is included, which provides support for Time Machine backups to OS X Lion clients
  • Deleting ZFS volumes is now really an export operation
  • The system now supports disabling the creation of a swap partition on every device in a volume
  • UFS volumes support setting arbitrary mount points

It is now also possible to download and test nightly snapshots of  FreeNAS 8.0 (announcement)


Development of FreeNAS 8 is in full swing, but the disadvantage of version 8 is that “home features” such as torrent downloading, itunes/DLNA broadcasting are not supported yet.

It is therefore great to see that developers keep updating the old 0.7.2 branch. The latest update has been versioned .7529 and some of the new features are:

  • Samba 3.5.6.
  • AIO setting from WebGUI.
  • AMD CPU on-die digital thermal sensor.
  • Advanced Format 4KB sector (UFS/GPT data partition). (data partition in the boot disk is always aligned to 32KB)
  • ZFS cache/log device and 4KB device in the pool.
  • Logical Block Length of iSCSI disk.
  • Virtual machine guest support (VMware and VirtualBox).
  • iSCSI boot/install (experimental).

Full details of changes and additions can be found in the FreeNAS release document

Links: FreeNAS website | FreeNAS downloads