FreeNAS 8.2 Released

After four beta releases and one release candidate (RC), iXsystems has announced the release of FreeNAS 8.2.0, a FreeBSD-based operating systems for Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems.

This new release is the first 8.x branch release support plugins or extensions. These were available in the 0.7.x brach, prior to the project was taken over by iXsystems, but were temporarily left out of  FreeNAS 8.0 so the developers could focus on making the new base (based on FreeBSD 8) sound and solid before adding advanced features.

Plugins and other extensions are now available as optional PBI (Push Button Installer) packages that run in a FreeBSD jail. This means that plugins are running separate from the FreeNAS and sandboxed for security, but can be controlled via the FreeNAS web-based user interface. If you have used PC-BSD, you will realise the potential and the usability of these PBIs. Plugins are currently available for Roku and iTunes (Firefly) streaming, and DLNA (MiniDLNA), as well as BitTorrent (Transmission).

The FreeNAS development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of FreeNAS 8.2.0-RELEASE.

FreeNAS 8.2.0-RELEASE is the first release on new branch of code that incorporates tighter integration between the ZFS command line and the FreeNAS GUI. This release also features the ability to run arbitrary services and interact with them through the FreeNAS GUI in a FreeBSD jail. This jail allows a wide range of third party software to be run on top of FreeNAS, using the PBI format from PC-BSD or FreeBSD packages or ports, as well as official FreeNAS plugins.

Apart from PBI plugin support there are many other new features:

  • Support for iSCSI target reload.
  • GUI support for SAS and FC multipath hardware.
  • Webshell accessible from the FreeNAS web interface.
  • ZFS scrubs are configurable from the GUI.
  • A newer web toolkit is used in the GUI, enabling use of mobile browsers.
  • An autotuning script tunes ZFS for the hardware it’s running on.

Read the press release, the release notesannouncement or download FreeNAS 8.2.0

Unixmen Interview: BSD For Human Beings?

Continuing his BSD summer interviews, Bill Toulas conducted an interview with Kris Moore, the founder and current leader of development of the desktop user-friendly PC-BSD project.

The questions asked and answered are:

  • As the founder of PC-BSD, what can you tell us about your decision to start this project? How did you get involved with BSD systems, and what drove you into creating one?
  • What is your current role in PC-BSD?
  • Why did you choose Free-BSD as the basis for your system?
  • What goodies from Free-BSD can be found on PC-BSD? Are all the innovative security tools of Free-BSD available on PC-BSD too?
  • I found the installer and the AppCafe very user-friendly. What else is there making user’s life easier, while also confirming PC-BSD’s desktop aiming?
  • Ubuntu is considered to be the most user-friendly and most well-supported free operating system out there. Why would one choose PC-BSD instead of Ubuntu?
  • For a desktop OS, apart from user-friendliness and user-support, it is also important to offer as better hardware and software compatibility as possible. How are you doing on this sector?
  • Although using PC-BSD was generally a relaxed and nice experience for me, I was kind of disappointed by the use of GNOME 2 in your latest version. Is this a decision of yours for usability purposes, or are you planning to port GNOME 3 on the next release?
  • When are we going to see the next release, and what will be the highlights of it?

BSD For Human Beings? | Interview

Gentoo FreeBSD

Most of you will have read, or maybe even used, Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, which is an operating system consisting of FreeBSD kernel with a GNU userland, but there’s also Gentoo FreeBSD.

So what is Gentoo FreeBSD? According to the Gentoo FreeBSD project page, Gentoo/FreeBSD (or Gentoo/FBSD, or G/FBSD) is an effort to create a complete FreeBSD-based Gentoo system, sharing the complete administration facilities of Gentoo with the reliability of the FreeBSD kernel and userland. An experimental, yet incomplete release have been done, and it’s possible to install Gentoo/FreeBSD following the install guide.

I don’t think I’ve referred to Gentoo FreeBSD before.

Traffic Shaping with pfSense and HFSC (video)

This screencast demonstrates the use of a pfSense device for traffic shaping on a typical home network, with the goals of minimizing latency and maximizing throughput. In particular, we use a three-tier queue configuration where a parent speedboost queue on each interface contains leaf queues that catch all the traffic. The speedboost queues use HFSC’s non-linear service curve to match the behavior of the comcast speedboost. The leaf queues are configured to partition the available bandwidth, and automatically allow ‘borrowing’ when there is no contention.


Section links:

  • Installation / Setup: 3min:01sec
  • Monitoring: 6min:30sec
  • Traffic Shaping: 15min:34sec
pc-bsd logo 100x100

New PC-BSD development snapshot – 2012/06/22

Yet it seems there is no official announcment for this snapshot, but you can find on PC-BSD mirrors page a new release !

It’s the release of the 2012-06-22, there is no changelog/readme so I can’t tell what’s new exactly in, but I’m sure there is a lot of bug fixes !

You can get the iso/usb images by choosing a mirror on this page : http://www.pcbsd.org/getmirrors.php?url=9-STABLE-20120622

There is a lot of work done from the PC-BSD 9.0 release ! The installer is now easier and cleaner, the AppCafé has been modifed too, and each new snapshot include the latest userland and kernel.

MaheshaBSD Server Edition – document sharing server

Juraj from the MaheshaBSD Project has announced the MaheshaBSD Server Edition.

The objective of MaheshaBSD Server is to provide users and small businesses/institutions a way to operate the simplest and least demanding FTP/WWW server for the purpose of sharing documents (information). MaheshaBSD Server can be used both for an in-house document sharing or over the internet.

MaheshaBSD Server Edition comes as a USB image and its purpose is to show Windows users the flexibility of running FreeBSD off a USB flash drive.

It immediately supports quotas; and also a possibility to redirect a NTFS drive via mount_nullfs to MaheshaBSD Server, so that users can just simply copy any file to my easy to use FTP/WWW server, as you can see on the picture attached in this email (not many BSD LiveCD’s support writing to NTFS drives unfortunately).

Some of the features included (taken from the Documentation):

  • Portability – with a straightforward FTP/WWW server running off the USB flash drive it is much easier to come up with such a flash drive to any computer available on your in-house (or home) network (LAN) than to disassemble your computer and put the hard drive to another computer where an operating system is already running;
  • No need to purchase expensive licenses for an operating system because MaheshaBSD Server is itself an operating system (FreeBSD);
  • Immediate possibility to use this server – users without any knowledge of Unix can use easy to use free programs such as WinSCP (a Windows GUI application for copying data via SFTP) – they will just copy files into MaheshaBSD Server’s FTP/WWW directory and they will be immediately displayed in a browser;
  • By setting up IP Forwarding on ports 21 (FTP), 22 (SSH), 80 (HTTP) in your router settings you will have an instant possibility to operate a public Internet FTP/WWW server;
  • Security – as long as your FTP (or WWW) server is not running in Windows as a separate program, the environment where certain cleverer individuals may  always find a way to steal your sensitive data (in case you choose a Windows FTP/web server software with unreported security holes), you will be in a great advantage as regards security;
  • A possibility to mount NTFS/FAT32 disks/flash drives/USB hard drives and use them as a place for FTP/WWW data storage. Both editions – MaheshaBSD and MaheshaBSD Server – can easily mount NTFS disks for write access, a feature not available in many BSD LiveCD distributions;
  • Remote Admin.

The full MaheshaBSD Server Edition documentation can be read here (pdf).

MaheshaBSD Server Edition is free for personal use and businesses are required to buy a  $200 license.

We have not been able to test the Server Edition yet, but a $200 license is quite a fee for a document server licens. It would be interesting to see how MaheshaBSD Server Edition compares with FreeNAS 8.2. We may do a comparison a some point in the future.

Miscelaneous FreeBSD news updates (KDE, PC-BSD, Raspberry Pi, FBSD Foundation, OSI)

Below some miscelaneous links to FreeBSD related news and updates:

KDE/FreeBSD Bulletin with recent FreeBSD KDE ports related updates.

PC-BSD 20120605 Snapshot now available for testing. There’s also a BSD Talk interview (BSDTalk 2016) with Kris Moore, founder of the PC-BSD project, which was recorded during BSDCan 2012. Kris talks about the features going into PC-BSD 9.1.

There are some FreeBSD developers that are trying to get FreeBSD running on the Raspberry Pi, a $25 ARM Linux/GNU box: Porting FreeBSD to the Raspberry Pi.

FreeBSD, a world apart (translatedfrom Spanish with Google Translate) – interesting blog post with some FreeBSDD background information. I like the collection of open source logos.

FreeBSD Foundation prepares launch of East Coast Mirror at NYI (announement)

Simon Phipps is the new OSI President:

Phipps has already been spearheading an OSI reform process, working with the rest of the board to open up the organisation. That process has led to the creation of Open Source Initiative affiliation, bringing the Apache Software Foundation, FreeBSD, Eclipse, Mozilla, Debian, and Creative Commons, along with other organisations, on board as affiliates.

PC-BSD 9-STABLE snapshot available for testing (20120524)

Kris Moore has announced the availability of the next PC-BSD testing snapshot: PC-BSD 9-STABLE-20120524. This snapshot is available for both the i386and amd64 architectures.

Some changes since the previous snapshot:

  • Based on FreeBSD 9-STABLE from 05-20-2012.
  • Add support to Warden for using ZFS snapshots on jails. Now you may create, remove, and rollback previous snapshots of a jail via the command-line and GUI.
  • New bottom panel and features in the AppCafe for installed applications.
  • Updated the pc-thinclient command.
  • Added some safety checks to ZFS installs.
  • New “About” GUI, displays information about system.
  • Added initial support for enabling 8021X authentication, still a work in progress.
  • Added LDAP/AD support to installed Samba packages.

Highlights for the upcoming 9.1:

  • New system installer is greatly simplified for desktop and server installs.
  • New PC-BSD Server installation option. Includes command-line utilities like pbi-manager, warden, metapkgmanager and more.
  • Support for ZFS mirror / raidz(1,2,3) during installation.
  • Support for SWAP on ZFS, allowing entire disk ZFS installation.
  • Support for setting additional ZFS data-set options, such as compression, noexec, etc.
  • Warden jail management integrated into system. Allows creating jails via GUI, adding packages and other administration.
  • First boot setup wizard allows OEM installs to be easily performed.
  • New Bluetooth pairing tray / GUI utilities.
  • New AppCafe improvements and preferences
  • Improvements to wifi utility.
  • Fixed bug causing untranslated strings to show up empty.
  • Numerous bug-fixes to PC-BSD related utilities.
  • Support for creating PXE boot server for remote desktop and installation.

Remember this snapshot is recommended for testing purposes only. Should you come across any issues, please share them with the team on the PC-BSD Testing Mailinglist.

Download the PC-BSD 9-STABLE-20120524 Snapshot