The History of FreeNAS & TrueNAS

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

Original post:

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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Flash Memory Summit 2014 – FreeNAS

FreeNAS_logo_lightDuring the Flash Memory Summit, Chris (Tweaktown) spoke to Matt and Josh (iXsystems) about the future of the FreeNAS project. In addition, they discuss TrueNAS, an enterprise version of FreeNAS.

We sat down with Josh and Matt from iXsystems while at the show. Matt and Josh unloaded a lot of information about FreeNAS and where the project is headed. It sounds like the big push for the second half of this year revolves around making the product more user friendly. A new wizard system should tame the complicated but powerful storage specific operating system.

The FreeNAS developers also also pitched us TrueNAS, not that it was difficult to make us listen. iXsystems will soon offer TrueNAS in an all flash array, something we’re excited about. The current builds of TrueNAS use hybrid storage pools with flash acceleration.


FreeNAS is released


The developers of FreeNAS have released version

Well, we said would be the last in the 9.2.1.x series, but CVE-2014-3560 (a possible remote Samba exploit) forced us to change those plans. Come and get it from here, as usual!

While we were at it, we also added a few small performance improvements and brought over a small feature from 9.3, namely the ability to do replication on a direct link without encryption, potentially speeding up replication anywhere from 3-4X (especially over 10GbE). This is generally most useful when doing initial replication to a backup box, while they are co-located together, after which normal encryption can be used in sending the deltas.

Appended are the release notes for We encourage all existing 9.2.1.x users to upgrade. Thanks!

Download the ISO/image file here:

Check out the official announcement with the list of changes here:

iXsystems Hosting MeetBSD California 2014, Western Digital San Jose

MEETBSD2014iXsystems will be hosting this year’s MeetBSD California, at Western Digital located in San Jose. This “unConference” will take place on November 1-2, 2014.

MeetBSD California is the premier BSD conference in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since its inception in 2008, MeetBSD California has been held every two years in Silicon Valley, bringing together BSD community members from all over the region and around the world.

Previous settings for MeetBSD California have included the Google and Yahoo! campuses and the Hacker Dojo in Mountain View. This year’s venue, the Western Digital campus in San Jose, will remind attendees that the hardware BSD runs on is just as important as the applications it can run.

Matt Rutledge, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Storage Technologies for WD, said “Open Source technology continues to be key to the future of scalable, maintainable computer systems, and groups like those that develop the BSD operating systems are a key part of that ecosystem. We’re thrilled to welcome the BSD community to WD for MeetBSD 2014, and look forward to the open, collaborative innovation they represent.”

Check out for more information on how to register.

Official announcement:

BAFUG July 2014

Bay Area FreeBSD User Group had two presentations during their July 2014 meeting. In the following videos, Craig Rodrigues discusses libvirt and bhyve integration, while Adrian Chadd talks about upcoming RSS enhancements to the FreeBSD network stack. Press play below to tune in:

Free Intro to FreeNAS Classes

iXsystems is offering FreeNAS training classes, free! From the FreeNAS newsletter:

You read that right — we’ll start offering a free, condensed version of the original “Intro to FreeNAS” classes soon. Linda Kateley will still cover the same topics as the full-length class including web UI, setup, volumes, and datasets but the sessions will be much shorter. For now, we’d like to give our newsletter subscribers exclusive early access. We’ll be running a free session on Monday, 6/16 at 1PM EST. Each class (including this one) will be limited to 45 attendees but we expect those spots to fill up fast, so be sure to sign up soon.

We’re making a couple of changes to fit the new format. The ability to give verbal feedback will be removed due to the increased number of participants but attendees will be able to ask questions via chat. We will also offer paid, advanced FreeNAS classes for more in-depth instruction about the following topics:

  • System Administration
  • FreeNAS Sharing
  • FreeNAS Systems Design and Architecture

A beta of the system administration class will also be available soon with priority access for people who attended the full-length intro classes.

Once again, the link to sign up is here: