Setup of RAID10 (RAID0 stripe of two RAID1 mirrors) on FreeBSD 10.1

FreeBSD user DutchDaemon shows us how to set up RAID10 on FreeBSD 10.1.

Just a quick and unceremonious write-up of an installation I performed just now. Substitute device names at your own leisure. These are four 4 TB disks (ada0ada3) in a QNAP. Note that these disks only constitute a dedicated RAID10 storage pool. The OS runs from a separate disk (USB in this case) and mounts the storage pool.

# load your kernel modules
kldload geom_label
kldload geom_mirror
kldload geom_stripe

# if necessary
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ada0 count=2
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ada1 count=2
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ada2 count=2
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ada3 count=2

gpart create -s gpt ada0
gpart create -s gpt ada1
gpart create -s gpt ada2
gpart create -s gpt ada3

# RAID1 mirror ada0+ada1
gpart add -t freebsd-ufs -l ada0data ada0
gpart add -t freebsd-ufs -l ada1data ada1

gmirror label datastore01 /dev/gpt/ada0data /dev/gpt/ada1data

newfs -U /dev/mirror/datastore01

## echo '/dev/mirror/datastore01 /data1 ufs rw,noatime 1 1' >> /etc/fstab
## mkdir /data1
## mount /data1

# RAID1 mirror ada2+ada3
gpart add -t freebsd-ufs -l ada2data ada2
gpart add -t freebsd-ufs -l ada3data ada3

gmirror label datastore02 /dev/gpt/ada2data /dev/gpt/ada3data

newfs -U /dev/mirror/datastore02

## echo '/dev/mirror/datastore02 /data2 ufs rw,noatime 1 1' >> /etc/fstab
## mkdir /data2
## mount /data2

# RAID0 from both RAID1 mirrors

gstripe label -v datastore /dev/mirror/datastore01 /dev/mirror/datastore02

newfs -U /dev/stripe/datastore

echo '/dev/stripe/datastore /data ufs rw,noatime 2 2' >> /etc/fstab

Et voilà:

mkdir /data
mount -a
df -h | grep datastore

/dev/stripe/datastore  7.0T  8.0K  6.5T  0%  /data

In /boot/loader.conf:


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Netflix will soon use HTTPS to secure video streams

Netflix is one of the major companies to utilize FreeBSD servers. Their streaming services account for a large amount of internet traffic in many countries.

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Netflix will soon use the HTTPS protocol to authenticate and encrypt customer streams, a move that helps ensure what users watch stays secret. The move now leaves Amazon as one of the most noticeable no-shows to the Web encryption party.

Flipping on the HTTPS switch on Netflix’s vast network of OpenConnect Appliances (OCAs) has been anything but effortless. That’s because the demands of mass movie streaming can impose severe penalties when transport layer security (TLS) is enabled. Each Netflix OCA is a server-class computer with a 64-bit Xeon CPU running the FreeBSD operating system. Each box stores up to 120 terabytes of data and serves up to 40,000 simultaneous, long-lived connections, a load that requires as much as 40 gigabits per second of continuous bandwidth. Like Amazon, Netflix has long encrypted log-in pages and other sensitive parts of its website but has served movie streams over unsecured HTTP connections. Netflix took the unusual step of announcing the switch in a quarterly earnings letter that company officials sent shareholders Tuesday.

[Read more…]

#InstallFreeBSD event in Landshut – Germany

FreeBSD user banym is hosting a FreeBSD Install event on May 15, 2015 in Landshut, Bavaria.

bsdinstall-newboot-loader-menuToday I want to announce that I will organize a small FreeBSD workshop on 15 May 2015 in our new location in Landshut near Munich, Germany. The is a center of IT-companies and software developers. My company called BayCIX is one of the five founders of the Beside our daily business we planned to have tech talks and events from the beginning. Now that the building is finished and we have the infrastructure working, we will start with two meetups.

Follow our meetup site to check out the first meetup on 30. April and my #InstallFreeBSD workshop on 15. May:

As the name of my workshop indicates it takes place in the #InstallFreeBSD series to introduce people to the FreeBSD system. I will bring some hardware to show where FreeBSD can run on and explain the basics.

If you’re located in Bavaria, feel free to join me and have some fun with FreeBSD.

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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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How To Configure and Connect to a Private OpenVPN Server on FreeBSD 10.1

CallumA of Digital Ocean, a cloud service provider whom recently added support for FreeBSD, shows us how to set up a private OpenVPN server on FreeBSD 10.1.


OpenVPN is an open-source virtual private network (VPN) server/client application which allows you to join a virtual network (similar to a LAN) securely.

This tutorial will explain how to install and configure an OpenVPN server on a FreeBSD 10.1 machine with IPv4 NAT and routing. It includes short explanations of various configuration options.

By the end of this tutorial you’ll be running your own OpenVPN server, and have a client configuration file ready to download to connect to this network.


  • A FreeBSD 10.1 Droplet. Droplet size depends on how many clients you intend to connect to the VPN; 519 MB is fine for a few clients
  • Root access. sudo is pre-installed on DigitalOcean, so there’s nothing extra to do

This tutorial requires root access. On DigitalOcean, access the server as the default freebsd user, then access the root shell:

sudo tcsh

Step 1 — Installing OpenVPN

Installing OpenVPN with the pkg system is quite simple. Simply run these commands to update the package lists and install the VPN software:

pkg update
pkg install openvpn

This should also install the easy-rsa package, which will be used to generate the SSL key pairs.

Full tutorial:

NVIDIA – Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD driver 346.59 (long-lived branch release)

351px-Nvidia_logoNVIDIA has announced support for FreeBSD and other distros for the GeForce GPUs mentioned below:

Release highlights since 346.47:

  • Added support for the following GPUs:
    • Quadro K1200
    • Quadro M6000
    • GeForce 920M
    • GeForce 930A
    • GeForce 930M
    • GeForce 940M
    • GeForce GTX 950M
    • GeForce GTX 960M
    • GeForce GTX TITAN X
  • Fixed a bug that caused corruption when switching display modes in some applications that use transform feedback.
  • Fixed a bug that caused texture corruption on framebuffer depth attachments cleared using glClearTexImage().
  • Fixed a bug that artificially limited the maximum pixel clock on displays in some SLI Mosaic configurations.
  • Fixed a kernel memory leak that occurred when looping hardware- accelerated video decoding with VDPAU on Maxell-based GPUs.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause nvidia-settings to crash on exit on 32-bit Linux systems.

[README | Linux x86 | Linux x86_64 | Linux ARM | Solaris | FreeBSD x86 | FreeBSD x86_64]

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AMD Catalyst Might Be Coming To FreeBSD

This article by Phoronix mentions that AMD is confirming a possible Catalyst port to FreeBSD.AMD_Catalyst_Software_Logo

AMD tech support has allegedly confirmed that Catalyst is being ported to FreeBSD.

A Phoronix reader pointed out this thread in which an AMD customer claims confirmed that Catalyst is coming to FreeBSD with the Catalyst driver in-development.

I haven’t heard any other confirmation of Catalyst coming to FreeBSD (the open-source Radeon DRM driver was ported to FreeBSD, not Catalyst). FreeBSD 10 brought the Radeon DRM driver that was ported from the Linux kernel by independent developers and this driver has since made its way to DragonFlyBSD, etc. However, the Radeon DRM on the BSD kernel remains many kernel releases out-of-date (~10 major kernel releases?) compared to the upstream Git code.

I wouldn’t entirely rule out Catalyst officially coming to FreeBSD though with the new AMD Linux driver architecture where they plan to have a common DRM driver (the yet to be released new “AMDGPU” DRM driver) used by both the open and closed-source drivers while Catalyst will be bound to being a binary blob in user-space. It’s possible that this blob could be ported to FreeBSD, once the AMDGPU kernel driver makes it to FreeBSD… Though I really wouldn’t count on AMD developers porting the AMDGPU DRM driver initially to FreeBSD, given that their limited open-source Linux staff already has their hands full maintaining the Linux support.

We’ll see in the months ahead if AMD decides to officially support FreeBSD, but for now the undisputed best graphics hardware support on *BSDs is with NVIDIA hardware where there’s the binary driver that’s maintained and updated in-step with the NVIDIA Linux/Solaris drivers.

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