FreeNAS 10: A developer’s perspective

Jordan Hubbard, CTO of iXsystems and Co-Founder of FreeBSD, gives us a rundown on what to expect for the upcoming FreeNAS 10. It is slated to release in the next few months.

RGB_FreeNAS_Shark_Logo_Onlight_LgOriginal –

One of the greater challenges in software engineering, particularly once you’ve actually released your latest magnum opus to the world, is deciding what to do next.  How long do you continue to support version X, carefully fixing bugs and polishing the rock, before the list of architectural limitations and # of tickets requesting radical, substantial new features (all of which are potentially disruptive) begin to suggest that simple rock-polishing isn’t going to cut it as your only investment in engineering time and resources?

We reached that tipping point with the FreeNAS 9.x branch about 6 months ago.  While putting the finishing touches on FreeNAS 9.3, a release which was a substantial improvement over previous 9.x releases, it was clear that we were still fundamentally limited by various design decisions made during the 2nd major rewrite of FreeNAS (FreeNAS 8).

This is not to say that those decisions were wrong or bad – all software technologies evolve and hindsight is always 20-20 – but it’s still fair to say that the world is constantly changing and FreeNAS as a product has little choice but to change with it.

First, just to set the context for the description of FreeNAS 10 which follows, a quick Architectural overview of FreeNAS 9 is in order:

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Docker comes to FreeBSD

releases Docker containers have been very popular in recent years on Linux. Docker containers provide services which “wrap up a piece of software in a complete filesystem that contains everything it needs to run: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries – anything you can install on a server. This guarantees that it will always run the same, regardless of the environment it is running in.”

Put another way, if Linux containers are approximately equivalent to FreeBSD jails, then Docker is the Linux equivalent of FreeBSD’s Warden.

The Docker technology has become quite a buzz-word in Linux circles and quite useful for testing and deploying services and applications. We are happy to report that Docker has been ported to FreeBSD! Though not all of Docker’s features currently work, most of Docker’s functionality is in place. More information on the FreeBSD port of Docker and which features currently work can be found on the port’s GitHub page.


This short tutorial by the folks at osquery will show you how to get its port set up for FreeBSD.


osquery is an operating system instrumentation framework for OS X and Linux. The tools make low-level operating system analytics and monitoring both performant and intuitive.

osquery exposes an operating system as a high-performance relational database. This allows you to write SQL-based queries to explore operating system data. With osquery, SQL tables represent abstract concepts such as running processes, loaded kernel modules, open network connections, browser plugins, hardware events or file hashes.

The easiest way to install osquery on FreeBSD is via the ports tree. Check FreshPorts for the latest version information.

# from ports
cd /usr/ports/sysutils/osquery && make install clean

# from binary package
pkg install osquery

# using portmaster
portmaster sysutils/osquery


FreeBSD Foundation Welcomes New Board Member – Benedict Reuschling

The FreeBSD Foundation has recently been joined by Benedict Reuschling to the Board of Directors. Mr. Reuschling has been a committer since 2010, and has been involved in the BSD Certification Group. Also, if you have not noticed, the FreeBSD Foundation website’s banner pays tribute to their 15 years of service to the community. FBSDF15-yearsCongratulations!


During BSDCan, the FreeBSD Foundation welcomed Benedict Reuschling to the Board of Directors.

We sat down with Benedict to find out more about his background and what brought him to the Foundation. Please take a moment to see what he has to say and join us in welcoming him to the board!

Tell us a little about yourself, and how you got involved with FreeBSD?

I’ve been a FreeBSD user since 5.2.1-RELEASE and became a committer for the doc tree in 2010. I’m also a proctor for the BSD Certification Group.

During my undergraduate studies in computer science, I tried out many different Linux distributions. One day, I came across a FreeBSD Live-CD called FreeSBIE. I booted it and was intrigued by how quickly one could switch between terminals on the command line, whereas in all previous distros I saw, this had a noticeable delay. My thought was that if it is already faster on a Live-CD, how would it be when I actually install the system? So, I tried it on my desktop at home in a dual boot setup together with the Linux distro that I had been using. I learned more about FreeBSD by devouring the FreeBSD handbook, blog posts and lurking on mailing lists.

After a while, I realized that I had spent more time in the FreeBSD system than in my Linux partition. So, I decided one day to install FreeBSD as my only operating system and it has been with me ever since. Though I was a FreeBSD user now, I still was not interacting with the FreeBSD community.

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FreeBSD 10.1 as a desktop OS: Configuration

User KENNETH ENZ has uploaded this video on how to get your FreeBSD 10.1 set up as a desktop OS. Check out their channel for more FreeBSD tutorials.

A few desktop configuration and software installation options are looked at as the FreeBSD system is set up as a work station with some software considerations useful for developers.

Previous videos in this series:
FreeBSD 10.1 as a desktop OS (part 1 of 3)…

FreeBSD 10.1 as a desktop OS (part 2 of 3)…

FreeBSD 10.1 as a desktop OS (part 3 of 3)…

How to add swap file in FreeBSD 10.1

This tutorial by user Rudraraj shows us how to get swap file added to FreeBSD 10.1.


In this post, we will see how to add swap file in FreeBSD 10.1. A swap area comes in handy if you are running a system with low memory. However, It is strongly recommended that you add up more physical memory (RAM) if possible. Because swapping degrades the system performance in the long run and also these days memory modules have become cheap so adding up memory should be the ideal choice.

1) Create the swap file:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/usr/swap0 bs=1m count=1024

Here we have created a swap file of 1 GB size. we have defined  block size (bs) as 1 MB, and count as 1024. So it is 1MBx1024 = 1024MB i.e; 1 GB

2) Set Correct Permission on the new swap file:

chmod 0600 /usr/swap0

3) Make the swap file availability persistent across reboots by adding the following information in ‘/etc/fstab‘:

md99  	 none	   swap	   sw,file=/usr/swap0,late  	 0 	0

The md(4) device md99 is used, leaving lower device numbers available for interactive use. Please note the option ‘late‘ defined in the above ‘/etc/fstab‘ entry. This is done as a workaround to do away with a bug as reported here (

4) Make the swap space available immediately:

swapon -aq

5) Check the swap Information:

# swapinfo -m
Device             1M-blocks    Used      Avail     Capacity
/dev/md99           1024         0        1024         0%

Thats It…!!! We are done…!!!!


PC-BSD 10.2-PRE-RELEASE and 11.0-CURRENT Images Available for Testing

The developers of PC-BSD’s plans for version 10.2 and 11 are in effect. You can download the 10.2-PRE-RELEASE and 11.0-CURRENT images for testing below.


The PC-BSD project is pleased to announce the availability of two new testing images: 10.2-PRERELEASE and 11.0-CURRENTJULY2015.

WARNING: These images are considered “bleeding-edge” and should be treated as such.

The DVD/USB ISO files can now be downloaded from the following URLs:

This is a great way to test features and report bugs well before the release cycle begins for the next major releases.

To report bugs in PC-BSD, use

To report FreeBSD / Port / Kernel / World bugs, use

To update from 10.1-RELEASE:

# pc-updatemanager chbranch 10.2-RELEASE
# pc-updatemanager chbranch 11.0-CURRENTJULY2015

This process will take a while, downloading new packages / world / kernel for the system. When done you can reboot, and the updater will finish up the update process.