Harryd has blogged about the future of FreeNAS and it looks like the future is Linux not FreeBSD.
Harrdy has gleaned this information from this forum thread
In short… FreeNAS 0.8 will be based on Debian GNU/Linux! Volker (the core developer) started an intermediate project called CoreNAS. FreeNAS 0.8 will be based on that.
Here is a short list of pros by Volker:
- Text and graphical installer that can be customized. This means no hand written install scripts anymore which causes some problems in FreeNAS
- WOL works in Linux
- lmsensor – A WORKING sensor framework which is a really needed feature in FreeNAS to check the CPU/MB temps and fan speeds
- Better Samba performance
- Ability to implement HA features
- System can be updated via ‘apt-get’ or any other deb package manager
- Better driver support
- Maybe ‘ZFS’ over FUSE (there is already one commercial product available that uses this feature)
The really big problem is ZFS… If it is Linux under the hood or FreeBSD it really doesn’t make that much different to the end user, but and it is a big but, Linux doesn’t have (and can’t have due to licensing issues) ZFS and really running ZFS under FUSE is not a real option.
Is it time for someone else to take up the development of FreeNAS where 0.7 and Volker left off?
Todd Dixon, an assistant engineer for Crawford Broadcasting in Birmingham, Ala, was introduced to open source software several years ago.
Since then he has been a die hard open source fan and has used Linux, LTSP (the Linux Terminal Server Project) and FreeBSD. Todd has recently discovered FreeNAS and has written all about it (see the link below).
Here are a few choice snippets:
“FreeNAS works fine with an old Pentium III (933 MHz), showing only 1 percent CPU usage and 20 percent of the 1 GB total of RAM. I’m not exaggerating, the thing screams.”
“It is elegant in function and a perfect option for us to continue to give even more data services to everybody here in Birmingham even while our budgets have been tightened.”
FreeNAS: A Simple Data Storage Solution
Volker Theile and the FreeNAS team are proud to announce the release of FreeNAS 0.7. Codenamed Khasadar (which is a form of police from Frank Herbert’s famous novel Dune) you can download the ISO and image files here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/freenas/files/stable/0.7.
- Add ability to configure the login shell for a user.
- Local users must join the group ‘ftp’ to be able to login via FTP if ‘Local users only’ in ‘Services|FTP’ is enabled.
- Add a user portal. This allows a local user to login and change it’s
password. The user must have access permissions to login to the user
This can be configured in the user configuration WebGUI. Please note that
the administrator needs to apply changes done by the local users because
there have to be restarted several services (which is not allowed to be
done by a user).
- Announce AFP shares using Bonjour/ZeroConf (FR 2839592). Thanks to Morton
- Add AFP FP_SYNCFORK command support (FR 2836955). Thanks to Morton
for the patch.
- Add Adaptec AACRAID 32/64-bit driver to v5.2.0 Build 17517.
Major software upgrades:
- Upgrade Samba to 3.0.37.
- Upgrade transmission to 1.72.
- Upgrade lighttpd to 1.4.23.
- Upgrade ProFTPD to 1.3.2a.
- Upgrade iSCSI initiator to 2.2.3.
- Upgrade fusefs-ntfs/ntfs-3g to 2009.4.4.
- Upgrade e2fsprogs to 1.41.8.
- Upgrade inadyn-mt to 02.14.10.
- Upgrade fuppes to SVN-0.640.
- Set transmission umask to 0002 per default. This can be customize via the
‘Services|BitTorrent’ WebGUI or the rc.conf variable ‘transmission_umask’
- Add ixgbe driver to i386 kernel.
- Add ixgb driver to AMD64 kernel (BR 2813759).
Add support for Blowfish 448 bits encryption (FR 2816028).
Add configuration option in ‘Services|BitTorrent’ to enable/disable usage
of distributed hash table (DHT).
- Add /usr/bin/getopt command (FR 2824548).
- Add extra options for S.M.A.R.T. in ‘Disks|Management|Disk|Edit’ (FR
- Add RAID1 balance algorithm ‘prefer’ (FR 2833989).
- Add latvian language support. Thanks to the translators.
- Update Quixplorer russian translation (BR 2841900). Thanks to Alexey
- Add ‘Max. login attempts’ to ‘Services|FTP’ (FR 2844193).
- Get AFP dbd cnid scheme working (BR 2844900).
- Set ‘dir-listing.encoding = “utf-8″‘ for the webserver directory listing
- Display volume serial number in ‘Disks|Management’ (FR 2881880).
- Now it is possible to configure iSCSI-Targets for export: removable media
(static & dynamic size), pass-through devices. Thanks to Vasily Chalykh.
- Prohibit user ‘transmission’ to login via FTP.
- ZPool disk space usage isn’t displayed correctly (BR 2810584).
- Improved Unison WebGUI to be able to configure ZFS shares as working
directory (BR 2795084).
- Synchronizing ZFS configuration fails (BR 2814324).
- Restrict bittorrent administrative WebGUI port to [1024,65535] (BR
- The ‘Unmount disk/partition’ checkbox on ‘Disks|Mount Point|Fsck’ was ignored (BR 2860297).
- It is not possible to format a SoftRAID disk with MSDOS FAT16/32.
- It is not possible to encrypt a disk partition, only complete disks
- It is not possible to get seperate CPU stats per processor on SMP
FreeBSD does not support that feature.
- Enable ‘polling’ on interfaces used by a LAGG interface will make it
- It is not possible to mount EXT2 disks with an inode size of 256
have to format it with 128 bytes on Linux to use them on FreeBSD.
- If DHCP for IPv4 is used, the IPv6 statically configured DNS server
overriden by the IPv4 DNS server.
- Downgrading to 0.69 via WebGUI fails because of broken pipe error.
- FreeBSD’s ext2fs module, as of release 7.1, cannot mount ext2 file systems
with 256-byte large inodes, only 128 byte sized. Unfortunately, 256
the default size with many recent Linux distributions.
Alexander Kojevnikov has set up a FreeNAS server using RAID 1 (AKA mirroring) and encryption. But is asking himself the question what if, in the future, I want to upgrade the drives with larger ones?
A common scenario with RAID 1 is to replace one of the disks with the bigger one, rebuild the mirror then replace the other one and rebuild it again. In theory it sounds like an easy process that will keep all your data intact. In practice however it’s not,
Alex has found a post by Mike Oliver called FreeNAS 0.7.3953, RAID 1, growfs… oh my! explaining how to do this under FreeNAS.
However if you add encryption it is a little more complicated… Thankfully Alex’s post as the procedure needed!
Related links: Growing mirrored and encrypted partitions in FreeNAS
The Windows7holic blog has posted a tutorial about setting up FreeNAS.
The tutorial is quite advanced and not only covers booting, installation and initial configuration but also covers RAID.
Windows 7: Assembling File Server with the Red Devils