Home > FreeNAS Releases > FreeNAS 8.0 Release Candidate 5 – Last One Before Final Version?

FreeNAS 8.0 Release Candidate 5 – Last One Before Final Version?

April 12th, 2011

The FreeNAS team and iXsystems have surprised themselves by shipping FreeNAS 8.0 RC5.
It wasn’t planned but since they fixed so many issues in RC4 it was clear that an RC5 would be beneficial.

There are two new major features in RC5:

  • Volume drive replacement in the GUI
  • The ability to add to ZFS volumes, which also doubles as the ability to create stacked ZFS volumes, such as a stripe of RAIDZs (RAID 50) or a stripe of mirrors (RAID 10)

The GUI contains functionality to replace components in volumes. Mainly useful for replacing failed drives in arrays, it can handle replacing devices in place or migrating devices depending on is the new device has the same or a different device name in it. Due to a bug in FreeBSD’s ZFS implementation, occasionally ZFS will attempt to hold on to the old device. The GUI contains a detach button for such cases. Spare, Cache, and Log devices can now be added to ZFS volumes at any time through the GUI.

The ability to create “stacked” ZFS configurations is now present in the GUI. This also goes hand in hand with the ability to add devices to ZFS volumes. For ZFS the volume wizard will now accept an existing volume name when adding volumes. If an existing volume name is specified, the volume being created will be added to the existing volume as a stripe. In this manner one can create complex volumes such as RAID 10, RAIDZ+0, RAIDZ2+0, RAIDZ3+0 in the same manner as conventional RAID controllers build complex volumes. Simply start with the subgroups and build up from there. The top level group is implicitly a stripe, there is no provision to build a mirror of mirrors, or a RAIDZ of mirrors, or a mirror of RAIDZs

FreeNAS 8 should be installed to a USB stick or Compact Flash device. It requires a device of at least 1 GB in size. In a departure from FreeNAS 0.7 releases, the OS drive can not be used as a component for a volume, nor can it be partitioned for sharing.

UPGRADES FROM FREENAS 0.7x ARE UNSUPPORTED

You can download FreeNAS 8.0 RC5 from here.

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  1. Quim
    April 14th, 2011 at 13:00 | #1

    I cannot upgrade the firmware via the GUI.

    Yes I’m downloading the .xz files and I’m using the SHA256 hash table, but it just says undefined, I got RC3 installed and I want to upgrade to RC4 or RC5 I’ve tried the .xz releases for both, no luck at all.

    I only have a big ZFS Pool which I choose to have the temporary file placed upon. Might this be the problem?

  2. April 16th, 2011 at 12:46 | #2

    FreeNAS 8rc5 doesn’t appear quite ready for prime time, at least not the i386 (32-bit) version. On 32-bit processors there doesn’t seem to be a loader configuration that will enable FreeNAS 8 to do terabyte sized TimeMachine backups. The system stalls every few hundred gigabytes with a kmem kernel panic. The tips in the ZFS Tuning Guide don’t seem to help. All the gory details on this problem are posted in the FreeNAS 8 Sub-Forum. Look for the post titled “FreeNAS 8 RC5 kmem panic – i386 3GB RAM”.

    If a 1+ terabyte backup can’t be completed in one gulp, I fear the probability of a successful restore is quite low.

  3. Tom Wyrick
    June 16th, 2011 at 14:20 | #3

    Richard, I’m glad you posted this! I had the exact SAME experience a couple weeks ago while trying out the release version of FreeNAS 8. (So I guess they didn’t fix this between RC5 and the final?)

    I specifically built this FreeNAS box to do network Time Machine backups from the Macs in our house (we own a total of 5!) — but the server I re-purposed for FreeNAS was an older Pentium 4 Xeon 2.66Ghz from 2003-2004. It doesn’t support 64-bit mode. I had 4GB of RAM in it and I experienced the kmem panic not too long after I kicked off an initial Time Machine backup from my system with close to 1TB of data to be backed up.

    At this point, I scrapped it because if I can’t trust it to make reliable backups or restores in this way, it’s useless to me. I’m about to pull out the motherboard in the server and fork over the cash to put a newer AMD board in with a Phenom II processor that is 64-bit capable. It won’t technically be a “server class” motherboard anymore, but if it works, it works!

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