Author Archive

FreeNAS 8.2.0 released then withdrawn and then released again!

July 21st, 2012 Comments off

The FreeNAS development team has announced the availability of FreeNAS 8.2.0 (known as FreeNAS 8.2.0-RELEASE).

FreeNAS 8.2 is the first release on new branch of code that incorporates tighter integration between the ZFS command line and the FreeNAS GUI.  This release also features the ability to run arbitrary services and interact with them through the FreeNAS GUI packages or ports, as well as official FreeNAS plugins.

Additional features include:

  • Support for iSCSI target reload.
  • GUI support for SAS and FC multipath hardware.
  • Webshell accessible from the FreeNAS web interface.
  • ZFS scrubs are configurable from the GUI.
  • A newer web toolkit is used in the GUI, enabling use of mobile browsers.
  • An autotuning script tunes ZFS for the hardware it’s running on.

However after the initial release critical bug was discovered so the software was removed from sourceforge. In its place FreeNAS 8.2.0-RELEASE-p1 was uploaded.

However it turns out that has a very small issue exists in the p1 kit as well. According to the release announcement:

So, if you haven't upgraded to 8.2.0-RELEASE you're fine, just do a normal upgrade to 8.2.0-RELEASE-p1.

If you have upgraded to 8.2.0-RELEASE then you've probably noticed a very annoying bug, it doesn't import ZFS pools at boot time.

What you'll want to do is detach your ZFS volume from the GUI. There are two checkboxes, one for delete shares, one for mark disks as new. Make sure these are both unchecked.

After the volume is detached run the auto-importer and reimport your pool. From there go to system -> settings -> advanced and do a firmware upgrade to 8.2.0-RELEASE-p1. This will fail due to the version check, open the webshell and type in the following commands:

# cd /var/tmp/firmware
# cat firmware.img | sh /root/update && touch /data/need-update && reboot

When the system comes back up confirm it is running FreeNAS 8.2.0-RELEASE-p1

Getting FreeNAS

For 64 bit capable hardware
The FreeNAS images are at:

The plugins and plugin jail are available at:

For 32 bit hardware
The FreeNAS images are at:

The plugins and plugin jail are available at:

Documentation has been updated with the finished 8.2.0 documentation. A PDF/HTML version will be available Tuesday July 24th.

Release Notes

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FreeNAS 8.2.0-RC1 available

July 14th, 2012 Comments off

The first release candicate for FreeNAS 8.2 has been released. You can download it from

FreeNAS 8.2 adds lots of functionality including:

ZFS can be manipulated from the CLI, and changes for supported items tracked by FreeNAS will be reflected in the GUI. zvols, datasets, and entire volumes can be created, destroyed, or manipulated on the CLI and will be propagated to the GUI.

The GUI now supports active-passive multipath capable hardware, which targets mainly SAS drives on dual expander backplanes. Any multipath capable devices that are detected will be placed in multipath units which are then exposed to the GUI, and the parent devices will be hidden.

Plugins are now available. Third party modules can be added to FreeNAS which will persist across upgrades and can be manipulated and configured from the GUI. Documentation on using and creating plugins is available at . BitTorrent, DLNA/uPNP, and iTunes plugins are available as of this writing.

The GUI now includes a webshell, which allows you to access a root shell from within a web browser.

The “Create Volume” modal was renamed to “Volume Manager”. Extending existing pools is more intuitive than it was previously; selecting multiple disks for a storage volume is now done via a multiselect widget instead of checkboxes to improve ease of use when creating volumes.

ZFS volumes can now have periodic scrub tasks configured for them; the default is set to 35 days to be consistent with the OS default.

An autotuning script is now available — disabled by default. It sets various tunables and sysctls based on system resources and components. The predetermined values are exposed through the GUI from the Sysctls and Tunables panes.

A newer web toolkit is used, which behaves better with modal dialogs and more intuitively in general when compared with older versions. It also has better browser compatibility, including compatibility with Android / iOS mobile devices!

A more responsive service state detection mechanism was added to improve FreeNAS interoperability in VM software (VMware, VirtualBox, etc).

The full release notes can be downloaded from here:

Categories: FreeNAS Releases Tags:

FreeNAS 8.0.4-RELEASE-p2 with Another Samba Fix

May 7th, 2012 Comments off

FreeNAS 8.0.4-RELEASE-p2 is available for immediate download . Samba has been upgraded to 3.6.5 to address CVE-2012-2011 which is a critical vulnerability. All FreeNAS users who are using CIFS are urged to upgrade.

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FreeNAS-8.0.4-RELEASE-p1 Released to Include New Version of Samba with Security Fixes.

April 12th, 2012 Comments off

A new version of Samaba, the open source implementation of the SMB/CIFS networking protocol that enables file and print sharing between FreeNAS and Windows, has been released to fix a nine year old security vulnerability that allows remote code execution as the “root” user from an anonymous connection.

FreeNAS-8.0.4-RELEASE-p1 has been released with Samba 3.6.4 to addresses this critical security flaw.


  1. Samba has been upgraded to 3.6.4 to address CVE-2012-1182 which is a critical vulnerability. All FreeNAS users who are using CIFS are urged to upgrade.
  2. Create the ldap and nss secret files when LDAP integration is enabled.
  3. Ensure the configuration database is not world readable.
  4. Remove failsafe from the PAM group file, this prevents a situation where the wheel group being empty allowed any user to su to root.

8.0.4-RELEASE-p1 also contains a GUI enhancement where  selecting reboot now causes the screen to turn red during the confirmation dialog, adding emphasis to the fact that this operation will affect availability.

FreeNAS-8.0.4-RELEASE-p1 is now available for immediate download from:

This update is critical for anyone using FreeNAS with CIFS.

Categories: FreeNAS Releases Tags:

Configuring FTP, TFTP & SSH Services in FreeNAS 8

March 9th, 2012 Comments off

FreeNAS 8 is an excellent Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution and is ideal for providing Windows machines access to storage over the network. However, FreeNAS can do much more. The Common Internet File System (CIFS), which is used to share data with Windows machines, is only one part of the FreeNAS system. As well as services to share files with Linux (via NFS) and Mac OS X machines (via AFP), FreeNAS also offers FTP, TFTP and SSH services.

In this tutorial we will go beyond disks & sharing and configure the FTP, TFTP and SSH services. I will assume you have a FreeNAS system installed with at least one volume configured. For more information on installing FreeNAS and setting up volumes see my NAS Setup Guide.

Read full tutorial:


Categories: Tips Tags: , , ,

Using FreeNAS 8 to Create an iSCSI Target for Windows

March 8th, 2012 Comments off

iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface) is a low level network protocol which allows a client machine (known as the Initiator) to control storage on a server (known as the Target). With iSCSI the control is low level. So low level in fact, that the disk needs to be partitioned and formatted by the Initiator.

FreeNAS 8 can act as an iSCSI Target and can allow a remote Initiator to control a whole hard disk or present a file (created on the existing storage) as if it was a hard disk. For this tutorial I will assume you have a FreeNAS system installed with at least one volume configured. For more information on installing FreeNAS and setting up volumes see my previous tutorial here: Build a Simple NAS Setup with FreeNAS 8.

Read full tutorial:

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FreeNAS 8.0.4 Released

February 29th, 2012 Comments off

FreeNAS 8.0.4 (and its multimedia variant) has been released. This is a maintenance and bug fix release which upgrades to Samba 3.6.3 to resolve several bugs (both security and non-security related).

The changes include:

  • Update samba to 3.6.3 to resolve several bugs (both security and non-security related) (SF r10127).
  • Update transmission to 2.42 (SF r10093).
  • Update firefly to 1696_6 for iTunes 10.5.2+ compatibility.
  • Add MegaCLI tool (SF r10072, r10073).
  • Add rsync+SSH functionality (FN # 990).
  • Catch ZFS snapshot errors when snapshots are done via the GUI instead of failing silently (SF r10152).
  • Work around interoperability issues with user / group population in the GUI by failing silently in certain cases if AD/LDAP users cannot be retrieved (SF r10140).
  • Fix case where local and remote paths passed to rsync in Rsync tasks weren’t quoted, so paths with spaces in them would not work (FN 1285).
  • Disable periodic tasks in the base system that would negatively impact system performance on NAS boxes with large directory structures (SF r10113).
  • Fix handling for ‘every day’ SMART tasks created in the GUI (SF r10088).
  • Add in several robustness fixes to reduce potential for filesystem corruption on root / boot device. In some scenarios this would also improve performance when fetching data from the root device as well (SF r10095, r10109, r10129).
  • Fix vfs objects modules ordering so shadow copy (aka previous versions) support functions again (FN 935, FN 1186, FN 1275).
  • Network field from iSCSI initiator could contain multiple IP addresses, CIDR addresses, or ANY keyword (SF r10082).
  • Generate istgt.conf properly if and when multiple initiators were specified (SF r10081).
  • Automatically create AD/LDAP user home directories (FN # 1203).
  • Restrict portal input in the GUI to prevent scenarios where incorrect input would prevent iSCSI from starting (FN # 1231).
  • Fix disks / partition parsing when importing volumes (FN # 1202).
  • Restrict users from creating cronjobs / rsync tasks with long usernames (FN # 1061).
  • Escape samba AD/LDAP passwords (FN # 1225).
  • Ensure guest accounts are disabled if checked (SF r8276).

Note: Builds prior to 8.0.3-RELEASE with ‘CIFS’ didn’t actually have AIO (asynchronous I/O) enabled. So, if you experience performance degradation after upgrading from prior versions of FreeNAS to 8.0.3-RELEASE or newer, turn off AIO or tune the AIO size from ‘1’ to something more reasonable (the new default in 8.0.3-RELEASE-p1 is 4096 or 4kB).

FreeNAS 8.0.4 is available to download from

FreeNAS 8.0.4 Multimedia has also been released. This is a sneak preview of the multimedia support that will be available in FreeNAS 8.2.0.

At the moment the applications are not tied into the GUI. You will need to configure them on the CLI as described here:

Categories: FreeNAS Releases Tags:

Building ZFS Based Network Attached Storage Using FreeNAS 8

January 9th, 2012 Comments off

ZFS is an excellent choice for a high end NAS solution. In this tutorial I walk you through building a ZFS based NAS using FreeNAS 8. You’ll learn how to create a ZFS volume and datasets within it. The article will also examine the advantages of using snapshots.

Read the full tutorial here: Building ZFS Based Network Attached Storage Using FreeNAS 8

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Build a Simple NAS Setup with FreeNAS 8

January 6th, 2012 Comments off

Train Signal has published a new tutorial which guides you through an installation of FreeNAS 8 on a simple system using two hard drives for a fully functional network attached storage solution. The tutorial goes through the steps needed to boot and install FreeNAS 8 on a modest system with two hard drives. The first hard drive is a small 2GB drive to hold the FreeNAS operating system and the second a 2TB drive for serving data to the network.

The sections included are:

  • Install
  • Setting a Static IP Address
  • Storage
  • Add a User
  • Sharing over the Network
  • Connect from Windows
Categories: Tips Tags:

FreeNAS 8.0.3 released

January 6th, 2012 Comments off

The latest update to the FreeBSD-based Network-Attached Storage (NAS) solution has been released. FreeNAS 8.0.3 is a mainatinace release which includes the following changes:

  • Upgrade ataidle to 2.6.
  • Upgrade nut / net-snmp to 2.6.2 and 5.7.1, respectively.
  • Bump samba from 3.5.11 to 3.6.1.
  • Bump netatalk to 2.2.1.
  • NFSv4 ACL support.

A full list of changes and fixes can be found in the release notes. FreeNAS 8.0.3 is available to download for 32- and 64-bit systems. Note that previous builds were branded as i386/amd64 (32-bit and 64-bit respectively). 8.0.3-RC1+ rebranded the architectures as x86 and x64, respectively.

Categories: FreeNAS Releases Tags: