Archive for December, 2009

Rumours of FreeNAS’ Death Greatly Exaggerated

December 5th, 2009 2 comments

Recently I wrote about the plans to move FreeNAS from FreeBSD to Linux. The reception was mixed, some saying it didn’t matter, some mentioned that the lack of ZFS support was a real problem.

Today Olivier Cochard-Labbé has made a great announcement, FreeNAS will live on and production ready ZFS support will be added with the upgrade to FreeBSD 8.0. At the same time a new Linux version of FreeNAS will be created called OpenMediaVault!

Olivier explained it like this: FreeNAS needs some big modification to remove its present limitations (with one of the biggest being the lack of support for add-ons/plugins). We think that a full-rewrite of the FreeNAS base is needed. Therefore, we will take 2 different paths:

  1. Volker will create a new project called “‘OpenMediaVault” based on a
    GNU/Linux and use all his experience acquired with all those nights and week-ends spent improving FreeNAS during the last 2 years. He will still
    continue to work on FreeNAS (and try to share his time with these two
  2. And, a great surprise: iXsystems (, a company specialising in professional FreeBSD systems has offered to take FreeNAS under its wing as an open source community driven project. This means that they will use their professionals FreeBSD developers to better FreeNAS! Their manpower will permit a full-rewriting of FreeNAS.

Olivier also added that he will personally come back to actively working on FreeNAS and begin to upgrade it to FreeBSD 8.0 (which is “production ready” for ZFS).

This is brilliant news all round and I think Volker and Olivier should make sure that the two projects share as much code as possible. Also I think iXsystems should be congratulated for their support of FreeNAS.

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