New FreeNAS alpha

After a few unforeseen delays, we have a new FreeNAS snapshot available over at source forge. As an experiment, we are distributing these snapshots using xz as well as bzip2 compressed images. It makes a big difference.

What's new?

First and foremost, we have a completely new GUI look and feel. We've imported dojango into the GUI to take advantage of Dojo JavaScript Toolkit. The flow of the interface is much nicer, it looks better, and we've added additional help to make it easier to use. We think you'll like this new GUI. We've made dozens of improvements over the past few weeks to the GUI. We hope you like the new location for enabling shares.

We've also added support for Apple's AFP protocol to the new GUI. You can now use the GUI to export CIFS, AFP and NFS shares (which we'll be calling Windows, Apple and Unix shares in the GUI). We've added back-end support for FTP as well. The major protocols are now all supported, although some media options are still unimplemented.

This image has a universal booting feature. The first image was difficult to use on some VM systems since they were exclusively SCSI disks (appearing as da0, rather than the ad0 that was hard-coded into the fstab). We've added support for using UFS filesystem labels to nanobsd, so we're now able to produce an image that you can put on any kind of disk that FreeBSD supports and have it boot, since it finds the partitions for /, etc by looking for a label on the filesystem rather than insisting on ad0s1a.

At the present time, we support only adding NEW volumes to the system. If you add a volume to the system, we will always initialize it. This means that you shouldn't (yet) attach old volumes to FreeNAS 8. We will try to correct this problem for the forthcoming FreeNAS 8 beta. While we've made every effort to make things reliable, we've not put this software through a complete QA cycle, so it should be used for testing purposes only.


Anonymous said...

great! can't wait to have a look and appreciate what you guyz are doing!

Francisco said...

For anyone wanting to try the software take a look at:

The ".full" files are disk images and need to be converted before they can be used.

Why an ISO, virtualbox or vmware images were not supplied is a little puzzling.

Anonymous said...

Alain B.

Good news to see that FreeNAS will
continue to use FreeBSD has it's core OS.

One feature that can now be easy to integrate in FreeNAS is AOE.

vblade target and aoe initiator
has been merged to the port collection.
( And qaoed is another target not yet
integrated )
A few years before, i had send a mail
to Olivier Cochard-Labbé in order
to integrate AOE in FreeNAS, but he was not ready for this at this moment.

Notice that AOE and ZFS together is just frightening some very big (unnamed) storage company.


[NOTE to moderator]
[Feel free to edit this text if necessary]


Warner Losh said...

Francisco: We can't supply an ISO until we have a new installer. The new installer isn't quite ready, but we'll release an iso image when it is. We're really close, but the team wanted a little more time on it before we released it. The virtualbox/vmware images are a good idea, and we plan on doing that once we go to beta. These are alpha snapshots, and have many rough edge, and this is one of them. We've also been focused on getting the features integrated into and bugs fixed in the new release rather than on the release packaging.

Warner Losh said...

Alain: AOE is an interesting feature. We have no plans to integrate it, however. This is one of many technologies we just don't well enough to do a good job. We expect users to use the extensibility framework we've added to make adding things like this easy. We're still putting the final touches on our plans for this, and will talk about it shortly once things have jelled.

Anonymous said...

VBoxManage convertfromraw --format VDI FreeNAS-8r5417-i386.full FreeNAS-8r5417-i386.full.vdi

will give you a VirtualBox harddrive so it's easy to test it even without ISO images.

Gaming Hacks said...

nice hacking blog you have here, i will tweet this blog.

Anonymous said...

I think you risk dumbing down the interface too much by not calling CIFS, AFP and NFS by their rightful names.

Referring to them as Windows, Apple and Unix would be perfect in the context of some sort of FreeNAS sharing wizard, but I think using these names outside of that context somewhat negates FreeNAS's credibility.

That said, thank you for your work on FreeNAS. I'm looking forward to the first stable release of FreeNAS 8!