RAID, FreeBSD and FreeNAS

FreeBSD RAIDRecently I set up FreeNAS on a spare computer which is now serving as a RAID file server. Before setting it up I did some research into what RAID is and how it works.

Thought I’d share with you some interesting links that I found:

FreeNAS 0.7 progress

FreeNAS LogoThe FreeNAS maintenance release 0.686.3 was released last week. This will be probably the last stable release based on FreeBSD 6.2.The following changes have been made:

Some of the changes:

  • Remove consolehm sensor support because it doesn’t work/recognize up-to-date hardware.
  • WebGUI uses NiftyCubes for rounded corners with CSS and Javascript.
  • Validate minutes/hours/days/months/week days configuration on misc WebGUI pages

The more exciting news is that work on FreeNAS 0.7 which will be based on FreeBSD 7.0 has started. According to Volker it’s going smoothly and the migration to FreeBSD 7.0 is going easier than expected. This is the current state:

  • Migrate to FreeBSD 7.0: 80% done
  • Migrate the internal disk/geom management and config file: 40% done (lot’s of internals function to change)
  • Review all the disk/mount point management WebGUI: 0%
  • Adding gjournal, ZFS and gvistor: 0%

FreeNAS also announced that Vault Networks has offered a server for FreeNAS development. This server hosts a FreeNAS Virtual Machine for online demonstration. If you’re interested in trying out FreeNAS, but don’t have any hardware available yet, have a play with the online demo. Really cool.

The arrival of FreeBSD 7.0 has set set FreeBSD based projects on fire: FreeNAS 0.7 , PC-BSD 1.6 and pfSense 1.3 are all planning to have a new version based on FreeBSD 7.0 available soon. I’d expect DesktopBSD 1.7 (or will it be 2.0?) to be based on 7.0 too.

BSD releases – week 9

Week 9 has been an interesting one for FreeBSD and FBSD based operating systems: FreeBSD 7.0 and pfSense 1.2 were released and there were some minor releases: FreeNAS 0.686.2 and m0n0wall 1.3b10.

FreeNAS 0.686.2

Majors changes:

  • Add ability to set a CIFS/SMB share read only.

Minors changes:

  • Add m4a/m4p support in MediaTomb configuration file.
  • Add /usr/bin/bc – An arbitrary precision calculator language

Bug fixes:

  • GID was not displayed correct on ‘Access/Groups’ WebGUI page.
  • Use inadyn-mt to 02.01.13 because all newer ones causes a core dump.

Permanent restrictions:

  • 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 are supported.

The latest version can be downloaded here.

On an additional note, the FreeNAS team have started porting FreeNAS to FreeBSD 7.0. This means  some big changes:

  • ZFS (Sun ZetaByte File System) will be included
  • The Web Interface will undergo a full review, especially the disk management/mount point process for permitting real share configuration (with permission and quotas support).

I’ve been using FreeNAS for a month now and I’m excited about the upcoming FBSD 7.0 based version.  Keep up the good work!

m0n0wall 1.3b10

m0n0wall beta version 1.3b10 is ready; no new features have been added, but the base has moved to FreeBSD 6.3 and a few issues have been fixed; most notably:

  • PPPoE/PPTP client auto-reconnect
  • DHCP client (should hopefully not lose its lease anymore)
  • IPsec NAT-T fragments
  • intermediate SSL CA certificates now accepted

For the change log and the download links, http://m0n0.ch/wall/beta.php

FreeNAS 0.686.1 (stable) released

FreeNAS LogoVolker Teile from the FreeNAS team has announced today that FreeNAS 0.686.1 stable has been released. The following changes and additions have been made:

Majors changes:

  • Upgrade Samba to 3.0.28.
  • Add attributes ‘Guest account’ and ‘Null passwords’ to ‘Samba: Settings’ advanced section in WebGUI.
  • Enhance WebGUI + rc-script to define additional group memberships for user accounts.
  • Replace uShare UPnP Mediaserver with MediaTomb 0.10.0. This has been done because ushare’s latest version fails to build on FreeBSD, also new version requires external libs for DLNA support which is not ported to FreeBSD right at the moment. You have to reconfigure the UPnP service to get working properly. XBox 360 is not supported.
  • Increase mfsroot size to 54mb for embedded version. So hopefully the OS has enough memory for logfiles,… Especially with Samba tbd files, which increases rapidely with a huge number of users accessing the system.
  • Continue reading

FreeBSD and the Xbox (360)

Microsoft Xbox 360In this post I want to have a look at how the Microsoft Xbox (360) can be used in combination with FreeBSD

  1. Xbox running FreeBSD
  2. Xbox 360 as media streaming device
  3. Using FreeNAS with the Xbox 360

1. Xbox running FreeBSD

Some of you may be aware that since the middle of 2005 it is possible to run FreeBSD on the Microsoft Xbox and later also on the Xbox 360. To be honest, I don’t really see the point of porting an OS to a video game device – “are data centres full of Xboxes?” – but I also readily admit that it’s always good to see individuals offering up their time and contributing to make even better and more powerfull. Some may object that the FreeBSD-Xbox combination may be a good thing, for instance, for home-users who can use their old Xbox for PC-BSD / DesktopBSD or for scientists who can use Xboxes for cheap, high-power cluster computing. Anyhow, the opinions are quite divided.

This FreeBSD-Xbox project was originally started by Rink Springer (patching and coding) and Ed Schouten (reviewing patches and provision of details on certain Xbox internals).

FreeBSD/Xbox is supported in FreeBSD 6.x and 7.0. The framebuffer, Ethernet, sound and USB devices (such as an USB keyboard for the console) are all supported.

In order to help people in installing the FreeBSD/Xbox port, a combined install/liveCD has been created which can be downloaded here.

More information can be found on Xbox-Linux project page and on the FreeBSD Xbox platform page.

If interested in running FreeBSD on your Xbox console, these are the Xbox related ports that you may find useful:

2. Xbox 360 as media streaming device

Since Microsoft added Xvid codec support to the Xbox 360 last month (it supported UPnP for streaming already), this console can be turned into a fairly capable media streaming device.

There are many UpnP servers available, but only a few run on FreeBSD, e.g.

  • FUPPES – Free UPnP Entertainment Service
  • MediaTomb – note: doesn’t support Xbox 360 (yet)
  • uShare – Fork of GNU Media Server for GeeXboX

Both FUPPES and uShare have support for the Xbox 360. Whilst the first has more features, the latter is easier to get it up and running. For notes on how to install these two media servers, check out Falz’s howto.

3. Using FreeNAS with the Xbox 360

Want to enable your Xbox 360 to see your FreeNAS server? Easy!

FreeBSD in 2007 – a review

2007 is over. It was a very successful year for open source software and another 12 interesting months have passed for FreeBSD. In this post I want to look back at 2007 and see how FreeBSD faired, what happened in “FreeBSD land” and how FreeBSD based operating systems have developed. This post will be a sort of summary of the messages I posted during 2007.

[if you like this post, please digg it, add it to your favorites or share it]

We’ll be looking at:

Start of this blog

Around April last year I was toying with the idea of starting a FreeBSD related news blog with the view to raise more awareness of FreeBSD and show it’s a perfect alternative to Linux. My first post was on 17 May 2007 and since then visitor numbers have rapidly gone up and feedback from visitors indicates that there’s definitely interest in such a blog. With the continuing growth of my WordPress.com hosted blog, I wanted to get some more flexibility and the ability to install plugins and scripts. Hence my move to Bluehost/FreeBSDOS (BTW, if you’re looking for cheap and reliable webhosting, I can really recommend them).

FreeBSD in 2007

FreeBSD LogoUnfortunately 2007 didn’t see the final release of FreeBSD 7.0; just 4 beta’s and a RC1. Well, maybe not “unfortunately”, because a top-quality product is better than a rushed-out flaky one that needs to be fixed and patched soon after its release. FreeBSD 7.0 incorporates some new and exciting technologies which will put this version a-par with, if not ahead of, Linux. Exciting stuff.

The FreeBSD Foundation have issued their quarterly newsletters (Q2, Q3, Q4), keeping the world up-to-date with the latest developments and news. The Foundation received a lot of coverage online and in the blogosphere with their Absolute FreeBSD book auction and their fund raising drive. The 2007 fundraising goal was $250.000, but a total of $403,511 was achieved. Well done.

There are already a couple of Linux related magazines for sale in stores, but BSD magazines aren’t available currently. “An interesting opportunity“, Software Media LLC/LP Magazine must have thought. They will issue first issue at the beginning of Q2 2008 and will contain an article by Dru Lavigne and Jan Stedehouder (Jan used and reviewed both PC-BSD and DesktopBSD for a month in his PC-BSB: the first 30 days and DesktopBSD: the first 30 days series).

Conference-wise, the ‘normal’ BSD conferences (BSDCan, EuroBSD, MeetBSD) were held, with a new one in Turkey (BSDConTR).
CONTINUED

Continue reading

FreeNAS Tutorials

Rob Lagesse has created two easy FreeNAS tutorials. These howto’s are aimed at Windows users wanting to set up a NAS server but having no or little experience with alternative operating systems. All step-by-step with many screenshots.

If you’re an advanced FreeNAS/FreeBSD user you may find these two post interesting: FreeNAS & online snapshot backups, with a script how to backup your data to an online hoster, e.g. Bluehost, or this post: Diy NAS + Xbox 360 = R0X.