Build your own NAS with FreeNAS (video)

If you’re just itching for an excuse to reuse that retired desktop PC or laptop sitting in your closet there here’s your chance:  the basics of installing FreeNAS, an open-source DIY NAS. So instead of spending money on off the shelf options why not save yourself some cash and make use of the stuff you already have and get a super customizable network storage device to boot.

This video from Revison3 explains the theory behind NAS and shows how to set up a FreeNAS server.

FreeNAS 0.69 beta1 available

Folker Theile has announced the release of FreeNAS 0.69 beta 1, a tiny FreeBSD-based operating system for NAS services. From the changelog

  • Upgrade to FreeBSD 6.3;
  • add ‘lagg’ link aggregation and link failover interface support (kernel);
  • switch back to SCHED_4BSD scheduler; add generic web server service;
  • complete review and typo fixes in source code;
  • upgrade rsync to 3.0.2, smartmontools to 5.38, lighttpd to 1.4.19, e2fsprogs to 1.40.10, PHP to 5.2.6;
  • use SAJAX to update miscellaneous WebGUI pages every 5 seconds to display current states;
  • refactor complete S.M.A.R.T. WebGUI and ActiveDirectory WebGUI;
  • add ability to web server WebGUI to configure URLs requiring authentication;
  • replace Adaptec SCSI RAID administration tool aaccli with arcconf;
  • upgrade Adaptec AACRAID 32- and 64-bit driver to version 5.2.0 Build 15727;
  • replace UPnP media player MediaTomb with Fuppes

Download (MD5): i386 version (47.6MB) | amd64 version (51.7MB).

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!