Tuning FreeNAS and ZFS

FreeNAS 0.7 is still at alpha stage. However, HarryD is already using it as a production server and confirms it’s pretty stable after some minor tweaks.

It’s all very promising and I can’t wait for 0.7 final to come out. My advice, before that version is released, don’t blindly trust in ZFS, but make additional backups and store them on another machine. Just in case…

First of all it is important to ‘tune’ ZFS. I’ve seen some panics of my systems without using this parameters. It is necessary to use lots of RAM for ZFS. I have 2GB in my little server…
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Beta release: FreeNAS 0.69 b4

The FreeNAS guys are doing a great job: another beta release in the .69 series. The forth beta upgrades the underlying FreeBSD system to 6.4.

Majors changes:

  • Upgrade to FreeBSD 6.4.
  • Upgrade rsync to 3.0.4.
  • Upgrade PHPMailer to 2.2.1.
  • Upgrade Transmission to 1.34.

Minors changes:

  • * Add new attribute ‘Temporary directory’ to UPnP WebGUI to define a directory used to store temporary transcoded files.
  • Modify /etc/rc.d/samba script.
  • Add ‘Who’ combobox to RSYNC client/local jobs to select user which is used to execute this job.
  • Add ‘Enable’ checkbox to RSYNC client/local jobs to enable/disable them (FR 2123243).
  • Add hw.ata.to=15 to sysctrl to prevent ‘TIMEOUT – WRITE_DMA’ errors, e.g. when using APM for harddrives (FR 2101811).

Then there are still the usual bug fixes, restrictions and known bugs.

The latest beta can be downloaded here.

beta release: FreeNAS 0.69b3

FreeNAS LogoVolker Theile has announced the third beta release of FreeNAS 0.69, a minimalist, FreeBSD-based operating system providing easy-to-setup Network-Attached Storage (NAS) services:

Today a new beta version of FreeNAS 0.69 has been released. As soon as FreeBSD 6.4 is released, expect the next and hopefully stable FreeNAS version.

Major changes:

  • add nullfs.ko and unionfs.ko kernel modules;
  • display warning message when user is going to delete software RAID or encrypted volume;
  • add ‘Recursive’, ‘Times’, ‘Compress’ and ‘Archive’ checkboxes to RSYNC client in local WebGUI;
  • add ‘Delete algorithm’ option in RSYNC client in local WebGUI;
  • add ‘Execute now’ button in RSYNC client in local WebGUI;
  • add NVIDIA nForce MCP on-board Ethernet support;
  • add audio and video transcoding support to fuppes;
  • increase mfs_root size to 74MB (32-bit) and 80MB (64-bit);
  • CTorrent BitTorrent client has been replaced by Transmission which includes a WebGUI….”

Release announcement 

ostatic.com interview with FreeNAS developers

ostatic.com recently interviewed Olivier Cochard-Labbe, FreeNAS founder, and Volker Theile, project administrator. FreeNAS is free, lightweight, open source network attached storage (NAS) server software, based on FreeBSD.

The following questions were asked:

  • Who is your typical user? How do you support your users?
  • How did you get involved in FreeNAS?
  • How have you monetized your project thus far?
  • How do you benefit from the particular license you’ve chosen?
  • What does the open source movement need?

Full interview here.

FreeNAS on Washington Post

FreeNAS, a FreeBSD based Network Attached Server (NAS), is mentioned on the Washington Post today:

Network-Attached Storage on the Cheap

Based on the FreeBSD operating system (a Unix derivative), FreeNAS is a server operating system that offers lots of features, a very small footprint, and a can’t-beat-it price (it’s free). Developed by an open-source community, it is constantly evolving (with even nightly builds).

FreeNAS is more complicated to install and use than Microsoft’s more feature-rich product, but people willing to navigate the sometimes confusing installation routine are rewarded with a robust network-attached storage device.

More…