These are a number of links to interesting news items and links you may want to check out:
FreeBSD 9.2 Feature Highlight: ZFS General Improvements
Along with the many user facing changes discussed previously, there are also a number of internal changes to ZFS that will be available with the release of FreeBSD 9.2. [freebsdnow]
FreeBSD Can Compete With Ubuntu Linux, Windows 8
The NVIDIA BSD performance is very good for OpenGL as shown in this article with a comparison of Windows 8 vs. Ubuntu 13.10 vs. FreeBSD 9.1. In fact, for some OpenGL workloads the Linux games are running faster on FreeBSD/PC-BSD 9.1 than Ubuntu! [Phoronix]
CloudSigma’s new website
CloudSigma, which based in Zurich (Switzerland) and provide FreeBSD VPS services in Europe, has announced it has a new and more intuitive website. CloudSigma was founded to meet the growing need for a pure IaaS that places little or no restrictions on how its users deploy their computing resources.
Apple’s Operating System Guru Goes Back to His Roots
Hubbard left Apple last month to return to the world of open source UNIX, taking the chief technology officer post at a iXsystems, a company that offers servers and other data center hardware that runs FreeBSD. Apple was quite an education, and now, he wants to bring the “Apple approach” back to the open source game. [wired.com].
vBSDcon 2013 Registrations Open
In these most recent months, we have been developing the vBSDcon conference website hosted at www.vbsdcon.com. It includes full details surrounding the schedule, agenda, and speakers for vBSDcon. The most recent addition to the conference website is that registrations are now open! [Announcement].
There’s also a new interview with Verisign CTO Burt Kaliski on BSDTalk (bsdtalk230).
DEF CON 21 Recap
Mike Biehn, an iXsystems employee and a veteran of DEF CON attended DEF CON 21 a few weeks ago. DEF CON 21 Recap.
JabirOS 1.0.1 released
We’re pleased to announce new release of “The new JabirOS” after a long time! This version is based on FreeBSD 9.2-RC1. In this version , we’ve added ”OpenBox” as default window manager and “SLiM” as default display manager. [jabirproject.org]
DNSSEC @ MDLUG.org
Michael W. Lucas’s talk about DNSSEC (about 20 mins into the video).
FreeNAS 9.1 has been released. We have read the blog posts, the press releases, and we probably all agree that this FreeBSD based NAS is becoming better and better with each release. FreeNAS is still ‘growing up’ and new features are added to each new version.
Since FreeNAS is still changing so much, maybe be developers can do something about the GUI side of things, i.e. the Web Interface.
The goal of FreeNAS is to simplify complex admin tasks in the underlying FreeBSD (nanobsd) base through a poin-and-click Web Interface: volumes can be created, permissions changed, data sharing turned on/off, music/video streaming set up, and most, if not all, ZFS features are included.
All this makes FreeNAS a powerful network attached system (NAS), especially if you consider it is open source and free to download, but I think the Web Interface can still do with some TLC as it can be confusing and is not always newbie friendly.
There are 6 menu buttons (top left) linking to “System”, “Network”, “Storage”, “Sharing”, “Services”, “Plugins” and “Jails”. In the Menu tree, under this bar, you will see the same (and more) links, unnecessary duplication. If “Account” is one of the main menus, why is this then one on the right hand top side, and not on the left with the others?
When you close / log out of the FreeNAS Web Interface and go back in, the menu tree is left expanded as it was left. It looks nicer if the tree was collapsed each time you open up the GUI.
Every time options are saved or when you cancel a screen, the whole menu tree is reloaded/refreshed, which takes about 1-2 seconds. This could be due to some settings or limitation in the Django framework, but it is annoying.
When you go into some of the (sub)menus and make changes, a tab gets added to the tab bar (top right), next to “Reporting” | “Settings” | “System Information”. What is the point of this? You’re not going to use your NAS GUI for hours (usually). You make the changes and come out of it. There’s no need for these shortcuts.
For new users of FreeNAS, it would be helpful if there was a short introduction with some step-by-step instruction on the first screen to help them set up the basic things (User, Volume, Privileges etc). Yes, there’s the FreeNAS handbook with everything set out step-by-step, but judging from questions on the FreeNAS forums I guess there are more users that don’t read through the manual than those who do.
Personally, I prefer the old FreeNAS 0.7 horizontal menu. It was, and is now in NAS4Free, easy to use and straightforward, with no duplication. The other thing I like in NAS4Free, is that you can make all changes on the opened screen, i.e. there are no pop-up windows with yet more settings.
I appreciate a NAS GUI is not something you need every day. In an ideal world you install and set up your NAS and let it then run (headless), but there are still some areas where FreeNAS should improve to avoid confusion and duplication.
If you have no need to install or use FreeNAS, but are still interested to see what it looks like, have a look at the screenshots below (click on the pictures to magnify).
iXsystems has announced the availability of FreeNAS 9.1:
“The FreeNAS development team is delighted to announce the general release of FreeNAS 9.1.0. This release offers massive improvements to the usability, extensibility, stability, and performance of FreeNAS. Everything from the web user interface, plugin management system, base operating system, ZFS file system, and even the source control used to manage the project have been substantially improved. “
There are many new features and upgrades in this new release which is based on FreeBSD 9-STABLE, some of which are:
Kris Moore has announced new images for PC-BSD 9.1-RELEASE (Isotope Infusion) and PC-BSD 9-STABLE (Based upon FreeBSD 9.2-BETA1)
These releases are among the first in our new “Rolling-Release” model, and will allow you to easily keep your system updated with bi-monthly package set updates along side your regular PBI updates. In addition the images now include support for creating and booting from ZFS boot-environments. Due to the nature of implementing ZFS boot-environments, users on previous installs of 9.1-RELEASE will need to perform a re-installation in order to take advantage of these ZFS features. With the upcoming release of 9.2, currently in BETA, existing users may opt to wait for its release in order to migrate to the newer version. Many additional new features are also listed in the notes below.
Highlights for 9.1-RELEASE
* FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE
* Bootable ZFS Boot Environments - Using GRUB2, any new ZFS boot-environments created via the “beadm” command will be added to the boot-loader and available at boot-time
* PNGNG support - In addition to PBIs and the AppCafe, system admins and power users will now have access to a full PKGNG repository with frequent updates
* Switched over to CDN for downloads - No more having to hunt for a closest mirror, downloads will automatically pull from our CDN service hosted by ScaleEngine
* New version of AppCafe - New streamlining and PBI management functionality
* GitHub Migration - All PC-BSD / TrueOS sources are now available via GitHub (https://github.org/pcbsd and https://github.org/trueos)
* Warden Updates - Support for setting various jail options via the GUI - Option to create jail “templates” based upon different versions of FreeBSD - Support for VIMAGE jails - Jails without any IPV4 or IPV6 address assigned
* Graphical PKGNG manager - GUI supports basic or advanced mode, which allows full package management / upgrades
* Home directory encryption - PEFS based encryption, allows users to encrypt their home-directory contents with their login password, which is only unencrypted while logged in
Alfred Perlstein has announced the availability of FreeNAS 9.1.0-RC1.
This is the first release candidate for FreeNAS 9.1.0. We have passed a great alpha and rolling beta cycle with many bug fixes and regressions fixed. At this point, only bug fixes and regressions will be addressed.
The image size increased in FreeNAS 9.1.0-ALPHA. The new size requires a 4 GB storage device.
The GUI upgrade can be used to upgrade a system from BETA3 or BETA4, but upgrades from earlier releases can only be done from the CD. The other option is to save the config, reinstall the new version, then restore the config.
Some of the major changes:
Version 9.1-STABLE of FreeBSD with performance improvements, bug fixes, and updated software packages.
Many improvements to the ZFS filesystem, including feature flags,TRIM support, enhanced drive removal notification, LZ4 compression, improved ARC memory reclamation and reliability improvements.
Improved Plugin Jail subsystem which supports multiple jails and an enhanced UI including enhancements from PC-BSD Warden.
Improved Volume manager including auto optimization of volumes for performance.
Improvements to the encryption subsystem.
Increased base image size to 3.7GB.
GUI UPGRADES FROM FREENAS 8.X ARE NOT SUPPORTED (due to image size #7)
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