iXsystems debuts exclusive ZFS Encryption Feature in FreeNAS 8.3.1

ixsystems logo

Following the release of FreeNAS 8.3.1, iXsystems has released the following announcement:

iXsystems continues to lead the way for free and open source software with the release of FreeNAS Version 8.3.1. With this update, FreeNAS becomes the first open source storage platform to offer encryption for the advanced Zettabyte File System (ZFS). This is the first point release of the 8.3 branch, including updates to several components for security and stability.

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoFreeNAS makes powerful features easy to use and accessible to everyone; until now, encryption for ZFS has been inaccessible to the general public. Thanks to ZFS encryption, security-conscious users will be able to prevent their data from being read if the disks are disconnected from their system.

The ZFS encryption module runs as fast as unencrypted volumes on processors that support the AES-NI instruction set. AES-NI instructions are available on many Intel and AMD processors.

The encryption key management has been made user friendly with options for automatically restarting the volume, or requiring an operator to manually enter in a key depending on the user’s required level of security. In addition encryption allows for confidence when retiring and recycling hard drives because the drives no longer need to be wiped provided the keys are obliterated.

In the future, iXsystems will be able to bring features and improvements from FreeBSD, the enterprise open source operating system, to the FreeNAS community faster. This is a result of the FreeNAS codebase moving to FreeBSD 9. Alfred Perlstein, VP of Software Engineering at iXsystems, says,

“With the FreeNAS and the FreeBSD code bases closer together, both userbases will benefit from testing and development done on the entire platform.”

FreeNAS 8.3.1 also updates many of the services and components of FreeNAS, providing upgraded hardware support, bug fixes, and performance enhancements. FreeNAS 8.3.0 has been the most popular FreeNAS release to date with over 500,000 downloads. iXsystems is looking forward to the continued growth of the FreeNAS community with the release of version 8.3.1, and to more opportunities to make powerful technology accessible for FreeNAS users.

About FreeNAS® 
FreeNAS is a free and open source Network Attached Storage operating system based on FreeBSD. The goal of the project is to design a lightweight, BSD-based software package that acts as a full featured NAS server, complete with a Django-based web user interface, full ZFS implementation, and the ability to interface with existing networks – regardless of operating system or protocol. The encryption system introduced in Version 8.3.1 makes FreeNAS the only Free and Open Source ZFS encryption offering in the world.

About iXsystems: 
iXsystems builds rock solid enterprise-class server and storage solutions. All of our products are assembled, tested, and shipped from our company headquarters in Silicon Valley. Technical support is provided in-house by the same engineers that build the systems. Thousands of companies, universities, and U.S. Government departments have come to rely on iXsystems’ customer-first commitment to excellence. iXsystems champions the cause of Open Source technology by dedicating extensive resources to several FreeBSD community projects: FreeNAS, PC-BSD, FreeBSD, and TrueOS.

DesktopBSD brought back to live

desktopbsd logo 100x100The DesktopBSD project is in the process of being revived. EchoD has brought the website and the forums back to live.

DesktopBSD 1.7 was released back in 2009 and Peter Hofer announced that would be the last release baked up by himself. Some German deve;opers took over the project, but nothing came to fruition and the website went offline.

Let’s see  what the new developers have in stock and when DesktopBSD 2.0 will be out.

GhostBSD 3.0 released

ghostbsd_logoEric Turgeon, lead developer of the GhostBSD project, has announced the release of GhostBSD 3.0. The latest version includes a lot of enhancements and new features, such as an improved system installer, Openbox window manager, and more.

Some of the highlights of GhostBSD 3.0 are:

  • Openbox window manager is now fully supported;
  • Improvements for the auto configuration wireless networking script have been implemented;
  • Auto configuration of Xorg is now possible;
  • Nvidia drivers have been added by default;
  • 3D acceleration is now supported on some Intel graphics cards;
  • Numerous bug-fixes have been added to the GhostBSD related utilities;
  • Openbox and Lxde AMD64 ISO only fit on DVD;
  • New Intel GPU driver with GEM/KMS support has been made available;
  • ZFS improvements from the illumos project have been implemented;
  • Kernel support has been added for the AVX FPU extension.

GhostBSD is a FreeBSD-based operating system for the desktop with support for the GNOME2, LXDE and Openbox desktop environments.

MaheshaBSD-2.0 Server Released

Juraj Sipos has announced the release of MaheshaBSD Server 2.0. This version comes with WordPress running on a USB memory stick.

This is the only distro in the World with WordPress running immediately without any installation process. Many poor people will have a quick FTP server with WordPress and they may open it also to the world.

Some brief notes on this release:

  • With phpMyAdmin installed in MaheshaBSD Server many tasks with MySQL will be easy as a breeze.
  • phpMyAdmin runs also remotely via TightVNC.
  • The USB image is writable.
  • MaheshaBSD Server has an educational purpose, too. It is also a social project. Many people in the Third World need money for education and many institutions fail to provide the valuable infrastructure (software, paying for development of software, etc.).
  • The SERVER was tested over the Internet;
  • tightvnc worked,
  • WordPress worked.

The Mahesha Project is hosted by RootBSD. You may download the documentation (pdf) or download the MaheshaBSD Server 2.0 (rar).

MaheshaBSD Server can be downloaded and used for free by individuals; companies are expected to donate to the project:

The price is 200/150/100/50/25, but only for institutions; it is free for personal use. Institutions may choose any price, thus the software will be valuable also for institutions in very poor countries. Anybody can write and use it for free.

Thanks Juraj for the heads up. I will be testing this release over the next few days and will give you feedback.

FreeNAS 8.3.1-RC1 now available

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoThe FreeNAS development team has announced FreeNAS 8.3.1-RC1 which will be the first and only release candidate planned for the final version of FreeNAS 8.3.1-RELEASE.

FreeNAS 8.3.1 is based on FreeBSD 8.3 with version 28 of the ZFS filesystem, and features volume based encryption for ZFS volumes.

There have been no major changes between 8.3.1-BETA3 and RC1, mostly
bugfixes and minor usability improvements to the GUI.  See the release notes for a complete list.

Images and plugins can be downloaded from the project’s SourceForge webpage.

PC-BSD 9.1 Rolling Release

PC-BSD LogoKris, lead developer of the PC-BSD project, mentioned a couple of weeks ago (http://goo.gl/Atzu5) that he was planning a rolling release for PC-BSD. Generally this was well received within the PC-BSD community.

Kris has now uploaded a first ISO to test the rolling release with feedback from those interested to try this. In his announcement he mentions that PC-BSD is now kept up-to-date with PKGNG and that it is now also possible to convert a FreeBSD server to PC-BSD or TrueOS:

“As a few of you have already noticed, we have some new ISOs now up on the mirrors:

http://mirrors.isc.org/pub/pcbsd/9.1-RELEASE/

These are the first images built of PC-BSD Rolling Release, based upon FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE, which use PKGNG as the backend for keeping your desktop and base-system packages up to date. You are welcome to download and give them a spin if you want to help us beta-test them.

They include updated packages from about 2 weeks ago, which includes KDE 4.9.5 among others. Our build server is still finishing up building the entire package repository and I hope to have all ~20k pkgng packages online in another week or so, with weekly updates after that. The weekly updates will include all the latest PC-BSD / TrueOS utilities, so you can expect to see much more frequent bug fixes & enhancements.

For users running on the original PC-BSD / TrueOS 9.1 release, I also have an online system update in the works. This update will convert your existing install to PKGNG and allow you to start tracking the rolling release, the same as if you installed a fresh copy from our new ISOs. Once I’ve finished a bit more testing & bugfixing with it, I will post back with details on how to try it out. I’m hopeful it will be sometime next week.

Lastly, I also wanted to let you know that with this change, it will be possible convert an existing “FreeBSD” 9.1-Release into a PC-BSD or TrueOS system. I’ve started writing instructions on the PC-BSD wiki page with details:

http://wiki.pcbsd.org/index.php/Turn_FreeBSD_into_PC-BSD%C2%AE

Last but not least, we have some new hardware coming in soon which I will quickly get working on building a PC-BSD -STABLE release, and then -CURRENT. More details as they arrive :)

Happy testing, and please post your feedback to the list so we can get to work quashing bugs.”

Great job, Kris. Will need to give this a whirl.