The second RC build for the FreeBSD-9.1 release cycle was released last week (due to a busy break abroad I’m posting this only now). ISO images for the amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, and powerpc64 architectures are available.
Remember, this is not the final release version, so only use for testing purposes.
There’s some good plugin documentation available on the FreeNAS website explaining how to use the plugins, how to install the plugins jail, how to create, find, install, and configure PBIs, such as Firefly, miniDLNA and Transmission. If there’s no PBI available (yet), the page shows how you can create your own PBIs, and how to install non-PBI software using the FreeBSD ports and packages collections.
Plugin support is still a bit crude in FreeNAS 8.2, but it is looking a lot more polished in the upcoming FreeNAS 8.3.
Michael Dexter has written up a review of PC-BSD 9.1.
He thinks PC-BSD is a great system with many window managers to choose from, has a good package manager and great jails management.
However, FreeBSD’s weak point is PC-BSD‘s: hardware support.
“It took time but PC-BSD is really shaping up nicely and teaches quite a few lessons about holistic OS design. I haven’t even explored its “Life Preserver” backup/FreeNAS option but the developers are clearly are focusing on adding the missing tools of the highest value. They are also focused on creating a complete client/server ecosystem and PC-BSD 9.1 users can look forward to expanded command line alternatives to the GUI tools. PC-BSD also has quite a few invisible features such as the unified base OS .txz it uses for jail creation that I may end up using for building BHyVe images. PC-BSD 9.0 and newer is truly worth a try and I applaud the progress its developers have made.”
Your choice of Desktop Environments, Installer automatically adjusts the defaults depending on how much ram you have installed
Your options: KDE, Gnome, LXDE or XFCE
Another option is TrueOS, a console based server, FreeBSD with the CLI version of Warden, the PBI system, ZFS Boot Environments and other utilities
The install also offers vanilla FreeBSD Server
PC-BSD allows you to do a full ‘root on ZFS’ install (only recommended if you have 4 or more GB of ram), including creating many different datasets with different settings such as compression for optimal use of space
You have the option of the Basic Wizard, the Advanced Wizard, or the FreeBSD CLI partitioning system
The advanced Wizard also allows you to setup more complex ZFS mirror or RAIDZ
You can choose to optionally encrypt your hard disk using GELI
Warden is a Graphical and Command Line based manager for FreeBSD’s Jails feature
In FreeBSD a jail is a secondary installation of the OS files, which is then started in a chroot, and the processes, network and user/group IDs are separate
Allows you to manage three types of jails:
Traditional Jail – run internet applications in a container, if compromised, the attacker only gains access to the jail, not the host OS
Ports Jail – less secure version if jails, allows you to install applications from the FreeBSD ports tree without interfering with the PBI package manager in the host OS
Linux Jail – install Debian or Gentoo in a jail, and run your linux applications in a full linux environment
Warden also allows you to stop a jail, pack it up, and move it to a different physical machine
Warden also allows you to install meta-packages into the jails with a single click, allowing you to deploy apache+php+mysql in no time
Warden can back your jails storage with ZFS, allowing you to take advantage of ZFS features such as snapshots, clones (writable snapshots), revert to a previous snapshot, etc
After four beta releases and one release candidate (RC), iXsystems has announced the release of FreeNAS 8.2.0, a FreeBSD-based operating systems for Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems.
This new release is the first 8.x branch release support plugins or extensions. These were available in the 0.7.x brach, prior to the project was taken over by iXsystems, but were temporarily left out of FreeNAS 8.0 so the developers could focus on making the new base (based on FreeBSD 8) sound and solid before adding advanced features.
Plugins and other extensions are now available as optional PBI (Push Button Installer) packages that run in a FreeBSD jail. This means that plugins are running separate from the FreeNAS and sandboxed for security, but can be controlled via the FreeNAS web-based user interface. If you have used PC-BSD, you will realise the potential and the usability of these PBIs. Plugins are currently available for Roku and iTunes (Firefly) streaming, and DLNA (MiniDLNA), as well as BitTorrent (Transmission).
The FreeNAS development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of FreeNAS 8.2.0-RELEASE.
FreeNAS 8.2.0-RELEASE is the first release on new branch of code that incorporates tighter integration between the ZFS command line and the FreeNAS GUI. This release also features the ability to run arbitrary services and interact with them through the FreeNAS GUI in a FreeBSD jail. This jail allows a wide range of third party software to be run on top of FreeNAS, using the PBI format from PC-BSD or FreeBSD packages or ports, as well as official FreeNAS plugins.
Apart from PBI plugin support there are many other new features:
Support for iSCSI target reload.
GUI support for SAS and FC multipath hardware.
Webshell accessible from the FreeNAS web interface.
ZFS scrubs are configurable from the GUI.
A newer web toolkit is used in the GUI, enabling use of mobile browsers.
An autotuning script tunes ZFS for the hardware it’s running on.