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.
Since not not everybody is able to attend (all) FreeBSD related conferences, it’s good that these presentations are uploaded so everybody can watch them later, and the rest of the online community can familiarise themselves with FreeBSD and related operating systems.
“Imagine this scenario: Another business group in your midsize company needs some new network connectivity, but they also require a number of network security features, including an integrated access point, user authentication, VPN capabilities, and a firewall to separate a certain group from the rest of the network. Oh, and they also want access to Snort and Nmap. Luckily, pfSense offers all of these features along with a number of customization options.”
The FreeNAS team has announced the availability of FreeNAS 8.3.0-BETA3. This is the last planned public beta of 8.3.0 as it moves towards the final.
“This BETA includes a refactoring of the Active Directory and LDAP integration. It has a rework of serial port support, adding the ability to set the serial port speed. The NFS sharing was refactored in BETA2 with an eye towards maintaining compatability with sharing schemes set up in previous FreeNAS releases. The refactored sharing is more powerful and flexible than previous releases, while enforcing the OS based rules. Support for the LSI “skinny” RAID conrollers was added.”
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.”
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