What is FreeNAS, how does it work and how do I set it up?
Check out this video
What is FreeNAS, how does it work and how do I set it up?
Check out this video
If you’re interested in what’s happening with FreeBSD at the moment and especially the technical side of the project, you should have a quick read through the FreeBSD Quaterly Status Report (compiled by Max Laier).
This report covers FreeBSD related projects between April and June 2007. Again an exciting quarter for FreeBSD. In May we saw one of the biggest developers summits to date at BSDCan , our 25 Google Summer of Code students started working on their projects – progress reports are available below, and finally the 7.0 release cycle was started three
Read the whole report here.
1.2-BETA-2 has many new features and stability improvements making it the leading Open Source firewall solution. Enterprise features, rock solid stability adds up to one great release!
Here are just a few of the new improvements and features that have made their way into this new version: advanced outbound NAT fixes; UPNP now works on live CD; miscellaneous log viewing fixes; password field lengths now line up on nervecenter theme; IPSEC now works correctly on CARP interfaces out of the box; routed hosts behind a policy-routed segment can now reach the LAN interface correctly when the anti-lockout rule is enabled; pfSync and CARP now will work correctly on extremely restrictive rulesets; captive portal images fixed…
Read the rest of the release announcement for full details.
Fareast has written a quick comparison of DesktopBSD and PC-BSD on Dailykos.com:
Still the hunger to try out some new and untried open source system got the better of me, and I downloaded the latest release 1.6, just to see what the deal really was. I installed the system under vmware-server, allotting 256M ram, and a bit over 2G hard drive space, just to make things more interesting.
The idea behind DesktopBSD is the same as that of PC-BSD; to make an easily installable version of the FreeBSD open source operating system through a graphical interface, coupled with a nice shiny front end to run it all on. This is significant because FreeBSD, while not that difficult to get up and running, is a considerable time hog when you want to get a modern day window manager running on it, i.e., downloading and compiling KDE from source (a huge package), with a conservative estimate being anywhere from fifteen to twenty hours just for that alone.
I have to admit that by setting up the specs so tough, that I kind of wanted DesktopBSD to choke; I’m really into the way that PC-BSD has their pbi directory set up with the install wizards, plus the ability to use the traditional ports method of FreeBSD to update your system, that I didn’t want to see anything endangering that crown.
Sadly, I was let down. If anything, DesktopBSD is easier and faster to setup than PC-BSD, and the speed that it showed with so little ram was nothing less than astonishing. I pulled up Firefox, surfed over to youtube and Flash was working out of the box; opened up a BBC news story and scrolled around, and it was very smooth.
One thing sorely lacking in the install were any office suite apps of note–no open office, no abiword or gnumeric or really anything; considering that DesktopBSD is just FreeBSD with the nice desktop, and no pbi directory like PC-BSD, means that if you want open office you need to compile it from source, just like in a normal,vanilla FreeBSD.
Does the system have the ability to do what I want it to do without a huge amount of effort, those things being: playing music, surfing the web (Flash included), using email, watching vids, and a bit of eye-candy thrown in, or at least some of the shiny on a slower machine? If the answer is yes to those simple requirements, then we have a winner, and a system that I want to install to my machine. Joe Sixpack/Average User can use Windows Vista if that is what is best for him, and I’m none the worse for wear.
And PC-BSD, with the ability to do both the traditional compile from source, as well as offering the packages through their nifty pbi directory has DesktopBSD beat in this category. Make no mistake, DesktopBSD is an excellent system that offers all the strength and flexibility of a vanilla FreeBSD setup with a huge time savings, it’s just that PC-BSD is that brilliant, and in comparison, there simply is none.
Read the full review here. Bold by me.
There’s more detailed information on the differences and similarities between PC-BSD and DesktopBSD on the FBSD Projects Page.
First, Linux is a kernel — not an OS — that Red Hat combines with other software they choose to form the production Red Hat distribution of Linux, currently Red Hat 7.3. As you no doubt are aware, there are hundreds of distributions of Linux. With FreeBSD, there is only one “official” production version of FreeBSD (right now version 4.6). Many would say that with the BSDs one has a complete operating system…with Linux, you have a kernel anybody can use to roll their own operating system. In fact, there is a Linux distribution called Linux From Scratch that guides you in doing just that — rolling your own Linux “distro” from scratch.I’ve asked about the merits of FreeBSD .vs Linux at a few places online. The consensus of what I’ve been told by those with more experience than me (I’m still new to *nix, but learning) is:1) FreeBSD is regarded as better for a webserver OS. IMO, folks regard FreeBSD as more stable, having less downtime, easier to keep upgraded via the FreeBSD ports system, and not to have as many security holes over time come to light for it as come to light for Red Hat Linux.2) Red Hat Linux in particular, and Linux in general have much more hype and mindshare going for them than FreeBSD. This means if you need an OS to have the latest software drivers for hardware, you are more likely to have that with Linux than with FreeBSD. This is important for gamers in particular. With either OS, one needs to be aware that not all hardware is supported by Linux or FreeBSD. For most, the best option is to download a free ISO image from the internet, burn to CD and see if it installs OK. If not, figure out what hardware you need to replace, and decide if it’s worth the money to you…..or if another flavor of *nix, such as Mandrake Linux, might work better.3) People regard FreeBSD to *be* a Unix operating system, whereas any Linux distribution is a “Unix-like” OS, rather than a Unix proper. One of the major things people point to is the directory structure of FreeBSD being more “right” in a Unix-ish way than Red Hat’s directory and file structure, which may change with each distribution. People find the more logical to their Unix thinking minds file layout of FreeBSD to help with system maintenence over the file layout of Red Hat Linux. Many Linux advocates regard Slackware Linux to be the most Unix-like Linux distribution.4) There are fundamental differences in how each of the two operating systems do things “under the hood” that one can learn about to one’s hearts content online, but is not worth going into here…and I’m not knowledgeable enough to be either OS’s spokeperson in this regard.
5) There are differences in how various commands and utility programs work under both OSs…but they are still both Unix-ish and more similar to each other than either one is to windows. Learn one, and you know most of what you need to be functional with the other one, IMO.
6) Both operating systems have their strong supporters that sing the praises of their chosen OS and bash anyone preferring the other OS.
7) There is more information online and geared to *nix newbies for Linux in general, and Red Hat Linux in particular than exist for FreeBSD. However, some would say the online and print documentation for FreeBSD is superior in quality to that available for Linux — and is totally adequate, too.
8). As with most things technical, the answer of which one is “best” is….as usual….”it depends”. It depends on what your purposes are. If I wanted to dive into the world of unix from a Windows background by loading one or the other OS on a personal computer at home to see what all the *nix fuss is about, Red Hat Linux would be an excellent choice. There are many GUI tools to help when just starting out with most Linux distributions (Mandrake is an excellent example….and choice for newbies, too).
Please note, this is an old post (31 July 2002) that I came across and wanted to save here, so please bear in mind that some of the information is out of date. For instance FreeBSD 6.2 is the most current version, with 7.0 in full development.
From another happy FreeNAS user:
So we have our FreeNAS RAID array setup now. We have two 500GB hard drives mirrored in a RAID 1 array and it seems to be working well. The setup was very simple, just downloaded/burned the iso, installed FreeNAS to a spare usb key then followed the documentation to setup the raid.
So now we have a 500gb mirrored RAID 1 drive connected to our network and have been moving our collective media over to it. We are both running our laptop iTunes Libraries from the RAID and I am currently working on a program to keep our libraries in sync. The aim of this script is to scan the NAS music folder, scan the local iTunes library, compare the 2 and add files on the NAS that are not present on iTunes. At first I decided to use applescript but it seems this is too slow when you have 11000+ tunes!
So I have resorted to learning objective-c and write a proper cocoa application to handle this. Wish me luck! I’ll update when there are updates!
If you are interested in BSD live CDs, here is another interesting option: PC-BSD LiveCD. This CD is probably one of the best live desktop BSD products built to-date. Based on FreeBSD 6.2, it includes KDE 3.5.6, X.Org 7.2, Kaffeine media player with support for MP3, OGG, DIVX and MPEG formats, Konversation IRC cleint, Smb4k samba client, Fusefs file system, Midnight Commander, and a total of 503 pre-compiled FreeBSD ports. The PC-BSD live CD is not fully automatic though; it boots into a terminal and it requires running “X -configure” before launching the KDE desktop with “startx”. Download it from here: pcbsdlive240607.iso. LiveCD ISOs will soon be available on the snapshots page at devs.pcbsd.org
This is a FreeSBIE 2.0.1 review by Steve Lake on Raiden.net
For a live cd that’s built on one of the greatest free operating systems in the world (FreeBSD 6.2 in this case), you would expect equal greatness about it. But I didn’t find that here. And that is by no means the fault of Freebsd in any way, but rather this particular remixing of it. Booting the disk gave me several quick and simple booth options to choose from that seemed familiar enough, including FreeBSD’s ever famous startup boot menu. After that it loaded into a simple boot screen that told you the system was loading, but gave you no progress indicators or hints how it was doing or if and when it might be done. You had to hit enter, as suggested in the lower right hand corner of the boot image, in order to see the boot messages in order to figure out where it was in the boot process. The fact that I had to do that wasn’t a big deal. At least for me. Annoying for certain, but I’m not so lazy that hitting the enter key is beyond me. What bothered me about is that I’m looking at this from a new users perspective. IE, someone who’s still new to Linux or BSD. While it’s simply a small bother for me, I know that this one thing would be a huge red X for a new user. So therefore I mention it here in hopes the developers will fix it.
Now as for the boot speed, I know that live cd’s are supposed to take a while to load, but not 4 ½ minutes!! In 4 ½ minutes I could have already been racking up a body count in open arena, or doing some diagnostic testing instead of waiting for this thing to boot, and that was just the time it took to boot into the console. I still had to manually start the GUI after that! As a comparison, DesktopBSD, another distribution built on Freebsd, booted to its live cd version complete with gui in just over a minute! If another distribution in a live cd environment can do that, something’s very wrong here. Now getting back to the “booting into the command prompt” part, I found that a bit bothersome. I can see the logic of that from a super user’s perspective, but if you’re a new user, or a more experienced user who doesn’t work much in the console, you’re going to immediately be lost at this point.