Available: New FreeNAS 8 snapshot (r5788)

The guys from iXsystems have released a new beta snapshot for FreeNAS 8. This image based on r5788 of the SVN repo is very close to being Release Candidate status.

Some of the highlights and new additions are:

  • The TreeMenu GUI is now the default (the old GUI is still available)
  • There’s a far better GUI for managing ownership/group/permissions of volumes and datasets.
  • Dynamic DNS should work.
  • ZFS parameters per dataset have been added
  • A bug that was preventing the system from seeing all available disks has been fixed.
  • FTP is now working.

Be aware, there are still some known issues:

  • AFP generates bogus configs.
  • iSCSI configs don’t work in some environments.
  • Link Aggregation setup is still a bit twitchy, the GUI doesn’t reboot the system even though in some cases that is needed.  Have the console nearby to play with the networking configs.

The latest beta can be downloaded from FreeNAS page on sourceforge.

Should you come across any bugs or quirks, please mail them to the new FreeNAS Testing Mailinglist: https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/freenas-testing

Links: FreeNAS website | Download FreeNAS | Release Notes

FreeNAS is an embedded open source NAS (Network-Attached Storage) distribution based on FreeBSD, supporting the following protocols: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, TFTP, AFP, RSYNC, Unison, iSCSI (initiator and target) and UPnP. It supports Software RAID (0,1,5), ZFS, disk encryption, S.M.A.R.T/email monitoring with a web browsers configuration interface.

Debian meets FreeBSD: Debian 6.0 debuts FreeBSD version

After two years in the making, Debian 6.0, code-named “Squeeze”, was announced earlier this week. It features the KDE Desktop and Applications, the GNOME, Xfce, and LXDE desktop environments.

Debian GNU/Linux supports a number of nice architectures which include: 32-bit PC / Intel IA-32, 64-bit PC / Intel EM64T / x86-64, Motorola/IBM PowerPC, Sun/Oracle SPARC, MIPS, Intel Itanium, IBM S/390, and ARM EABI.

Debian 6.0 is different in two ways from previous versions: 1) all non-open source firmware modules have been taken from the kernel and can be downloaded seperately, permitting completely “free” installations, i.e. it comes with a completely free-as-in-freedom Linux kernel, and 2) in addition to Debian GNU/Linux, Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is introduced as a technology preview with a version of the FreeBSD kernel in the Debian userspace.

FreeBSD, meet Debian

The Debian GNU/kFreeBSD technology previews are currently available only on x86 platforms: 32-bit PC (kfreebsd-i386) and 64-bit PC (kfreebsd-amd64). The FreeBSD releases offer “strong” support for common server software, combining “the existing features of Linux-based Debian versions with the unique features known from the BSD world,” says the project. However, the project goes on to note that “some advanced desktop features are not yet supported.”

It would be interesting to see when the GNU/kFreeBSD versions comes out with ZFS and those sort of goodies.

I’ll install and test Debian GNU/kFreeBSD over the next few weeks and let you know. In the meantime, Gary Sims, from Learning FreeNAS, as posted some screenshots.

Maybe the developers can make the name a bit simpler. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD technology preview or Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is such a mouth full. What about Debian 6.0 (FreeBSD)?

The release notes and installation manual have been posted, and installation images may be downloaded right now via bittorrent or HTTP.

Link: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD website

Ports update: KDE 4.6, OpenOffice and LibreOffice

KDE 4.6

A new update for KDE came out recently: KDE 4.6. Miwi, one of the guys porting KDE to FreeBSD, mentioned on his blog that a FreeBSD port of KDE 4.6 will come out after FreeBSD 8.2 has been released.

The FreeBSD KDE Team is happy to let you know that KDE SC 4.6.0 has been released a few Days ago, and the Release is ready for a public test. Before you ask, no, we do not want to put KDE 4.6.0 in the ports tree before FreeBSD 8.2/7.4 is released.

4.6 comes with a lot of bugfixes, is faster and more responsive. If you can’t wait for the official port, go over to the post (KDE SC 4.6 for FreeBSD) for update instructions.

LibreOffice

As most of you will be aware there was a rift between Oracle and OpenOffice developers, so a number of ex-OpenOffice developers forked OpenOffice and set up LibreOffice, with support from Google, Redhat, Ubuntu etc.

What is the exact difference between OpenOffice and LibreOffice? At the moment, LibreOffice 3.3 is based on OpenOffice 3.3 with some additions, tweaks and improvements, but it is expected that the projects will grow further apart in the future. These are two links comparing OpenOffice and LibreOffice:

LibreOffice 3.3 was released and is now available as FreeBSD port: /usr/ports/editors/libreoffice/. OpenOffice 3.3. can be installed from /usr/ports/editors/openoffice.org-3

LibreOffice is the free power-packed Open Source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base.

Oracle doesn’t have a good track record with regards to supporting open source projects (MySQL, OpenOffice, it’s not clear what’s going to happen to VirtualBox (paid extensions?) etc). Personally I think we should support LibreOffice. What do you think?

FreeBSD News WordPress Template (free)

Recently I came across this free ‘FreeBSD-themed’ WordPress Template (WordPress is a web-based platform creating a websites or blogs):

Features:

  • 2 columns,
  • black, red and white colours
  • Pages in header
  • RSS Feed button in footer
  • free WordPress template
  • Sidebar  on right hand side

If you want to set up a FreeBSD themed blog with standard FreeBSD colours, but without having to do much/any tweaking, have a look at this theme: FreeBSD News Free WordPress Template

Android FreeNAS App Updated

Walter of the TechWave Dev team has announced a new version of the Android based mFreeNAS 7. The application’s name was previously known as MobileFreeNAS.

This application allows you to control your FreeNAS Server within your local network.

Supported features are:

  • Wake On Lan
  • Reboot
  • Shutdown
  • System Info
  • HDDs Info

Check out the two new features (System Info & HDDs Info) and please provide feedback to Walter on any new additions or changes you would like to see implemented in future versions.

Available: m0n0wall 1.33b2 & m0n0wall in 2011

Manual Caspar has announced the availability of the second beta of m0n0wall 1.33:

Another beta is ready – there is now a new image type called “generic-pc-serial”, which differs from generic-pc by always using the serial console (on COM1 at whatever speed the BIOS set it to). This should be useful for those who run m0n0wall on “headless” hardware that still has keyboard/VGA that confuses the auto-detection.

Also, hopefully the Realtek NIC driver issue has been fixed once and for all this time…

Manual has also emailed his plans for 2011. From feedback he’s had, most users are happy with m0n0wall, so if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. However, some improvements in the IPv6 support are planned and maybe a port with a FreeBSD 8.0 base:

I’d love to be able to tell you of many great things that are going to happen to m0n0wall in 2011, but unfortunately I can’t. There isn’t much development manpower behind m0n0wall at this time, so I invest my available time primarily in bugfixes. m0n0wall has reached a mature state, and it seems like some of its most faithul users prefer it that way (rather than a new version every other week that has a host of new features and also breaks a lot of existing ones ;).

That said, it is likely that there will be further IPv6 improvements, and we may also see a port to FreeBSD 8.x for better hardware support. Not new killer features, but simply continuing in the tradition of providing a stable and (relatively) lightweight firewall software image.

Download the beta version or have a look at the updated m0n0wall website.

Available: FreeBSD 8.2-RC3 and 7.4-RC3

Ken Smith has announced the 3rd Release Candidate of FreeBSD 8.2 (production version) and FreeBSD 7.4 (legacy version). This release is slightly delayed (planned for 24 January) and there are still a few outstanding items on the todo lists (8.2, 7.4).

FreeBSD 8.2-RC3 is available for AMD64, i386, IA64, PC98, PowerPc and Sparc64, while FreeBSD 7.4-RC3 only runs on AMD64, i386, Pc98 and Sparc64. Instructions how to update to the release candidate versions can be found in the announcement.

Links:

Available: PC-BSD 8.2-RC3

Following the release of FreeBSD 8.2-RC3, the third Release Candidate for PC-BSD 8.2 was announced today by Kris Moore, Lead Developer of PC-BSD.

This RC is expected to be the last RC version prior to release which is expected some time in the next 2-3 weeks.

In addition to some fixes in response to previous 8.2 testing snapshots, RC2 contains the following software components:

  • FreeBSD 8.2RC3
  • KDE 4.5.5
  • Xorg 7.5
  • Nvidia Driver 260.19.29
  • Nvidia Driver 173.14.25
  • Nvidia Driver 96.43.16

PC-BSD 8.2-RC3 is available for download from our mirrors. Everyone is encouraged to test this beta and to report any bugs to the testing mailing list. Instructions for beta testers can be found in the PC-BSD Handbook.