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22 November 2010, 12:43

FreeNAS 8.0 Beta released

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FreeNAS Logo The FreeNAS developers have announced the availability of the first beta for version 8.0 of FreeNAS, a FreeBSD-based Network-attached storage (NAS) UNIX like server operating system. According to iXsystems FreeBSD Development Director Warner Losh, "the new FreeNAS makes it easier to upgrade, back up, or restore, with the system taking care of all the details," adding that, "FreeNAS makes running a NAS box simple and easy". FreeNAS includes a full Web configuration graphical user interface (GUI) and supports, for example, the FTP, NFS, CIFS (Samba), AFP, rsync and iSCSI protocols and software RAID (0,1,5).

Based on FreeBSD 8.1, the development release features version 14 of the ZFS (Zettabyet File System) and includes a redesigned graphical user interface (GUI) built using Python and the Django web framework that's aimed at making the OS easier to use. The developers say that the new system is much more modular than previous versions and, in addition to using Django, they are also using the Dojo Toolkit to implement AJAX features.

Other changes include improved hardware support, faster I/O and better modularity. Additionally, the installer has been rewritten using pc-sysinstall and the ISO now only includes an installer to install FreeNAS onto a dedicated device, such as a USB flash drive, hard drive or memory card – users can no longer run in a LiveCD mode.

Losh notes that, after the first beta build was released (r5591), a few "serious problems came to life". As such, they have re-spun the release to address a variety of issues, including gmirror errors, very long write times for disks and a ZFS problem on reboot.

As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.

Further information about the development preview can be found in the official release announcement and in the release notes. A detailed change log has yet to be posted. FreeBSD 8.0 Beta build r5606 is available to download from SourceForge.

FreeNAS was voted as one of the ten best networking tools in InfoWorld's 2010 Best Open Source Software Awards. The latest stable release is version 0.7.2 from the 17th of October.

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