FreeNAS 8.2 brings back plugin support
The developers at the FreeNAS project have announced the release of version 8.2.0 of their FreeBSD-based distribution for Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems. The major update is the first 8.x branch release to again offer support for plugins; although plugins were available in previous 0.7.x releases, they were temporarily omitted when the developers released FreeNAS 8.0 so the team could focus on making the overall platform solid for general NAS functionality.
The plugins and other third-party BSD-related software components that are available as optional PBI (Push Button Installer) packages run in a FreeBSD jail under FreeNAS 8.2; this means that they are detached from the rest of the system but can be controlled via the OS's web-based user interface. Plugins are currently available (x86, x64) for Roku and iTunes (Firefly) streaming, and DLNA (MiniDLNA), as well as BitTorrent (Transmission).
With FreeNAS 8.2, the developers have improved the integration between the ZFS command-line tools and the distribution's GUI. The web-based GUI now includes a webshell, providing users with access to a root shell from within the browser interface, and is now compatible with Android and iOS mobile devices. FreeNAS now regularly scrubs ZFS volumes; default settings for these tasks can be changed under Storage ➤ ZFS Scrubs. A new auto-tuning script – disabled by default – that optimises system preferences has been added, as has support for Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and Fibre Channel (FC) multipath devices.
Further information about the update can be found in the release announcement and on the "What's New in 8.2" page in the updated documentation. FreeNAS 8.2.0 is available to download for 32- and 64-bit systems from the project's SourceForge page. FreeNAS is released under the BSD licence and development is sponsored by iXsystems.