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Debian BSD Linux

FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux 206

dnaumov writes "FreeNAS, a popular, free NAS solution, is moving away from using FreeBSD as its underlying core OS and switching to Debian Linux. Version 0.8 of FreeNAS as well as all further releases are going to be based on Linux, while the FreeBSD-based 0.7 branch of FreeNAS is going into maintenance-only mode, according to main developer Volker Theile. A discussion about the switch, including comments from the developers, can be found on the FreeNAS SourceForge discussion forum. Some users applaud the change, which promises improved hardware compatibility, while others voice concerns regarding the future of their existing setups and lack of ZFS support in Linux."
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FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @12:37PM (#30343738)

    From the last page of comments, it looks like one company is already forking it to keep it on FreeBSD.

    Half of the comments are users who picked FreeNAS for it's ZFS functionality worrying that they were stuck on FreeNAS 0.7.

    Greater hardware compatibility? Sure, for some desktop computer hardware, but FreeBSD is fine for everything a NAS needs.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Fez ( 468752 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @12:46PM (#30343820)

    This story is not the "whole" story.

    Basically the author of FreeNAS is going to start over doing it on Linux, but some other group is taking over the FreeBSD portion of FreeNAS:

    http://www.freebsdnews.net/2009/12/05/freenas-ready-step/ [freebsdnews.net]

  • no it stays FreeBSD (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @01:13PM (#30343992)


    "FreeNAS needs some big modification for removing its present limitation (one of the biggest is the non support of easly users add-ons).
    We think that a full-rewriting of the FreeNAS base is needed. From this idea, we will take 2 differents paths:
    - Volker will create a new project called "'OpenMediaVault" based on a GNU/Linux using all its experience acquired with all its nights and week-ends spent to improve FreeNAS during the last 2 years. He still continue to work on FreeNAS (and try to share its time with this 2 projects).
    - And, a great surprise: iXsystems, a company specialized in professional FreeBSD offers to take FreeNAS under their wings as an open source community driven project. This mean that they will involve their professionals FreeBSD developers to FreeNAS! Their manpower will permit to do a full-rewriting of FreeNAS.
    Personally, I come back to actively work in FreeNAS and begin to upgrade it to FreeBSD 8.0 (that is "production ready" for ZFS)."

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:08PM (#30344418)

    FreeNAS is an "easy-to-use" NAS for old hardware, and light on documentation -- read: it has a wiki; generate your own. So it's going to get a lot of first-timers, however technical, and they're going to have questions about the migration. Hence "concerns" in this sense really shouldn't be read as 'emotional outbursts of near panic', but as inquiries.

    Anyhow, the traditional /. missing link for this story would be: http://www.learnfreenas.com/blog/ [learnfreenas.com]

    ...Today Olivier Cochard-Labbé has made a great announcement, FreeNAS will live on and production ready ZFS support will be added with the upgrade to FreeBSD 8.0. At the same time a new Linux version of FreeNAS will be created called OpenMediaVault! Olivier explained it like this: FreeNAS needs some big modification to remove its present limitations (with one of the biggest being the lack of support for add-ons/plugins). We think that a full-rewrite of the FreeNAS base is needed. Therefore, we will take 2 different paths:...

    I guess /. is running the story because it's a migration from a BSD to a Linux. But it's a nice minor news items on an interesting project, and is mostly useful by bringing FreeNAS to the attention of /.'ers who are starting to think about setting up a NAS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:16PM (#30345022)

    btrfs is not even in the same league as ZFS. ZFS is a LVM and fs replacement, done so data doesn't get lost between those two layers.

    btrfs offers nowhere near as many featres. ZFS has 64 bit CRCs (which are EXTREMELY useful for finding changed files on backups.) btrfs has 32 bit CRCs which are almost useless as a way of detecting changes, unless one goes by timestamps alone. btrfs also doesn't have transactions (better hope your UPS is up to snuff), and cannot detect corruption on the fly.

    Finally, btrfs has not seen any production use and abuse. No way I'm trusting my data to this filesystem for at least 1-2 years, and by then, there will be a "real" filesystem that is on par with ZFS. At best btrfs is a transitional filesystem, like ext4. It isn't a generation changer like ZFS.

  • Patents (Score:3, Informative)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:42PM (#30345204) Homepage Journal

    I'm not saying its not a lot of work, just that it is possible if the desire is there..

    It's not a work problem - ZFS is elegantly simple, 6000 LoC or so in its basic form.

    The problem is it's heavily patented and you have no rights to those patents if you don't derive your code from the CDDL'ed code, which you can't do with the GPL (but FreeBSD, MacOSX, and the FUSE module did).

  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:49PM (#30345264) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, it's pretty horrible. And I don't really get the point. It's not like FreeBSD is particularly hard to install and configure, and configuring Samba to run on it is identical to configuring Samba to run on Linux. I'm hard pressed to think of a reason why you'd want to run ZFS via FUSE on Linux instead of using the real thing on a similar, well-supported Free Unix.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @04:00PM (#30345368)
    OK, now that's just an outright lie. Every OS has a production period where things are merged in and tested for stability and reliability. Linux code doesn't come out fully formed. On top of that, most of what people think of as Linux is produced independently amongst a large number of projects. I've run current in the past and it was hardly as unstable as you're making it out to be. In fact I've experience periods with Ubuntu where that "stable" release was crashing more frequently than FreeBSD current.

    I've run Linux in the past, and it just isn't as good as you say it is. I went through a period where I had to reinstall the entire OS just about every reboot because the filesystem was getting horribly corrupted each time it crashed. I'd have to reboot in the middle of the installation because the Ubuntu installation program couldn't handle partitioning in a sane way without doing so. And at the end of the day, I'd have a hodge podge of programs that made up the userland which may or may not play well with each other next time I updated them for a bug fix.

    Yes, Linux isn't an abomination and is perfectly fine for many uses, but it's that sort of insulting crap about the glowing development process that makes me not want to run Linux on any of my computers. It's also a pretty blatant lie that FreeBSD changes more than Linux distros do. Over the decade that I've used FreeBSD, Linux has changed far more, and the changes to FreeBSD have mostly been related to the hardware architecture changes that have gone on, in terms of the userland and things that people actually work with, that's stayed relatively constant over that time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @04:28PM (#30345566)


  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @04:59PM (#30345790)

    Btrfs is a btree based filesystem, it may not be ready yet but it is far from a transitional filesystem, it may not be a generation changer but that's just because reiser was years ahead of his time. ZFS may have a mature implementation and a shitload of features but it's design is not better than btrfs/reiser4 (I'm not saying it's worse, both are considerably better than standard inode or table based filesystems)

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @05:05PM (#30345840) Homepage Journal

    "Not only that, but FreeBSD is a far more reliable and higher-quality core than even Debian could ever hope to be."

    [citation needed]

    What does netcraft say?

  • by imsabbel ( 611519 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @06:32PM (#30346584)

    25MB/s _IS_ "that slow"

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:3, Informative)

    by BikeHelmet ( 1437881 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @06:35AM (#30351024) Journal

    I hope they use an older kernel. The new linux kernels have great speed, and total shit compatibility. I've got four old PCs sitting next to me, and not one of them can detect a DVD drive or read stably off a PATA HDD in Ubuntu 9.10 - yet it works fine in 9.04 (minus the CD drives), and in 8.10/8.04 everything is working great.

    It's sad to see an OS cut support for old hardware, like a 2.2ghz Athlon XP w/ 2GB of RAM running off a 120GB PATA HDD. (Still fast enough to browse the internet :P )

  • by ggendel ( 1061214 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @09:23AM (#30351794)

    I don't work for Sun either, but I agree with many of your points. My homebrew NAS server has been running OpenSolaris since build 49 and ZFS has uncovered issues like a flaky sata cable, and an unstable power supply without losing a single bit of data. In some other systems with similar problems, I found silently corrupted data on drives with ntfs, xfs, and hfs+. I would not go to a non-zfs flle system without some kicking and screaming.

    I don't know if OpenSolaris, EON, or NextentaOS is missing any of the features of FreeNAS, but I would think about these as a viable replacement. One advantage is that they will always have the bleeding edge zfs enhancements first, like the new deduplication feature.

  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @12:10AM (#30374036) Journal

    You're reading benchmark results incorrectly.

    Apparently so is the guy who wrote them...

    "Both FreeBSD 7.2 and 8.0 had also lower CPU utilization than the two Linux distributions tested"

    "FreeBSD 7.2 came in slightly behind FreeBSD 8.0 while Ubuntu 9.10 came in fourth and Fedora 12 took a distant fifth place finish."

    "FreeBSD 7.2 was slightly faster than FreeBSD 8.0, but both were faster than Ubuntu/Fedora and OpenSolaris."

    "OpenSolaris 2010.02 did the best followed by the two FreeBSD releases. Fedora and Ubuntu were in last for this image-processing task."

    "Ubuntu 9.10, then the FreeBSD releases, and then Fedora 12."

    Read it, there are various benchmarks there. And FreeBSD loses in all but one of them.

    I strongly suggest you read it yourself. I also suggest you look at MORE THAN ONE person's benchmarks... there are plenty out there.

"It ain't over until it's over." -- Casey Stengel