Screenshot of the FreeNAS web interface
|Stable release||18.104.22.168-RELEASE / 28 February 2014|
|Platform||i386/IA-32 and x86-64|
FreeNAS is a free and open-source software network-attached storage (NAS) system based on FreeBSD and the ZFS file system, with a dedicated management web interface (originally written in PHP, then rewritten from scratch in Python/Django). It is licensed under the terms of the BSD License and runs on commodity 32 and 64-bit x86 hardware. FreeNAS supports Windows, OS X and Unix clients and various virtualization hosts such as XenServer and VMware using the CIFS, AFP, NFS, iSCSI, SSH, rsync and FTP/TFTP protocols. Advanced FreeNAS features include full-disk cryptography and a plug-in architecture for third-party software.
The ZFS file system
FreeNAS supports the legacy Unix File System and the ZFS filesystem which provides data integrity checking to prevent data corruption, enable point in time snapshotting, replication and several levels of redundancy including striping, mirroring, mirrored striping (RAID 1+0), and three levels of RAID-Z.
FreeNAS is managed through a comprehensive web interface that is supplemented by a minimalistic shell console that handles essential administrative functions. The web interface supports storage array configuration, user management, sharing configuration and system maintenance.
As an embedded system appliance, FreeNAS boots from a 2GB image that typically resides on a USB Flash device or SATA DOM. This image can be configured using a bootable CD-ROM installer or by flashing the image directly using a utility like 'dd'. The FreeNAS operating system is fully independent of its storage arrays, allowing its configuration database and encryption keys to be backed up and restored to a fresh installation of the OS. This separation also allows for FreeNAS system upgrades to be performed through the web interface.
The FreeNAS project was started in October 2005 by Olivier Cochard-Labbé who based it on the m0n0wall embedded firewall and FreeBSD 6.0. Volker Theile joined the project in July 2006 and became the project lead in April 2008. In September 2009, the development team concluded that the project, then at release .7, was due for a complete rewrite in order to accommodate modern features such as a plug-in architecture. Theile decided that the project best be reimplemented using Debian GNU/Linux and shifted his development efforts to the interim CoreNAS project and eventually OpenMediaVault where he continues as the project lead. Cochard-Labbé responded to community objections to "The Debian version of FreeNAS" and resumed activity in the project and oversaw its transfer to FreeNAS user iXsystems. iXsystems rewrote FreeNAS with a new architecture based on FreeBSD 8.1 and Django CMS, releasing FreeNAS 8 Beta in November 2010. The plug-in architecture arrived with FreeNAS 8.2 and FreeNAS versioning was synchronized with FreeBSD for clarity. FreeNAS 8.3 introduced full-disk cryptography and FreeBSD 9.1-based FreeNAS 9.1 brought an updated plug-in architecture that is compatible with the PC-BSD Warden jail management framework. FreeNAS 9.1 was also the first version of FreeNAS to use the community-supported OpenZFS v5000 with Feature Flags.
FreeNAS .7 development was resumed in March 2012 as the NAS4Free project under the leadership of Daisuke Aoyama and Michael Zoon. Olivier Cochard-Labbé has gone on to found the BSD Router Project.
The ISOs of the legacy versions 7.2 and 7.5 have been removed from the FreeNAS Project site as it would clash with their current commercial open source offerings and their having to answer legacy issues. Some archives exist for the last released of these files as: FreeNAS-i386-LiveCD-0.7.2.5266.iso and FreeNAS-x86-LiveCD-0.7.5.9898.iso.
- FreeBSD 9.1 operating system
- Web interface with optional SSL encryption
- Localized into over 20 languages
- Plug-in Architecture
- Included Transmission, MiniDLNA and FireFly plug-ins
- Performance graphing
- Email log and reporting notification
- Downloadable configuration file and encryption keys
- OpenZFS v5000 file system with Feature Flags
- Theoretical storage limit of 16 Exabytes
- File system snapshotting and replication
- Six levels of file system compression including lz4 and gzip
- Disk encryption with GELI and AESNI hardware acceleration
- Disk deduplication
- S.M.A.R.T. disk diagnostics
- UFS2, NTFS and FAT file system support
- CIFS, AFP, NFS, iSCSI, SSH, FTP/TFTP protocols
- LDAP and Active Directory client support with Windows ACLs
- Apple Time Machine support
- rsync replication
- Link aggregation and failover
- VLAN networking
- Dynamic DNS client
- Remote syslogd forwarding
- SNMP monitoring
- UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) support
- iozone, netperf, OpenVPN, tmux and other utilities
- SoHo, SMB and Enterprise file serving
- Virtualization server storage backing
- Media center audio/video serving and streaming to DLNA devices
- VMware — "Ultimate Virtual Appliance Challenge, Consumer"
- sourceforge.net — Project of the Month, January 2007
- InfoWorld — Best of open source in storage
- "Project of the Month, January 2007". SourceForge. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "Interview with Olivier Cochard-Labbé, Founder of FreeNAS". BSD Magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "FreeNAS 8 Beta released". Warner Losh. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "What's New with FreeNAS". FreeNAS Team. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "NAS4Free". NAS4Free Team. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "NAS4Free". NAS4Free Team. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "NAS4Free Contributors". NAS4Free Team. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "BSD Router Project". BSD Router Project. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "FreeNAS translation website". FreeNAS Team. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "FreeNAS is a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) server". VMware, Inc. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- "Project of the Month January 2007". SourceForge, Inc. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- "Best of open source in storage - 2007". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
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