Recently the drive containing the operating system for my home NAS server died (thats 2 drives in 2 months !) and so I thought it was a good opportunity to upgrade to the new (few months old) FreeNAS v8 – it lasted less than 24 hours because its just not release ready in my opinion.
The previous versions of FreeNAS, the versioning scheme was 0.6, 0.7 and now 8 to tie in with FreeBSD, were brilliant, very stable, very customisable and just worked really well. It was a community developed system, meaning it was relying on lots of people with spare time to develop the software until this was taken over by iXsystems who have just released version 8.
My NAS hardware at home is an old desktop with lots of large capacity drives in a ZFS pool, plus this one system disk. When the old disk died I quickly grabbed the FreeNAS 8 iso and a similarly small disk to get the system back up and running. Installation wise FreeNAS 8 went on fine, although it still froze when booting from the disk until I took out my raid card which occurs on the old version too.
My first priority was to get my ZFS pool of storage back, via the web-GUI I clicked import volume, nothing, the auto-import volume could see my pool but would not import it – fair enough the previous system crashed so I couldnt export it but still should be fine. I then bounced around the GUI frantically searching for the system logs to find out what was going wrong but couldnt find them anywhere!
Problem #1: you cant see the system (/var/log/messages) logs in the web-gui
I managed to get my volume back by logging on using SSH and doing it myself:
server# zpool import -f zpool_name
And so I could then see my storage on the web-GUI… until I rebooted and it was lost again! Finally fixed this by:
- manually importing (using -f) the pool
- use the auto-import function on the webgui
Problem #2: fails to import a ZFS pool from another system
Specifically why I needed this back so quick, apart from the load of music on there, was an NFS share that I use so my second task was to get that back. Unfortunately FreeNAS v8 doesnt allow you to export any other directory than that of a ZFS dataset! Say I had a dataset mounted at /mnt/dsroot but I had multiple shares under there such as /mnt/dsroot/share1 /mnt/dsroot/share2 then I could not find a way to share those two either using samba or NFS.
Problem #3: you cannot export any other directory other than a ZFS dataset
I started to try and hack the conf but then wondered why I havent just installed the old version when this v8 was already missing quite a few features and I had read the read/write performance wasnt very good anyway – time to revert back to tried and tested version 0.7.5543
Problem #4: lack of features, such as rsync, upnp streaming
I am currently waiting for my IDE flash module to turn up before installing the old version and waiting until a new version appears to rectify these problems and adds some more features.