Be One of the First to Test Drive TrueNAS 12.0 BETA


June 30, 2020

We have previously announced the merger of FreeNAS and TrueNAS into a unified software image and new naming convention. FreeNAS is becoming TrueNAS CORE. TrueNAS is becoming TrueNAS Enterprise. The schedule for TrueNAS 12.0 was made available on the forums with a target date of June 30 for the BETA version.

We are excited to announce that TrueNAS 12.0 BETA has hit both the target date and our quality goals. The BETA release has completed two full cycles of QA (the same as FreeNAS 11.3 RC1) and testing from almost 1,000 users. There are no high priority issues and we can now recommend that the Community can upgrade their FreeNAS 11.3 systems and start their TrueNAS 12.0 testing. Snapshot your pool, backup your data, and try it out. You can also download the TrueNAS 12.0 BETA if you’d prefer.

Along the way, we have refined the logos for TrueNAS. These logos are now in use for TrueNAS 12.0. There is also the option to use the classic FreeNAS icon in the web user interface.

TrueNAS 12.0 BETA is the 1st major deliverable of the FreeNAS/TrueNAS Unification process. This process has already brought several of the major expected benefits to life:

  • Rapid Development: Unified images have accelerated software development.
  • Improved Quality: Reduced development redundancy and unified QA has increased software quality.
  • Earlier Hardware Enablement: TrueNAS 12.0 brings improved support for AMD EPYC / Ryzen platforms and enhanced NUMA support for more efficient CPU core handling. Tell us your stories!
  • Simplified Documentation: The 1st release of the unified TrueNAS 12.0 documentation is now available and includes the capability for user contributions.
  • Reduced Redundancy: We are now starting to produce unified web content and videos which refer to one software family without the need for duplication.
  • Flexibility: Unified images enable simpler transitions or upgrades between editions.
  • Resource efficiency: Software developers are freed to work on new features and related projects like TrueNAS SCALE.
  • OpenZFS 2.0: The major investment in the development and integration of “OpenZFS 2.0” is paying off with advances like dataset encryption, major performance improvements, and compatibility with Linux ZFS pools which was needed for TrueNAS SCALE.

TrueNAS 12.0 Features

The master feature list for TrueNAS 12.0 is below. The features in black existed in FreeNAS 11.3 and are shared by both TrueNAS CORE and TrueNAS Enterprise. The features in blue have been added to TrueNAS 12.0. The column to the right displays features that are available in TrueNAS Enterprise only. TrueNAS 12.0 CORE has a superset of FreeNAS 11.3 features.

The feature additions for TrueNAS 12.0 have been summarized as:

  • Metadata on Flash: Special SSD vdevs can be used for Metadata acceleration. This can include both file systems metadata and dedupe tables. This is one of the core features of OpenZFS 2.0.
  • Fusion Pools: The special SSD vdevs can also be used for data based on I/O write size. This is configurable on a per dataset basis. Users can accelerate database datasets or special VMs.
  • SSD Wear Monitoring: Any SSD (Boot, L2ARC, slog or vdev) can be monitored for wear and alerts created.
  • Dataset Encryption: Specific datasets can be selected or deselected for encryption with a user-provided key. When replicating the dataset to another TrueNAS, the key does not have to be provided and so the data can be transmitted and stored in the original encrypted state.
  • Asynchronous ZFS Trim: Trim commands free up space, particularly within SSDs. By making these Trim commands asynchronous, they scale and perform better. This is particularly useful for deduplication of flash storage and can significantly reduce costs.
  • Faster ZFS Boot: OpenZFS 2.0 includes a more parallel process for importing a ZFS pool with many drives. This reduces boot and failover times.
  • ZFS Linux Compatibility: Linux and FreeBSD are peer operating systems for OpenZFS 2.0. Compressed, deduplicated, and encrypted data can be efficiently replicated from a Linux host to a TrueNAS system for backup and archive. It is also possible to import a pool (drive set) from Linux to TrueNAS. This is being used to start the TrueNAS SCALE project which supports scale-out storage and hyperconvergence.
  • Accelerated ZFS: Several performance improvements have been made to reduce both drive IOPS and the CPU cycles required.
  • User Quota Support: Allows setting per-user storage quotas which are enforced by ZFS for both NFS and SMB shares. Users can be local or AD/LDAP.
  • OpenVPN Client and Server: VPNs provide security for remotely accessing storage services, such as SMB or NFS, across the Internet. This feature enables the OpenVPN Client or Server to be included in the NAS for simpler administration and lower costs. The other end of the VPN connection can be any OpenVPN client, such as another NAS, Firewall Device, or Personal Desktop/Laptop.
  • Two Factor Authentication: This ensures that a compromised root password cannot be used by itself to gain access to the administrator interface.
  • API Keys: Access to the REST / WebSockets API can now be done via API keys which can be created and revoked directly via the WebUI for additional security.
  • KMIP Support: Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) is an Enterprise feature for securing drives or datasets through a centralized key management system.
  • TrueCommand Dataset Management: TrueCommand and TrueNAS are joined at the hip and will provide dataset monitoring in TrueCommand 1.3 (to be released in July).

Progress toward TrueNAS 12.0 RELEASE!

TrueNAS 12.0 is scheduled to go through the same NIGHTLY, BETA, RC1, RELEASE, and UPDATE states that FreeNAS has gone through. There will be no changes to the software update process or the information available. There is a TrueNAS 12.0 sub-forum on the Community forums for this unification process and Community feedback. Over 700 users have been testing the NIGHTLY release with some great feedback.
We appreciate the Community testing of the TrueNAS 12.0 BETA release. Bugs that are caught and reported early are going to have less impact on the final schedule. TrueNAS 12.0 BETA will also be tested on Enterprise HA systems within our labs

New and Improved Documentation
The new TrueNAS 12.0 documentation is more modular and expandable. The Community is invited to edit and contribute. Please check out the documentation even if you don’t upgrade today. Below is a snapshot of the documentation site and its new user-friendly organization.

TrueNAS CORE: Still the Best Free NAS

But, don’t take it from us. StorageReview explained how many of the TrueNAS 12.0 features are integrated into the user interface. Ars Technica also reviewed TrueNAS 12.0 and the OpenZFS 2.0 improvements.
TrueNAS CORE 12.0 has the new logos included but will have the option to use a throwback FreeNAS theme. Below is the new TrueNAS theme.

TrueNAS CORE pictured with the new TrueNAS logo

We hope you are sharing our excitement for TrueNAS 12.0. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear them on the forums, or in response to this blog. If you need additional information on how TrueNAS can streamline, accelerate, and unify data management for your business, email us.
For those with FreeNAS 11.3 installed on your system, you can upgrade to TrueNAS 12.0 BETA with a single click! Otherwise, download TrueNAS 12.0 BETA and get started.