TrueNAS 13.0 BETA Improves Scale-up Unified Storage


February 8, 2022

TrueNAS 13.0 reaches its BETA milestone today and is ready for serious testing by the community. TrueNAS 13.0 piggybacks on the TrueNAS 12.0 quality improvements and the move to OpenZFS 2.1. There are many major updates to the components of TrueNAS that are intended to increase the general reliability, performance, and security of TrueNAS unified storage.

TrueNAS 13.0 and TrueNAS SCALE are the successors of the very successful unification of FreeNAS and TrueNAS into TrueNAS 12.0. TrueNAS 13.0 is focused on continuing the scale-up storage capabilities of TrueNAS 12.0.

The significant new components of TrueNAS 13.0 are:

TrueNAS 12.0-U8 middleware: TrueNAS 13.0 is based on the TrueNAS 12.0-U8 middleware and includes thousands of bug fixes and general quality improvements. There will be very few UI and API changes that will enable the automated testing to verify the quality of the TrueNAS 13.0 software. We are expecting higher quality than a typical major release.

FreeBSD 13.0: The Operating System (OS) is updated to FreeBSD 13.0 and includes thousands of improvements and many iXsystems contributions. Released in April 2021, this OS includes many improvements to cryptography, networking, drivers, and NUMA scheduling. Overall, Phoronix found significant performance improvements.

OpenZFS 2.1: The improvements in OpenZFS 2.0 were greatly appreciated in TrueNAS 12.0. OpenZFS 2.1, released in July 2021, has many more improvements in reliability and performance. Altogether, there are hundreds of updates and bug fixes. One particular contribution made by iXsystems reduces the ZFS pool import times. By making the process more parallel, system restart times and failover times can be significantly reduced for larger systems.

Samba 4.15: The most commonly used service on TrueNAS is SMB and is provided via The latest Samba 4.15 release has some security improvements and virtual file system improvements that ensure SMB support is stable and fast on 13.0.

iSCSI target: iSCSI includes support for larger native I/O sizes and general performance improvements. There will be a more detailed analysis of performance improvements closer to the RELEASE date.

Other minor improvements include:

  • Intel I225 (2.5 Gbe) NIC support
  • Various 12.0 bug fixes that were too complicated to resolve in a minor update


Progress Toward TrueNAS 13.0 RELEASE!

TrueNAS 13.0 is going through an accelerated delivery of the BETA1, RC1, RELEASE, and UPDATE stages. It will mature faster than TrueNAS 12.0 or TrueNAS SCALE. There is a TrueNAS 13.0 sub-forum on the Community forums for this accelerated process and Community feedback.

The new TrueNAS 13.0 documentation is based on the TrueNAS 12.0 docs which were more modular and expandable. The Community is invited to edit and contribute. Please check out the documentation even if you don’t upgrade today. 

The upgrades from TrueNAS 12.0 to TrueNAS 13.0 are expected to be very smooth due to the consistency of the software architecture. TrueNAS 12.0 enabled the merger of FreeNAS and TrueNAS into a unified software image and the new website. FreeNAS has morphed into TrueNAS CORE and the general quality has improved with the consolidation of the CORE and Enterprise images. With the last update of TrueNAS 12.0-U8, over 85% of systems have updated from TrueNAS and FreeNAS 11.x. 

TrueNAS SCALE: The Path to Scale-out and Linux Support

TrueNAS 12.0 users also have an option to migrate to TrueNAS SCALE.  TrueNAS SCALE also supports Samba 4.15 and OpenZFS 2.1 but is based on Debian Bullseye and not FreeBSD. 

Users looking for scale-out storage capabilities and/or Linux-friendly hyperconvergence with Kubernetes and KVM should look at SCALE. TrueNAS SCALE 22.02 is expected to hit the RELEASE stage in February.

Users with storage-centric use cases (file, block, object) that are generally satisfied with TrueNAS 12.0 will find that the TrueNAS 13.0 upgrade provides significant advantages without any major changes to data layout, tools, or user interface.

TrueCommand is the Single-Pane-of-Glass Management Platform

TrueNAS 12.0, SCALE, and TrueNAS 13.0 include support for TrueCommand (Docker or VM) and TrueCommand Cloud, a SaaS version that includes a VPN capability for managing across private networks. TrueCommand 2.1 is the latest release and includes:

  • Storage navigation of datasets, files across multiple NAS systems. 
  • Real-time per-second statistics.
  • Role-Based and Team-Based Access Controls (RBAC).
  • Tracking and reporting inventory with serial numbers and support status. 
  • Two-Factor Authentication and Single Sign-On. 

TrueNAS CORE: Still the Best Free NAS

TrueNAS 13.0 security, quality, and performance improvements should have a positive impact on your systems. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear them on the community forums, on the TrueNAS subreddit, 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 TrueNAS 12.0 installed on your system, you can upgrade to TrueNAS 13.0 BETA with a single click! Otherwise, download TrueNAS 13.0 BETA and get started. TrueNAS Enterprise customers should wait for TrueNAS 13.0 RELEASE and contact iXsystems support before updating.

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