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FreeNAS 11.2 new GUI suggestions and discussion thread

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE

Alecmascot

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Long time FreeNAS user here. Just upgraded to the 11.2 Beta and wanted to say that I think you guys did a great job on the new UI. It's much more convenient to have a usable UI on tablets/phones
Don't worry Chris. It will work fine if you do your management on a phone.......
 

Chris Moore

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Don't worry Chris. It will work fine if you do your management on a phone.......
I actually have a Windows 2012 R2 server that I use as my management console to manage many things.
The first problem I have with the new UI. It doesn't work in Internet Explorer.
 

Ericloewe

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IE doesn't even get updates anymore, so I'm not sure support for it is realistic.
 

Bungo

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Reduce the cell padding around almost every button/cell/field and you have a good start. It's probably part of the framework they are using to style the CSS for everything, so it'll be just a few settings somewhere (he says without worrying about fixing up how that affects the positioning of the elements ;) ).

And IE gets updates for Entrerprise users where it is still required and is often the default or only supported/mandated browser in many organisations.
 

Chris Moore

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And IE gets updates for Entrerprise users where it is still required and is often the default or only supported/mandated browser in many organisations.
Exactly the problem for me. My work system ONLY has IE and Edge.
 

Bungo

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Exactly the problem for me. My work system ONLY has IE and Edge.
Given that Fortran and Cobol have been largely unsupported and obsoleted for decades, but are still out there as mission critical programming languages. They have been around since the dawn of time (in IT terms). There are litterally 10s of milions of ActiveX controls used by much loved and nurtured but out-of-support apps out there, IE or some sort of compatibility will be around for a long time to come. Windows 10 hides it away, but it is there if you know where to look.

If the FreeNAS->Time/Maturity/Stability->TrueNAS model holds, they can't avoid IE in enterprises. They are very slow to make corporate changes like that. The more money resting on it, the slower the organisation is to move away from the tried and true. The risk of moving away from IE may be deemed greater than the risk of it being unsupported in some circumstances that TrueNAS will be targeting. As much as some would like to dismiss it as old hat, a lot of the world's biggest systems (especially in large risk-averse organisations like banks) are built on 'old hats', and are not going to change anytime soon.
 
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Chris Moore

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If the FreeNAS->Time/Maturity/Stability->TrueNAS model holds, they can't avoid IE in enterprises. They are very slow to make corporate changes like that. The more money resting on it, the slower the organisation is to move away from the tried and true. The risk of moving away from IE may be deemed greater than the risk of it being unsupported in some circumstances that TrueNAS will be targeting.
Absolutely, for example, the web-mail interface that my organization uses is bound to Internet Explorer. Not even Microsoft Edge can do it. We will be using IE until they figure out how to make something else work with our digitally signed and encrypted web-mail system and I don't think they have even started thinking about thinking about changing yet. The rest of the world may move on, but we are still using CD and DVD writable media because USB sticks are forbidden in the facility. You even have to check your cell phone at the door and you can pick it up on your way out. Not everyone will be using a tablet touch screen interface to manage their system, they really should not be designing for that. We have zero tablets in our entire facility, but we are about to have a petabyte of storage in my department alone.
 

FreeN@s!

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Hi,

Just upgraded to 11.2 Beta1 and then downgraded back to 11.1-U5. The information in a reporting sections is unreadable on disks, network, etc. Is there any way you will put those nice graphs again ?
I really like the current GUI ( now called "legacy") and in my opinion it is far better for managing purpose build appliance...

legacy looking very good :)

upload_2018-7-23_22-52-37.png

upload_2018-7-23_22-52-3.png
 

Chris Moore

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Hi,

Just upgraded to 11.2 Beta1 and then downgraded back to 11.1-U5. The information in a reporting sections is unreadable on disks, network, etc. Is there any way you will put those nice graphs again ?
I really like the current GUI ( now called "legacy") and in my opinion it is far better for managing purpose build appliance...

legacy looking very good :)
I agree that the "Legacy" UI looks fine. I really don't see why anyone wants to change it. The new UI is virtually unusable in many cases. It is absolutely not ready for "Prime Time".
I have actually been looking at other alternatives instead of FreeNAS. I am setting up a server at work now using Solaris 11.3 and I may move everything over to that. At least it won't be changing all the time. Change is bad.
 
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Alecmascot

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I have actually been looking at other alternatives instead of FreeNAS. I am setting up a server at work now using Solaris 11.3 and I may move everything over to that.
I have been looking at alternatives too. The sticking point is the gui fronted zfs replication that only FN seems to have. If I did not use that to sync my two servers then I would be off.
I guess the answer is to remain at 11.1-UXX for the foreseeable future.
 

FreeN@s!

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Dear FreeNAS team,
Can you think of releasing something like : FreeNAS lite / nano edition ? No fancy features needed, just old GUI , SMB, NFS, iSCSI . Can be without jails, plugins.....
 

Ericloewe

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As stated in the OP, the old GUI is a development disaster and cannot survive long-term.

No fancy features needed, just old GUI , SMB, NFS, iSCSI . Can be without jails, plugins.....
You don't have to use anything you don't want to use. There's nothing to gain by releasing such a version.
 

Bungo

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I can unerstand not further developing the old UI, not a problem, I don't feel particularly sentimental or attached to it. Style frameworks come and go and technologies move on, and after a while trying to do new things with an old framework becomes an uphill battle. There were a few things I'd have liked from the old UI that just weren't there or weren't quite flexible enough:
  • Given the cheapness of 2nd hand Fibre Channel hardware, I'd have liked to see the FC stuff in FreeNAS,
  • manipulating ZFS in the event of an error in hardware was always a CLI task which could have been in the UI. The UI was fine until something stopped working, then you needed to shell out and fix it,
  • the ability to copy and paste disk/volume detail tables to csv or other format for documentation would have been nice.
  • I never did get the whole across the top and down the side thing being different but the same, but others liked it.
But the current trend of eye-candy over function and efficiency is a huge backward step. The sheer waste of screen realestate and lack of compactness of the new UI is not the answer.

XOA for Xenserver/xcp-ng is another prime example of this, the service-now admin and user interface we use for job logging at work is another. Used to be able to fit all the information or entry boxes for the web form on one screen, now it's scroll around or multiple form pages. The biggest cause of the issue boils down to the massive amount of cell padding inside and around buttons, form fields, and almost any HTML element styling applied. System admins who do more than part time will go for efficiency in the presentation & completeness of information over pretty buttons, cell padding, and whitespace any day of the week.
 
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KrisBee

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What does it say about the direction of travel of FreeNAS when long time users like @Chris Moore and @Alecmascot are talking about alternatives?

IMHO the new UI looks v.bad at 1280x1024 and not much better at 1600x900. I can't view the "cards" thing for services and VMs as anything but a fancy gimmick. Is this "letting developers design the product" as has been suggested elsewhere?
 

Chris Moore

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Having a UI that is compact and provides useful information is a nice thing. The problem with FreeNAS is that if the GUI is awful, your still forced to use it as most changes done in the shell don't survive reboot. I manage my departmental servers at work and I have to be able to view the console on a KVM that only gives me 1080 x 764. If you can not fit into that frame, you are doing it wrong.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

danb35

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It's surprising, and a little disappointing, to see the "why do we need a new GUI?" folks come out again--I thought that question was long since settled and beyond reasonable debate. That there are problems with the current iteration of the new GUI doesn't mean the old one was fine. That you've managed to work around the idiosyncrasies of the old GUI doesn't mean they aren't there.
 

Ericloewe

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It's surprising, and a little disappointing, to see the "why do we need a new GUI?" folks come out again--I thought that question was long since settled and beyond reasonable debate. That there are problems with the current iteration of the new GUI doesn't mean the old one was fine. That you've managed to work around the idiosyncrasies of the old GUI doesn't mean they aren't there.
Exactly. The new GUI is a hard requirement. The relevant discussion is "how can it be improved?", not "why is it needed?". Apparently, the biggest thing at the moment is making it more compact.

Edit: I say apparently because it's just about marginal for me on a 2560x1440 monitor and fairly small numbers of disks. I can definitely see it getting out of hand with even 24 disks, much less hundreds.
 

danb35

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Apparently, the biggest thing at the moment is making it more compact.
Though I don't have nearly such strong feelings as many who have commented here, I'd agree with this--the new GUI does take quite a bit more screen real estate than the old one, and much of my GUI usage is on a laptop.
 

Chris Moore

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Exactly. The new GUI is a hard requirement. The relevant discussion is "how can it be improved?", not "why is it needed?". Apparently, the biggest thing at the moment is making it more compact.

Edit: I say apparently because it's just about marginal for me on a 2560x1440 monitor and fairly small numbers of disks. I can definitely see it getting out of hand with even 24 disks, much less hundreds.
I am ambivalent, old / new, if the old one needs to go, then take it, but the new GUI should not take more space on screen.
You mention that 2560x1440 resolution monitor, try it on a long link KVM extender that gives you 1024x768 and the system has 80 drives. Having to scroll down the page is one thing, but having to scroll side to side also. It's possible, but it is more pain than it is worth.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

Chris Moore

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PS. The colors of the graphs make them unreadable. The old graphs are easily readable.

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