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FreenNAS running native on Ubuntu and other linux flavours

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Nrgaway

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Mar 17, 2014
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Would there be any interest in FreeNAS running native on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions?

I am in the process of porting it over to Ubuntu server 14.04. I currently have a build that installs all the dependencies and runs the freenasUI website and am working on converting the middleware layer to make it cross compatible with Linux and Mac while still supporting BSD (so the website actually does something useful hehe).

I decided to port FreeNAS since I got really, really good benchmarks with BTRFS using the 3.13 kernel (almost double that of 3.11 kernel). I was able to write as fast as using ZFS which prompted the conversion of FreeNAS to Ubuntu since I like the framework it uses (python, django).

I am replacing most middleware components with the salt API. Salt (http://www.saltstack.com/) allows administration of computers for multiple platform types which will allow the middleware components to work with both OS's.

Linux does not have jails, but we do have docker :) Docker containers (https://www.docker.io/) already have many many existing 'plugins' that will just work so they will be easy to install. I just have to write a small API for configuration files and write code to either offer jails or docker containers based on platform.

I also have the personal requirement of running and managing some local virtual machines, so will be adding a section to create and manage them.

Users will still have the choice of using ZFS and in addition BTRFS (via mdraid or BTRFS raid) with encryption, compression and snapshots similar to what ZFS has.

FreeNAS will initially be able to be installed on top of an existing Linux installation which means the OS will need to be installed first. We will see where it goes from there.

I am not sure if there would be any interest in merging my code-base or if I should just run with a completely separate fork. My future design decisions will be based on there being acceptance for a new platform or not from the existing FreeNAS development community. One other advantage of combing the releases is that it will open up the market for other Linux developers to contribute as well.

So, what ya think of my very first post here :)
 

cyberjock

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Mar 25, 2012
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Keep in mind if you do decide to fork this into your own project and release it to the public, the name "FreeNAS" is owned by iXsystems. So you will have to come up with a new name, etc.
 
J

jkh

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Would there be any interest in FreeNAS running native on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions?

I think you'll find that most of the enterprise types (and even home NAS users) who use FreeNAS are more interested in stability and time-in-test than anything else. There are a number of FreeNAS users still running version 8.x, for example, because hey - that version worked, their NAS ain't broke, why fix it?

That means that you're probably anywhere from 24-36 months and a lot of stress-testing away from capturing much interest from anyone but the "hey, cool science experiment!" crowd. As a science experiment, I would be certainly interested in it, at least interested enough to load it up on some spare hardware lying around the shop and run some benchmarks, but that's obviously not the same as putting it into production. Maybe that's fine, too. Maybe you're gauging interest in a science experiment? As long as you don't call your science experiment "FreeNAS" (as @cyberjock says, it's not only trademarked, it would also cause massive confusion to do something like that) I would certainly encourage you to run the experiment to some useful conclusion. Who knows what you'll find? That said, I think you're also going to find that this is a lot more work than you're envisioning!

- Jordan
 

Nrgaway

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Mar 17, 2014
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Fair enough.

I really don't mind running with this as a separate fork and under a different name although I guess the packages names will still be freenas and I will have to display appropriate copyrights and credits I am assuming

I guess you can call this a science experiment although Ubuntu Server is pretty rock solid when it comes to networking and file storage. I am mostly doing this for myself and when I do something for myself I do it right from the start :)

I do appreciate the quick response as this lets will help me determine how closely I want to mirror the existing FreeNAS functionality.
 

aufalien

Senior Member
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Jul 25, 2013
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343
I think you're better off writing something from scratch in Python for ZoL.
 

aufalien

Senior Member
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Jul 25, 2013
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Have you tought about switching to ZFSguru? It's a webinterface for ZoL.
I got confused and checked, here is a quote from there site;

"What is ZFSguru?
ZFSguru is an operating system specially designed for reliable data storage. ZFSguru is based on FreeBSD..."

Do you know something we don't?
 

aufalien

Senior Member
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Jul 25, 2013
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343
I didn't like its interface. Felt slow and had that old Perl look and feel to it.
 

alphapeter

Newbie
Joined
May 1, 2014
Messages
1
This is very interesting!
I can see two usages for this system, one as a pure nas and one for virtualization with docker/kvm.
But I would use it for both.
Maybe we could collaborate? Do you have a github repository set up?
 

Nrgaway

Neophyte
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
4
I have an org set up at https://github.com/DockerNAS.

There currently is not much there; you will start to see things get added piece my piece in about a week. For the last month I have been working on contributing code changes to salt that will benefit the project.

I am using salt to manage the docker containers since I imagine hundreds of them. All the dockers will be managed by one master docker. The master docker will have the UI for configurations, etc.

I am initially focusing on the interface for plugins, since a NAS is essentially a pile of plugins. The initial set will be the user applications like plex and things like that. This way DockerNAS can be installed on any existing Linux based NAS and all the plugins will work no matter the Linux OS flavour. BSD and Solaris dockers coming soon :)

All my work for the past month has gone towards making sure we can easily manage the dockers and allow smart configurations for the end user. An example of a smart configuration is when a user installs sabnzbd, when they go to install sickbeard, they both know of each other and configuration fields can be auto completed along with moving scripts to sabnzb and even know where your media directories are.

Send me a PM or email and we can discuss further on how you can contribute as it would be nice to have some help :)
 

RodyMcAmp

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Sep 18, 2014
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101
I think it is a great idea, I realize that a lot of people are "bsd" people or "linux" people, but I use both and I think there is room for both, I have used freenas and pfsense for a couple of years now, but I also use linuxmint SME and ubuntu server and OI, I also have a whole slew of virtual machines to try what ever i think may be fun.
So go for it and when your ready I'll happily try it out to. I have not tried anything with ZOL yet.
 
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