Help me look before I leap from TrueNAS 12 to 13 please!

NumberSix

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Hi everyone!
I write to ask for support in a planned move from TrueNAS 12 eol to the current 13 (13.3 I think). I am quite sure much has been written about this question by many others previously, but laying my cards on the table, I am so very green about the OS and about ALL cli commands, and since, if something goes wrong, I am really stone dead in the water, I really but really want to make sure I have a clear path to backing out and reversing everything I did, so I can get back to my lovely working version 12. Note that I have never used snapshots to revert either, so it's all a black fog to me currently. One last thing - probably helpful to say what I use my NAS for. Well 3 things. 1) Backing up data (photographs, software etc), 2) My music library and Logitech Media Server (LMS) to play the music, 3) My video library, and Emby server, to play the films. So - my questions:

1. I was thinking of buying a new SSD to replace the one I boot from now, and installing TrueNAS 13.3 on it new. My thought was, if anything breaks, I can just exchange for the original boot SSD drive. Is this a sane way of proceeding, bearing in mind I have no idea how to i) create a new boot environment on the existing SSD, or ii) how to revert from it if it breaks ?

2. I know I should save the Config file plus seed before I begin (I don't know if I'll be prompted to reload it later - presumably?), but I also recall seeing someone here saying something about needing to also save other data? Meta data?? too? And that this is especially important where encrypted pools are involved, as they are here? What other data needs saving before I start?

3. Assuming it is a sane option to swop in a new boot SSD, will all my music and film libraries (on HDDs) still be intact and asccessible, bearing in mind they are in an encrypted pool?

4. Will my current versions of LMS and Emby still work?

5. Lastly, and this is going a little off-piste I realise, if I try to upgrade Emby and LMS, and the upgrade fails and leaves me with no player(s), is it possible to revert back to the currently working one, having by now I assume successfully booted into 13.3?

Thank you for trying to field my anxious and sprawling question!
 

artlessknave

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1. doesnt matter. if you get a 2nd SSD, and can connect it, just mirror your boot. boot environments are in the webui. creating a new one consists of pressing the button that says "create a new boot environment" or something similar.

2. no, you should save the config file NOW. you should also save your encrypted pool keys NOW. and put both of them somewhere reliable, as you cannot restore without them; this is not something you do only when upgrading. this is all you need (well and your data disks obviously). if anything happens to your SSD and you dont have your encryption keys, your data is dead - random meaningless bits that no-one can recover.

3. as long as the upgrade is successful almost nothing will change but the version number truenas reports. you will get some new features, basically. most of the bugs have been ironed out.

4. jails will be unchanged.

5. only if you have snapshots, which you should have anyway.

the upgrade process will create a boot environment. truenas is an appliance and is designed to be as stable and reliable as possible, and as such rarely has catastrphic upgrade failures. usually its just a few minor bugs, especially in recent years.

you need to do some reading, as some of these questions are things any truenas owner should know, like having a backup of your config + encryption keys + data.

you should have a backup of your data, because raid(z) is not a backup. things can go wrong with a single pool.

also, you mention 2 drives but not the vdev type. mirror? or stripe? if stripe, you REALLY need a backup.
 

NumberSix

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Hi Artlessknave
Let me begin by thanking you immensely for your richly detailed and thorough reply to my questions. Your thoughts are both extremely valuable and similarly appreciated, so thank you.

Two very brief questions arising from what you said:

Where are the encryption keys, and how do I save (and later, restore) them? Note 1, I encrypted the dataset using a passphrase and not a key, so are there still encryption keys somewhere that need backing up? Note 2, the documented method of exporting keys covered here does not match the reality of TrueNAS 12, since the last option under the cog icon is not "Export Dataset keys" as described, and indeed I am unable to find such an option anywhere in the vicinity. Please help if you can!

Also, in answer to your question, my system is mirrored. Yes, I know I need a backup, & I plan to buy an external HDD for this purpose. Not wishing to go off on too much of a tangent, but my second question - how should I attach such an external drive? As external replication, or something else? I just caught wind of something called Rsync, for example.

Thank you again for your thoughts on this!

P.S.
I just recalled a thread I started on the issue of whether there are keys to export if you use a password. The conclusion 'appeared' to be 'no - nothing to export', but I would value your take on this since obviously, the total loss or not of my data would depend upon it. The thread I refr to is here.
 
Last edited:

Davvo

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Beware: if you are using anything derived from apps, it's likely they won't work anymore with 13.
And as long as you upgrade from the WebUI you should be able to revert to the previous boot environment proven that:
  • The boot drive is healthy
  • You do not upgrade any pool using zpool upgrade
  • You do not manually delete the boot environment
Do also note the latest version is 13.0-U6.something.
 

NumberSix

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Beware: if you are using anything derived from apps, it's likely they won't work anymore with 13.
Hi Davvo
Thank you for your cautionary notes!
By 'apps' can I assume you mean 'TrueNAS plugins'? I know that plugins in TrueNAS is basically a lie - nothing is maintained and nothing works anyway. As a consequence, I installed Emby from an install script i found on the Emby website. LMS I installed from I know not where, but some valuable enthusiast's website and again, custom script. On that basis, might I expect these to still work after migrating to 13, or - no?
 

Jailer

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On that basis, might I expect these to still work after migrating to 13, or - no?
Yes they should still work. What you will want to do is upgrade the jails to 13.2 after your base system is successfully upgraded so you can keep your installed software up to date.
 

Redcoat

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What you will want to do is upgrade the jails to 13.2 after your base system is successfully upgraded so you can keep your installed software up to date.
Definitely!
 

ChrisRJ

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With all those questions and potential issues: Why do you want to migrate in the first place?
 

NumberSix

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Yes they should still work. What you will want to do is upgrade the jails to 13.2 after your base system is successfully upgraded so you can keep your installed software up to date.
Hi Jailer
Thank you for that, but can I ask, how does one upgrade a jail? I thought there was a blanket upgrade happening when you go from any version of the OS to the next, but plainly not. I am guessing the new Os lives on my boot (SSD) drive, while jails are part of the HDDs (in my case), and if so, I understand the separation. Still, not how to selectively upgrade a jail? Also, why to 13.2, when I believe the current edition of CORE is at 13.3?

Thank you.
PS Interesting confluence of 'Jailer' and 'NumberSix' - if you know McGoohan's culy series 'The Prisoner', that is. No matter if not!
 

Davvo

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It depends on the jail type, but you upgrade them as per the follwoing thread.
 

NumberSix

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With all those questions and potential issues: Why do you want to migrate in the first place?
Great question Chris!
Personally I adhere strongly to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" maxim, which here means 'don't upgrade if you don't have to' - as your question suggests. However, as I learnt working in software for a short time, many programmers have a maxim that runs "if it ain't broke, fix it till it is". This refers to needless tinkering of course, for the sake of making a new version of something. What I find is that in many cases, the small change to a single dependency means that an application won't run anymore and needs 'upgrading'. Then you find you can't upgrade it because the newer version won't run on your OS. Before you know it, brick by brick, the entire software edifice comes apart and you need to start over.

For me, as I said in the OP, one of my three main use cases is to run LMS. last month, Logitech announced they will be discontinuing support for 'mysqueezebox.com' - the gateway between their (to be fair, long discontinued) music products and all online services like Deezer, Tidal etc. Personally, this has minimal impact on me since 99.9% of my music originates on my TrueNAS and not online, but I acknowledge the loss of functionality. Meanwhile the open source community have made a newer version of LMS that no longer relies on mysqueezebox.com. I can't install it because it has some new install mechanism that is only supported by version 13+ on TrueNAS. Since, as I said, I made little use of mysqueezebox.com anyway, I can sit this one out, but I see it as the first sign of cracks appearing in my 'don't fix it' approach. The writing's on the wall. I am definitely only in the lower foothills of needing to change right now, but I see it as inevitable eventually. When that point comes, I'd like (now) to understand what I need to do then, so I can tuck that information away for safe keeping and for a sense of added sucurity now, so I'm not quite so helpless when the big bad day finally arrives.
 

NumberSix

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It depends on the jail type, but you upgrade them as per the follwoing thread.
Thanks Davvo. Looks murderously difficult for someone like me who struggles with CLI operations. I might need a week and a bottle of valium just to tackle that quagmire of opinion alone, nevermind the actual upgrade!
 

ChrisRJ

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In that case I would still recommend to look at alternative approaches. You can run something on a Raspberry Pi or in a VM (on TrueNAS or somewhere else). I may be wrong here and cannot look into this in detail right now. But my gut feeling is that the risk/reward equation does not match too well.
 

Jailer

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Hi Jailer
Thank you for that, but can I ask, how does one upgrade a jail? I thought there was a blanket upgrade happening when you go from any version of the OS to the next, but plainly not. I am guessing the new Os lives on my boot (SSD) drive, while jails are part of the HDDs (in my case), and if so, I understand the separation. Still, not how to selectively upgrade a jail? Also, why to 13.2, when I believe the current edition of CORE is at 13.3?

Thank you.
PS Interesting confluence of 'Jailer' and 'NumberSix' - if you know McGoohan's culy series 'The Prisoner', that is. No matter if not!
Your OS installation is separate from your data and your jails. This is by design so that if something happens to your OS you can perform a clean install and upload a saved config file and restore things to right back where you were. Jails have to be upgraded independently of system upgrades.

Don't be afraid of the CLI. If I can learn basic functions anyone can. The Iocage documentation explains how to do upgrades and it's a pretty simple process. There's also lots of posts here on the forum on jail upgrades. Worse case scenario you get stuck and come back and ask for help. Everyone here is very helpful if you do need assistance.

I too saw your screen name when I was making my first reply and made the association. Only difference was I had Iron Maiden's The Prisoner running through my head the whole time.
rocker.gif
 

Davvo

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If you look into the jails' settings you can see the type... if it's basejail you can continue using them without upgrading if you don't require it.
 

artlessknave

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I encrypted the dataset using a passphrase and not a key
if you have a passphrase then that is different, all you need is that passphrase.
how should I attach such an external drive
the only real way to attach an external drive is usb. those often are...not great with zfs. the best backup is a separate system, ideally in a different locationi., but thats not realistic for most people. yo ucan get direct attached SAS but I have no idea what your have for a chassis since you don't list it.
there is usually no reason to use rsync, just make a new pool and replicate to that - zfs replication is purpose built for this task. rsync is a reliable tool but it must read both the source and destination every time to determine what bits to send over (differential at the file level). zfs replication already knows, and only sends what is needed (differential at the filesystem and volume manager level).

on the topic of jails; they are a container, they share certain components with the host OS and only have the differences in the container. as such, a container must always be the version of the host or older. the host can generally support fairly old versions but you want to reasonably recent. you can upgrade the OS and the jails should just work, by design. you can then upgrade them individually.

on the topic of upgrades, truenas is, by design, intended to be safe to upgrade and keep upgraded. this is accomplished by a few things, like having the OS as a single immutable type if image, having dedicated boot and data devices, having a simple config backup system, heavily discouraging mucking with the OS and highly encouraging all configuration be done via the webUI, which means the middleware is aware of it.

this is a large part of why they can, and do, generally drop support for versions that arent really that old development-wise. you get new features and bug fixes. by the time any release has reached about u4-7, its generally considered for truenas enterprise. if its safe enough for enterprise, its safe enough for even the most conservative home users in the vast majority of cases.
 

ChrisRJ

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the best backup is a separate system, ideally in a different locationi.
I have been using Microsoft OneDrive for that for a number of years. Since 6*1 TB is enough for me (for the really critical stuff), I buy a 15 month voucher off of Amazon, when it is on offer. That is ususally around 70 Euros, or less than 80 Cents per TB per month.
 

Ericloewe

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I have been using Microsoft OneDrive for that for a number of years. Since 6*1 TB is enough for me (for the really critical stuff), I buy a 15 month voucher off of Amazon, when it is on offer. That is ususally around 70 Euros, or less than 80 Cents per TB per month.
Office 365 really is insane value. And I say that as someone very hostile to most software subscriptions.
 
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