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iXSystems, when are you going to stop pretending that CORE has (usable) plugins?

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

danb35

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While I disagree with the generalization that plugins don't work
I don't believe I've made--in this thread or elsewhere--the blanket generalization that "plugins don't work;" I think I've been more precise in my words. But I'd nonetheless agree with that generalization given a broad definition of what it means for "plugins" to "work." For them to "work" would minimally include that:
  • All, or at least the vast majority of, plugins install reliably in any standard operating environment
  • Having been installed, they'll run and do what they're supposed to do--Nextcloud will let you log in, add apps, upload and download files; Minio will do its thing; Plex will view and display your media, index it, etc; and so forth.
  • Updates and upgrades will reliably work, upgrade the relevant software and/or underlying OS, and leave the plugin in a working condition.
  • They will be kept up-to-date, such that the software version available in the plugin closely approximates the latest general release available.
I'm seeing--from you, and more so from Kris--agreement that these conditions are not reliably met by plugins.
Kris and I have agreed on the summary above and it's now my action to change the marketing. There are lots of changes to be made.
This is encouraging; I'll look forward to clearer messaging.
 
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Won't jails exhibit most of the same issues that plugins run into?
  • The quirks of iocage that is abandoned deprecated.
  • The fragile FreeBSD package system.
  • Upstream software support for FreeBSD is poor compared to GNU/Linux
The main difference I can think of is that the maintainer of a jail script/tutorial, can fix the script/repo or Forum post immediately.

As a maintainer of a few community plugins, it has been disappointing to fix issues, typically within hours of any problem reports, but then the PRs take weeks or months to get merged. The fixes for TrueNAS 12 plugins have been refused for a while.
 

danb35

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I guess this is heading somewhat off-topic for this thread, but if iocage is deprecated, is there a replacement jail manager for FreeBSD 13+, or is the whole concept being deprecated?
 
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Jails aren't going away in FreeBSD and there are other jail managers out there. Of course FreeNAS/TrueNAS is an appliance that currently only provides iocage out-of-the-box.

This may be an interesting read:
 

danb35

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Of course FreeNAS/TrueNAS is an appliance that currently only provides iocage out-of-the-box.
Sure--but if there's something else that's superior and actively maintained, it could make its way into, e.g., TrueNAS CORE 14. Assuming CORE 14 ever happens.
 

Patrick M. Hausen

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Bastille seems to be more modern, better structured, and with more momentum in the project at the moment. I still don't see why iocage should be "deprecated".


The one point I do not understand: what is "fragile" about FreeBSD packages? They simply work for us.
 

morganL

Captain Morgan
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Bastille seems to be more modern, better structured, and with more momentum in the project at the moment. I still don't see why iocage should be "deprecated".


The one point I do not understand: what is "fragile" about FreeBSD packages? They simply work for us.

For standard jails, FreeBSD and iocage are working fine. That seems to be the feedback from you and other community users.

For Plugins, Iocage and FreeBSD packages can have issues with application updates and dependencies. That is my understanding of the primary concern. Often it is caused by a (Linux) application developer that doesn't fully test their software on a new version of FreeBSD or TrueNAS. Let me know if I am mis-stating the problem.
 

IndieCoopz

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Nov 4, 2022
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I dont get the point here. Im using Core for years now with plugins and i had never any issues. Quite the opposite i had always huge problems to get these Scale Apps/ containers whatever they are to run... Horrible...

I love the simplicity of the Core Plugins i as i said, i never had any update issues. I dont know whats the problem here, seriously?!

I did countless Plex updates with no issues, now im using Emby, Netdata and MariaDB Jails, everythin with zero problems

In the past I've been ticked off for saying the scale plugins are bad because they don't run well on my system. And now this, lol..

So iX Systems, please keep the Core plugins alive ;)
 

Patrick M. Hausen

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@IndieCoopz Did you setup your own jails or are you using the official "plugins" plugins?
 

morganL

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I dont get the point here. Im using Core for years now with plugins and i had never any issues. Quite the opposite i had always huge problems to get these Scale Apps/ containers whatever they are to run... Horrible...

I love the simplicity of the Core Plugins i as i said, i never had any update issues. I dont know whats the problem here, seriously?!

I did countless Plex updates with no issues, now im using Emby, Netdata and MariaDB Jails, everythin with zero problems

In the past I've been ticked off for saying the scale plugins are bad because they don't run well on my system. And now this, lol..

So iX Systems, please keep the Core plugins alive ;)

Thanks
Where you use common plugins that have been well tested, its generally OK.
We have had problems going from 12.0 to 13.0... but by 13.0-U2 things were better.
The challenge is maintaining a wide range of plugins through major software updates.
We don't want to turn off working plugins.... but we don't want to mismarket the current status.
Its a balancing act and we appreciate community support in handling this responsibly.
 

Alex18

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Feb 20, 2018
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10
This may be an interesting read:

Sometimes it seems to me that if TrueNAS united with CBSD, IXSYSTEM could kill VMware ;-)
I am watching CBSD for a very long time, and I think that CBSD should be integrated with any NAS (Truenas, Xigmanas) based on FreeBSD: Clustering with CBSD: pool-binded HA/DRS: bhyve vms (+live migration)

2022-11-11 upd: just discovered CBSD Marketplace . Isn't this a ready-made plug-in system ?
 
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tprelog

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We don't want to turn off working plugins.... but we don't want to mismarket the current status.
Its a balancing act and we appreciate community support in handling this responsibly.
I understand it's a small team with limited resources but one thing that could help is merging pull request and updating release branch for the community plugins in a more timely manner.

I've tried my best to support the plugins I added but it doesn't matter when a required change to the plugin manifest can take anywhere from weeks to months (I've waited 4 months in the past) before the changes make to the release branch and onto peoples TrueNAS.

Again, I understand ix-systems is a small team with limited resources. But if there are not resources to merge PRs for broken plugins (all the way to the release branch, not just into master) than it is time to admit you don't have resources to support plugins in the needed capacity and they should just be removed
 

joeschmuck

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Quite a thread here. I agree that plugins are not a reliable method to run an application and the end user is better off creating a jail and building/managing the jail themself. I do not trust the plugins and haven't since FreeNAS 10 (oh yea, I said it). Version 8.x was when iXsystems took over FreeNAS from FreeNAS 0.7. I remember it well. FreeNAS 9.x plugins were a nice attempt but it still fell short and it's been that way ever since.

I would agree, the marketing of TrueNAS Core should have Plugins removed. If plugins are not maintained then in my opinion they should be removed as it leads to a false sense of being supported.

Otherwise I really like TrueNAS Core and will not move to Scale until a few more versions have been on the street for a while. I need to see some reliability and I don't feel that it's at a level of TrueNAS 12 yet because it does not have the same user base so it's barely been tested related to Core, but that is just my opinion. I do have a test rig with Scale on it so I'm testing it out with each new release and maybe next year I'll feel like it's the right move for me. I do prefer Debian for the same reasons others like Linux.
 

twyrick

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Jan 16, 2021
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I feel like I'm, perhaps, just playing a game of "pile on" at this point in the thread? But wow.... I read this and all I could think of was, "Thank-you for bringing this issue back up!!"

I understand in the grand scheme of things, I'm a niche use-case. But I've been running FreeNAS and then TrueNAS (Core) for years as my home media server platform. Ever since it was clear Microsoft was abandoning their "Windows Home Server" product, I was looking for a solution that handled large numbers of disks with a "hot swap" solution for drive failures, but also one that could run several things I rely on as the primary reason to keep it online. (For me, that includes Plex as a must-have, but also HomeBridge since it links my home automation products with my iOS devices. I also run NextCloud, which turned out to be my best option to share files/data with my friends over the Internet. I also have Time Machine backups from two Macs backing up to TrueNAS over my LAN, and run a second TrueNAS box that serves as the backup box for the primary one.)

I've complained on here numerous times about the plug-in situation, but all I ever got in response were excuses and some comments that felt more like personal attacks. (EG. Make the effort to learn more about the OS and the app you want to use so you can install it yourself and upgrade it yourself without needing a plug-in as a crutch.) My point has always been this: Even as an I.T. professional in the field for 30 years now? I only have so much time to invest on "diving deep" into specific topics. Concepts like these plug-ins should be there to make "one click, plug and play" work of installing and using the applications. It's great if someone WANTS to learn more about what makes them tick and where all of their settings lie in the folder structure, etc. But commercial OS options like using MS Windows or MacOS generally don't set those expectations anymore. People run a setup program and go. I'm willing to put the work in to use a free (and more stable/capable) solution like Linux or BSD, especially in the capacity of a server that needs to run 24/7 with minimal downtime. But these plug-ins are promising something they just don't really deliver.

I might eventually move to TrueNAS Scale. I've had several people advise me to do so already. But whether or not I do that? It makes sense to me that TrueNAS Core should just trim back the plug-ins feature and only offer options of ones known to work properly with the system. If users report one is out of date and generating errors during its setup or usage? Remove it and inform its creator (if possible) that a new version must be submitted.
 

redcurranpiu

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Nov 9, 2022
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I just caught up to this thread, sorry I didn't catch this earlier! I'll try to provide some clarity on the engineering side of this discussion for everybody's sake.

Regarding the state of Plugins on TrueNAS CORE:

  • They are built on top of Iocage (Deprecated) and on FreeBSD's Package System and Jails.
  • Various Jail "Plugin" systems on FreeBSD have come and gone over the past decade. I personally wrote one of them. They just don't get the traction needed to make Jail-based systems attractive to the wider industry outside of niche use-case by existing BSD users and fans.
  • We (the iX Side) are maintaining them to try and avoid breakages in 13.0 for our Enterprise Plugins, but not devoting much Engineering resource beyond that.
  • Most plugins depend on upstream FreeBSD package systems for their boot-strapping and upgrading. This is very fragile and doesn't get much testing by upstream either, one major source of seemingly random breakages with no changes to the plugin itself.
  • We are currently not planning to add any new Plugins to CORE unless absolutely necessary.
  • Existing Plugins that become non-functional may be retired as necessary.

Regarding the state of VM's on TrueNAS CORE

  • iX does not directly maintain the Bhyve VM backend or plan to add any new functionality beyond what exists today.
  • What works today we will do our best to keep functional on 13 and avoid major regressions.
  • Bhyve is still pretty immature compared to KVM and just doesn't have that level of polish we'd want to build longer-term VM support on top of, all future effort is shifting to KVM on SCALE.

Regarding TrueNAS SCALE Apps & VMs
  • Linux Containers are the clear winner in the adoption war among developers, users and other software vendors. No contest, not even close.
  • Most projects already provide Linux Containers natively which are well supported. FreeBSD packages often are non-existent, treated as an afterthought, or just don't have the user momentum to make them reliable and well tested.
  • We are working heavily on the Apps framework currently. Current issues being worked on include fixing the OverlayFS support on ZFS (Which gets rid of the snapshot issues and performance penalty), as well as re-designing the Apps UI and Backends to handle Catalogs with thousands of Apps.
  • We anticipate adding lots more Apps to the Official Catalog
  • backrooms game
  • for SCALE in the near future.
  • TrueNAS users who want a better supported 3rd party Apps on their system are encouraged to use SCALE, since that's where the momentum is going to be and they already provide a far better user experience today.
  • KVM is already far more reliable on SCALE. Users expecting to do anything beyond the lightest of virtualization workloads will be better off doing this on SCALE now or in the future.
We both agree that at the moment, plugins lack the dependability that people require for a long-term solution, even though I disagree with the generalization that they don't work. Despite having thousands (?) of times more users, the Docker/Kubernetes combination is simply far superior to both the iocage and the FreeBSD package systems in terms of quality.
 

Jailer

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the Docker/Kubernetes combination is simply far superior to both the iocage and the FreeBSD package systems in terms of quality.
Yeah I'm going to have to call BS on that one. The issue at hand in this topic is the quality of TrueNAS plugins not Iocage or FreeBSD packages. The latter work just as fine just as any other software and to call them inferior is being disingenuous at the least. You want to argue the inferiority of TrueNAS plugins I'll lend you that argument but your maligning of jails and FreeBSD packages is uncalled for.
 

tprelog

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Mar 2, 2016
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I understand it's a small team with limited resources but one thing that could help is merging pull request and updating release branch for the community plugins in a more timely manner.

I'll be submitting a PR to remove my remaining plugins from TrueNAS CORE.

- Gogs
- TasmoAdmin
- Node-Red
- Mosquitto MQTT Broker

Tying to maintain plugins is just not feasible... Sorry but this is too frustrating

Bug report to one of my plugins on Nov 3.
- https://github.com/ix-plugin-hub/iocage-plugin-index/issues/338

Solution was found and reported to the issue within hours that same day

Submitted a PR with required manifest changes on Nov 4.
- https://github.com/ix-plugin-hub/iocage-plugin-index/pull/339

A month later, PR is still sitting there while the plugin remain broken

---

EDIT - It's done

 
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morganL

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I'll be submitting a PR to remove my remaining plugins from TrueNAS CORE.

- Gogs
- TasmoAdmin
- Node-Red
- Mosquitto MQTT Broker

Tying to maintain plugins is just not feasible... Sorry but this is too frustrating

Bug report to one of my plugins on Nov 3.
- https://github.com/ix-plugin-hub/iocage-plugin-index/issues/338

Solution was found and reported to the issue within hours that same day

Submitted a PR with required manifest changes on Nov 4.
- https://github.com/ix-plugin-hub/iocage-plugin-index/pull/339

A month later, PR is still sitting there while the plugin remain broken

---

EDIT - It's done


No apologies needed. Thanks for your efforts until now.

Apologies for the slow response to the PR. My guess is it missed the U3 window, but it's also an indication that the process is not as well automated as SCALE Apps and TrueCharts.

Thanks for communicating the status of the other plugins.
 

Baenwort

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Feb 19, 2015
Messages
93
I don't want to be bitter but seeing comments like https://github.com/iocage/iocage/issues/1289#issuecomment-1273455731 make me feel that we are fighting a rear guard holding action and sacrificing our time for a corp that is happy to take that free effort without telling us that the reward we expect (a functioning NAS with working jails) is being left to run into the ice burg while they chase a new shinny boat.
 
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