It’s been a while coming, but FreeNAS 11.2-RELEASE is finally here and whilst I was somewhat apprehensive about updating to the first release, it’s been relatively painless and everything is still working!

iXsystems have been on a pretty rocky road with FreeNAS since the launch of FreeNAS 10 Corral, and it’s very quick demise when it was pulled and the decision taken to abandon the development in favour of the older 9.10 version.

I was fortunate that I was still running a pretty old version of 9.10.1-U4 at the time, so wasn’t even up to date with FreeNAS and didn’t consider a quick upgrade to Corral.  Many people did though and were then stuck in somewhat of a limbo or having to move back to 9.10

FreeNAS 11 brought in some new changes, although everything still felt familiar with the old UI people had come to love, even though it’s somewhat outdated now compared with more modern standards.  Whilst it might not have been too pretty, it worked and worked well in the main.

But everyone knew a genuine replacement for Corral was coming, and after a number of BETA versions and a couple of RELEASE CANDIDATES it’s finally here.  A number of people probably ended up jumping onboard much earlier than they would have liked, as it’s been descibed as the 11.2-STABLE train all through the testing phase, but that’s probably for another blog.

The main reason for me upgrading so quickly is that FreeNAS 11.1 branch is build on FreeBSD 11.1, which a month or so ago went EOL.  Whilst it didn’t cause any immediate issues, it does start to cause issues inside jails, and it’s never a great thing to be running unsupported software for longer than necessary.  

The upgrade itself went without any problems and after a relatively short time my system rebooted into FreeNAS 11.2 and by default the new UI.  It’s still possible to access the legacy UI, although everything should be possible in the new and at some point the old one will die so why not get on board from the start.

I always test a couple of things that are absolutely essential for me sticking with the upgrade, as it’s pretty simple to roll back until you’ve accepted the new ZFS feature flags.

  • Do my AFP shares still work?  Can I still access FreeNAS from my macOS devices – YES!
  • Do my jails still work?  Mostly, YES
  • Is my VM still running? YES

So pretty good really.  The only major issue was with my OpenVPN jail, which I half expected to break anyway.  I actually rebooted into 11.1-U6 to check it still worked there, which it did, and then a quick Google found me a relatively simple solution.  Adding the following setting to iocage and OpenVPN worked in 11.2:

iocage set allow_tun=1 <jail_name>

And that worked.  I had a few small issues finding things, as they had moved or were hidden behind things in the new UI (lots of scrolling required!) and the new UI doesn’t seem to like mobile devices, which is a bit of a pain as I did access on my iPhone from time to time.

But otherwise, a pretty solid update.  One of the other big selling points for me, was the ability to upgrade my jails between versions of FreeBSD.  In the past, major upgrades like this required jails to be rebuilt to keep them up to date.  With iocage it’s possible to upgraded them from FreeBSD 11.1 to 11.2.

I’ve tried a couple and it seems to work well, although takes a little time.  The jails created with a .json script don’t seem to work the same way, but I’m sure it’s possile and if not these are the easier ones to rebuild.

iocage fetch 11.2-RELEASE
iocage upgrade <jail_name> -r 11.2-RELEASE