Firstly, why oh why does FreeNAS version numbering need to so complicated, and why does it need to change every few updates from dot numbering, then date numbering, back to dot and then the addition of uN? Don’t think I’ll ever understand it, but it’s only a minor reason I’m still running version 9.3.1 which dates back to May 17, 2015, so now just over one year old.
Up until 9.3.1 I generally updated within a few days of the new release, but 9.3.1 broke replication which I use to backup my main system to my backup system. I rolled back to 9.3 and stayed there for several months. In that time, 9.10 was released, which was a major update (not that you’d tell from the version numbering!) that updated the core operating system from FreeBSD 9 to 10. When 9.3.1 became EOL, I thought I’d upgrade to the last release, as the replication issues had been resolved.
I didn’t consider 9.10 as it was widely reported that this causes issues with jails running FreeBSD 9, and in some cases these needed to be recreated and the old ones destroyed. After a few updates this stopped being the case, and I considered updating to 9.10, but then 9.10.2 broke the VirtualBox functionality, and that was enough to scare me off and leave me on 9.3.1, which worked fine for everything I needed. iXsystems were also developing a brand new version of FreeNAS (10 which on releases became Corral), and my logic was that I’d jump straight from 9.3.1 to 10 given I’d need to reconfigure lots of services.
Anyone with an interest in FreeNAS will know that FreeNAS 10 aka Corral had a very short life and within 2 months iXsystems had basically killed any further development and committed to developing the 9.10.2 branch, initially proposing a 9.10.3 update, but then changing this to FreeNAS 11 (which kind of makes sense given it’s built around FreeBSD 11). Maybe the version numbering will be sorted too?
Anyway, the main reason for updating is that I’ve been having problems updating some jails in 9.3.1 as FreeBSD 9 is no longer supported – it hasn’t been since the end of 2016. The latest problem was with renewing my SSL certificates, which appear to be broken and I can’t create a new jail and install certbot anymore. Anyway, time to upgrade and I thought I’d document the process here. Well, not here, but in the next few blogs….