Well, it seems like I’ve updated lots of things this week, so why not call it Update Week? A pretty successful one at that!

FreeNAS 11.3-U4

I’m usually very conservative when it comes to updating my FreeNAS servers, but there was a replication bug that I had reported that was being fixed in the latest update, so I’d been keeping an eye on the Jira boards here.

I ended up running the update before it had even been posted on the forums, which is a bit of a gamble but U4 was only a bug-fix release with no new functionality so to speak. There were over 100 bug fixes though, so always a chance that one of them breaks something else, but I’ve not found anything yet, and the replication bug has been fixed.

I’ll probably be staying on this version for a little while as the next major release will be to 12.0 which also unifies the TrueNAS and FreeNAS code. There are already beta releases available, and a release candidate expected in the next few months, although I’ll probably wait for the release, or even the 12.1 version before making the leap.

It also updates to the latest FreeBSD 12.1, which means upgrading all of the jails. It’s great that you can do this now, and it was a pretty painless, if somewhat time-consuming, process from 10 to 11, but even so, I don’t want to be at the bleeding edge with that one. Maybe something to consider over the Christmas holiday?


I haven’t been using Pi-hole that long and blogged about it here. It’s been great though and does a much better job of blocking adverts than the browser extensions I’d been using. I’d updated it a couple of times already, and it’s no more complicated than SSHing into the ubuntu VM it’s running in and then running an update command:

ssh user@IP_address
sudo pihole -up

This was just a bump from 5.0 to 5.1, so nothing major, but again it was a painless process.


I’ve not been using this very long either but got off to a bumpy start updating it which I blogged about here. Now I have everything in the right folder, updating has been problem-free:

ssh user@IP_address
su root
cd /root
./bitwarden.sh updateself
./bitwarden.sh update

It takes a little longer to run than Pi-hole, although not as long as FreeNAS (which takes well over 30 minutes to get everything back up and running), but everything came back up without any issues and should help keep my passwords secure for the next few months.

I’m hoping that one of the next few updates adds support for Touch ID which I’d kind of assumed was already there when I upgraded my MacBook. It would be great to use Touch ID on my new MacBook Air to unlock password through Bitwarden, as is something I think I could be doing if I were still using 1password. That said, no real regrets as Bitwarden has been great for the past 6 months or so.

PHP 7.4

Both of my Nextcloud and WordPress jails are running the latest versions, and are pretty up-to-date when it comes to PHP, as both were running 7.4.2. I suspect this is in a very high percentile for most of these installs around the world, but there’s never any harm applying the latest patches.

WordPress was a a little more problematic than Nextcloud, as the standard approach didn’t work:

ssh root@IP_address
iocage console wordpress
pkg update
pkg upgrade
pkg install php74 php74-bcmath php74-ctype php74-curl php74-exif php74-fileinfo php74-filter php74-ftp php74-gd php74-json php74-mbstring php74-mysqli php74-openssl php74-pdo php74-simplexml php74-tokenizer php74-xml php74-zip php74-zlib php74-hash

The package install of WordPress I installed wants to use PHP 7.2, so always ends up downgrading things. Even after upgrading back to 7.4, I couldn’t get things to work, so simply rolled back the nightly snapshot. I went back and just updated PHP to 7.4.8 but left all the other packages untouched. I’ll need to work out what the root of the problem is, but that’s for another day.

Nextcloud was as simple as consoling into the jail and running pkg update/upgrade. This updated everything, including the PHP version so that’s also running 7.4.8. Although I didn’t need to update PHP separately, I’d prepared things just incase as it uses a few more modules:

pkg install php74 php74-bz2 php74-ctype php74-curl php74-dom php74-exif php74-fileinfo php74-filter php74-gd php74-iconv php74-intl php74-json php74-mbstring php74-opcache php74-openssl php74-pdo php74-pdo_mysql php74-pecl-APCu php74-pecl-imagick php74-pecl-redis php74-posix php74-session php74-simplexml php74-xml php74-xmlreader php74-xmlwriter php74-xsl php74-zip php74-zlib php74-hash php74-wddx

Home Assistant

I felt on a roll, so also decided to update Home Assistant that I now have running on a Raspberry Pi4 and which I mentioned briefly here. It’s a bit different from the jail installation, which I always struggled a little to update and always felt I was missing out on some things.

That was more down to my understanding of the different options for running Home Assistant. Running on a Pi 4 using the Hass.io operating system so far seems to be the best option, although updating everything is quite involved and takes probably more time than a FreeNAS update.

I ended up restarting the Pi 4 during the operating system update, although I think that was just down to a lack of patience from my end. The Home Assistant Core update ran fine, which I think was down to me leaving it alone. I then has a couple of Add-in updates (MariaDB and Node-RED) before finally updating HACS (Home Assistant Community Store) and a couple of integrations I’m running. It probably took over an hour all-in, although I did leave things for a little while so might not have noticed progress as quickly.

Anyway, that’s the end of my update week story. All done within a couple of hours over the last few days, in fact, this blog has probably taken just as long to write. It’s always nice when updates go so smoothly so fingers crossed for next time…

system software update picture