Latest interface: 0.3.1
Latest system: 010

806 posts

Posted on 3 February 2013 @ 11:44edited 11:46 04s
As some of you already discovered, the new 9.1-005 system image has been up for the last few days. I wanted to finish my tests before I made the official announcement.

What is new?
The new system image is based on FreeBSD 9.1 final, called 9.1-RELEASE. But there is more:
  • Intel KMS version of the graphical server is now available as X-server-KMS. It supports Intel processors with integrated graphics with a modern display driver. Alongside there are KMS versions of the nVidia drivers and virtualbox drivers
  • new graphical service: PLAYSTATION 3 MEDIA SERVER. Yes, I know some people must be excited. Especially since this piece of software is particularly difficult to install. Now you can do it with a few mouseclicks. Wheehoo!
  • new graphical service qBittorrent including web-interface panel. The web-interface did not work well for me, but I do not know if that is my fault. Feedback is requested. The graphical application works properly as far as I did test.
  • AppleShare v2 service was updated thanks to feedback from pdonovan. It should behave better now.
  • experimental new AppleShare v3 service sporting netatalk3. This service needs to have its panel interface updated to conform to the new configuration file format in netatalk3. Until that time, you must configure netatalk3 manually - no panel interface exists.
  • Owncloud is updated to new version and should work again.
  • separate dependency services dep-ffmpeg, dep-gstreamer, dep-java and dep-qt4. This allows shared functionality to be downloaded and installed once instead of multiple times. Currently the dependencies must be manually installed by following the instructions on the Services->Install page, but this will improve in the future.
  • improvements to build scripts to handle complex 'alternate' dependencies and improvements to build-time by reusing build-time packages across service builds.

How to get it?
The new system image 9.1-005 is available for download using the ZFSguru web-interface. On step 2 of the System -> Install page, you can download the new version and use it for a new installation. This installation will not overwrite your existing one, but rather you can go back at any time by activating the older installation on the System -> Booting page.

After you install the new 9.1-005 system image to your pool, your configuration files of your previous installation will not be retained. Thus, all your Samba shares need to be configured again, automatic start of services, etc. But your data should be there, and NFS configuration survives installations as well. In the future, the Migration Manager will assist in migrating configuration files to new 'upgrade' installations. But it's good to start fresh. And it it doesn't work well for you, you simply activate your older installation again. One button, and reboot. I love that feature! :D

Graphical services
Please be aware of some things:
  • To use graphical services, follow instructions to install X-server or X-server-KMS first, after that I recommend you install X-gnome first, which is required anyway if you want it working. During the installation you will be asked to install dependency packages as well. When you installed all the stuff you want, reboot the machine and it should boot directly into graphics mode, just after displaying the text-based login menu.
  • Whether the graphical shell is displayed instead of text menu depends on the automatic start setting of the Gnome service. You can change this on the Services->Mange page.
  • FreeBSD is a server operating system, it's sub-par compared to Linux distributions like Ubuntu regarding graphical drivers and infrastructure. This is improving however, with recent Intel KMS support, but still far behind Linux. But it is not designed to replace your primary desktop; only provide graphical service functionality.
  • Be aware that installing X services adds a fair amount of bloat to your system, that will remain even when you uninstall the graphical ZFSguru services. In fact, many packages will remain.
  • Many special stuff in the Gnome menus does not work.

But, it's still very cool:
  • You can install VirtualBox and install another operating system of your choice, i.e. Ubuntu Linux. Using the full-screen option this could give you the illusion of actually running Ubuntu.
  • The graphical Transmission service picks up magnet links from Opera webbrowser.
  • VLC is compiled with most of the good stuff.
  • XBMC and PS3MediaServer add to your HTPC experience.

New system image: 9.1-005
Just like 9.1-004, it is compiled with support for:
  • AMD Brazos temperature sensor
  • OFED Infiniband networking
  • Device polling (enable polling with: ifconfig re0 polling)
  • AltQ traffic shaping

Please note that device polling is only enabled for these network interfaces: bge, dc, em, fwe, fwip, fxp, ixgb, nfe, nge, re, rl, sf, sis, ste, stge, vge, vr and xl.
AltQ traffic shaping requires pf firewall with suitable /etc/pf.conf configuration.

Server beep via PC speaker
If your server has a 'PC speaker' connected, it will beep four times in sequence after booting is completed. This can be useful on systems without monitor to notify the user about server uptime. If you want to disable the beep, remove/rename the /etc/ file.

Intel KMS support
This new system image is the first to support Intel KMS graphics drivers as well as 7.7 release, both which are not available in vanilla FreeBSD. Enabling KMS breaks earlier Intel drivers and possibly others as well. So I made two services: X-server with normal server and X-server-KMS with the latest graphics stuff available to FreeBSD.

The Intel KMS version is still to be considered experimental. The KMS driver itself has limitations like not being able to go back to text mode (alt+control+f1) which is a known issue and by design. Also the ZFSguru package itself is less clean, caused by massive changes to the portstree. This should be improved in the future when this new experimental work finds its way in the official tree.

Just to be clear: the Intel KMS version supports Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors with integrated graphics. In theory you could play shooter games on ZFSguru. You can try a few free games in the portstree if you are curious.

Tell me how well it works for you!
Have you tried the Intel KMS drivers on your Intel GPU system? Have you tested its performance with several tasks like playing video, using XBMC service, playing a game or other activities? Then please let me know your experience, including which hardware you run. CPU model number and chipset/motherboard details are appreciated.

What is next?
New web-interface version beta9 will be due for release soon, but I can give you no exact ETA yet. At the time of release, I plan to provide more details about the way the project is headed and things you can expect in the future. Stay tuned!

- Jason

2 posts

Posted on 4 February 2013 @ 20:34
hi jason. is there a backup system/ snapshot between two zfs guru boxes on the road map of the development? I think this will greatly improve the overall project. thanks for doing great work.

5 posts

Posted on 10 February 2013 @ 07:26
How to remove previous zfsguru installation once I decide to keep the new one?
I have both image 9.1-004 and 9.1-005 installed at the moment.

1199 posts

Posted on 10 February 2013 @ 07:51
Then next web-interface version will support removing old installations on the System->Booting page. Until then, if you want to remove your old installation right now, you can do so on the Files page.

Removing your old installation
Click the 'show hidden filesystems' link on the Files page and select the 'pool/zfsguru/9.1-004' filesystem. Then, use the destroy button to destroy everything inside this filesystem. You may need to remove pool/zfsguru/services/9.1-004 as well.

76 posts

Posted on 14 February 2013 @ 16:45
Haven't really had a chance to test it much beyond installing it, but I think the AppleShare service was good. I had one of the drives in my mirror suddenly go really bad. 65000 active bad sectors, 558 passive! All good now after fitting a replacement so can do some more testing. I presume Western Digital will accept an RMA based on SMART data?

806 posts

Posted on 18 February 2013 @ 12:52
65000 bad sectors ought to be enough, for sure. ;-)

21 posts

Posted on 20 March 2013 @ 00:00
I get an error trying to install X-gnome. "This service is not yet available for your system image 9.1-005". Is this service a work in progress or am i doing something wrong?

157 posts

Posted on 20 March 2013 @ 07:31
As far as I know X-gnome light is not available yet for 9.1-005. I installed and using X-gnome myself without serious problems.

21 posts

Posted on 21 March 2013 @ 07:21
Sorry, I ment to say that the error concerns X-server-KMS. Even though i seem to have installed it. Then I get the message "this service is installed, would you like to start it?". So i confirm that. But after reboot it doesnt autostart.
And when I try to install Gnome, it says I have to install X-server-KMS? Maybe bug?

806 posts

Posted on 21 March 2013 @ 15:28
X-server can not be started. Only gnome can be started. Can you provide a screenshot of exactly what you are trying to do?

I have adapted the gnome service to become much lighter in the upcoming system images. The normal Gnome service will be replaced with a lighter Gnome service that is about half the download size.

21 posts

Posted on 24 March 2013 @ 02:35
Even though X-server is installed, Gnome can't install because of "unsatisfied dependencies".
When trying to install Gnome, I get a message that X-server|X-server-KMS, dep-ffmpeg and dep-gstreamer is not installed yet, and that they are needed for Gnome. So then, when I click on X-server|X-server-KMS I get the warning that this service is not yet available for my system version 9.1-005 and platform AMD64.

In the meanwhile I reinstalled the 9.1-005 version but I get the same error.

I have screenshots, but I have no idea how to include them in this message...

Any clue?

21 posts

Posted on 4 April 2013 @ 07:18
I got it working in the mean time. The problem seems to occur when a system image is installed, like 9.1-004, and a new version, 9.1-005, is being installed "as an update". In this case (or at least my case) it seems impossible to install X-server and/or Gnome.

I'm on 9.1-005 now, but had to destroy my existing 9.1-004/005 OS-pool, and reinstall 9.1-005 through live cd.

A new problem, concerning Intel KMS-version (I think at least...):
When i had 9.1-004, I used to let the server go to sleep after 4hrs through Gnome power manager. Starting up went quick and easy without hasle.

When i try to do that with the KMS-version, I get weird screens, wrong colors, settings, screen size,... sometimes the screen says that "specs are out of limits" or the server even stalls so that I need to do a hard reset.

This only happens when server resumes from suspend and hibernate, not when completely shutting down and restarting.

system specs:

- Asus P8 H77-I itx
- Pentium G840 2.8GHz 64-bit dual core
- 8 gig RAM
- 5 disks, 3 pools: 1 mirror OS-pool (2 x 80Gb Thin Seagates), 1 mirror media-pool (2 x 2Tb WD20EARX), 1 single disk spare pool (1 x 1Tb WD blue)
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