Test Upcoming Versions

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Upcoming Version 8.3

Version 8.3 is expected to be released shortly after 8.2-RELEASE, once the underlying FreeBSD 8.3 operating system has been released (expected April, 2012).

Prior to 8.3 release, there will be a beta period where testing snapshots will be announced on the FreeNAS™ website, blog, and social media sites every week or so. This beta period is meant to provide users an opportunity to test the upcoming release and to provide feedback on bugs and errors so that they can be fixed prior to release. Feedback can be sent to the Freenas-testing mailing list.

Testing a Nightly Snapshot

Changes to FreeNAS™ occur daily as developers address the bugs and enhancement requests reported by FreeNAS™ users. A testing version that incorporates these changes is automatically built daily and is available for download as a nightly release.

If you wish to install or upgrade to the testing version of FreeNAS™ (i.e. the version that addresses all fixed bugs up to today's date) or you need to upgrade to a version that incorporates a fix you are waiting for, you can download the latest nightly version.

NOTE: it is possible that a recently implemented change will not work as expected or will break something else. If you experience this, take the time to add a comment to the applicable support ticket so that the developers can address the problem.

DANGER! upgrading from a nightly snapshot to an RC or a RELEASE is not supported! Be wary of installing a nightly in a production environment and be sure to backup your configuration before attempting a full install of a later RC or RELEASE.

Nightly builds are available as ISO, GUI upgrade, or Full install images. If you are upgrading to a nightly from an earlier version of FreeNAS™ 8.x, see the section on Upgrading FreeNAS™ for instructions on how to upgrade.

Rolling Your Own Testing Snapshot

Users who wish to test 8.2 prior to the testing period can download the latest source from the svn repository and generate their own ISO for testing purposes.

NOTE: 8.2 is currently in alpha phase and some of its new features are still broken or not fully implemented. Expect to find bugs. Do not use in a production environment! It is recommended that you read the README first so that you are aware of any gotchas and currently known limitations.

If you wish to build your own testing snapshot, you will need to install FreeBSD 8.2 in a virtual environment or on a test system. If you are using a virtual environment, a 64-bit system with at least 4 GB of RAM is recommended. Download the FreeBSD version (i386 or amd64) that matches the architecture that you wish to build and when prompted to choose your distribution set during the installation, select the Minimal install option.

After booting into the newly installed FreeBSD system, become the superuser and run the following commands. First, install the software you'll need and refresh your path so it is aware of the new binaries:

pkg_add -r subversion
pkg_add -r nano
pkg_add -r cdrtools
rehash

You're now ready to download FreeNAS™ source:

cd /scratch
svn co https://freenas.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/freenas/trunk
cd trunk

If you wish to install extra software in your snapshot, you will need to increase the size of the NanoBSD image by editing freenas-common. The size of the image should be double the space that it needs as the image will be formatted with two same-size partitions. This is to allow for upgrades as one partition contains the new running image and the other partition contains a copy of the backup image. When editing freenas-common, search for this line:

FlashDevice generic 2g

and edit it to the size you'll need. Make sure that you have a memory stick that can hold the specified size.

You're now ready to build the image:

env FREEBSD_CVSUP_HOST=cvsup1.freebsd.org sh build/do_build.sh

Once the build completes, you will have an image in obj.yyyy/FreeNAS—VVVV-XXXX-yyyy.img.xz where:

  • VVVV is the release branch version
  • XXXX is the svn revision from the FreeNAS™ repo
  • yyyy is either i386 or amd64 depending on your platform and what was provided via $FREENAS_ARCH on the command line or in an environment setting

This is a compressed raw disk image which needs to be decompressed and converted to your favorite virtual machine container format before use. There will also be a CD image called obj.yyy/FreeNAS-VVVV-XXXX-yyyy.iso that you can burn to disk and use to install or upgrade FreeNAS™.

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