FreeNAS: BSD Line and Linux Fork

Dec 08, 2009

The FreeNAS project had discussed whether the free storage systems should use BSD or Linux in the future. The result is that both variants will now be available.

The open source software for network attached storage (NAS) runs on Intel and AMD64 processor and supports protocols such as Samba, FTP, NFS, AFP, rsync and iSCSI. For a base operating system FreeNAS uses M0n0wall, which itself is based on FreeBSD. That means it can use the ZFS filesystem, which is compatible with the BSD license.

As rumors in the FreeNAS forum emerged that the software will be developed under Debian GNU/Linux in the future, some participants feared the loss of the powerful ZFS, which for licensing reasons can't be included in the GPL-licensed Linux kernel.

Meanwhile project founder Olivier Cochard-Labbé has come out with some clarification. He writes that on the one hand main developer Volker Theile will undertake a rewrite based on GNU/Linux with the name OpenMediaVault. On the other hand development will continue on the BSD track. The sponsor for this work will be iXsystems, the San Jose CA company that will free some work for its professional FreeBSD developers to completely rework FreeNAS. As a first step, Cochard-Labbé himself plans to upgrade FreeNAS to the newest FreeBSD version 8.0.

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  • CoreNAS

    The intermediate project leading up to OpenMediaVault is called CoreNAS:

    <a href=""><a>

    OpenMediaVault promises to be a very useful NAS. FreeNAS was good, but Volker plans to make OMV even better.
  • Not zfs, Btrfs

    Why so much noise with ZFS? Linux has Btrfs, which has a more solid fundation than zfs ( and it's maturing and becoming stable - i'm using it as my root filesystem for the past two weeks and I haven't had any problems.
  • zfs

    I want zfs, i hope oracle will change the license to be compatible with the linux kernel.. it will give a lot of power to linux, of course until M$ catches up - which wont be long - we will soon be praising M$'s new will have all the features of zfs. i dont doubt.
  • BSD license

    Thanks for the alert, originally the author wrote "compatible with BSD license", which has been corrected now.
  • ZFS

    ZFS is CDDL, which is not compatible with GPL, but is with BSD. It's not BSD licensed as you say, otherwise Linux would be able to use it.

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