Announcing Rockstor 3.8.15

I am thrilled to announce the release of Rockstor 3.8.15. It’s been a long release cycle and It’s our 30th release, woohoo! We have entered a new phase of Rockstor community growth with steady patches from dedicated contributors. A total of 43 issues were closed making this a substantial update. Several enhancements were made to the UI, prominently to the dashboard. I’d like to also highlight the big(design and implementation) refactoring of our backend disk management. Last but not least, numerous improvements and bugfixes were committed throughout the stack. Please see the list below for detailed log of all patches that went in.

It’s ironic that we took longer to close this release cycle despite more contributors and a lot more eyeballs overall, but that is primarily due to inefficiencies in my gate-keeping. We learned how to make things more efficient in the next cycle and plan to close it quicker.

The 3.8.15 ISO is downloadable from here for new users. After installation, please purchase Stable update subscription and take advantage of many benefits that come with it. Existing subscribers on the other hand, can update easily from the Web-UI.

List of issues we closed in this cycle.

Overhaul pagination, sort and search on UI using DataTables. #1138 @priyaganti
Revise internal use and format of device names. #1320 @phillxnet
Support customizing web-ui port. #983 @schakrava
Improvements to password recovery system. #1290 @MFlyer
Remove smb service dependency on rockstor-bootstrap. #1241 @schakrava @phillxnet
add raid56 warning. #1372 @phillxnet
Fix Samba regression from 3.8-14.03 #1385 @phillxnet
Add local/current time on the UI. #1362 @MFlyer
Update postfix config when hostname is changed. #1392 @MFlyer
Edit user page – bad render for username and uid. #1389 @MFlyer
Support Console access from the Web-UI with Shell In a Box. #518 @MFlyer
Allow force removal of Rock-on metadata. #1124 @schakrava
improve nvme compatibility for system disk. #1397 @phillxnet
Fix Services page bottleneck on Active Directory status. #1391 @MFlyer
Improve test e-mail notification. #978 @MFlyer @schakrava
Field validation in e-mail setup. #1340 @MFlyer @schakrava
GMail detects Rockstor as a Less Secure application. #1083 @MFlyer
single to raid1 pool resize not reflected in Web-UI. #1406 @grebnek
Email Alerts page missing dependency. #1410 @MFlyer
Docker journald logging. #1420 @sfranzen
Adjust share usage reporting. #1415 @sfranzen
add samba shadow localtime param. #1252 @MFlyer
Improve Dashboard pool usage widget. #1426 @sfranzen
Fix: argument to docker run should still be -d. #1423 @sfranzen
Fix DataTables error on AFP shares view. #1442 @sfranzen
Bootstrap inline edit with X-editable js library. #1356 @priyaganti
Inline edit – pool compression in Pools view. #1401 @priyaganti
Web-UI initiated balance status not updated during execution. #1405 @phillxnet
improve dashboard disk activity widget for by-id names. #1366 @phillxnet
Allow scheduling of read-only snapshot creation. #1379 @tomtom13 @schakrava
Improve how smb.conf is updated. #1453 @MFlyer
Fix: Dashboard crashes if left open for a long time #998 @MFlyer
add the second knowns fake uuid to exception list. #1461 @schakrava
fs unittests part 1. #1443 @phillxnet
dashboard crashes if opened long – Memory Widget – Part 3. #998 @MFlyer
dashboard crashes if opened long – Cpu Widget – Part 1 Final. #998 @MFlyer
dashboard crashes if opened long – Network Widget – Part 2. #998 @MFlyer
dashboard crashes if opened long – Top Shares Widget – Part 4. #998 @MFlyer
dashboard crashes if opened long – Pool Usage Widget – Part 5. #998 @MFlyer
dashboard crashes if opened long – Storage Metrics Widget – Part 6. #998 @MFlyer
dashboard crashes if opened long – Disks Widget – Part 7. #998 @MFlyer
New progressbars height, tested over 10+ shares. #1476 @MFlyer
support long nutanix device names. #1471 @phillxnet

Thank you for reading till the end! Here’s a discount code for first 25 Stable subscriptions: ROCKSTOR3815.

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Announcing Rockstor 3.8-14

I am happy to announce that Rockstor 3.8-14 is now released. We’ve added big new features including an interface to power down HDDs to reduce noise and conserve electricity, and a way to browse and download logs almost too easily with a few clicks on the UI. As usual, there are may enhancements and bug fixes. 34 issues were closed altogether by the hard and smart work of 8 different contributors!

The 3.8-14 ISO is downloadable from here for new users. After installation, please purchase Stable update subscription and take advantage of many benefits that come with it. Existing subscribers on the other hand, can update easily from the Web-UI.

We welcomed new contributors in this 3.8-14 release cycle, most we’ve had so far working together on one release. As the project’s maintainer this makes me very happy. Our community is strengthening with every release, thanks to everyone including code contributors, forum members, incident support purchasers, stable-updates subscribers, patrons donating and purchasing t-shirts, usb drives and stickers from our shop. Much appreciated!

To better organize support matters and provide a reliable platform for our paying users, we’ve launched a new support portal, using osticket. We hope to provide more value to customers purchasing incident bundles. Home users that subscribe to Stable updates are also eligible for limited paid support with the option to purchase more support as needed. Details will be added to documentation in the coming days.

Final note, here’s the long list of issues we closed in this cycle.

Add anacron like feature to task scheduling. #1233 @MFlyer
Add support for policy driven powering down of HDDs from the UI. #885 @phillxnet
Add the feature to browse and download various log files from the UI. #762 @MFlyer
Significantly improve UI templates part 2. #1287 @priyaganti
Significantly improve UI templates part 3. #1304 @priyaganti
Significantly improve UI templates part 4. #1307 @priyaganti
Add different support flows for stable and testing channel users. #1339 @schakrava
Improve Active Directory info popup. #1284 @ScarabMonkey
Improve multiple disk selection during resize. #1196 @priyaganti
Show correct screens in add/remove disks during resize. #811 @priyaganti
Fix power menu alignment. #1192 @priyaganti
Use chardet to properly encode/decode user/group names. #1283 @demount
Add Active Directory rfc2307 support. #1263 @MFlyer
Sort Shares by name in the UI. #973 @maxhq
Fix a regression in scheduled tasks. #1296 @MFlyer
Fix Total capacity widget resize bug. #1225 @MFlyer
Fix deprecated volume removal bug in rock-on update. #1294 @phillxnet
Fix transfer rate column in replication history. #1279 @priyaganti
Improve NTP check in Active Directory service. #1301 @ScarabMonkey
Enhance Rock-on service config UX. #1202 @priyaganti
Properly update mdraid member status. #1214 @phillxnet
Add pagination support to replication tasks. #1305 @priyaganti
Improve snmp config UI. #1240 @schakrava
Humanize replication transfer rate display. #1317 @priyaganti
Fix bug in Pool disk removal wizard. #1325 @phillxnet
Fix a bug in scheduled tasks. #1327 @MFlyer
Add support for nossd mount option. #1313 @priyaganti
Fix regression in network widget. #1302 @MFlyer
Show system users shell info. #1335 @MFlyer
Add the ability of add/remove drives to/from single profile pools. #1337 @bskrtich
Fix a bug in userdel. #1343 @MFlyer
Make Appliance UUID persistent through reinstalls. #1348 @schakrava
Add better error handling to network connection refresh. #1350 @schakrava
Fix handlebar helper in replication. #1352 @priyaganti

Thank you for reading till the end! Here’s a discount code for first 25 Stable subscriptions: ROCKSTOR3814. Prices are going up soon and the 5 year plan is on the way out. Grab it while you can!

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Announcing Rockstor 3.8-13

Rockstor 3.8-13 is now available! We closed 23 issues of different magnitudes in this cycle. The two big ones include adding support for Network Teaming and Bonding, and advanced S.M.A.R.T management support. These features were requested and voted for, by many users which makes us especially happy to finally roll out.

There were several fixes and enhancements as well, following the established trend of our updates. All this is possible, thanks to a strong and growing community. We welcomed two new contributors in this cycle, @MFlyer and @ScarabMonkey. A total of five contributors collaborated to bring you this release. Also, as always, thanks to subscribers for supporting our effort. We are delighted to bring you this update.

The 3.8-13 ISO is downloadable from here for new users. After installation, please purchase Stable update subscription and take advantage of many benefits that come with it. Existing subscribers on the other hand, can update easily from the Web-UI.

3.8-13 release cycle was fun, and made substantial with high participation, both by regular and new community members. We are evolving and reinforcing our iterative development habit with every release, which means a lot of short term improvements and sustained long term work along with new features. We were able to react to bugs faster in this cycle thanks to active users who are quick to report and in some cases, document the fix or even open a pull request. I regret not getting to a couple of pull requests still pending review, which I am looking forward to next!

Here is the list of all issues resolved in this release

Add Network Teaming and Bonding support. #560 @schakrava @priyaganti
Support user supplied custom S.M.A.R.T parameters. #1079 @phillxnet
Redesign Services page. #796 @priyaganti
Advice user to use nmtui in case of install without network. #1268 @ScarabMonkey
Allow Rock-on metadata update on failed installation. #1259 @schakrava
Add optional SMTP authentication to e-mail notification setup. #1228 @MFlyer
Handlebars template improvements in samba UI. #1176 @priyaganti
Add support to sort services by status in the UI. #1201 @MFlyer
Improve storage unmount logic. #1242 @schakrava
Make adding storage to Rock-ons more intuitive. #1178 @priyaganti
Improve tooltip display. #1198 @priyaganti
Make favicon access secure. #1055 @priyaganti
Fix compression UI bug. #1245 @priyaganti @MFlyer
Improve Rock-on install state transition logic. #1216 @schakrava
Mount by-label consistently as first preference. #1181 @schakrava
Fix Samba UI pagination. #1224 @schakrava
Improve scheduled Snapshot management. #1227 @MFlyer
Add more frequency choices for scheduled tasks. #1226 @MFlyer
Automatically map /etc/localtime to Rock-ons. #809 @schakrava
Fix dashboard by locking backend library versions. #1215 @schakrava
Improve S.M.A.R.T self test log parsing. #1207 @phillxnet
Improve S.M.A.R.T behaviour on root drive. #1206 @phillxnet
Fix snapshot name prefix bug. #1186 @schakrava

Thank you for reading till the end! Here’s a discount code for first 25 Stable subscriptions: ROCKSTOR3813

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Announcing Rockstor 3.8-12

Rockstor 3.8-12 is now available! This is our fourth release update in the Stable channel and we are encouraged by the support of subscribers as we continue to improve Rockstor. Thanks for keeping the project alive.

We’ve created a new 3.8-12 ISO downloadable from here for new users. After installation, please purchase Stable update subscription and take advantage of many benefits that come with it. Existing subscribers on the other hand, can update easily from the Web-UI.

3.8-12 release cycle was very different compared to the ones before. Usually, we work on a couple of bigger items, like a brand new feature or two and a bunch of smaller enhancements and bug fixes. But this time, there has been much more community activity with users reporting bugs and requesting minor improvements to existing features. So we focused entirely on closing as many user reported issues as possible and closed 26 issues in total. In a continuing trend, that is a few more issues than the previous one.

I am really pleased to see every feature of Rockstor being used by more and more users. We are eager to keep up with the community and make swift improvements. Over all, we’ve improved many features including AD integration, S.M.A.R.T, Rock-Ons among others. Happy to finally close the Tenaya milestone!

Here is the list of all issues resolved in this release

Added support for hostname configuration. #896 @Mchakravartula

Improved S.M.A.R.T support for more types drives. #1107 @phillxnet

Improved tooltip design. #1110 @Mchakravartula

Redesigned Pool creation UI to handle large number of drives better. #693 @priyaganti

Improved Share size reporting. #669 @schakrava

Added support for dynamic root Pool name retrieval. #921 @schakrava

Made rockstor-pre service more robust. #1128 @schakrava

Fixed bug in updating nginx on ip changes. #1101 @schakrava

Improved disk information handling of system disk(s). #1116 @phillxnet

Improved AD integration via winbind. #1024 @schakrava

Improved Share deletion UX and warnings. #979 @priyaganti

Improved bulk Snapshot deletion UX. #988 @priyaganti

Fixed a bug in schedule task history display. #1129 @Mchakravartula

Improved bios raid handling on system disk. #1151 @phillxnet

Fixed version display bug in the UI. #1119 @schakrava

Improved Rock-On app profile updates. #1131 @schakrava

Improved support for mdraid root disk setup. #1164 @phillxnet

Change font and color of banner elements. #1165 @gkadillak

Improved Rock-On restart policy. #1132 @schakrava

Fixed a bug in group creation. #1161 @schakrava

Fixed a bug in AD join. #1122 @schakrava

Added support for force removal of Shares. #1125 @schakrava

Added support for custom port in e-mail alerts setup. #837 @schakrava

Fixed a UI bug in Rock-On restart. #1175 @nicolaslt

Fixed a templating bug in Samba exports UI. #1176 @schakrava

Improved design of Services view. #796 @priyaganti @schakrava

 

Thank you for reading till the end! Here’s a discount code for first 25 Stable subscriptions: ROCKSTOR3812

 

 

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Rockstor Pro 8: Eight bay DIY Rockstor build

More than a year ago, I shared our then newly assembled Rockstor server in this article. It proved to be a solid part of our production infrastructure. In the last year, I’ve also helped users with a few different DIY builds. It’s a collaborative effort with active members in the community plus the usual shameless thievery from the internet. But we have a winning build that is great for smaller organizations and prosumers. It is a quiet 8 Bay tower packing high performance and supports large storage capacity with up to 12 HDDs.

10

 

Welcome the Rockstor Pro 8 and it is now available for purchase from our shop. Save time by buying it directly from us and enjoy these additional benefits

  • 60 day e-mail support from Rockstor engineers included. ($200.00 value)
  • 5 year subscription to Stable updates included. ($35.00 value)
  • 50% discount on incident-based support bundles for 1 year. (up to $450.00 value)

DIY projects are fun and we like to provide all the necessary information in one place if you choose to build it yourself. These are the parts you need for this specific build.

While the motherboard can be upgraded to C2750D4I and extra RAM can be added for better performance, it’s not really necessary as Rockstor is considerably less resource hungry compared to other options out there.

Whether you build your own or buy the Rockstor Pro 8 from us, you get the following key benefits that make this box an effective workhorse and a much better value for money than proprietary solutions out there.

  • Intel Avoton C2550 Quad-Core Processor. Can be upgraded to C2750
  • 8GB RAM (64GB max).
  • 32GB SSD boot drive for Rockstor OS.
  • Simple and secure browser based management.
  • Supports up to 8 hot-pluggable 3.5″ HDDs and 4 fixed internal (2.5″) HDDs.
  • Bitrot protection, checksums, compression and other advanced filesystem (BTRFS) features.
  • Efficient (CoW) Snapshots of Shares on demand or on schedule.
  • Supports different size HDDs and online capacity scaling. Add more drives as and when you need them.
  • File sharing and access from Linux, Mac, Windows and mobile devices (Android and iOS).
  • Must have prosumer apps for Media streaming, backup and file synchronization.
  • Apps for developers and small businesses including JenkinsCI, Gitlab, Discourse and more.
  • Privacy and Productivity enhancing apps for everybody
  • Efficient Rockstor -> Rockstor replication for backup and DR.

More info on the build with pictures!

 

 

2
8 hot-pluggable 3.5″ HDD bays
3
hot plugging 4TB WD-red for demonstration
4
Two 120mm fans on the side covered with a magnetic vent
5
Vent taken off

 

 

 

Back of the box. 120mm fan, three Gigabit LAN ports and two USB 2.0 ports.
Back of the box. 120mm fan, three Gigabit LAN ports and two USB 2.0 ports.
Inside view. 8 bay HDD cage to the left and 4 bay 2.5" internal HDD cage to the top right with PSU behind it. Requires dissembling to plug in PSU and motherboard.
Inside view. 8 bay HDD cage to the left and 4 bay 2.5″ internal HDD cage to the top right with PSU behind it. Requires dissembling to plug in PSU and motherboard.

 

Inside view with HDD cages removed.
Inside view with HDD cages removed.

 

 

ASRock C2550D4I with Avaton CPU and 8GM RAM
ASRock C2550D4I with Avaton CPU and 8GM RAM

 

 

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Why NUT

Expectation doesn’t always match actuality, which is a shame, but sometimes we can do something about it. This is a tiny tale of my attempt to do just that.

ups examples

Early in 2015 I was on the lookout for a Linux based Network Attached Storage (NAS) system that had the more enterprise goodness I had encountered with my ventures into ZFS via FreeNAS i.e. Copy on Write (CoW), data checksums, snapshots etc., and happened across Rockstor; but at the time it had no graphical Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) configuration. This for me was a show stopper (story to follow), my expectation was to adopt my dream NAS setup that ran on my favourite Operating System (OS) and to have an all Linux setup once again. Actuality was falling short.

Sure I was impressed with FreeNAS but I’m a Linux guy and having been an all Linux setup for 15 years at least, it grated to be using NanoBSD for my NAS. Nothing against FreeNAS but my mainstay OS of choice was set and I had grown very familiar with it; the BSD’s for all their splendour were just not my cup of tea and it sat uneasy that my darling OS was just not serving me in every way I wanted. It had been years since I’d looked at Linux NAS ditributions so surely something had happened. It was at this point that I first came across Rockstor. This thing was neat, focused, to the point, and most encouragingly developed completely in the open. Sure it was still quite young at less than two and a half years but the pace of development was fast. That’s great I thought, if it has what I need then marvellous but alas it was short of one key feature. It had no graphical way to configure Network UPS Tools (NUT), a UPS tools system, and for me this was just not the ticket. Given that Rockstor is essentially a full CentOS with a WebUI bolted on to deal with the btrfs / NAS / sharing stuff I knew I could simply do a text based NUT config but that wasn’t what I wanted. That wasn’t an appliance. I had already spent many years doing everything with my teeth even down to the early days of mode lines in X windows and reserving memory just to get 3D going, and regular kernel recompilations or CUPS recompilations just to be able to print. My Linux should be better than that, it should by now be for the people; all the people. With all the goodness of a modern file system.

So I wondered on by. But the whole Rockstor dabble had left a lasting impression and I just couldn’t shake the fact that I was just not happy running a NanoBSD based system when my passions and interests were Linux based. It also greatly excited me that I might once again become an all Linux setup. I enjoy the Linux ethos and I believe the nature of the licence to be key: i.e. Apple’s advancements in BSD that no one else has. Alas; sometimes expectation just doesn’t match actuality.

But hold on I thought, I can’t let a little thing like a missing feature stand in my way. I began making tentative inroads into Rockstor’s community forum and the GitHub hosted code to see what I might do to make a difference. There were some unusual elements to this NAS distro, they had obviously made significant efforts towards usability, you know where things make sense due to design; an all too sparse quality in many OSs. I slowly and surely became convinced that this was an OS NAS OS (open source NAS operating system) of the future, in the making. And I wanted to be part of that future.

Oh and what Brett said.

Sometimes one just has to adapt to a situation and sometimes one can adapt the situation.

series of serial adapters

Adaptation by adapter. Not all FT232R’s are equal; a null modem wired usb to serial adapter adapted for UPS testing. Sorted.

Part of the future

At that time the forum was run on something decidedly inferior to Discourse and wouldn’t even render in my browser of choice, this wasn’t good. So I dove into the git repository and browsed the issues and pull requests to try and gain a deeper understanding. In my meandering I saw one or two tiny fixes I could make and on a whim started submitting the smallest of pull requests. Whilst exploring the feature set further I received a friendly error message that something had gone wrong. Nicely caught and no horrible crashes just a neat dialog encouraging me to send an automatically prepared zip of logs to the developers. Elegant I thought. Not just a long wait in the nothingness of an unresponsive system but true assistance and guidance. I was further impressed. So I downloaded the log zip and not wanting to bother the developers with my silly problem I took a peak. What I saw was something crafted, full on Python with exceptions caught everywhere, not just another PHP monster but a proper structured entity with objects and fancy ways and means. Anyway, the logs pretty much pinpointed the problem but I just wasn’t familiar enough with the code to tackle this myself so in the interests of living up to my ideals I posted an issue.

The response to my issue was surprisingly fast and entirely jovial; I had (in internet terms) met Suman, the project lead. A fix was committed and in no time at all my silly little issue was sorted, and this was good. The joys of a rapid development cycle.

Soon thereafter the forum software was thankfully switched to the most excellent open source discourse and was becoming alive with the growing interest in this newfangled btrfs NAS solution. I was, perhaps unwisely, awarded the privilege of forum maintainer; a pretty friendly place so no worries there. By then I had also submitted some doc tweaks and additions. To my surprise I found the [docs][10] to be programmatically generated from .rst files, a mark up format know as reStructeredText that through the magic of Sphinx ends up as html for the Rockstor home page docs section. This was just getting better and better, and I had started to make a difference. At about the same time I ventured an email declaring my interest in adding NUT and was pleasantly surprised by the encouraging return. They had no plans to implement this feature “just yet” but they were all to happy to help in whatever way they could. So why NUT; or maybe why not NUT.

 

Why not NUT

So why not NUT, why bother, well indeed; in the context of no doubt well meaning mice this is a question that answers itself. But stories are nice so here goes.

Over time where I live and work the electric had been a little iffy, the occasional trip out but nothing too serious. I had as a matter of course implemented a number of UPS’s and hand configured NUT to deal with these little outages but more was to come.

One morning I awoke to a calmness, this can’t be bad I thought, but there was a down side. The entire electric had failed and this time there was no just flipping it back on and going about my business no no. This time it was serious. It turned out that we could no longer make any sockets live; the Residual Current Device (RCD) refusing to enact our expectation. An investigation was in order.

The investigation

Most people who have dealings with computers have had mouse problems at one time or another, these days the problems tend not to be physical but electrical; given the prevalence of optical mice. It turned out that my electrical problem was both physical and mouse related.

electrical mouse problem

The mouse problem diagnosed; definitely both physical and electrical and behind a drywall at the back of a cupboard. Inconvenience incarnate.

So without ripping apart my whole (rented) accommodation I can only assume that other as yet undiscovered gems such as the above are lying in wait. What’s in your walls?

After many hours of diagnostics and much frustration I had found at least one reason for our previously flaky and now critical electric situation. Needless to say my NUT interest grew and I began as a matter of course to make all systems aware of their pending doom; or at least when it might be a good idea to shut down. NUT, due to it’s network nature, is a perfect fit.

To cut a long story short I ended up submitting (on my 47th birthday) my first non trivial pull request to Rockstor core. A fortnight of advice reviews and tweaks later and Rockstor now has graphical NUT configuration (in beta). I for one am chuffed. And yes wouldn’t it be great to have a nice UPS data page or a whizzy additional widget on Rockstor’s dashboard but until that time, successive approximation and development in the open and all, I offer up some “desktop” shiny.

Some shiny

Given no fancy technology is complete without fancy telemetry; I present walNUT.

walNUT gnome extension

walNUT the Gnome Shell Extension to monitor one’s UPS, thanks Daniele.

And for those of a KDE persuasion there is KNutClient, thanks Daniel.

Note the similarity in the names; funny that. Graphical NUT clients are also available for other popular platforms.

What are these things but what we make them.

 

 

 

 

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3.8-11: Rock-On and UI improvements

I am happy to announce the release of Rockstor 3.8-11. This is our third release in the Stable updates channel and I’d like to thank subscribers for their support. As usual, subscribers can just update to this release from the Web-UI.

For new users, we’ve created a brand new 3.8-11 ISO downloadable from here. After installation, please purchase Stable update subscription and take advantage of many benefits that come with it.

This release cycle was pretty exciting with increased community activity. Many users offered feedback, test results, bug reports and shared useful information with everyone else in the community. The usual code contributors submitted many pull requests to add new functionality, improve existing functionality and fix bugs. We also welcomed a new contributor in this cycle, which is always special!

All together, we closed 24 issues, 11 more compared to last cycle. There are two significant changes I’d like to highlight. We made several improvements to the Rock-Ons system, including making it easy for users and add their own custom Rock-Ons and 3rd party contributors to submit theirs for wider community. We added new Rock-Ons including Discourse and Jenkins. We also made the system significantly more robust and simpler. Expect more changes in the next cycle, but a lot of heavy lifting was done in this one.

Second significant change is to the inner workings of the Web-UI. We’ve revamped templating and overhauled existing templates using Handlebars. As a result, the UI is leaner, faster and code is a lot more readable and simpler. Most of the credit goes to @priyaganti for this massive patch set.

There are many other improvements and bugfixes to S.M.A.R.T, NUT and SSL cert management to name a few. Many thanks to @phillxnet for nicely crafted pull requests and to community members for testing and engaging in issue reporting.

Here is the list of all issues resolved in this release

Significantly improved Rock-Ons functionality. #858 @schakrava

Overhauled and optimized frontend with better temlating using Handlebars. #1019 @priyaganti @schakrava

Improved disk scan to handle duplicate names and offline disks better. #937 @phillxnet

Updated django-auth-toolkit and improved the Access Key functionality. #1017 @schakrava

Fixed a bug in S.M.A.R.T monitoring functionality. #1060 @phillxnet

Simplified Rock-on app profile management. #842 @schakrava

Enhanced custom config implementation in Rock-on install wizard. #918 @schakrava

Added support for bigger SSL certs of size up to 12K. #1067 @schakrava

Enhanced state refresh for Shares and Pools when underlying disks drop. #930 @schakrava

Added better support for drive name changes. #897 @schakrava

Fixed admin host related bug in NFS management. #959 @schakrava

Added better handling for md block drives. #1063 @phillxnet

Made Rock-ons framework more robust and simpler. #858 @schakrava

Added S.M.A.R.T support for MSA70 enclosures. #997 @phillxnet

Fixed minor regression in fake serial ui logic. #1086 @phillxnet

Added support for retaining only last 5 kernels. #1068 @schakrava

Made Access Key API a bit more robust. #1080 @Mchakravartula

Fixed a regression with raw S.M.A.R.T error log display. #1084 @phillxnet

Fixed a UI bug in schedule task display. #1058 @Mchakravartula

Improved config ownership management of NUT. #1073 @phillxnet

Fixed a regression in NUT service configuration in the UI. #1094 @phillxnet

Fixed a Share ACL display bug in the UI. #1100 @phillxnet

Improved README. #1104 @Mazo

Improved messaging for S.M.A.R.T self tests on the UI. #1097 @phillxnet

In addition to above issues, we’ve also updated the default kernel to 4.3.3 along with btrfs-progs. Thank you for reading till the end! Here’s a discount code for first 25 Stable subscriptions: ROCKSTOR3811

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3.8-10: Asynchronous Replication plus many improvements

Rockstor 3.8-10 release is now available. This is our second release in the Stable updates channel. Many thanks to users who purchased Stable update subscriptions. Your support is not only greatly appreciated, but crucial to us. If you are subscribed to Stable updates, you can easily update the system from the Web-UI.

New users can download 3.8-10 from here. Keep Rockstor live and thriving by purchasing the Stable subscription!

We closed 13 issues in this release, compared to 20 in 3.8-9. And this release took a bit longer. If you are wondering why, it’s because of the big feature improvement in this release: Asynchronous Replication. This feature efficiently replicates Shares on one Rockstor appliance to another by using BTRFS send/receive functionality. While this feature was added a while ago, it was a bit over engineered, buggy and had to be improved. I started refactoring the existing pub-sub design and ended up completely redesigning it. The result is a much simpler and more robust implementation. I plan to write more about it here and the community wiki soon.

Besides Replication, the community really came together to help fix a bunch of bugs, make several enhancements and also improve test coverage. I want to thank our regular contributors @phillxnet, @Mchakravartula, @priyaganti for their important pull requests, testing and insights. Plus, special thanks to @grogi, our new and 11th contributor! Last but not least, the community involvement has been superb with testing, bug reports and knowledge sharing. It’s very encouraging to have such a smart and diverse feedback system as we continue to improve Rockstor.

Here’s the list of issues resolved in this update with links to more information.

Rolled out a redesigned Rockstor-Rockstor Share replication feature. #886 @schakrava

Improved functional test coverage. part 1 #992 @Mchakravartula

Improved alerts on the UI. #989 @priyaganti

CSS cleanup in the UI. #1003 @grogi

Fixed advanced-nfs exports bug. #991 @schakrava

Improved functional test coverage. part 2. #1008 @Mchakravartula

Redesigned switches on the UI. #1013 @priyaganti

Improved functional test coverage. part 3. #1014 @Mchakravartula

Fixed SFTP service toggle bug. #1027 @phillxnet

Fixed AD service status bug. #1029 @phillxnet

Improved rockstor-bootstrap service. #1026 @schakrava

More switch redesign updates on the UI. #1021 @priyaganti

Fixed a bug in network config. #1039 @schakrava

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3.8-9: AD integration, S.M.A.R.T and other improvements

Rockstor 3.8-9 update is now available. This is our first update released under the stable update channel. Some of you may be aware that we split updates into Stable and Testing channels. I wrote about this briefly in the last post and there’s more information about them in our documentation as well.

Current users running prior versions can update to 3.8-9 after activating the Stable channel subscription. New users can just install from the 3.8-9 ISO. Since the launch of update subscriptions a few weeks ago, we are seeing steady purchases. I am happy to see organic traction, but we need a lot more subscriptions to keep up the effort. So, if you like Rockstor and haven’t bought the Stable subscription yet, please do!

We closed 20 issues in this release and I want to thank all the contributors. We have a dev log in our forum detailing the ongoing work and some of you may already be aware of the coming changes. Detailed list follows, but the highlights include fixes to Active Directory integration, S.M.A.R.T monitoring, better Systemd integration and improved test coverage.

I want to thank @phillxnet for contributing many minor enhancements, @Mchakravartula for improving test coverage and fixing up code along the way, @maxhq for being our new and 10th contributor(hooray!) and @roweryan for testing, reporting issues and ensuring that we aren’t slacking 🙂 Last but not least, many thanks to @vinima for contributions to documentation and video tutorials.

1. Improved service orchestration by leveraging Systemd more. #904 @schakrava

2. Fixed Web-UI to dynamically refresh management interface IP. #917 @schakrava

3. Fixed a Web-UI issue with network interface management. #915 @schakrava

4. Clarify password reset instructions. #890 @phillxnet

5. Refresh Pool state automatically after delete. #859 @schakrava

6. Improved logic to update /etc/issue with Web-UI link. #924 @phillxnet

7. Improved certificate labeling on the Web-UI. 938 @phillxnet

8. Fixed and improved Active Directory integration support. #860 @schakrava

9. Simplified Reboot/Shutdown functionality. #943 @phillxnet

10. Sort services alphabetically by default. #907 @schakrava

11. Improve test coverage for Snapshot functionality. #945 @Mchakravartula

12. Clean up Web-UI for OS Pool. #926 @Mchakravartula

13. Improve test coverage for Network interface management. #954 @Mchakravartula

14. Fixed broken S.M.A.R.T data collection for some HDDs. #657 @phillxnet

15. Fixed Web-UI bug that prevented Cloning writable Snapshots. #939 @schakrava

16. Fixed a small regression in /etc/issue update. #961 @phillxnet

17. Fixed the submit button in Rock-ons install wizard. #975 maxhq

18. Improved e-mail notifications by properly setting send address. #970 @phillxnet

19. Improved overall functional test coverage. #967 @Mchakravartula

20. Removed qgroup rescan work around. #950 @schakrava

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3.8-8: UPS support, shadow copies and more

Rockstor 3.8-8 update is now available. This update cycle ended up a bit longer(about 4 weeks) compared to our average of 2 weeks. There are two reasons for this. (1) We closed more issues than usual and (2) We are focusing more on stability.

Going forward, we are splitting updates into two channels. For those of us that actively want to test cutting edge updates, there is now a Testing updates channel. Once we test in the dev environment and run automated tests, we’ll release an update on this channel. So an update is released roughly for each pull request, perhaps once every other day or so.

The second is the Stable updates channel. This is a slight variation of what we’ve been doing all along. But given that installs have gone up quite a bit, we’ll focus on stability and do a lot more testing to minimize risk of regressions. As a result, updates will be released at a slightly slower pace, like once in 3-4 weeks on the Stable update channel. I plan to share more details about these channels in a separate post.

Back to this update, which has many useful changes. First, support for UPS is added. I am personally looking forward to using this feature on production Rockstor systems here that serve the Forum, CI, updates etc.. Second, support for Shadow copies for Windows Samba clients is added. We plan to add more documentation and write up how-to posts about these features. Documentation for UPS has just been added, thanks to @phillxnet. Last but not least, we’ve improved the overall functional test coverage and brushed up the UI.

On the BTRFS side of things, We’ve been testing 4.2 kernels since their release and 4.2.2 is working fine in all of our machines here and we were able to test all supported BTRFS functionality. So, we’ve made 4.2.2 the default with this update. Just as important, the wonderful btrfs-progs is also updated to 4.2.1. Do note that qgroups(share sizing), replication and DR(for raid5/6) features are yet to be re-tested for improvements, so no changes to report as of now.

Here is the list of all issues resolved in this update.

1. Added support for UPS. #595 @phillxnet

2. Added Shadow Copy support for Windows Samba clients. #715 @schakrava @priyaganti

3. Improved Network management #799 @schakrava

4. Improved User management functional test coverage #856 @Mchakravartula

5. Improved NFS functional test coverage #876 @Mchakravartula @schakrava

6. Improved AFP functional test coverage #877 @Mchakravartula

7. Improved SFTP functional test coverage #878 @Mchakravartula

8. Made development side of supervisor processes consistent with production. #852 @phillxnet

9. Improved UI for mobile #869 @snamstorm

10. Made forms on the UI better and consistent. #891 @priyaganti

11. Added Stable and Testing updates channels. #899 @schakrava @priyaganti

As always, update your Rockstor installation via web-ui. If you are new to Rockstor, watch this short video.

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