Announcing Rockstor 3.9.0

We’ve just wrapped up a fun release cycle, and it’s my pleasure to announce Rockstor 3.9.0. Our community has been really active and we’ve prioritized nicely to improve on a few different areas. 6 contributors have come together for this release and besides working on new features and bug fixes, we made significant improvements to code quality. @phillxnet has made a big enhancement to the disk management subsystem. I’ve made large code quality improvement to backend Python stack. @MFlyer collaborated with me on that and took upon himself to do the same for all of Javascript stack. He made several ninja style contributions and helped fix many bugs. I’d say this is a nice release with some new stuff and a bunch of useful maintenance updates. Thanks to everyone that made this happen!

For new installs, We created a brand new 3.9.0 ISO. Please purchase a subscription for Stable updates subscription after install and enjoy these benefits. Stable update subscribers can update from the UI as usual.

Here’s the list of issues we closed in this release

Issue: Non-ASCII password on user creation leads to ‘User(…) already exists’ #1555 @ansemjo
[Enhancement] data_collector move from Django ORM to CRUD operations (on db writes) #1567 @MFlyer
Dashboard widget resizing is glitchy in Chrome on Mac #1530 @MFlyer
[Bug] Disks widget console errors #1596 @MFlyer
cosmetic issue: create snapshot label appears twice in share details view #1564 @MFlyer
SMART edit icon tooltip text in disks table view not fully visible #1565 @MFlyer
More documentation on services page! #1168 @priyaganti
cleanup dependencies and add build status badge to readme #1604 @schakrava
root and home shares offer delete button #1583 @MFlyer
fs unit tests settings issue #1609 @phillxnet
work around failure of udev to observe btrfs device add #1606 @phillxnet
Flake8 satisfying style improvements and cleanup #1615 @schakrava
Sector Size empty for 512e drives #1590 @chrstphrchvz
Fixing Jenkins’ Flake8 regressions #1626 @MFlyer
enhance disk role/management subsystem #1494 @phillxnet
balance cancel requested ‘unit test’ false alarm #1627 @phillxnet
Share usage not reported correctly while pool usage is #1412 @MFlyer
improve state column clarity in network device tables #1633 @phillxnet
keyerror in samba config restore #1585 @MFlyer
“Comment” field not filled when editing Samba share #1647 @MFlyer
inconsistent redirect role validator message and bug #1651 @phillxnet
[Rockstor Devel Feature] Add Gulp file testing #1632 @MFlyer
Rock-on share columns reversed #1581 @schakrava
Remove python downgrade workaround #1587 @schakrava
[Flake8] Unused import over script #1663 @MFlyer
Small UI bug while installing rock-ons #1660 @MFlyer
fix replication regression from django 1.8 update #1667 @schakrava
Make software update non-disruptive #1188 @schakrava
Updating Font Awesome to latest 4.7 #1669 @MFlyer

Thank you for reading till the end! Here’s a discount code for first 25 Stable subscriptions: ROCKSTOR390.

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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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3.8-3 update. Flash optimizations, UI enhancements and bug fixes

Rockstor 3.8-3 update is now available. Since the last release was a bit unusually dense as far as our frequent small releases go, this time around, we decided to focus on small but many important optimizations, enhancements and bug fixes. We made Rockstor work better for flash deployments, so if you are running Rocsktor from a USB stick or SSD storage of some sort, these optimizations will be useful.

We’ve also revived our websocket code and designed a simple yet scalable framework to pass on updates efficiently back to the UI for such things as service statuses. There’s more work being done using websockets that will make UI a lot more functional and snappier. So stay tuned for our future release updates.

Last but not least, we’ve fixed a bunch of minor bugs and added several enhancements. There’s been a steady flow of information on our community forum which helped us identify and make these small but important improvements. So a big thank you to our community!

This is the detailed list of changes in this release:

1. Optimize Rockstor for usb flash drive and ssd deployments. #724 @schakrava @phillxnet

2. Improve Rock-on logging with syslog. #723 @schakrava

3. Revive and enhance websocket framework and the WebUI. #706 @gkadillak @phillxnet

4. Make service state changes persist across reboot. #660 @schakrava @phillxnet

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

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3.8-1 update. BTRFS Data import, virtio support and more testing

Rockstor 3.8-1 update is now available. Support has been added for a much anticipated and important feature to automatically import BTRFS data(Pools, Shares and Snapshots) on drives from a different Rockstor machine or a previous install. More functional tests have been added and KVM support is enhanced by fixing the issue with disk scan and Virtio.

This is the list of changes in this release:

1. Added support to Auto import BTRFS data from previous install or a different Rockstor system. Issue #534

2. Added more functional tests and improved test coverage. Issue #676

3. Enhanced disk scan logic to better support KVM. Special thanks to Phil Guyton for this. Issue #673

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

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Data loss Prevention and Recovery in Rockstor

Rockstor has a lot of nice features including but not limited to BTRFS features synthesized for NAS usecase. A lot of our users like this about Rockstor, while others have raised concerns about basic storage solution essentials like how failures potentially causing data loss are handled. The importance and criticality of these concerns are obvious to us and we constantly put things to test and the bottom line is that it’s a work in progress.

Since Rockstor 3, we have started aggressively testing disaster scenarios. The challenge and work is two fold, one being thorough enumeration and testing of all potential failures and the other is keeping up with advancements in BTRFS itself, which is actively being developed especially in the areas of disk failures and data recovery.

We’ll continue to test and provide relevant information in our documentation, blog and website. The current iteration of this work resulted in useful documentation available here. All Rockstor users who care about their data must read it.

The three key takeaways of current iteration of testing are

  1. Rockstor is stable and reliable enough for all data that’s not important enough to backup
  2. For data that is important, we strongly recommend having backups and follow our documentation for backup recommendations and recovery procedures
  3. Read the documentation.

We welcome your suggestions and feedback. You can also contact us via email —

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Rockstor update 3.1-3 is now available

We made another stable release update available. In the spirit of making small incremental changes, this release is also a minor one.

1. Issue #418. This is an important enhancement for Share creation. The Share create form will now display how much of the pool is absolutely free, how much of it is (softly)reserved by other Shares and the remaining space that is currently in use. We’ve also added a slider making it easy to input the Share size.

2. Issue #485. This is a bugfix that addresses the TLS certificate issue. We used to distribute the same self-signed certificate to each user which meant keeping the secret key in the open. Now, the certificate is generated on the Rockstor appliance so it’s self signed by the user and not us.

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

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