3.7-9 update! S.M.A.R.T bug fixes!

Rockstor 3.7-9 update is now available. It is unusual for us to make a new update available within 3 days of the previous release, but there was one nasty error on the UI and it also disrupted some screens under the Storage tab. So we worked extra hard past few days and squashed a few bugs, tested and here we are!

This is the list of improvements in this release:

1. Improved user management to be consistent with system changes. Issue #613

2. Improved detection of non-btrfs filesystems on HDDs before providing the choice to wipe it clean. Issue #572

3. Fixed misc bugs in S.M.A.R.T support added in the previous release.

I also want to thank our new contributor Philip Guyton who submitted a pull request which also went into this update!

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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Rockstor update 3.6-9 now available

Many exciting changes are in the pipeline and we are excited about new contributors opening pull requests. We are glad the community is growing steadily and especially happy about having a lot of smart users coming on board. Thank you!

For this update, we closed two issues that improve user experience.

1. Users can now enable auto updates. We release frequent updates and each time, users have to login to the web-ui, approve and start the update. With this change, you can enable/disable auto update and Rockstor will check once a day and update if necessary. Issue #604

2. We’ve added a new wizard like workflow which improves user experience with features such as pool resize. Pool resize now is a guided process that helps users choose to add/remove disks or change raid level in clear steps. Issue #577

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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Rockstor update 3.6-7 now available

We have a new release update to share with you all! While the previous update was all about asynchrounous replication of Shares between two Rockstor appliances, pretty heavy stuff, this one is a little mellow. The big visible change is that you can now create Shares on the root disk. After the update, you’ll see a new pool called “rockstor_rockstor” which is created during OS install. It’s a restricted pool, but this update allows you to create Shares in it and take advantage of extra space. It’s mainly intended for home users who are not happy that their large root drive is unusable beyond the operating system. So, here you go!

Here are all the changes with this update.

1. Issue #576. Currently logged in user is displayed at the top right corner of the web-ui.

2. Issue #587. We fixed a bug in samba export which forced a default create mask. Now, you can override the default(744) using custom configuration field.

3. Issue #600. Support Share creation in the root pool.

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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Rockstor update 3.3-2 now available

For little more than a week since last update, we focused on a few different areas and made both user facing changes and others on the backend that are important for reliability. We’ve updated Django Rest Framework, the work horse of the backend. Fortunately, it was mostly testing work with a bit of porting. This update let’s us make the best of the framework, notably around testing. So after the framework update, we’ve added several automated tests. There is more to be done, but we are excited to take an important step forward in making Rockstor well tested and ready to go!

Here are the user facing changes in this update.

1. Issue #515. Broken Samba guest access is now fixed. If you select yes for Guest OK radio button for a Share, it can be mounted by guests. Thanks to one of our awesome users that filed this report!

2. Issue #299. Pool resize functionality is enhanced such that disks can be removed as well as added. After resizing a pool, rebalance is still not done automatically. So there’s more to be done here.

3. Issue #522. Some minor enhancements for better UX.

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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Rockstor update 3.2-8 now available

It’s been another week of productive development of Rockstor. Since the last stable release, there have been a few test releases. We’ve added some new features and fixed a bug along the way. After iterative testing, it’s time to make this stable release update.

We usually try not to ship a lot of changes at once. But this update is a small exception as it comes with a bit more stuff.

1. Issue #323. In this new feature, we added Apple Filing Protocol(AFP) support. Shares can now be exported via AFP in addition to NFS, Samba/CIFS and SFTP. Users asked for it primarily to use Rockstor as a Time Machine server to backup macs.

2. Issue #429. We’ve added a widget to the dashboard to show system’s total raw storage capacity, how much of it is provisioned, how much is lost in raid overhead and finally, how much of it is used.

3. Issue #499. We’ve added a simple tool that lets you identify drives physically and label them with serial numbers on the (physical)system. This is especially useful for those systems with externally visible(and/or hot swappable) hard drives. This feature is useful to identify and replace a bad hard drive.

4. Issue #505. There was a subtle bug that could turn off sshd and break SFTP file sharing. Thanks to the user who reported this bug! We managed to squeeze the fix in this update.



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Rockstor and POODLE vulnerability

Padded Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption, or POODLE is the latest vulnerability discovered in the Linux world(openssl to be specific). The good news is that it is not as serious as Shellshock or Heartbleed, the two big ones from the recent past. A POODLE attacker can eavesdrop and take advantage of a client’s fall back to SSL 3.0. This type of man-in-the-middle attack can be used to reveal encrypted messages, though only a little after a lot of trying. Instead of trying to explain something I know little about, let me direct you to wikipedia.

Since Rockstor runs a web server, uses and ships with openssl, this is a concern for us and our users. Luckily, the good folks at CentOS have already released an update to fix the issue. The update process has 3 steps and until the next Rockstor stable release is made available(hopefully sometime later this week), you have to follow these steps manually.

Step 1/3: Manually update Rockstor with the following command:

[root@Rockstor ~]# yum -y update

Note that the above command updates your entire system, which is what we recommend regardless of this particular update(openssl).

Step 2/3: Disable SSLv3 in Nginx

Rockstor runs an Nginx webserver. Since this bug is a design flaw in SSLv3 protocol, there is no real fix. So, we will just disable it. Edit the configuration file /opt/rockstor/etc/nginx/nginx.conf by adding the following line right after line #53(ssl on;)

ssl_protocols TLSv1.2 TLSv1.1 TLSv1;

Step 3/3: Restart Rockstor

[root@Rockstor ~]# systemctl restart rockstor

Check and make sure you are able to access the Web-UI like before. If nginx fails to start, there could be a typo. So double check. You can always remove the edit in nginx.conf and restart rockstor to go back.

If you need more help you can email us: support@rockstor.com

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Rockstor update 3.2-0 now available

We’ve been busy testing DR scenarios for Rockstor this week. It’s a lot of work and is still in progress. By the end, we plan to provide useful information for our users to be better prepared for data loss scenarios. More on that later, but simultaneously we were able to close some issues to push an update.

In the current update, we added a new feature, fixed a bug and made a few enhancements along the way.

1. Issue #466. This is a new feature. Rockstor system can now be shutdown or rebooted from the ui. Thanks for submitting this issue @baggar11!

2. Issue #492. This is a bugfix. We introduced a regression in snapshot rollback recently when replication related updates were added. It is now fixed and snapshot rollbacks work as expected. Users can now choose to create readonly or readwrite snapshots.

3. Issue #483. This is a ui enhancement. NFS service status and the on-off switch now appear in the nfs exports screen. We’ve also enhanced the backend a little.

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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8TB Rockstor DIY NAS


I’ve built several Rockstor NAS servers since I’ve been developing Rockstor. Rockstor 3 was released in early september of this year and we are glad to see more users every day since. All the while, my Rockstor NAS boxes on old dell and hp boxes with different amounts of accumulated dust are chugging along.

They work great, one of them even powers our live demo.

It’s time to build something new primarily to give our super-home and small business users a reference when building their own Rockstor NAS box. After researching various motherboard and cpu options, I’ve decided to keep things simple. The goal is not to build the cheapest system, but a decent one with parts that have credibility in the DIY NAS community. So I based my build on this technutz post which also gives us the opportunity to compare Rockstor with FreeNAS, the OS choice in that article.

Here is the list of parts.

Motherboard+CPU combo: ECS Elitegroup NM70-I Celeron 1037
[EDIT: the above motherboard is discontinued. Here’s the nextgen version of it. NM70-I2]
Memory: Crucial 8GB Single DDR3 1333 MT/s
Case+PSU: Chenbro SR30169 Tower Case SR30169T2-250
4 x 2TB NAS hard drives: WD Red 2 TB NAS Hard Drive
16GB USB stick: SanDisk Cruzer 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive

Note about RAM: The motherboard takes 1333Mz DDR3 RAM, so make sure you get the right speed. It failed to recognize a faster(1600 MT/s) SO-DIMM. With the correct RAM, it took about 30 minutes to assemble the box and it was ready for the Rockstor install.

BIOS notes: I went over every screen in the BIOS and changed a couple of settings. The important one is to enable AHCI mode in SATA configuration which lets you hotswap drives on the running system.

Rockstor requires one full disk drive for the operating system. So the choice is either to use one of the SATA drives or boot from a USB stick. There are mixed opinions about running Linux from USB. There two clear disadvantages: (1) OS runs slowly from USB compared to SATA (2) USB sticks incrementally deteriorate or suddenly crash one day. I’d like to experiment and find out how it works and in the worst case scenario, I’ll just reinstall Rockstor on a new USB stick. My actual data on the SATA drives will still be untouched.

I plugged the network cable, power chord, keyboard, mouse, external cdrom and started Rockstor install. It was a bit slow installing to the USB, but no other problems were encountered.

Note about USB bootup: I noticed that sometimes, upon reboot the system doesn’t recognize the usb stick. Just remove it, plug it back in and reboot. This worked every time I saw this problem. Also, reboots are rare and this did not happen on every reboot. so, small pain for extra hard drive space.

Rockstor has been running great on this little box. It’s the smallest and quietest 8TB Rockstor NAS box I know. As part of Rockstor testing, I am sure to stress test this box, gather performance metrics etc.. I’ll share my findings in future posts. Please submit your comments and feel free to email us: support@rockstor.com

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Rockstor update 3.1-6 now available

We’ve been steadily taking baby steps to make Rockstor better. Since the last update a week ago, we are able to close and test three issues adding some enhancements and a bug fix. This update is also a minor one improving stability and usability of the product.

1. Issue #481. Samba export functionality needed some love. So we made much needed ui enhancements.

2. Issue #467. Upon a user request, we added edit export function to the samba export. Our users rock!

3. Issue #476. There’s a bug in service monitoring that showed stale service status
when the main service-monitor thread is not running. We fixed this bug and also changed supervisor to use unix sockets instead of inet as there were always many sockets in time_wait state before. This is also a user submitted issue, which is awesome!

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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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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