FreeNAS vs. FreeBSD?

aurfalien aurfalien at
Mon Oct 28 00:57:22 UTC 2013

One last thing I forgot to mention is ashift.

FreeNAS auto partitions to allow an ashift of 12.

This was key for me due to my drives (Seagate ES.2) are 4K but report back as 512 byte.

So in FreeBSD my vdevs had an ashift of 9.  In FreeNAS the partitions were such that my vdevs were 12.

Now in FreeBSD one can use the gnop hack to get 12, or simply partition in such a way like starting the partition on 1M block which will allow 12 as well.

No one auto 12's your vdevs other then FreeNAS since its partitioning for you.  In ZoL, Solaris, FreeBSD, one must consciously force the 12.  I'll bet Nexenta also defaults to 9 and will check this week.

- aurf

On Oct 27, 2013, at 10:25 AM, C. P. Ghost wrote:

> On Sun, Oct 27, 2013 at 5:13 PM, aurfalien <aurfalien at> wrote:
> I've tested with and w/o swap on a ZFS data set and have seen no degradation in ZFS performance.
> That's interesting. Are you using a box with AES-NI instructions or just
> plain ZFS (without encryption)?
> That's one of the reasons I'm still undecided. With FreeBSD, I could set up
> swap on a dedicated slice/mirror without going through ZFS/GELI; which
> is important on older CPUs that don't have AES-NI instructions. I'm quite
> afraid of the performance hit if swap is on ZFS/GELI.
> Any changes made can be backed up to a file and restored on a fresh install etc... which is simply either the ability to resort to defaults and reboot or a fresh USB key.
> That's a very useful feature indeed. I just booted a server with a USB
> key containing the FreeNAS image, and it works like a charm. Maybe
> something similar would be possible with plain vanilla FreeBSD; will
> have to investigate.
> So its more then just a GUI.
> Indeed.
> However they do not have a well defined or a defined for that matter, roadmap.
> Yup, that's the other concern I have with FreeNAS.
> The most important question would be: would FreeNAS ZFS/GELI volumes
> be importable into a regular FreeBSD system, should I decide to switch back
> to FreeBSD (e.g. if FreeNAS ceases to be supported/updated sometimes)?
> I suppose yes, provided the keys are properly backed up, but without testing,
> I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
> Thanks,
> -cpghost.
> -- 
> Cordula's Web.

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