Future of nanoBSD images for CF Cards



  • Hello,
    I don't want to spread rumors, but I am quite sure that I read somewhere, that the nanoBSD based CF card images won't be developed anymore in the near future. And that we all would have to switch to "Full install" for future updates. Is this true, or did I misunderstand anything?
    Reason is, we are planing to order new network appliances for our customers, but typically we would buy boards with CF card slots and 4GB CF cards. But we don't won't to take something on stock, if it won't be supported anymore.

    Thanks for helping me out!



  • Kind of depends on your definition of "near future".

    I'm not an employee and not privy to internal planning of the product we know and love as pfSense….

    Certainly version(s) 2.3.x currently have and I expect will continue to have nanoBSD support.
    As early as version 2.4(?) it's entirely possible that nano versions (and 32-bit as well?????) will be dropped.

    As to when that future will appear?  Get a good crystal ball and tell us, we'd love to know.  My personal guess (big emphasis on guess) is no sooner than 2017 and no later than 2020.

    Given the price/availability/reliability/performance of other "flash-type" alternatives (SSD, etc.) I'm personally not too worried about the event.
    If you're planning buys for 3 years+, I'd look at SSD anything less than 1 I'd say CF is OK.

    As always - YMMV, these views and $2.50 will get you a cup of coffee, this advice is worth what you paid for it, etc. etc.

    Just my $.02



  • @Starko:

    Reason is, we are planing to order new network appliances for our customers, but typically we would buy boards with CF card slots and 4GB CF cards. But we don't won't to take something on stock, if it won't be supported anymore.

    You can make your own NanoBSD-like CF cards from the full-install method:
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=109772.0
    It will not have 2 slices, but apart from that, it will be the same as NanoBSD was (/tmp and /var in RAM, etc). You can make an image yourself with dd from such an installed CF, and deduplicate that to the appliances (just make sure you restore a factory default config each time).


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    2.4 is coming later this year, not long after the release of FreeBSD 11. Unless plans change from now to then, it won't have i386 or NanoBSD.

    2.3.x will still be supported for some time after that with security/errata fixes but it won't have the newer base OS or features found in 2.4.

    If you perform a full install but put /tmp and /var in RAM it will still have limited writes, unless you add packages into the mix that would write a lot.

    2.4 will also have ZFS which is a much more stable and robust filesystem in the long run, with less concern for loss. ZFS snapshots could have a similar, if not better, net effect than NanoBSD had with less fuss involved.

    Get a high quality SSD and forget CF ever existed. :-)



  • @jimp:

    2.4 is coming later this year, not long after the release of FreeBSD 11. Unless plans change from now to then, it won't have i386 or NanoBSD.

    what a pity  :(
    I just bought a watchguard x550e, still not in use and won't be able to update anymore later this year  :'(


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    The plan is to still have security/errata updates to 2.3.x, just not feature updates. So you can be up to date just not using the latest features. We've been carrying along old hardware far too long. Lots of other projects are going the same route. We barely have any i386 hardware around anymore to test on, and what we do have is barely worth using in today's networks. And by dropping i386 and NanoBSD it frees up more of our time for things like ARM.

    NanoBSD was good for what it was at the time, but everything has pretty much outgrown it and as time goes on, it's having more and more problems with FreeBSD in general. See 2.3.x and what happened to NanoBSD there. We had to force permanent read/write for everyone in 2.3.1 just to have anything resembling stability on NanoBSD. Its time has come and gone.



  • @jimp:

    The plan is to still have security/errata updates to 2.3.x, just not feature updates. So you can be up to date just not using the latest features. We've been carrying along old hardware far too long. Lots of other projects are going the same route. We barely have any i386 hardware around anymore to test on, and what we do have is barely worth using in today's networks. And by dropping i386 and NanoBSD it frees up more of our time for things like ARM.

    NanoBSD was good for what it was at the time, but everything has pretty much outgrown it and as time goes on, it's having more and more problems with FreeBSD in general. See 2.3.x and what happened to NanoBSD there. We had to force permanent read/write for everyone in 2.3.1 just to have anything resembling stability on NanoBSD. Its time has come and gone.

    yes I do understand….
    can you suggest any hardware x64 to run it not so much pricey?
    I'm actually running it inside a VM and I'm quite satisfied with the setup I made, but I'm thinking to switch to a real appliance..



  • can you suggest any hardware x64 to run it not so much pricey?

    Axiomtek NA342D or Axiomtek NA342R


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