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FreeNAS 11.2 new GUI suggestions and discussion thread

Bungo

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It's surprising, and a little disappointing, to see the "why do we need a new GUI?" folks come out again--
I could take offence there at the label as I'll explain below, but we'll move on...

I think this conversation has long gone past (and barely grazed the subject of) the why, it's more a why of all things did they do *that*.

The issue of the layout and usability of the old UI is different to it's ability to be maintained and I think the main contributors to this latest part of the discussion recognise this (and have said as much). The issue is where it is headed, the scaleability, efficiency of use, and compatibility with actively used browsers in SMEs (ie. IE).

The comparison with the old UI is largely highlighting what was functional and for the most part worked, as a comparison to that which now clearly doesn't match it. As an improvement (as updates should be) it's in the negative by almost all metrics other than prettiness...

Scalability, Efficiency, Useability = fail.
 
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Chris Moore

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I wouldn't even say that the new UI is pretty and pretty should not be a consideration.
Function is what is important.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

Ericloewe

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For the record: Comparisons with the old GUI are fine in this thread.

What I'd like to avoid is the "just keep the old GUI" speech, since it pollutes the thread.

Of course "the old GUI was better in this regard because ..." is totally reasonable.

I hope that this will allow the discussion to focus on how to improve the new GUI, as it has mostly been so far.
 

danb35

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pretty should not be a consideration.
Nonsense; attractiveness of the UI is most definitely a valid concern. More important than function? No, of course not--but it should also look good. To the extent there's a concern about attracting new users, and the GUI is what distinguishes FreeNAS from straight FreeBSD, it would be nice if the GUI looked like it was designed this century.
 

Bungo

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One thing I would like to see that the old UI didn't do is more disk setup and failure recovery functions.
  • If a disk dies, it simply is removed from the disk list. There are no UI functions to identify it (ie. being able to see the serial number and make of drive before it failed), and that it has failed instead of just disappearing. This makes tracking down a failed drive a matter of making a list of the ones that remain listed in the GUI and physically comparing it to the ones installed to locate the one that is not in the list. Not the most efficient way of doing it, especially if it not in enterprise hardware (where things aren't neatly arranged on backplanes and such).
  • Having GUI functions to offline/online/replace and resilver drives after failures would be good. Currently all of this is done on the CLI, which I would think a GUI was supposed to minimise, and they are very basic functions of disk/array management that are absent.
  • Also, being able to setup ZFS pool to partitions on drives instead of just the whole drive would be nice. Currently I have a small FreeBSD swap partition in the first couple of gigs of the drive, and a second partition with ZFS that is slightly smaller than the remaining space (to allow for small variations in drive capacity). To do this I need to partition the disks in gpart and then create the pool, export the pool (because the UI isn't aware of it), go into the UI and import it. It would be nice to do most of that in the UI from the beginning. Also, if I replace a drive, I need to use the CLI to prepare that drive's partitions to put in the pool. It would be nice for a GUI section to do most of the gpart create/add/backup/restore/delete/destroy functions on each disk.
  • Being able to export the drive list, pool/datastore/zvol list to CSV or HTML for documentation would be a nice addition as well.
  • It would be nice to see in the drive list, which pool each drive (or partition) is in.
cheers

EDIT: Oh, and put the Fibre Channel Management in the free version... ;)
 
Last edited:

Chris Moore

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To the extent there's a concern about attracting new users,
I guess that is a concern. You want to be able to draw people in with the flashing bells and whistles...
Having GUI functions to offline/online/replace
There is a GUI for replacing drives.
Being able to export the drive list, pool/datastore/zvol list to CSV or HTML for documentation would be a nice addition as well.
That would be nice.
It would be nice to see in the drive list, which pool each drive (or partition) is in.
Like this:
Code:
partition  zpool		 device  disk					 size  serial		 rpm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
da18p2	 Backup		da18	ATA ST5000DM000-1FK1	 5000  W4J1xxxx	  5980
da19p2	 Backup		da19	ATA ST5000DM000-1FK1	 5000  W4J1xxxx	  5980
da20p2	 Backup		da20	ATA ST5000DM000-1FK1	 5000  W4J1xxxx	  5980
da21p2	 Backup		da21	ATA ST5000DM000-1FK1	 5000  W4J1xxxx	  5980
da12p2	 Emily		 da12	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z307xxxx	  5900
da13p2	 Emily		 da13	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z307xxxx	  5900
da14p2	 Emily		 da14	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z307xxxx	  5900
da15p2	 Emily		 da15	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z305xxxx	  5900
da16p2	 Emily		 da16	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z307xxxx	  5900
da17p2	 Emily		 da17	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z305xxxx	  5900
da29p2	 Emily		 da29	ATA ST2000DM001-1ER1	 2000  Z4Z3xxxx	  7200
da30p2	 Emily		 da30	ATA ST2000DM001-1ER1	 2000  Z4Z2xxxx	  7200
da31p2	 Emily		 da31	ATA ST2000DM001-1ER1	 2000  W4Z2xxxx	  7200
da32p2	 Emily		 da32	ATA ST2000DM001-1ER1	 2000  W4Z2xxxx	  7200
da33p2	 Emily		 da33	ATA ST2000DM001-1ER1	 2000  Z4Z3xxxx	  7200
da34p2	 Emily		 da34	ATA ST2000DM001-1ER1	 2000  Z4Z3xxxx	  7200
da36p2	 Irene		 da36	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z301xxxx	  5900
da37p2	 Irene		 da37	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  S300xxxx	  5900
da38p2	 Irene		 da38	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z301xxxx	  5900
da39p2	 Irene		 da39	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z301xxxx	  5900
da40p2	 Irene		 da40	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z301xxxx	  5900
da41p2	 Irene		 da41	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  S300xxxx	  5900
da42p2	 Irene		 da42	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z301xxxx	  5900
da43p2	 Irene		 da43	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  W300xxxx	  5900
da44p2	 Irene		 da44	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z301xxxx	  5900
da45p2	 Irene		 da45	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z300xxxx	  5900
da46p2	 Irene		 da46	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z301xxxx	  5900
da47p2	 Irene		 da47	ATA ST4000DM000-1F21	 4000  Z301xxxx	  5900
ada0p2	 freenas-boot  ada0	FUJITSU MHW2040BS		  40  NZ05xxxx	   ???
ada1p2	 freenas-boot  ada1	FUJITSU MHW2040BS		  40  NZ05xxxx	   ???
da0p2	  iSCSI		 da0	 HITACHI HUSSL4010BSS600   100  XSVTxxxx		 0
da1p2	  iSCSI		 da1	 HITACHI HUSSL4010BSS600   100  XSVTxxxx		 0
da2p1	  iSCSI		 da2	 HITACHI HUSSL4010BSS600   100  XSVNxxxx		 0
da3p1	  iSCSI		 da3	 HITACHI HUSSL4010BSS600   100  XSVMxxxx		 0
da4p2	  iSCSI		 da4	 ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  Z3TGxxxx	  7200
da5p2	  iSCSI		 da5	 ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  Z3TFxxxx	  7200
da6p1	  iSCSI		 da6	 ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  S3T2xxxx	  7200
da7p1	  iSCSI		 da7	 ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  Z6E3xxxx	  7200
da8p1	  iSCSI		 da8	 ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  W3T4xxxx	  7200
da9p1	  iSCSI		 da9	 ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  W2ANxxxx	  7200
da10p2	 iSCSI		 da10	ATA ST1000DX001-1NS1	 1000  Z4YBxxxx	  7200
da11p2	 iSCSI		 da11	ATA ST1000DX001-1NS1	 1000  Z4YBxxxx	  7200
da22p1	 iSCSI		 da22	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  W2AKxxxx	  7200
da23p1	 iSCSI		 da23	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  Z3TPxxxx	  7200
da24p1	 iSCSI		 da24	ATA ST500DM002-1SB10	  500  ZA44xxxx	  7200
da25p1	 iSCSI		 da25	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  Z6EKxxxx	  7200
da26p1	 iSCSI		 da26	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  Z6EExxxx	  7200
da27p1	 iSCSI		 da27	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  S2AHxxxx	  7200
da28p1	 iSCSI		 da28	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  S2AHxxxx	  7200
da35p2	 iSCSI		 da35	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  Z3T1xxxx	  7200
 

Bungo

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Jun 16, 2018
Messages
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Code:
partition  zpool		 device  disk					 size  serial		 rpm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
da18p2	 Backup		da18	ATA ST5000DM000-1FK1	 5000  W4J1xxxx	  5980
da19p2	 Backup		da19	ATA ST5000DM000-1FK1	 5000  W4J1xxxx	  5980
<<snip>>
da27p1	 iSCSI		 da27	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  S2AHxxxx	  7200
da28p1	 iSCSI		 da28	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  S2AHxxxx	  7200
da35p2	 iSCSI		 da35	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  Z3T1xxxx	  7200

Where's that last one?

Must have missed it... :oops:
 

Chris Moore

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Code:
partition  zpool		 device  disk					 size  serial		 rpm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
da18p2	 Backup		da18	ATA ST5000DM000-1FK1	 5000  W4J1xxxx	  5980
da19p2	 Backup		da19	ATA ST5000DM000-1FK1	 5000  W4J1xxxx	  5980
<<snip>>
da27p1	 iSCSI		 da27	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  S2AHxxxx	  7200
da28p1	 iSCSI		 da28	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  S2AHxxxx	  7200
da35p2	 iSCSI		 da35	ATA ST500DM002-1BD14	  500  Z3T1xxxx	  7200

Where's that last one?

Must have missed it... :oops:
They are all there, just not in order by drive number. I had a drive replacement due to a faulted drive and the new drive got the next number. My drives keep the same number regardless of what bay they are connected to. I can shuffle them like a deck of cards and the da# stays with the drive.
 

Chris Moore

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Bungo

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Yes, something like that, but in the UI.

Also...

This one is a bit out there, but I'll throw the idea up...

Maybe, some sort of ability to have what you might call a centralised management of (for want of a better term) 'pool' or 'cluster' or grouping of NAS devices with certain common elements (NTP servers, DNS servers/search domain, timezone, common tunables, sysvol, rolling upgrade (one download, progressive update across multiple devices), common workgroup... I'm sure the list can expand to a great many things that are common to multiple NAS devices). I have 4 and there are a lot of things that are just repeated over and over. You could just add and remove NAS devices to your central management 'console' and manage them all from one place. When you add a new NAS to the console, it inherits the settings you have defined as being common and 1/2 the job is done...voila!

Just to clarify, I don't mean to cluster/pool the data or zfs pools, just centrally manage the configuration of multiple devices.

It's a bit out there but anyway...just the seed of a thought...
 
Last edited:

danb35

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Currently I have a small FreeBSD swap partition in the first couple of gigs of the drive, and a second partition with ZFS that is slightly smaller than the remaining space (to allow for small variations in drive capacity).
This is how FreeNAS sets up disks by default, so I'm not sure why you feel the need to do it manually at the CLI.
Having GUI functions to offline/online/replace
All these are present in the old GUI; I assume they're in the new one as well (or will be by release).
 

Bungo

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I realise FreeNAS does this by default to a degree (not the slightly smaller bit), I cannot see in the UI where it shows you this detail when creating or manipulating the disks, you are just presented with a whole disk. Even though that is what it is doing it is not letting on about it when it does it in the UI (it becomes obvious when you use the CLI, or a view that displays a CLI output). You might also want to partition cache drives (for example) for ZIL and ARC partitions. Not best practice I know but when your hardware or budget is limited best practice isn't always practical.

I had never seen the disk replace buttons burried down there so many levels deep. I feel less ignorant now. Once you get past the a certain level of menus and buttons and dialogues, the CLI got a whole lot easier so I didn't dig any further on that score I have to admit...

It would be nice to have that view style used by the volume manager but with the details from the "zpool status" output that covers all the pools and their disks at the same time, tidied up as a (potentially collapsable) table, and potentially as an active page that updated the same as "zpool status 1" does. You could highlight in colour the line for a failing disk or a missing one (easy to see there is a problem for those with their monitoring screen not so close/convenient). An active page would enable you to monitor your resilvering or your drives failing in real-time, and maybe be able to do pool disk manipulation tasks directly from there rather than having to dive into modal dialogues via buttons at the bottom. Then you can offline a disk that is rapidly failing quickly with a right click rather than having to wait for modal forms and form loading progress bars to do the same. You could just about do basic management of the whole storage system just from that one view right there.

Is there a reason why the volume manager view has 2 levels for the pool with buttons that do different things (in the legacy UI)? I can see that one has the raw size and a status, and the sub-entry has the useable size and zfs option details like compression and such, but why? Zpool status or zfs list don't include a second view of the same detail? I'm sure there is a reason but it escapes me as to what it is that can't be served with one entry?
 

danb35

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I had never seen the disk replace buttons burried down there so many levels deep.
Or, apparently, read the manual, or the resources, or... Disk replacement has been in the GUI since roughly forever (with the exception of The Release That Must Not Be Named). Disk offline has as well. Online is more recent, it's true, but it's been there for at least a few releases.
Is there a reason why the volume manager view has 2 levels for the pool
Yes, and this is also discussed in the manual (and extensively on the forums, especially soon after the release of 9.3 which made this change). The first entry is for the pool itself; the second is for the implicit or root dataset on that pool.
Even though that is what it is doing it is not letting on about it when it does it in the UI
Why is it important that it should do this? You're right that the freebsd-zfs partition is the remaining size of the disk, rather than being slightly smaller; the purpose of the swap partition is to account for possible discrepancies in capacity with replacement disks.
 

Chris Moore

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I realise FreeNAS does this by default to a degree
I think some of the problems you are having would have been solved by reading the documentation.
Other times you are asking for a capacity that doesn't exist.
It will help if you are able to separate the things that are feature requests and submit tickets for those into the redmine system.


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danb35

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I've realized that, in addressing the parts of @Bungo's suggestions that are already in the GUI or underlying OS, I've neglected something that isn't--a dynamic Storage page of the sort he describes would be a great improvement. I doubt we'll see it in 11.2 (as I understand it, that's supposed to essentially a port of the old GUI to the new framework), but hopefully in 11.3.
 

danpoleary

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Nov 29, 2013
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I searched for an answer but could not find anything. Why doe the new UI not get account changes from the shell using pw? I was trying to change an account to match my old freenas box from UI, and no luck. I was able to change it using shell and pw command, and it shows changed in master.passwd, but no change in UI even after restart.
 

danb35

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Why doe the new UI not get account changes from the shell using pw?
Because the system shouldn't be managed from the shell but from the GUI. The old GUI worked this way too.
 

danpoleary

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I know that, but the new GUI will not let me change the id of a user, so I tried from shell. If you notice from my original post, I first tried from the new GUI. I found out that the old GUI let me change the id. I guess this is a bug in new GUI.
 

Chris Moore

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ech1965

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My 0.02€:

group member management ( http://doc.freenas.org/11.2/account.html#groups )

IMHO, a few labels are missing ... it not clear at all which list contains the "available" users and which one contain the users belonging to the group ( maybe replacing the < > with 'add to group' , 'remove from group' would be enough
 
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