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FreeNAS 11.2 new GUI suggestions and discussion thread

Chris Moore

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Constantin

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I don't think that is a very accurate depiction of the situation. I don't recall ever seeing anyone say they deserved to loose data, but there is often nothing we can do to help.
Just to be clear (and on reflection, my post wasn't), I was referring to other forums re: rabid fans defending the actions of whatever OEM. Not so here. Here, the community tends to be far more even-keeled. I will edit that post to clarify. Thanks for pointing that out.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
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I really like the feel of 11.2 UI. Very nice job! And double points for defaulting to dark template.

And now some critique/questions/suggestions..
1:
Being able to edit the layout of the dashboard would be great. Since it kind of has that look, when i first logged in i immediately thought "oooo sweet customizable dashboard!", and tried to find the spot where the cursor turns into the 4 way pointer, or even the 2 way pointer :(

2:
This one really confuses the **** out of me actually.. Maybe its just a bug? But for me under Storage -> Pools, everything starts off collapsed and there is no "expand all" button (as far as i can tell).. why!?

And just as a QoL thing, it would be nice if clicking on the dataset name would also expand/collapse them. Instead of just the arrow.

3:
It would be super if this showed usable free space, and not the physically free space.. i still don't understand why i would care about unusable "free" space lol
1546875157816.png
 

Chris Moore

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It would be super if this showed usable free space, and not the physically free space.. i still don't understand why i would care about unusable "free" space lol
What unusable free space?
 

danb35

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What unusable free space?
Like in my case, I have 12 3tb drives, technically that turns into ~32.4tb of partitioned space. But after being split into 2 z2 vdevs, the resulting usable space is closer to ~20tb.

The dashboard is showing the "technically" free space. But not the usable free space

I assume i'm not using the correct terms, but hopefully you can get the gist of it
 

Chris Moore

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It's the same issue raised here and in at least one other thread I can't find right now.
Thanks. I am still just tinkering with the new version and I had not noticed that.
 

mihai

Newbie
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Dec 9, 2014
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Sorry if this was mentioned before, but one thing that bugged me is that the Pool widget on the Dashboard does not show how much space is consumed (either by number comparison or % free or used - anything!).

I have to click twice:
Storage -> Pools

to see used space.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
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I've been using the system for a few years now and have built my system up a little at a time. I don't use a lot of the bells and whistles preferring to use separate vm's for that kind of thing, so I am only using it as a NAS. I probably wouldn't be considered a typical user as my unit now has 33 disks in it. I have them separated into 4 RAIDZ1 sets with 6 disks each, the remainder of the drives are USB and are used as a backup of the data on the RAID volumes just in case. After 4 years of constant use, power outages, drive failures and user errors I have to say the system has been nothing but ROCK SOLID and I haven't lost a single ounce of data. I believe that following the hardware suggestions of others in the forum is probably the reason I've had such a good experience.

Every once in a while I check out the progress on the new UI, and I'm encouraged with what I see as it is going. I do get errors on the dashboard about missing rrd info on at least one of the drives and it can't find "summary" for the network.general but overall it is looking nice. Some things don't give quite as much information as the old UI, however it may just be in a different location and I haven't found it yet.

My GUI suggestion though comes due to the number of disks I have. When I go to reporting and look through the graphs I get 296 pages of 5 on graphs. Navigating this is impossible, it is a long list of graphs to scroll down through in the old UI but at least it was on 1 page. There needs to be a way to consolidate the graphs down so you can scroll through and get an idea of what is happening. Some ideas might be a way to filter for all graphs pertaining to a disk or a pool. Maybe a way to filter for graphs by function as well. I would like to see a grid view rather than a list. For example all the graphs for a disk on a row with a row for each disk and then group them by pool with filters so you could turn on/off graphs you don't want to see at the moment. This would make smaller graphs where you could drill in to a single graph for a more detailed look.
 

TigerXtrm

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Apr 26, 2012
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Just started using the new UI for about a week. I won't be making a lengthy post right now, but the most important observations are these:

  • Dashboard displays the amount of free space, which would be useful if it actually displayed the right amount. Right now it displays the free space without taking pool parity into consideration. My "4TiB" free is actually 2.1TiB after parity. So right now this dashboard info is useless.
  • On that subject... WHY for the love of everything holy does the 'Pools' page display the pool size in TiB but the dataset size in TB?! Numbers become completely unreliable in this UI.
  • Lists. Anything that is a list (like datasets in a pool) need alternating row colors for obvious reasons. Plugins page has this, datasets don't. Why?
  • When an item is expanded in the left hand menu that needs an alternate color as well, to distinguish it from the rest of the menu.
  • The new shell is a major improvement, but I have yet to discover how to paste commands into this shiny new window.
  • The theme designer is honestly a great addition and very good first step to having a custom UI.
  • Lastly I agree with many others here that the UI wastes a lot of space. The previous UI was arguably too small and compact for modern standards, but the new UI takes it to the other extreme. There has to be a middle ground somewhere.
 

danb35

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I have yet to discover how to paste commands into this shiny new window.
On a Mac, the standard keyboard commands (Command-C, Command-V, etc.) work. I've seen reported that in Windows, Shift-Insert does a paste.
Right now it displays the free space without taking pool parity into consideration.
It's using the result of zpool list rather than zfs list. There's a ticket in to change that (and I agree it's a change that should be made).
 

Z300M

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Sep 9, 2011
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862
I haven't read many of the previous messages in this thread, but has anybody mentioned the speed? I found it painfully slow when I was trying to select snapshots to delete. I went back to the legacy interface.
 

l@e

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Nov 4, 2013
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139
I did the upgrade only from few days.
Till now only the new ui hangs and attemt to reconnect to the server. It is not a big issue becuse after 2-3 seconds it connect again with the server.
Any way to customize the dashboard elememnts or create sub dashboards?
 
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I started a topic on suggesting a setting for the constant darkening and brightening on the opening and closing of dialogues in the UI and how it hurts my eyes that I had to hide the elements.

I should have posted it here instead.
 

Evertb1

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Clipper

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Mar 5, 2019
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As a new FreeNAS user the first thing I did was to blink 10 times, figure out how to switch to the old GUI and immediately felt comfortable. Then, before posting a rant about the plague of "graphic artists" pretending to understand user interface design and leading to Windows 8-10 Metro crap, I have read the 16 pages of this thread (and a previous one) to understand what the current status was.

Apparently, ~2 years after, the biggest issues which are also the simplest have not changed a iota. Why is there half an inch wasted space between every single line ? Wouldn't it take a couple days to develop a font selector and a padding field in the settings ? I have only 5 disks for now and I already can't see the information I need on my 1920x1080 20" screen :oops:. What's the timeline for:
  • Ability to select a font (even just a choice e.g. Tiny, Small, Massive, Ridiculous (current))
  • Ability to change the current half-an-inch padding around every piece of text, field, columns and lines (this itself would solve 50% of all rants)
  • Switch from "Field under Label" to "Field next to Label" (Did someone notice that screens are mostly horizontal ?)
  • Ability to auto-save the columns setup in a cookie or something (if not in the profile). Currently we *can* see some useful information by resizing/adding columns, but it's lost on every connection... what's the use of even allowing it if not saving it ?
I really got the point about why there is a new GUI. What I don't understand is why the redesign made it so different. If it was motivated by a technology change, then staying close to the old design would have been logical. Also, I agree that functionality cannot be the only driver and that visual attractiveness is important.... but not at the expense of functionality. I'm still puzzled by the nonsense of having bigger and bigger screens, higher and higher resolutions while at the same time less and less information.

I'm sticking to the old GUI for now. no big deal ;)
Clipper
 

diskdiddler

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Jul 9, 2014
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Apparently, ~2 years after, the biggest issues which are also the simplest have not changed a iota. Why is there half an inch wasted space between every single line ? Wouldn't it take a couple days to develop a font selector and a padding field in the settings ? I have only 5 disks for now and I already can't see the information I need on my 1920x1080 20" screen :oops:. What's the timeline for:
I try not to be negative but this is pretty bang on, the new one is just such a space hog :/
It's come a long way - it's now relatively usable - however if I'm in 'panic mode' and wanting to focus and check something (snapshots for example) I instantly go to the old UI.
 
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Sep 3, 2013
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Ok, here's my feedback on the new UI. I wanted to let it mature a little bit so I don't sound too critical :), but I think it's been out for a while now, so my feedback is about due.

First, I would like to say that the modern look-n-feel is really a welcome improvement from the old UI, which has certainly started showing its age.

Things that are welcome:
- The single way of accessing various features. In the old UI you could get into some pages by either using the top menubar, or by the items in the left pane, which was certainly confusing, especially for new users.
- The color theme customization
- The fine-grained graphs on the dashboard page (I don't have to wait 10 minutes for the graphs to update)

Now for some constructive criticism :). Please bare with me :
- It would be nice for the dashboard to be customizable. Levels of customization that I thinking about: (a) the type of boxes and their ordering (drag-n-drop to reorder would be nice), and (b) nformation that is presented in each one of the boxes.
- The "Reports" page is next to useless. In the old UI, I lived out of the reports page and I was able to get an idea (for example) of how much were the disks accessed (the most important aspect for me) just by looking at the disk pane. I can't do that with the new UI. Below are some issues that bug me in the Reports page:
a. Each device or metric (each box) is way too big to be useful. I can barely fit 1.5 box in my screen (on a 1080p monitor).
b. It would be nice to merge multiple metrics in one box (for example what the old UI did with CPU information), to save screen space
c. Please rename some of the entries to something more obvious: I think disc_octets means disk throughput, but I am still not sure
d. Please re-work the units for some metrics. Seeing a write bandwidth (disc_octets) of 34529493.33 is kinda useless.
e. Large number of CPUs needs better sorting. Right now I see: cpu0 | cpu1 | cpu10 | .. | cpu2 | cpu20 | cpu21, etc.
f. Similarly, the following is kinda painful: "Items per page: 20. 1-20 of 74", where all I want to see is a glimpse of my CPU information.
g. When the items per page is large, performance is too slow. It needs to be faster.
h. Under the "Disk" page, in my opinion the order of metrics have to change. For example, the default page of disk_time for the 1st device (which most likely will be the boot drive) is almost always not what I'm looking for.
i. The graphs try to smooth out transitions, but sometimes order 0 (step) or order 1 (linear interpolation) maybe a better solution. Trying to interpolate with a spline undershoots and overshoots on a step transition and provides false information.
j. Similar to (h) but for the Network pane. In my opinion it's more important to see network throughput rather than network errors by default.
k. Under the Partition pane, again the units needs some rework. Seeing 44362237045494.45 does not mean much.
l. Again under the Partition page, the "Total" metric is meaningless. Ditto for some other metrics, like disk temperature.
m. General comment: Items under the graph need a better algorithm for tabulation. Right now things are not always aligned when the number is too big. For example, it would be nice to have a heading with "Current", "Min", "Max", "Avg" and "Total" instead of repeating it on each line.
- For "Shell" and "System processes" it would be nice to have a way to quit the window, as opposed to leaving it by selection another tab. The current model makes you feel that you left something running.
- When you display "Groups" or "Users" (or any other kind of page that has a lot of items to be displayed), there is no progress indicator, so it makes you wonder what's going on (until it populates). The only way I know I need to wait is that the bottom line says something confusing like "1-0 of 20".
- In many pages that show a list of items, too many columns are being displayed, so you only see half the information. Usually the 3 dots that show you the options are way out on the far right, and makes you wonder how you can perform certain actions. Yes, it's functional, but it's not good UI design.
- In configuration pages, the length of each line is too long, and the help question mark (?) is all the way to the right, which is kinda awkward. Either have the help button closer to the description, or somehow resize the contents to make it easier to the eye.
- I have some issues logging in sometimes (Safari browser). I put in my login credentials, and I have to waiting forever. If I reload the page, then I'm logged in to the Dashboard page.


All in all, I think the new UI has a great potential! Yes, I know, baby steps, crawk-walk-run. I love FreeNAS, I've been using it for close to 8 years now. The stability and underlying OS support (mainly because of FreeBSD) is great. I do want to see the new UI match the beauty of the implementation.

Thank you for such a great product!!

George
 

ShimadaRiku

Newbie
Joined
Aug 28, 2015
Messages
93
The new UI is pretty, slick and visually refreshing. However, usability wise it is a downgrade in some areas and feels less responsive. Less information is displayed or takes more clicks to access. Items are tucked away into drop down menu requiring more clicks. Information sometimes uses too much empty space.

For example, the storage view.

https://i.imgur.com/cSOSF9p.png
Old UI a single click shows all the relevant information for each pool/datasets

https://i.imgur.com/ULFJsGW.png
New UI a single click gives you this

https://i.imgur.com/NMv1Mot.png
Takes 4 additional clicks to get same information as the old UI since everything is neatly collapsed. Maybe neat if it can remember the state it was last in. If you edit options of a dataset, everything is once again collapsed.
 
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