[Out from under a rock] Updating CORE (freebsd-update)

I’m just learning about CORE going EOL. My initial reaction is that I don’t really feel like “upgrading” to systemd so I’ll have to start looking into something else (Although, this feels like a “base FreeBSD” answer may be easier in the long run).

I haven’t done any research into this, and this is “over simplistic” at best: I assume freebsd-update has been removed from TrueNAS base system but has anyone done any testing to see if that would work to upgrade the OS to plain FreeBSD with little/no downtime?

Obviously, if the freebsd-update worked, it would kill the GUI but this shouldn’t cause a major problem otherwise…right (pools, jails, etc)? Talk me in off the ledge, please.


Others more knowledgeable with how it is built can say better, give more info, etc, but I had taken PC-BSD from its customized state into a more updated FreeBSD. PC-BSD was based on FreeBSD but with many scripts and other nice things layered on top of it. I did not use the freebsd-update process because I believe this was too long ago for that to have been a thing, or if not, I suspect it wasn’t possible due to some other custom thing or reason. When I did this, I was heading toward abandoning PC-BSD anyway, so any breakages I experienced were a short prelude to going full FreeBSD, eventually to the stable branch.

What I believe may be true for you, is that you certainly could update to a newer FreeBSD “under the hood” but that there is potential that the cost may be some feature breakage. As I said, I do not know how the NAS is coded, so I can only guess. The process of updating properly could cause some of the configurations or scripts to be either removed or modified or disabled. Supposing some things which are not set by default become restored to such a state due to how a proper update occurs.

If you were to do it, I believe an update via source may be the most successful route though it can be a bit more involved than freebsd-update, and should you head this direction, I would make note of such things as rc.conf, loader.conf, and where any other customizations may reside. It is possible that if these things are kept safe and then restored, much of the function could be maintained after an update. Only those much more knowledgeable with the NAS software stuff would be able to say.

However, yes, I believe pools and other zfs things would be safe regardless of the OS change, as FreeBSD would still be compatible with it (assuming rc.conf or loader.conf settings related to ZFS remain enabled). Jails should also be safe, but there may need to be some care taken depending on how those are configured, whether integrated with zfs function (there exists some ‘jail/jailed’ setting I believe) and anything that may be in rc.conf or loader.conf.

Others are very welcome to relate what they know and correct any misconceptions I may have etc.

Core is EOL? News to me, everything I’ve seen seems to suggest otherwise. :confused:

What is meant by “upgrade the OS to plain FreeBSD”? I’m not sure what your perception of TrueNAS is, but it’s not intended to be your typical “OS, but with a face on it”.

That being said, your ZFS pool is portable to any other install so long as your version of the ZFS tools is at or further than the feature level TrueNAS is using, so if you yank your boot pool and make a fresh install on a new boot drive, you can simply import the pool and work from there. Things like your shares, jails, settings, etc obviously won’t come over, but if all you’re looking for is not having to re-create your ZFS pools there’s nothing stopping you from doing the above. :person_shrugging:

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CORE is not EOL. We just released 13.3-BETA1 last week (for which we would welcome more beta testers :wink:) and are planning on a stable release in a few months time.

New feature development is primarily focused on SCALE at this point, but we plan on continuing support and maintenance for CORE for years to come.


I’m wondering where the confusion that CORE is EOL has come from, I’ve seen quite a few users mentioning this.

If I had to guess I would think that maintenance updates would continue until at least 2026 (when FreeBSD 13 goes EOL). No idea what plans from iX would be after that point though.

‘EOL’ was meant more tongue-and-cheek, but I understand that will not be taken that way (bad taste). pointy-hat → me but I will attempt to explain my thoughts (right, wrong, otherwise).

I use BSD because I want rock-solid. I bought into FreeNAS because I got tired of maintaining BSD(s) (they do that, I click the button, yay). The statement: “TrueNAS CORE users will have the ability to ‘sidegrade’ to SCALE when they’re ready” is falling away from that rock-solid stance. And the statement “most of the innovation we rely on comes from Linux so why don’t we switch to that” pushes that rock-solid stance off the cliff (Linux is solid too but I just don’t want to be on the bleeding edge).

I don’t know what they mean by “CORE will continue to receive stability and security updates” (-i.e. only updates related to the interface or to the core OS or to tools?). So, if CORE is moving to maintenance mode that means I will be doing maintenance again, and if I’m going to be doing maintenance again, I may as well get prepared. …Tell me what happens in 2+ years if a security issue is discovered in IOCAGE and need to switch methods (-i.e. infrastructure type maintenance).

I guess I have about 2 years (and change) before things start breaking so I’m starting at the beginning. I’m RTFM (‘F’ is for: FreeBSD) front to back–twice–, making some initial decisions (using ports/pkgs, etc.), choosing my base packages, documenting my system tweaks, etc., etc…

I honestly have never poked around too much inside TrueNAS so yes, to me it is just an ‘OS with a face on it’ (they do that, I click the button, yay). That’s obviously a bit glib–I know how difficult servers are–but that is a testament/homage to all their hard work (I got to take about 8 years off from maintaining a server but at the same time, a lot has changed in those years, and I need to plan).

I loved having one NAS but I also fully expect to be purchasing another mini at the end of that 2-year guesstimate and having two (1 CORE and 1 something else).

Obviously, I don’t intend to just wget that script and run it but the thought of one of my first experiences with BSD where I issued the “wrong RM statement” and deleted “it” came to mind.

What is that?

As someone who believed iX when they first announced SCALE and said that development of CORE wouldn’t be affected, that clearly hasn’t been the case over the past few years. The fact that no new features are being added, and that bugs logged against it are being resolved in SCALE but not in CORE, leave people thinking that CORE is being left to die on the vine. No, iX isn’t (yet) outright killing it, but they aren’t doing much visible to maintain it as a viable product, either–they really haven’t done anything to it that’s visible to the end user since 12.0.

Ah, but they’re working on 13.3! Yes, they are. It removes the shell from the web UI because they can’t be bothered to port the working one from SCALE to replace the broken one in CORE. It removes the S3 service. It fixes a few bugs. It brings in some upstream updates like Samba and rsync. It doesn’t even add Cloudflare as an ACME DNS authenticator, which I thought iX had said would be there.

So no, in the strictest sense of the term, CORE isn’t EOL. But it really looks like it might as well be.


While trying not to diverge too much from the base topic (“getting updates to core OS tools in the future”); why are you using the shell in the UI? I guess, I setup my ~/.ssh/config file on my laptop and just ssh in. I mean, sorry, not trying to tell you the shell UI is wrong (you do you and you have your reasons) but I guess I can see when you’re not on your daily driver and need to perform some basic updates with the UI shell. …ssh is faster for me.

My major contention to sunsetting CORE is based on history. Heartbleed, Shellshock, Python 2.7, pick one. Needing to replace “OpenSSL with LibreSSL in a EOL situation” is a PITA at best.

Good question. Why do SCALE users need a Shell feature in the web UI? I say, we should remove it from SCALE and direct users to fire up SSH in a terminal instead. :wink:


The only such place to “update” or “upgrade” FreeBSD in the context of TrueNAS Core is within a jail.

As long as Core is based on FreeBSD 13.x, then you can upgrade your jails (and the packages within) up until early 2026.

It’s very likely Core users will have to make a decision by then: sidegrade to SCALE or use an alternative NAS/fork.

I don’t know how to quote in this stupid forum software stuff so, imagine I quoted your post here:

Maybe term colors aren’t showing through ssh.

imagine I quoted your next post here:

I guess, at the end of the day, if you had another machine running an up-to-date BSD you could use keep the CORE box EOL and acting as a fileserver (-i.e. edit the FSTAB on the up-to-date machine and just consume the files there). Shouldn’t be much speed loss.

EDIT: I quoted a post earlier; how did I do that?! …whatever, you can use your imagination and or just read my thoughts.

A question I’ve raised many times myself–it’s much faster for me to pull up a Terminal window (I always have a few open anyway) and do ssh root@truenas than to log in to the web GUI. I don’t see much, if any, value in it. But if it’s going to be there, it needs to work. Apparently iX preferred removing it to trying to make it work–one (perceived) indication among many that iX isn’t interested in putting any significant amount of work into CORE.

Highlight the text in question, then click Quote. Like this:

Thanks, just for that, you get quoted.

I have one more step than you. I added an alias in my zshrc for su='su -m' so I can keep a better shell than root’s (root shell “should be” sh–not csh, zsh, etc–and sh sucks to type in/use).

But… I want to get quoted too. :frowning_face: Life is so unfair.


Put ‘want’ in this hand and ‘otherstuff’ in the other hand and see which fills faster. I will quote you when CORE updates.

Damn!? I see that you took advantage of my forum-n00bness. Well played, ninja.

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At the risk of derailing the discussion: because I never ssh as root. I ssh as a normal user, then escalate as necessary. But sudo won’t work for some things and I can’t su (“su: sorry”) and I haven’t gotten around to figuring out how to do these thnigs on FreeBSD rather than Linux. So I use the GUI and grumble.

I’d much rather use ssh, though.

Edit - pmh clued me in. I am a member of the wheel group, but the command I was missing was

sudo su

I’ve never seen that before. Must be something weird about the way I have my Linux box setup, because “su” works without prefacing it with “sudo”. Many thanks to pmh!

It’s convenient.

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Replace “SCALE” with “Core” in my above quote, and hear our collective cries… :pensive:

This I don’t get. If that’s how you use TrueNAS (which is how it’s supposed to be used) then CORE or SCALE makes no difference.

Install, click the buttons and let iX worry about the underlying OS.

Stability wise we’re just arguing about relative maturity then.