The FreeNAS developers have begun providing release candidates for version 8 of their highly acclaimed embedded NAS operating system.
One thing I did not include with my original articles (Parts 1, 2, 3) regarding FreeNAS and the Acer H340 was the shutdown command/process not actually shutting the machine down. If you were to hit the power button on the device, you would hear the shutdown initialization *beep* as it began the shutdown process. After a few seconds, the network light on the front would go out but the power remained on. It was safe to hold the power button down to finish shutting the hardware off but who wants to do that?
Additionally, attempting to shut the machine down through the web interface would result in the same state - OS has unloaded but the server remains on.
I am happy to report that with the latest release candidate of FreeNAS 8, you can completely shutdown your box from the web interface or from hitting the power button!
Unfortunately the NIC issue still appears to be a problem. I attempted to transfer files over gigabit using the onboard NIC and it locked up. Since I had purchased a PCI-E add-on NIC, and it still works just as fast, I am fine for now. Though it would be nice to see the drivers for the onboard realtek NIC to be fixed, so you could have options like failover, load balancing, or just use it as your only NIC and install a nice Sans Digital TowerRAID solution with PCI-E eSATA card.
My next article regarding FreeNAS 8 will be a complete rewrite of my original articles as the installation, interface, and configuration is different.