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TrueCharts News

Deprecation of TrueNAS SCALE Apps

Like many of you, we’ve been made aware by the decision of iX-Systems to remove Kubernetes from TrueNAS SCALE Electric-Eel onwards. We’re very saddened by this news, as we had some awesome plans in store for all our users, including those on TrueNAS SCALE.

From integrations with popular Kubernetes tools, to our VPN addon and even our latest addition of integrated VolSync S3 backup support, the last few years we’ve spent hundreds of hours pushing the boundaries of what is possible with Helm charts and we will continue to do so.

While we fully agree that iX should offer the option to use docker-compose in addition to Kubernetes-based “custom-app”s, the way this sun-setting without deprecation has been handled, is not acceptable to us. It goes against every fiber of our being, as we prefer to collaborate on moving our loved platforms forward.

We view that both Kubernetes and Docker-Compose have a place, with that place not being mutually exclusive. Sadly enough, iX-Systems does not share that view. It’s a loss-loss situation, where SCALE users will have to trade the loss of TrueCharts with the option of copying-in their own compose files.

A situation that, from our point of view, isn’t, and has never been, needed. But it’s the cards we’ve been dealt.

Our way forward

As always, we’re committed 100% to our users and will help them find solutions.

Currently, we’re exploring multiple strategies by which you will be able to keep using our trusted TrueCharts Charts, even combined with your current TrueNAS SCALE Storage. We’ve learned a lot from our smooth DragonFish migration last month and we’re fully confident we can offer an experience that satisfies our users!

Our time-frame is to have an initial BETA for migration going before 01-07-2024, after which we want to polish and automate the process as much as possible based on user feedback.

Our goodbye

Our goodbyes for TrueCharts on SCALE Apps are bitter-sweet; while we have had a great time working with some people over at iX-Systems, we also don’t see eye-to-eye on many things.

We shall always stand with our users. Which means we also will focus on the way forward from now on, in which TrueNAS SCALE Apps will not be featured and we will instead focus on our other supported platforms and migration options.

We want to thank the TrueNAS community for their constant feedback during the years that TrueCharts as SCALE Apps lasted. We specifically want to thank Waqar Ahmed for the many hours spent polishing the original Apps system and Morgan Littlewood for his continued vision of what TrueNAS SCALE could be.

Enhanced Chart Backup and Restore Solutions

Enhancing Backups and Restores for TrueCharts Users

Today, we are pleased to announce new solutions for backing up and restoring of TrueCharts CNPG and application/chart data. We hope you enjoy!

Introducing CloudNativePG Backup and Restore Support for TrueCharts

We are excited to announce that TrueCharts now supports CloudNativePG backup and restore functionalities with S3 storage providers such as MinIO hosts, BackBlaze, CloudFlare, Amazon (coming soon) and more. This new feature offers TrueCharts users a seamless and efficient way to manage their database backups directly to the cloud, or to a local MinIO host.

By leveraging solutions provided by S3 storage providers, TrueCharts users can now

  • Enhance data security by storing backups in secure, scalable and durable storage

  • Optimize storage costs by taking advantage of the inherently cost-effective and scalable nature of S3 storage

  • Ensure reliability by benefiting from the high availability and enhanced redundancy offers by S3 providers

  • Simplify backup management by easily automating backup scheduled and managing them from an apps’ TrueNAS SCALE GUI or other interface

With this addition, TrueCharts users can rest assured that their applications’ CNPG data is easily recovered as needed, minimizing the risk of data loss and downtime.

Simplifying PVC Backups with VolSync

In addition to the above CNPG enhancements, TrueCharts is proud to introduce VolSync’s automatic backup and restore capabilities for PVC storage. VolSync simplifies the process of managing PVC backups, ensuring that your data is safeguarded.

Key features of VolSync include

  • Automatic backups of a chart or apps’ PVC data

  • Effortless restoring of PVC containers to a prior state when an app is (re)installed

  • Management on a per-app basis from an apps’ TrueNAS SCALE GUI, Helm or other any interface

By integrating VolSync, TrueCharts users achieve a higher level of data resilience, making it easier than ever to safeguard or recover an application/charts’ data.

Expanding Backups and Restores on Helm

TrueCharts is a multi-platform project that builds Helm charts with multiple downstream targets, including TrueNAS SCALE among others. As such, we’ve also published the above CNPG and VolSync guides to the Helm platform section of our docs. This allows TrueCharts users running Helm directly to also integrate these new features.

Caveats

Currently, this new restore functionality isn’t yet functional on TrueNAS SCALE due to an upstream bug with OpenEBS. We’ve submitted a bug report and will update the docs page linked below once this is resolved. For users of our charts on other Helm platforms, this does not apply, so backup and restore functionality should work fine.

Documentation and Instructions

You can find our initial guides and documentation for how to take advantage of the above exciting new solutions for SCALE here, and in the Helm section linked above. Please note that these pages will evolve and be updated in the near future, especially once functionality on SCALE is restored, and we welcome discussion in our Discord channel.

Closing Out

We’re committed to providing continual improvements and features to our users, thanks largely to those who have generously donated towards our project 💙. You allow TrueCharts to continue evolving.

If you find our documentation/guides helpful or want to join the ranks of the over 250 people helping buy us Coffee ☕ you can do this via our Open Collective page here:

One time or recurring Coffee donations 🫶

Thank you for choosing TrueCharts. Happy charting!

TrueNAS SCALE DragonFish Release and Support

Ahead of TrueNAS SCALE DragonFish hitting the open waters, TrueCharts is right alongside it with full support for the release. In this news post we’ll go over the improvements that can be expected from the update, the steps required for TrueCharts users to migrate their apps to this latest release and some things to keep in mind going forward.

This will be a relatively long but important post, so let’s get started!

TrueNAS SCALE DragonFish 🐟

DragonFish is the latest update to the iX-Systems TrueNAS SCALE platform, and brings a bevy of improvements and additions. These include new and reworked sections of the GUI, changes to ZFS ARC memory behavior that bring it inline with TrueNAS CORE, Linux kernel and GPU driver updates (including Intel ARC GPU support), improvements to SMB and NFS shares and more. Read more about the changes with DragonFish here.

TrueCharts and DragonFish: A Perfect Match 💞

Going forward, TrueCharts wants to confirm that DragonFish is the ONLY supported SCALE version by TrueCharts from its release onwards. This allows us to focus our efforts on ensuring compatibility, stability, and optimal performance for TrueNAS SCALE DragonFish users into the future. This means that there are a couple of things to note, depending on which version of TrueNAS SCALE you’re running.

TrueNAS SCALE Cobia Users

For existing TrueNAS SCALE users remaining on Cobia until such time they update, we understand that migration takes time. Whilst DragonFish is the future, you can select a special branch of TrueCharts in TrueNAS SCALE’s catalogue settings called legacy_23.10 (instead of main). This is, however, not covered by TrueCharts support from the release of DragonFish onwards.

Users Upgrading to TrueNAS SCALE DragonFish

As we have already outlined in previous communications, DragonFish includes an important change to how TrueCharts apps function on the SCALE platform. This means that there are two ways you can proceed with using our apps on DragonFish. These are

  1. Completely resetting the complete apps system by unsetting the Apps pool, removing the ix-applications dataset, and selecting the apps pool again, once your TrueNAS SCALE system is updated to DragonFish per our getting started guide for new users.

  2. Following our migration process for Cobia to DragonFish, developed in collaboration with and using tools/processes provided by HeavyBullets. Whilst this process is a manual one and is REQUIRED to be performed in one session/attempt, as noted on the page, it has been designed to be as smooth as possible after much internal testing and development from HeavyBullets. Thanks Heavy! ❤️

New TrueNAS SCALE DragonFish Users

New users joining the TrueCharts family will default to the DragonFish-supported main branch per our getting started guide.

Updated TrueNAS SCALE Support Policy

To ensure transparency, we’ve updated our TrueNAS SCALE support page to highlight which SCALE features and versions are supported by TrueCharts and which ones aren’t. Make sure to check it out to understand the scope of support our volunteers can provide you.

Enhanced TrueNAS SCALE GUI Options for TrueCharts Apps

We’ve updated the TrueCharts apps/charts options in the SCALE GUI to provide additional links to supporting documentation. We’ve also streamlined naming across all supported TrueCharts deployment platforms for a cohesive and user-friendly experience regardless of what platform you want to run Kubernetes on. We won’t judge!

Closing Out

We’re committed to providing the best support and experience for our TrueCharts users on TrueNAS SCALE DragonFish. The TrueCharts team would also like to thank those who have generously donated towards our project for their continued support 💙. You keep TrueCharts thriving and allow us to continue providing resources such as our new and improved website to the community.

If you find our documentation/guides helpful or want to join the ranks of the over 250 people helping buy us Coffee ☕you can do this via our Open Collective page here:

One time or recurring Coffee donations 🫶

Thank you for choosing TrueCharts, and here’s to a future filled with innovation and collaboration. Happy charting!

A New Dawn for TrueCharts: Now Powered by Starlight

Howdy everyone! After much work, we are excited to announce that our website has undergone a significant transformation. We’ve rebuilt our entire website atop Starlight, a stellar web framework, to help our documentation shine ✨ brighter ✨ than ever before.

In this news post, we’ll dive into what Starlight is, why we chose it, and the benefits it brings to our website and, ultimately, to you, our valued users.

What is Starlight? 🌠

Starlight is a modern, high-performance web framework designed to simplify and accelerate websites. Developed by the hugely talented team over at Astro, Starlight offers a fresh approach to building documentation websites by leveraging the power of static site generation, inherently fast design and secure operation. Starlight will enable us to create more dynamic, interactive docs for our users without compromising on performance or the their experience.

With Starlight, we can focus on building the features and content that TrueCharts is known for.

Why Starlight? 💡

There’s a few key reasons we chose to use Starlight for the new website. These include

Performance 🚀

Thanks to Starlight’s static site generation capabilities, we pre-render our website pages at build time, resulting in lightning-fast load times for viewers and improved performance. This ensures that our visitors have a seamless browsing experience irrespective of their device or network conditions.

Faster Build Times ⏰

Updates and changes to our website and documentation can now be made available to viewers much faster than they were in the past. This allows us to rapidly update, improve or otherwise make changes to our docs as needed.

Scalability 🌐

Starlight allows our website to effortlessly accommodate increases in traffic to ensure we remain accessible and responsive for our viewers, even during peak visitor times or when major developments result in a need for our users to consult our documentation.

What’s Next for TrueCharts?

We’re thrilled with the improvements that Starlight has brought to our website to further enhance your browsing experience, and we’re committed to delivering a faster, more secure, and engaging docs experience. Right now, the TrueCharts team is focused on updating our documentation standards and finalizing support and documentation for the upcoming TrueNAS SCALE DragonFish release.

The TrueCharts team would also like to thank those who have generously donated towards our project for their continued support 💙. You keep TrueCharts thriving and allow us to continue providing resources such as our new and improved website to the community.

If you find some use from our new website experience or want to join the ranks of the over 250 people helping buy us Coffee ☕, you can do this via our Open Collective page here:

One time or recurring Coffee donations 🫶

Happy charting!

Refreshed Train Names, Team Changes and DragonFish Support

We’re back with some thrilling announcements that promise to enhance your experience with our platform. From revamped train names to key team appointments and even experimental support for TrueNAS SCALE 24.04 DragonFish, there’s a lot to unpack. Let’s dive right in!

Train Name Refresh: Introducing Premium and System Trains

First off, we’re thrilled to introduce our revamped train names: Premium Train and System Train. Say goodbye to the old names; these new labels better align with the quality and breadth of resources you’ll find within. You’ll find both an automated script and a one-by-one version to deal with this name change for you, for both SCALE and Helm platforms, at the bottom of this article.

Enterprise out, Premium in

This change reflects the fact that this train no longer specifically targets enterprise customers, but in general stands for higher-quality charts.

Hello, Operator? No, this is System

This name change reflects this train no longer just containing operators, but now also includes additional important system charts.

Meet Our New Team Appointments

  1. @bitpushr Assumes Role of Docs Maintainer: Join us in welcoming @bitpushr as our new Docs Maintainer, succeeding @JagrBombs (Steven). With their expertise and dedication, we’re confident our documentation will remain top-notch.

  2. @kofeh Takes Charge as Support Coordinator: Say hello to @kofeh, our new Support Coordinator, succeeding @Xstar97TheNoob. With his stellar communication skills, he’s ready to ensure you receive the assistance you need.

  3. @Xstar97TheNoob Transitions to Stable Train Maintainer: We’re proud to announce that @Xstar97TheNoob is now our Stable Train Maintainer, ensuring the stability and reliability of our platform.

Experimental Support for TrueNAS SCALE 24.04 DragonFish

In a bold move, we’ve added initial prototype support for TrueNAS SCALE 24.04 DragonFish. However, it’s crucial to note that this support is still highly experimental. As such, we do not offer staff support or guarantee data integrity for the BETA or TC versions of TrueNAS SCALE 24.04 DragonFish. You can read more on the steps required for running TrueNAS SCALE 24.04 Dragonfish here.

Our Successful Bounty Program

We’re thrilled to share that our new bounty program has been incredibly successful! This initiative allows contributors to earn rewards for their valuable contributions to our project. If you’d like to learn more or get involved, check out our bounty program on Open Collective: TrueCharts Bounties.

A Note on Donations

While our bounty program has seen fantastic results, it’s important to note that bounties do not replace donations. Our project relies on the continued support of our loyal donors to thrive. If you’d like to contribute to our cause, consider making a donation via our Open Collective page: Donate to TrueCharts.

Conclusion

With these updates and additions, we’re committed to providing you with an unparalleled experience on our platform. As always, your feedback is invaluable to us. Reach out with any questions or suggestions, and stay tuned for more exciting developments!

Thank you for being part of the TrueCharts community.

Note: Automated Migration Script for train name changes

To ensure a seamless transition to the new train names, we’ve developed a script that automates the process across all relevant namespaces. Here’s the code! Please be aware we do not give guarantees and this script may need adapting to your environment and/or additional permissions.

Helm Platform - Automated Migration Script

save as nameupdate.sh and run chmod +x nameupdate.sh before running it

#!/bin/bash
# Loop through all namespaces prefixed by "ix-"
for ns in $(kubectl get namespaces -o jsonpath='{.items[*].metadata.name}' | grep '^ix-'); do
# Check if the namespace has "catalog_train" label set to "enterprise" or "operators"
catalog_train_label=$(kubectl get namespace "$ns" -o jsonpath='{.metadata.labels.catalog_train}')
if [[ "$catalog_train_label" == "enterprise" ]]; then
# Patch the namespace to change the "catalog_train" label to "premium"
kubectl patch namespace "$ns" -p '{"metadata":{"labels":{"catalog_train":"premium"}}}'
echo "Namespace $ns updated from enterprise to premium."
elif [[ "$catalog_train_label" == "operators" ]]; then
# Patch the namespace to change the "catalog_train" label to "system"
kubectl patch namespace "$ns" -p '{"metadata":{"labels":{"catalog_train":"system"}}}'
echo "Namespace $ns updated from operators to system."
fi
done

SCALE Platform - Automated Bash Shell Migration Script

simply copy-paste this into the shell of your TrueNAS SCALE GUI

Terminal window
curl -sSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/xstar97/scale-scripts/main/scripts/patchTCTrains.sh | bash --

SCALE Platform - Automated Migration Script

save as nameupdate.sh and run chmod +x nameupdate.sh before running it

#!/bin/bash
# Loop through all namespaces prefixed by "ix-"
for ns in $(k3s kubectl get ns --no-headers | grep "^ix-" | awk '{print $1}' ORS=' '); do
# Check if the namespace has "catalog_train" label set to "enterprise" or "operators"
catalog_train_label=$(k3s kubectl get namespace "$ns" -o jsonpath='{.metadata.labels.catalog_train}')
if [[ "$catalog_train_label" == "enterprise" ]]; then
# Patch the namespace to change the "catalog_train" label to "premium"
k3s kubectl patch namespace "$ns" -p '{"metadata":{"labels":{"catalog_train":"premium"}}}'
echo "Namespace $ns updated from enterprise to premium."
elif [[ "$catalog_train_label" == "operators" ]]; then
# Patch the namespace to change the "catalog_train" label to "system"
k3s kubectl patch namespace "$ns" -p '{"metadata":{"labels":{"catalog_train":"system"}}}'
echo "Namespace $ns updated from operators to system."
fi
done

Manual Migration Script

Use this script to manually migrate your existing SCALE apps to the new trains. Replace blocky with the app name in question and premium with the new train-name.

Terminal window
k3s kubectl patch ns ix-blocky -p '{"metadata":{"labels":{"catalog_train":"premium"}}}'