The way to Flip a Raspberry Pi Right into a NAS for Complete-Dwelling File Sharing

My home is extremely neat and arranged, however in terms of my digital life, the phrase "hoarder" involves thoughts. If that sounds such as you, a network attached storage device—or NAS for brief—is the proper funding to make your recordsdata wirelessly accessible on any system in your house. However these units can get costly, so a method to save cash is to construct one your self for reasonable with a Raspberry Pi on the core.

What's a NAS?

Asustor Lockerstor 2 NAS
Asustor Lockerstor 2

Community hooked up storage means that you can share recordsdata from one, always-on system all through your home. With a NAS in your community, you should use it to retailer your motion pictures and play them from a number of Kodi boxes, retailer backups on it out of your PC, or use it as a BitTorrent field that seeds your recordsdata 24/7.

Positive, you can do all this along with your important PC, however a NAS is lower-power, and it's designed to run day and night time, even when your desktop is out of fee. When you begin utilizing one, it is laborious to return.

There are many ready-built NAS units on the market, from corporations equivalent to Synology, QNAP, and Asustor. Simply purchase one, pop in a disc drive, and also you're off to the races. However they'll get costly, and should you aren't positive whether or not a NAS is for you, it is laborious to justify the funding—particularly if you'd like one thing that may develop along with your storage wants.

The Raspberry Pi, alternatively, is such a flexible little board that it may well act as an inexpensive trial NAS that—when you develop out of it—may be repurposed for one thing else. It is not as rock-solid as, say, a Synology NAS unit, and RAID does not work notably nicely on the Pi if you'd like knowledge redundancy. You will need to ensure that any vital knowledge in your Pi-based NAS can also be backed up elsewhere.

Nonetheless, it is an ideal undertaking if in case you have a Pi mendacity round and need to see what NAS life is all about. Then, when you're hooked, you may improve to a purpose-made Synology or QNAP mannequin that matches your long-term wants.

What You will Want...

raspberry pi

A Raspberry Pi with all of the trimmingsClearly, you will want a Raspberry Pi for this undertaking, together with the requisite equipment: an influence provide, a microSD card, and a mouse, a keyboard, and a monitor for the preliminary setup. Any of the recent-model Pis ought to work for this undertaking, and you'll learn extra concerning the different equipment in our guide to getting started with the Raspberry Pi.

A disc drive (or two, or three)Except you are sharing just some recordsdata, your microSD card in all probability is not sufficient storage for a NAS. You will want some drives to replenish along with your motion pictures, music, or different recordsdata you need to share amongst units. An ordinary external drive will do the trick normally, although it's possible you'll want one which plugs into the wall individually—or a powered USB hub—because the Pi might not be capable of provide sufficient energy to all of your drives. If you'd like a cleaner setup, you should use an internal drive designed for community hooked up storage, too, however that might require a case.

A NAS-friendly case (optionally available): If you'd like your system to have a clear look, it might behoove you to get an enclosure on your Pi and drives, so it is not simply an octopus of wires and disks. For instance, Geekworm makes a board known as the X825 that means that you can dock a 2.5-inch inside laborious drive, join it to your Pi, and mount all of it in a trim little case. (Simply be sure to get one which's appropriate along with your Pi—there are completely different circumstances for the Pi 3, the Pi 4, and so forth.)

For now, I am simply utilizing an ordinary Raspberry Pi case with a USB exterior drive Velcroed to the highest, however should you're prepared to get inventive, the world is your oyster right here. After you have all of your parts in hand, it is time to get your NAS up and working.

Set up an Working System


There are particular working programs like Openmediavault that flip your Pi right into a NAS, however for a newbie setup, I truly advocate common previous Raspbian—it is versatile, straightforward to make use of, and ok for sharing a number of recordsdata over the community. Begin by putting in Raspbian with the advisable software program as described in our beginner's guide.

I like to recommend hooking up your Pi to your community through Ethernet for quick file switch, however Wi-Fi will do in a pinch. As soon as you have booted up Raspbian for the primary time, designated a brand new password, and downloaded all of your updates, join your laborious drive to one of many Pi's USB ports.

You will see it present up on the desktop, however we'll be doing most of our work within the Terminal. (In the event you favor, you may SSH into your Pi and carry out these instructions from one other PC.)

Unmount Your Drive


Earlier than persevering with, we'll must erase the drive you hooked up, so if in case you have vital recordsdata on it, you will need to retailer them some place else earlier than transferring them to your Pi-NAS. From a Terminal window, run the next command to see the disks linked to your Pi:

sudo fdisk -l

Discover the exterior drive you need to use on your recordsdata—in my case, it is an 80GB drive known as "MyExternalDrive"—and be aware its path. Within the screenshot above, the 80GB drive plugged into my Pi corresponds to /dev/sda. (Make completely positive you be aware the proper drive, as we're about to erase it!) First, you will must unmount the drive. In the event you're utilizing the Raspbian interface, you may simply click on the eject button subsequent to the drive to unmount it. However should you're utilizing a terminal over SSH, you will need to run:

umount /dev/sda1

Relying on the drive, it's possible you'll must additionally run umount /dev/sda2, umount /dev/sda3, and so forth, relying on what number of partitions are on the drive from earlier utilization.

Then, to erase and format your flash drive for Linux utilization, run:

sudo parted /dev/sda

raspberry pi partition

This can open up a wizard known as Parted, which can will let you create a brand new partition on the drive. Run this command, urgent Enter after every reply within the wizard and changing MyExternalDrive with the title you need to use for the drive:

mklabel gpt

If prompted to erase the drive, kind y and press Enter. Then run:







The ultimate stop command will exit the Parted wizard. Clearly, you may alter these instructions to suit the title of your drive, the quantity and measurement of partitions you need to make on it, and so forth—however for most elementary customers simply beginning out, these instructions ought to work nicely.

Partition Your Drive

raspberry pi partition

Subsequent, we'll must format that partition. In case your drive is situated at /dev/sda, the brand new partition might be situated at /dev/sda1 (if the drive is /dev/sdb, you will use /dev/sdb1, and so forth):

sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1

Press y and Enter when requested if you wish to proceed. Then run:

sudo e2label /dev/sda1 MyExternalDrive

Simply exchange MyExternalDrive with no matter you need to title your drive. Formatting will take a couple of minutes, particularly if in case you have a big drive, so be affected person. Whenever you're completed, run this command to reboot your Pi:

sudo shutdown -r now

When your Pi boots again up, it is best to discover that the exterior drive seems mechanically on the desktop, prepared for motion. You'll, nevertheless, need to run one closing command to offer your self permission to jot down new recordsdata to the drive. In a Terminal, run:

sudo chown -R pi /media/pi/MyExternalDrive

Share the Drive

share drive

Now it is time to share that drive in your community, so you may add your recordsdata and entry them from any system in the home. To do that, we will use a software known as Samba, which is an open-source implementation of Home windows' SMB/CIFS file-sharing protocol. It isn't your solely possibility for sharing recordsdata, but it surely's straightforward to arrange and appropriate with nearly any system you may need on the community, so it is what I like to recommend.

Raspbian does not include Samba put in by default, so you will must make sure your repositories are up to date and set up it with the next instructions:

sudo apt replace

sudo apt improve

sudo apt set up samba samba-common

The installer will ask if you wish to modify smb.conf to make use of WINS settings from DHCP. Select Sure and press Enter. Now you edit that configuration file your self, to share your drive. Run:

sudo nano /and so forth/samba/smb.conf

samba config

Then, from the command-line textual content editor that seems, use your arrow key to scroll to the underside of the doc. You will need to add a block of textual content that appears one thing like this:


path = /media/pi/MyExternalDrive/

writeable = sure

create masks = 0775

listing masks = 0775


In your model of this, MyMedia can be the title of your share (title it no matter you need) and /media/pi/MyExternalDrive can be the mounted location of your drive. (Chances are you'll must open up the file supervisor and head to /media/pi/ to determine what it is known as.) Whenever you're executed, press Ctrl+X to exit nano, urgent y and Enter when requested if you wish to save the file.

Create a Password and Add Customers

add users

Lastly, you will must create a password for Samba so you may see your share from different machines. (There are methods to configure Samba with out requiring a password, however this usually is not good safety observe, so I like to recommend including a password.) So as to add a password to the present Pi consumer, run:

sudo smbpasswd -a pi

Enter your required password when prompted—it does not need to be the identical as your consumer password on the Pi itself, however it may be—and press Enter.

You'll be able to add different customers with sudo adduser jeff, the place jeff is the consumer you need to add, and run sudo smbpasswd -a jeff to offer that consumer their very own password. This is not strictly vital, however it may be helpful if in case you have a number of individuals in your family to whom you need to give completely different learn and write permissions on sure shares.

As soon as that is all executed, run the next command to restart Samba:

sudo systemctl restart smbd

Entry Your Media

And every little thing ought to be able to rock. Head to your Home windows PC, open a File Explorer window, and kind raspberrypiMyMedia within the deal with bar (changing MyMedia with no matter your share is known as). In the event you press Enter, it is best to be capable of enter your Samba username (pi) and password and see your shared drive. In the event you run into hassle, you may need to make use of the Pi's IP deal with, like as an alternative.

To attach on a Mac, open Finder and click on Go > Hook up with Server, typing in smb://raspberrypi when prompted.

This simply scratches the floor of what you are able to do with a Pi-based NAS. As your storage wants evolve, you may add extra drives and shares, add extra customers with completely different permissions, or arrange a RAID array to keep away from knowledge loss within the occasion of a tough drive failure. When you get to that time, although, it'll doubtless be price spending a little bit extra on a devoted NAS system for higher efficiency.

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