Learn how to Flip a Raspberry Pi Right into a NAS for Complete-Dwelling File Sharing

My home is extremely neat and arranged, however with regards to 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 right funding to make your information wirelessly out there on any gadget in your house. However these gadgets can get costly, so a technique to save cash is to construct one your self for affordable with a Raspberry Pi on the core.

What's a NAS?

Asustor Lockerstor 2 NAS
Asustor Lockerstor 2

Community connected storage lets you share information from one, always-on gadget all through your home. With a NAS in your community, you need to 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 information 24/7.

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

There are many ready-built NAS gadgets on the market, from firms corresponding 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 exhausting to justify the funding—particularly if you need one thing that may develop along with your storage wants.

The Raspberry Pi, alternatively, is such a flexible little board that it could actually act as an affordable 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 would not work notably effectively on the Pi if you need information redundancy. You will wish to make it possible for any vital information in your Pi-based NAS can also be backed up elsewhere.

Nonetheless, it is a fantastic mission in case you have a Pi mendacity round and wish to see what NAS life is all about. Then, when you're hooked, you possibly can 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 mission, 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 mission, 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)Until you are sharing only a few information, your microSD card most likely is not sufficient storage for a NAS. You will want some drives to refill along with your motion pictures, music, or different information you wish to share amongst gadgets. An ordinary external drive will do the trick usually, although you could 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 need a cleaner setup, you need to use an internal drive designed for community connected storage, too, however that will require a case.

A NAS-friendly case (non-obligatory): If you need 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 lets you dock a 2.5-inch inside exhausting drive, join it to your Pi, and mount all of it in a trim little case. (Simply be sure you get one which's suitable 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 a normal Raspberry Pi case with a USB exterior drive Velcroed to the highest, however should you're keen to get artistic, the world is your oyster right here. After getting all of your parts in hand, it is time to get your NAS up and operating.

Set up an Working System


There are particular working methods like Openmediavault that flip your Pi right into a NAS, however for a newbie setup, I really advocate common previous Raspbian—it is versatile, simple to make use of, and ok for sharing a number of information 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've got booted up Raspbian for the primary time, designated a brand new password, and downloaded all of your updates, join your exhausting 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. (If you happen to favor, you possibly can SSH into your Pi and carry out these instructions from one other PC.)

Unmount Your Drive


Earlier than persevering with, we'll have to erase the drive you connected, so in case you have vital information on it, you will must retailer them someplace else earlier than transferring them to your Pi-NAS. From a Terminal window, run the next command to see the disks related to your Pi:

sudo fdisk -l

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

umount /dev/sda1

Relying on the drive, you could have to 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 may open up a wizard known as Parted, which can 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 wish to use for the drive:

mklabel gpt

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






give up

The ultimate give up command will exit the Parted wizard. Clearly, you possibly can regulate these instructions to suit the title of your drive, the quantity and measurement of partitions you wish to make on it, and so forth—however for most elementary customers simply beginning out, these instructions ought to work effectively.

Partition Your Drive

raspberry pi partition

Subsequent, we'll have to format that partition. In case your drive is positioned at /dev/sda, the brand new partition can be positioned 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 change MyExternalDrive with no matter you wish to title your drive. Formatting will take a couple of minutes, particularly 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, you must discover that the exterior drive seems robotically on the desktop, prepared for motion. You'll, nevertheless, must run one closing command to offer your self permission to write down new information 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 possibly can add your information and entry them from any gadget in the home. To do that, we'll use a instrument 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 information, but it surely's simple to arrange and suitable with nearly any system you might need on the community, so it is what I like to recommend.

Raspbian would not include Samba put in by default, so you will have to 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 many others/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 wish 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 could be the title of your share (title it no matter you need) and /media/pi/MyExternalDrive could be the mounted location of your drive. (You could have to open up the file supervisor and head to /media/pi/ to determine what it is known as.) Whenever you're achieved, 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 have to create a password for Samba so you possibly can see your share from different machines. (There are methods to configure Samba with out requiring a password, however this usually is not good safety follow, so I like to recommend including a password.) So as to add a password to the prevailing Pi person, run:

sudo smbpasswd -a pi

Enter your required password when prompted—it would not must be the identical as your person password on the Pi itself, however it may be—and press Enter.

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

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

sudo systemctl restart smbd

Entry Your Media

And the whole lot needs to be able to rock. Head to your Home windows PC, open a File Explorer window, and kind raspberrypiMyMedia within the tackle bar (changing MyMedia with no matter your share known as). If you happen to press Enter, you must be capable of enter your Samba username (pi) and password and see your shared drive. If you happen to run into bother, you might need to make use of the Pi's IP tackle, like as a substitute.

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 possibly can add extra drives and shares, add extra customers with completely different permissions, or arrange a RAID array to keep away from information loss within the occasion of a tough drive failure. When you get to that time, although, it is going to seemingly be price spending a bit extra on a devoted NAS gadget for higher efficiency.

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