Tips on how to Flip a Raspberry Pi Right into a NAS for Complete-House File Sharing

My home is extremely neat and arranged, however in relation 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 recordsdata wirelessly obtainable on any machine in your house. However these units can get costly, so a method to economize 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 permits you to share recordsdata from one, always-on machine 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 recordsdata 24/7.

Positive, you could possibly do all this together 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 arduous to return.

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

The Raspberry Pi, alternatively, is such a flexible little board that it will possibly act as an affordable trial NAS that—when you develop out of it—might be repurposed for one thing else. It is not as rock-solid as, say, a Synology NAS unit, and RAID would not work significantly properly on the Pi if you would like knowledge redundancy. You will wish to ensure that any necessary knowledge in your Pi-based NAS can also be backed up elsewhere.

Nonetheless, it is a terrific undertaking when 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 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 in regards to 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 refill together with your motion pictures, music, or different recordsdata you wish to share amongst units. A regular external drive will do the trick generally, although you might want one which plugs into the wall individually—or a powered USB hub—because the Pi might not be capable to provide sufficient energy to all of your drives. If you would like a cleaner setup, you need to use an internal drive designed for community connected storage, too, however that may require a case.

A NAS-friendly case (non-obligatory): If you would like your system to have a clear look, it could behoove you to get an enclosure in your Pi and drives, so it is not simply an octopus of wires and disks. For instance, Geekworm makes a board referred to as the X825 that permits you to dock a 2.5-inch inner arduous drive, join it to your Pi, and mount all of it in a trim little case. (Simply ensure you get one which's appropriate together with your Pi—there are totally different instances for the Pi 3, the Pi 4, and so forth.)

For now, I am simply utilizing a regular Raspberry Pi case with a USB exterior drive Velcroed to the highest, however in the event you're keen to get artistic, 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 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 suggest common outdated Raspbian—it is versatile, simple 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 by way of 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 arduous 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. (When you 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 must erase the drive you connected, so when you have necessary recordsdata on it, you will must retailer them elsewhere 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 wish to use in your recordsdata—in my case, it is an 80GB drive referred to as "MyExternalDrive"—and be aware its path. Within the screenshot above, the 80GB drive plugged into my Pi corresponds to /dev/sda. (Make completely certain you be aware the proper drive, as we're about to erase it!) First, you will must unmount the drive. When you're utilizing the Raspbian interface, you possibly can simply click on the eject button subsequent to the drive to unmount it. However in the event you're utilizing a terminal over SSH, you will must run:

umount /dev/sda1

Relying on the drive, you might 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 referred to as Parted, which can mean you can 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, sort y and press Enter. Then run:






give up

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

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 will probably 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 substitute MyExternalDrive with no matter you wish to title your drive. Formatting will take a couple of minutes, particularly when you have a big drive, so be affected person. While you're completed, run this command to reboot your Pi:

sudo shutdown -r now

When your Pi boots again up, it's best to discover that the exterior drive seems robotically on the desktop, prepared for motion. You'll, nevertheless, must run one ultimate command to present your self permission to write 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 possibly can add your recordsdata and entry them from any machine in the home. To do that, we'll use a device referred to as Samba, which is an open-source implementation of Home windows' SMB/CIFS file-sharing protocol. It is not your solely choice for sharing recordsdata, however it's simple to arrange and appropriate with nearly any system you may need on the community, so it is what I like to recommend.

Raspbian would 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 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. (Chances are you'll must open up the file supervisor and head to /media/pi/ to determine what it is referred to as.) While 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 possibly can see your share from different machines. (There are methods to configure Samba with out requiring a password, however this typically is not good safety apply, 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 would not must be the identical as your consumer 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 consumer you wish to add, and run sudo smbpasswd -a jeff to present that consumer their very own password. This is not strictly crucial, however it may be helpful when you have a number of individuals in your family to whom you wish to give totally 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 all the pieces needs to be able to rock. Head to your Home windows PC, open a File Explorer window, and kind raspberrypiMyMedia within the handle bar (changing MyMedia with no matter your share is named). When you press Enter, it's best to be capable to enter your Samba username (pi) and password and see your shared drive. When you run into bother, you may need to make use of the Pi's IP handle, 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 totally 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 would probably be price spending a bit of extra on a devoted NAS machine for higher efficiency.

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