Don't post much in computers but have a computer question...

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by VE3GZB, Nov 16, 2021.

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  1. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I downloaded the most recent version of something called XigmaNAS:

    https://sourceforge.net/projects/xigmanas/files/

    It took me several attempts to go through it and understand what it is actually doing, since the machine to human interface isn't designed for average guys, it's designed for people who are in this kind of stuff daily and understand the way programmers think, not like regular people think.

    Once booted up the IP address is nonsensical. Apparently XigmaNAS doesn't default to a dynamic IP address so it defaults to something which is invisible to anything on the home network.

    To solve this you have to go in via a text based screen (which means you have to have a monitor, keyboard and mouse connected during the install process, you can't leave a headless PC up on the shelf and install it that way) and fidget with menu choices, eventually to reset the IP address and choose DHCP. Then you can get into the web-based configuration screen with the login: admin and password: xigmanas

    Once inside the web interface though, it's a big nothing burger. It's a title page strangely enough stating "Open Media Vault", and there are no selections for anything related to the computer whatsoever. It's all a white screen.

    The only choices seem to be from the top right side of the screen where you can choose language, choose to reset the User Interface, which I also tried with no discernable difference in results, and try to change the password which also doesn't work (it comes up saying "404 not found") and now I can't even log back in.

    So I can scratch off this XigmaNAS from my list as it just wasted 3 hours of my life.

    On to try something else.

    73s
     
  2. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have you looked at this ? https://www.truenas.com/

    You may be over thinking the solution.
    But you learned something. :)
     
    VE3GZB likes this.
  3. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    TrueNAS was one of the first choices I looked at. But I don’t know which one is free, the drop down menu contains 3 choices and I can’t tell which one I should pick.

    That’s why I didn’t try it out, I don’t want to end up having to pay for something only to discover it doesn’t work as I thought it would.

    73s
     
  4. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Near as I can tell, Choice 1 is free for personal use only.
     
    VE3GZB likes this.
  5. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    what's wrong with an RPi4 and a USB to SATA adapter and Samba? would take all of 5 minutes to configure, doesn't need any more attention.

    and, just wondering, have you thought about backups? suppose the XYL goes nuts with the photography thing...
     
  6. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    My first attempt at a low power backup system used an Odroid XU4 single board computer with an external USB 3.0 HD, the Odroid itself running Open Media Vault for that particular board, the download for that used to be associated with the Odroid and not directly with OMV.

    It remained happy as long as I didn’t expect it to do too much file backing up. Once it got busy it would start hanging and this resulted in data loss and drive corruption. That was when I saw it wasn’t a realistic solution and I looked for a USFF type of PC.

    With her camera being digital I would first copy all of the photos from her memory card to her Mac and from there I could back things up onto the server. That is supposed to be the plan, to offload as much as possible from the desktop computers yet avoid these public type internet cloud things.

    Another time I had a load of school photos from my wife to put on-line and share with a dedicated domain linked to my home internet connection, these were photos dating back to my wife’s days in the deaf residential school in Milton, Ontario. The photos were very much wanted by many of my wife’s friends who also attended that same deaf school but we’re now scattered across the country.

    So for that project I had Raspberry Pi set up to run some kind of Apache server I don’t remember and my home connection linked with a domain on GoDaddy, with port 80 open on my router and linked to the Raspberry Pi.

    I could have just let GoDaddy host it all but I wanted to have more control over these photos and not just upload them onto one of their servers.

    I had that running for about a year and then shut it down and let the domain go as I don’t have any need for such things myself.

    Somewhere I have the same Raspberry Pi sitting in a junk box still and it probably still will work for that one purpose. The traffic wasn’t of high volume so the Pi could handle it.

    73s
     
  7. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well I downloaded TrueNAS Core. It took me 4 installation attempts to get a bootable system.

    The first 3 attempts were all with UEIF options enabled and always resulted in the same "No bootable media, press F1 to retry" message. The DVD would boot in UEFI mode and the installer appeared to run to it's conclusion. The steps involved with installation seemed sensible and asked the right questions.

    On the fourth try I disabled all UEFI options and ran everything in Legacy mode. This gave me a bootable system.

    Now I'm looking at the Web interface and I'm a little overwhelmed at the features and choices built-in. This is going to take me a while. I'll share anything I find out here.

    73s
     
  8. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, TrueNAS has the same issue as Open Media Vault - neither system will cooperate when you try to use the singular hard drive for both operating system AND data storage. Both systems seem to require multiple physical hard drives.

    I tried to follow the directions in the help files and I tried to add to the TrueNAS Pool the one singular hard drive. TrueNAS didn't even acknowledge there was a drive anywhere in the system, even though it had booted from the drive.

    I tried this a few times, each time the same issue - no recognition of the one hard drive for both Operating System and data storage.

    I then rebooted into Ubuntu Live CD to see and I looked at the drive with GParted. There was a 512k unknown segment, a 16GB segment (which I know to be the Swap partition) and the 2TB (in actuality 1.81TB by now) ZFS drive partition which seemed to contain nothing.

    I manipulated this into a new EXT4 partition and then rebooted just to learn what would happen. TrueNAS will not boot now, so just like OMV, TrueNAS takes the whole partition for itself, plants itself in the partition and doesn't leave anything for use for any other purposes.

    Back to the drawing board.

    73s
     
  9. KD0KZE

    KD0KZE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Before even considering a NAS on the home network, you need a router that allows DHCP address reservations. So whatever device you have it attached to, or whether it's a standalone unit, it gets the same IP every time you boot it up. Some routers (like Linksys) have a USB port directly on the back of them, and you can simply plug a storage device into it. But I'm not keen on the limited security options and being unable to change security certificates.

    As for RAID, I'm not a fan of that for home use, since it's expensive, a lot of moving parts, uses more electricity and more can go wrong. The idea was born out of the necessity of running a high I/O traffic service (business) and being able to hot-swap a new drive if one should fail. There have been studies that identical drives tend to start failing around the same time (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID#Weaknesses). If I was running a business and not using "the cloud", I would certainly need some sort of enterprise-grade storage device, but I'm not sure RAID is great for home use.

    Since we're amateur radio operators, the possibility exists that lightning might hit our antennas and enter the shack. It could fry any sort of storage. So we really need a redundant copy that should ideally be located in a different room, and maybe unplugged when not in use. You can't do that with a single RAID enclosure. I think most home users would be well-suited with something like this:

    1. A Linux PC with external storage. DHCP reserved IP address. Learn how to set it up as a network mount or some other connectivity that suits your needs. With Linux as your "front-end" you can setup a myriad of firewall, monitoring and forensic tools between the storage device and whatever accesses it.
    2. A secondary PC, in a different room, with something like an ioSafe G3 or Solo Pro drive (fire+water rated). Rsync setup on this one, to keep it as a redundant DR copy.

    Get used business/government-grade PC's (but new hard drives) to help keep the costs down.

    73, KD0KZE / Paul
     
    VE3GZB likes this.
  10. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    My needs are relatively simple, so I won't need a RAID system. I do buy off-lease computers from banks which have been refurbished and have new RAM, new HD. My router is a business class router which allows for a fair amount of security and control over what one could buy elsewhere.

    My difficulty comes during adminstrative tasks. I'm no fan of Linux command line nonsense and command line still seems to be a need if not an absolute requirement during OS upgrades. And I've had Linux installations go completely off the deep end during an update or upgrade due to something coming down the pipeline which made it's way into a repository (should be called a suppository for all it's worth at times).

    Hence my original question, whether Windows server would be more appropriate.

    73s
     

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