How to Turn a Raspberry Pi into a NAS with OpenMediaVault

Today we are going to look at how to turn a Raspberry Pi into a NAS by using OpenMediaVault!

OpenMediaVault is a NAS solution that’s based on Debian Linux. It has tons of different options and more importantly, runs very well on a Raspberry Pi! My goal is to create various OpenMediaVault tutorials, so this will be the basic tutorial that will show you how to set up and configure OpenMediaVault.

First, ensure that you set up your Raspberry Pi properly!

1. Install Instructions - How to Turn a Raspberry Pi into a NAS

1. By default, OpenMediaVault provides a very easy way to install it on a Raspberry Pi. Thanks to their script, running the command below will install the entire thing! If you’d like to see what the script contains, you can do so here.

curl -sSL https://github.com/OpenMediaVault-Plugin-Developers/installScript/raw/master/install | sudo bash

2. After the script finishes install OpenMediaVault, your Raspberry Pi will reboot automatically. You can then access OpenMediaVault by navigating to the IP address of your Raspberry Pi!

http://[RASPBERRY_PI_IP]

3. Login to OpenMediaVault using the username admin and the password openmediavault.

How to Turn a Raspberry Pi into a NAS

1.1 Important Note

When we make changes, they will sometimes require the changes to be applied. To avoid having to add this to every section, if you receive the banner below after making a change, select Apply.

How to Turn a Raspberry Pi into a NAS

2. OpenMediaVault Changes

When you first log in to OpenMediaVault, there are a few important changes and some “quality of life” enhancements that you can make. We will quickly go over a few of them now.

2.1 Web Administrator Password

The first thing that we need to do after we log in is to change the password of our admin user. Select General Settings, then Web Administrator Password. Enter your new password and save.

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2.2 Auto Logout

By default, OpenMediaVault will log you out after 5 minutes of inactivity. You can change this to a maximum of 30 minutes if you’d like.

1. Select General Settings on the left-hand side.

2. Change the Auto Logout time from 5 minutes to something longer. Save the settings.

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2.3 Time Zone

Follow the instructions below to change the time zone.

1. Select Date & Time.

2. Select the correct time zone and then save and apply.

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2.4 Updating OpenMediaVault - How to Turn a Raspberry Pi into a NAS

Periodically running OpenMediaVault updates is very important. Fortunately, it’s very straight forward.

1. Select Update Management and then select Check. This will check for new updates.

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2. Select all updates and then click Install. All updates will now install!

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3. Creating Additional Users & Groups

By default, the Raspberry Pi operating system will create a user named pi. If you’re starting with a fresh install, you might want to add new users or groups. It’s important to note a few different things:

  1. The users that you create will be able to access your shared folders, however, they will need to have permission to access those shared folders.
  2. You can change the privileges on a shared folder to have a group access them or a user.
    1. If you intend on granting multiple users permission to the same shared folders, it’s best to create a group and give that entire group permission to the folder.
    2. It’s perfectly acceptable to manage permissions for individual users rather than using groups.
  3. We will look at folder permissions in later steps.

4. Mounting Disks

When you plug in an external hard drive, you first need to mount that hard drive. Follow the instructions below to mount your drives.

1. Select File Systems.

2. Select the drive you’d like to mount and select Mount.

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3. If you are using a drive that doesn’t have a label, you will be asked to create a label. Select Create, select the device, add a label, and then select the file system you’d like to use. You will then be able to mount the drive.

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5. Creating & Accessing a Shared Folder

If you’d like to store data on your device, you need to do it via a shared folder. Creating a shared folder is very easy after the drive has been mounted.

1. Select Shared Folders and then select Add.

2. Enter a name, select the device you’d like to use, ensure the path is correct, and then select the permissions. Select save after you’ve set everything as you’d like.

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5.1 SMB/CIFS - How to Turn a Raspberry Pi into a NAS

The majority of people will be using SMB/CIFS to access their shared folders. To turn on SMB/CIFS, follow the instructions below.

1. Select SMB/CIFS.

2. Enable the option in the General Settings and save. SMB/CIFS will now be enabled!

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3. Now that SMB has been enabled, we need to add our shared folder to the list of SMB accessible folders. Select Shares and then Add.

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4. Select the shared folder and change any settings that you’d like. Save and apply and the folder should be accessible through SMB!

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6. Modifying Shared Folder Permissions

We created our users and groups in an earlier step, but we are going to quickly look at how to change permissions on shared folders.

1. Select Shared Folders under Access Rights Management.

2. Select the shared folders and select privileges.

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3. You will now see your users and groups listed. If you’d like to change the permissions for individuals or groups, you can do so here!

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7. Conclusion - How to Turn a Raspberry Pi into a NAS

This tutorial showed how to turn a Raspberry Pi into a NAS using OpenMediaVault! A helpful viewer pointed out OpenMediaVault to me and I’ve been playing around with it and I am really happy with it. This will most likely be my new off-site backup software. If you are interested in seeing more OpenMediaVault tutorials, stay tuned!

As always, thank you for reading. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments!

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. I am not able to create a shared folder because when selecting a device from the drop down field, nothing appears? ( a usb device is attached and recognized in disks and is mounted ).

    I am using Firefox as the browser.

    Any ideas?

    1. Did you create a file system on that device yet? You will have to create a file system, then it should appear in the list. Let me know how it goes!

  2. The USB drive(s) i am trying to work with are currently NTFS file systems formatted this way and used originally with a OSX computer. Under Storage/Filesystems, both drives are recognized and mounted. If both drives have file systems, shouldn’t i be able to create shared folders on either drive? The problem is that the drop down field doesnt allow me to choose either device.
    What am i doing wrong?
    Thank you

    1. Theoretically, yes, you should be able to, but I’ve had issues in the past if the drives weren’t formatted in OpenMediaVault and then the file system created. I can’t guarantee you that this will work, but since you can’t select the drive in the dropdown menu, I think that might be your only option. Just make sure you pull any important information off of it if you decide to format it.

      1. Understood, but this kinda sucks for pre-existing drives. i will try one drive as a test. Thanks for your reply.

  3. So, your suggestion worked. I had to format drive using OMV’s software and create the file system there in order for the drive to be recognized when creating a “shared folder”. Is it safe to say that pre-existing drives that have data are useless to use with OMV unless they are formatted and than started from a no data state?

    1. Glad to hear you got it working. I don’t want to blanket say that you ALWAYS have to format it, but that’s most likely the case. Especially if it’s not working.

      1. I appreciate you taking your time and answering my questions. Do you have any other tutorials with regards to OMV that you can suggest?

        1. I have a few other tutorials on OMV, but it really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. You can easily run Docker/Portainer on OMV which opens you up to a LOT of different things. Anything in specific you’d like to do?

  4. I am not sure. At this time i think your tutorials have been extremely helpful and educational. I have a functional OMV using pi-hole in a container on a raspberry pi 2 ( yeah its time for an upgrade ).
    I am interested in more Docker/Portainer tutorials in conjunction to adding services to OMV ( such as pi-hole ).

    Thank You

    1. I will certainly keep that in mind moving forward! I am going to continue creating Docker/Portainer tutorials, so hopefully you find them helpful!

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