NAS Compares Can I Build My Own Opensource NAS Drive?

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NAS Compares Can I Build My Own Opensource NAS Drive?

DIY Frankenstein NAS Drive Build

I’ve been watching a number of videos, and a few scratched the surface for me, but don’t get at the heart of the issue. Constraint number 1: I’m a long-time Linux user, and have a very strong preference for running my own. I want to be running a vanilla unix-like distro, without of the box disk management software, under open license schemes. Constraint number two: I’ve been living abroad and travelling a lot these last few years, which means just slapping disks into an atx case and calling it a day isn’t something I can do anymore (due to size/weight/hassle). Commercial NASs come in really nice packages but are at odds with the vanilla setup constraint. I known qnap does have some support for running Debian on their hardware, but it’s limited, and not exactly vanilla.

I suspect I’m not alone in that boat, I’m sure other people would appreciate some content/videos about the “hackability” of various commercial NAS boxes. Knowing I could easily repurpose the hardware I bought would make it an easy decision. The alternative is going all in, from scratch. So, a single-board computer, with an m.2 slot, an m.2 mini-sas adapter, and a mini-sas enclosure. After all that, I’m still spending almost as much as a commercial unit, and have a mess of adapters and wires hanging out. Flashing purely open-source software onto a commercial unit would seem like a good compromise. And I’m glad to shell out the few extra dollars to solve the hardware issue and have something that looks halfway decent.

Any thoughts around this?

Currently running samba on a raspberry pi, with a 4tb 2.5″ drive. Only 30 gigs left. Help.

3-600 USD, disks excluded
DIY Frankenstein NAS Drive – Things to know

Straight off the bat, let’s make this clear. Building your own NAS from scratch is not for the faint-hearted. Someone with a decent Linux background or a history of case building will find it all pretty straight forward, but in the majority of custom NAS builds, the money you save at the start buying components will be spent in time – after that it is about having a solution that is best fitting your own particular storage environment. That is where a custom build comes into it’s own! In it’s more bespoke setup. Although the majority of top tier NAS brands seem similar, even a cursory additional look shows that they have very different priorities, with Synology keeping it fast and simple, whereas QNAP keeps it customizable and a has a pinch of a learning curve. Regardless, to those with an extensive custom build background (those that know the true freedom of Linuxin the right hands) they CAN seem terribly restrictive. Trying to find a middle ground or combining these two systems into a single all-purpose solution is NOT easy (as I am sure you discovered when researching and reading this article).

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I would start here then add this and this. Maybe this cpu, defo this cooler, 500gb nvme if you want to dual boot with desktop linux and $433 later (probably less from thailand) plus 4 x 10Tb drives (approx $1300 and up) in RAID 10, you have a dual bootable, 2C 4T Pentium G5400 @3.7Ghz and 8Gb DDR4 with 500Gb NVME storage, 2 x Gbe, AC wifi and 20Tb storage in a reasonable 200x250x300mm package (WxHxD). You could also get a DS419slim for about the same ($425), which is capable of 20Tb if you ran RAID 0 (no redundancy) due to storage restrictions (4 x 5Tb seagate barracuda = $750).

Both have their pro's and con's which have been covered already, I just wanted to show a good example build and compare it to a similar priced commercial alternative.

P.S If you wanted to max out your budget, I suppose you could swap PSU for 450W silverstone SFX, add single slot RX550 and upgrade to i5-8400 - total spend $595 excluding drives. Worlds first gaming NAS!!


of course, then you need spend hours in XPEnology with tuning of HW components to Synology DSM general operation from firmware of motherboard through USB drivers, ...
But each of us has different psychological trauma based on NAS usage :) . Me too.
Then I like my careless NASs farm, also networking by Ubiquiti.
DS220+ : DS1019+ : DS216+II : DS118 : DS120j : APC Back UPS ES 700 — Mac/iOS user
That’s interesting. I’m curious, what‘s the percentage of users who start with an “XPEnology” and then decide to go for a real Synology because they liked the experience.


one of XPEnology topic re @BiggPerci Idea to use Pentium G5400 in his custom NAS build:
... my new Pentium G5400 test system did seem to freeze when loading the kernel with 1.03b, even no serial console output after starting loading the kernel)


... This version of kernel driver extension is alpha, as the loader 1.03a2 is, so DO NOT use this on a "production" systems and be prepared to loose the data you have on the "test-system" (I recommend you have a very recent backup)

...synology protects its dsm system, we are using the original dsm kernel files from them so it needs a hack to circumvent this protections

My point:
the custom NAS isn’t about, how I will save (or get) by my own HW architecture. It’s about how many of your mental health will pass away :)

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