This site has been great fun, but it has run its course, and it is time to move on. Please get what you want from the site before January 1, 2020. Some pages will move to another site but most will go away.
The Raspberry Pi file server is a means of providing network-based storage through mapped drives on Windows, OS X, and Linux. For the sake of performance, I used a 64GB mSata SSD in a little external enclosure. My need was simply to allow easy transfer of files from one workstation to another.
Having no moving parts, it is both quiet and energy efficient - a big deal for a device that will remain on 24 x 7. The drive in its enclosure is almost exactly the same size of the Raspberry Pi.
I started with a full install of Raspian on a 16GB SD card.
The drive I picked up was a pull from a working system. The first thing I did was unmount the drive, which Rasbian automatically mounts. To do that I had to know some particulars of the drive.
That returns the device name and the mount point:
pi@rpi-:~ $ df -h Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on /dev/root 15G 3.4G 11G 24% / devtmpfs 459M 0 459M 0% /dev tmpfs 463M 0 463M 0% /dev/shm tmpfs 463M 6.3M 457M 2% /run tmpfs 5.0M 4.0K 5.0M 1% /run/lock tmpfs 463M 0 463M 0% /sys/fs/cgroup /dev/mmcblk0p1 63M 21M 43M 33% /boot tmpfs 93M 0 93M 0% /run/user/1000 /dev/sda1 59G 52M 56G 1% /media/pi/7c770a7d-a41a-4dca-b259-cf5b1221e7fd
The /dev/sda1 is what is of interest. It is the device name for the volume. That is what needs to be unmounted.
sudo umount /dev/sda1
Then I ran 'fdisk' on it to wipe out the partitions and start over. I piped some canned answers into fdisk to partition the disk into a single partition that takes all of the disk. The commands are 'o' to clear the in-memory table, 'n' to create a new partition, and 'w' to write it to disk. Each linefeed is to take the default value for a prompt.
sudo echo -e "o\nn\n\n\n\n\nw" | fdisk /dev/sda
To format the drive, use 'ext2fs':
sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda1
It takes a minute or less to format the drive.
All drives mount on top of an existing directory, so I had to make the directory first:
sudo mkdir /xfer sudo mount -t auto /dev/sda1 /xfer sudo chmod 01777 /xfer
You have to edit /etc/fstab in order to have the newly created volume mount where you need it to be. fstab is the file system table. It defines where each drive mounts to make the whole file system. The Raspberry Pi has a simple fstab:
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0 /dev/mmcblk0p1 /boot vfat defaults 0 2 /dev/mmcblk0p2 / ext4 defaults,noatime 0 1 # a swapfile is not a swap partition, no line here # use dphys-swapfile swap[on|off] for that
Using nano, edit fstab:
sudo nano /etc/fstab
And add one line to make it look like this:
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0 /dev/mmcblk0p1 /boot vfat defaults 0 2 /dev/mmcblk0p2 / ext4 defaults,noatime 0 1 # a swapfile is not a swap partition, no line here # use dphys-swapfile swap[on|off] for that /dev/sda1 /xfer ext3 defaults 1 2
To allow access from Windows machines, I installed Samba.
sudo apt-get install samba samba-common-bin
The samba config file is noisy with comments. I cleaned it up by first renaming it, then copying it back through the grep filter:
sudo su mv /etc/samba/smb.conf /etc/samba/smb.conf.org grep -ve ^# -ve "^;" -ve ^$ /etc/samba/smb.conf.org > /etc/samba/smb.conf
The resulting file is easier to read and using nano, I added a section at the end:
[rpi-data] comment = Data share path = /xfer browsable = yes read only = no
Then restart samba.
service smbd restart
Anyone who uses the samba share must be a user on the Raspberry Pi. Add yourself as a user. There will be several prompts for the adduser command. You can take the defaults on all of them.
adduser mlamb smbpasswd -a mlamb
Now from any PC (Windows, OS X or Linux) you should be able to attach to the share. In Windows and OS X the share just magically shows up. In linux you may need to connect to the server first.