Raspberry Pi - NAS (Network Attached Storage)




Introduction: Raspberry Pi - NAS (Network Attached Storage)

About: IoT Related Projects

Network attached Storage or NAS for short is a really good device to have if you are dealing with a large amount of files and data. I have so much of my work related content on my PC Internal HDD that it leaves not much room for my personal data, so I usually store them on an external HDD, but each time someone in my family needs any file or photos I have to plug in and copy files from my HDD.

To solve this I decided to use a Raspberry Pi 3 I had, this would make a cheap NAS device and it is easy to setup too. So in this instructable I'm going to show you How to create a NAS using the Raspberry Pi.

Step 1: Tools and Components

Here is what you will need to get you NAS up and running,

  • Raspberry Pi
  • External HDD
  • Micro SD Card 8Gb or above
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Ethernet Cable

Step 2: Installing the OS

For the NAS or Network Attached Storage, we will be using OpenMediaVault OS, which is a free OS for setting up in homes and small offices. It works on various Linux platforms. It supports various protocols like SFTP, FTP, etc it even has BitTorrent Client.

To install the OS you will need to download the Win32 Disk Imager and download the OpenMediaVault OS.

Step 3: Writing and Booting the OS

To write the OS on the disk open up win32diskimager and select the OS image file and then select the micro SD card drive to be installed. After writing the OS the win32diskimager will give you a write successful pop up.

Next you need to plug the SD Card into the Raspberry Pi and it will boot into the OS.

Step 4: Getting Started

For intal setup you need to attach a montior and keyboard to the raspberry pi and when you boot up you can login using the default username and password which is admin and openmediavault. Next you should be able to setup the network and see the IP address of the raspberry pi.

After the network setup you can run the raspberry pi as a headless device i.e, you no longer need a keyboard and mouse as you can access the pi from any PC connected to the same network using the ip address of the raspberry pi.

Step 5: Adding Folders

You should able to mount your HDD drive from storage and File system in the left side menu, and you should see all your drives listed here you can mount and unmount any driver here and to share any folder on your drives, from Shared folders in the Access Rights Management tab side menu.



    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest

    21 Discussions


    11 months ago

    After checking the specs on the rpi 3B, this project is a little disappointing. Not to diminish your effort in constructing and creating this instructable and your willingness to share it, but I think it is a waste of time & effort, sad to say! The lan port is only 10/100 which is painfully slow to transfer large (DVD) sized files. It would take an hour to transfer a 4.4GB file over my 10/100 network. As soon as I could, I upgraded to a gigabit network. Now my transfer time is about 6 minutes, a huge difference, still too long, but tolerable. I wish I could upgrade to a 10GB network, then it would take about 1 minute per file.

    About 10 years ago, I bought a Belkin 1005 five port usb2/10/100 network attached switch box that they misnamed as a server. As a switch box, it still works great but is limited to about 100mbps (the speed of the rpi 3B unit built here). I found this great for printers and scanners, things that are slow even at their best speed, shared between 4 teens and myself. This was better than moving the device from computer to computer. For hard drive applications, I found "sneaker-net" the best. Use an external USB drive and mover it from computer to computer.

    Now, when the Rpi supports at least 4 USB3 ports and a gigabit lan port, then we will have a viable NAS or USB/lan switch box.This is what I've been waiting for! - - - I'm still waiting!

    Even so, I compliment you on your ingenuity and construction of your NAS unit! Even more KUDOs for your instructable, which I think is well written. If you come across a small inexpensive motherboard with four or more USB3 ports and a gigabit or higher LAN port and you can construct a USB/LAN switch box, I will definitely build at least 3 of them. I like to use external USB3 drives.

    2 replies

    Using the R-Pi B 3+ makes this workable. specs got a bump... per raspberrypi.org:

    "Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0 (maximum throughput 300 Mbps)"

    My experience has been good so far. not perfect, but good.

    Runs the Plex server well enough. Paired it with an HD Homerun Connect Quatro so I can DVR on it to my heart's content.

    Check out the ODROID-XU4. Not quite the spec you asked for but close! Similar to the the RPi but faster, more ram and less corruptible eMMC flash storage. Gigabit ethernet port, two USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0. $59 from their website (about £45)

    Or the ODROID-HC1, same as the XU4 but instead of the two USB 3.0 ports it has a sata port for a 2.5" drive instead. Perfect for a home NAS! $49 from their website (about £38)

    Has anyone tried using this as a backup device? If so what backup software did you have success with?

    1 reply

    I have been using an rpi for backup for a few years.. I mount a shared drive from my PC onto the pi then simply use bash scripts to rsync the files twice a day. Keeps the PC and the locally mounted USB drive on the pi identical. You could even use a third Pi and drive in another location to keep a third copy.

    How about including the hardware Instructable bits..

    Does it have to be a Pi 3? Or will any of the Pi's work? Also is there a limit on the external hard drive size?

    I though that you shouldn't use an SD card or USB stick for the OS due to a high frequency of writes trashing the card?


    Nice box!

    Where is the cable for the HDD?

    This might help those who want a case:


    That is an excellent looking case thats perfectly sized for the disk & PI. (Can a second drive fit also?) . Please tell us where you got it!

    Not sure, but I think the enclosure is this one: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2094601

    Please, please infirmation about the Case (enclosure)


    Enclosure please!!

    Need also info about that case.

    Can be very useful for media center.

    Ditto on the enclosure. Thank you.