Search and mount/unmount HDD/SSD attached to SATA

Hi,

It would be great if Search and Mount for attached HDD/SSD is add to the administration panel.
Will be very useful fo rpeople who are not familiar with Linux commands.
Best regards
Tsvetan

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:slight_smile: Seems like this:


(part of next backports package)
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Not sure I can follow this, what one should do to “replace udiskie with custom implementation” so there is automatic mount of SATA storage media?

After the next update gets installed (current one is broken), the drives should automatically show up on the freedombox “storage” page.

Hi Tsvetan,

Earlier versions of FreedomBox have the “udiskie” application enabled by default. This module would listen to all storage related events and automatically mount all the partitions so that users can easily use the inserted disks. It is likely it doesn’t handle SATA disks properly. This is the state with FreedomBox 19.2 which is currently shipped with Pioneer Home Server Kits.

For various reasons, we removed udiskie and implemented auto-mounting of disks within FreedomBox. This was done in version 20.9. We further improved handling of SATA disks in version 20.12. This allows all types of SATA disks to be automatically mounted by FreedomBox and allow them to be ejected from the administration interface.

A typical user of Pinoeer HSK will see 19.2 when they boot. Within a day or two this will upgraded automatically to whatever is the latest version of FreedomBox (we make a release of FreedomBox once every two weeks). However, during these one or two days, users don’t see the latest features and fixes and are sometimes confused. This is the experience for Pinoeer HSK users currently.

On newer versions, the updates also flow much faster after the first booting because of improvements to how we are doing updates now. This, however, does not benefit the Pinoeer HSK users who boot 19.2 for the first time. To remedy the situation, we need to ship a newer image of FreedomBox with newly sold devices. A suitable image (which is built every week with latest FreedomBox) is already available. I was already thinking about contacting you for your testing and approval of a latest image. If this sounds good to you, we can start the process. I will help with some testing from my side too on my Pioneer HSK.

By the way, partly inspired by your launch of BAY-HDD enclosure, we are focusing on several features suitable for a NAS and external storage:

  • File sharing with Windows networks (done, provided by Samba)
  • Media sharing with TVs etc. (done, provided by miniDLNA)
  • Auto-mounting disks (already available, but now improved for SATA disks)
  • Disk partitioning (done, provided by Cockpit app)
  • Advanced disk functions such as RAID (done, provided by Cockpit app)
  • Schedule automatic backups to external drive (to be done)
  • Allow backups of data from arbitrary folders, not just apps (to be done)
  • Monitor SMART data from disks and notify users of impending failures (done).
  • Write a guide for setting up NAS on FreedomBox (to be done).

We have a milestone for tracking these issues. Please feel free to add new feature requests.

Thanks!

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Hi Sunil,

It’s great to learn about the NAS features you work on.

I got few features suggestions by friend who is working as banking IT security advisor in London when I showed him PioneerFreedomBox-HSK.

He said that they usually make two data servers connected together and they are at distance minimum 50 miles. This way if something happens like fire or flood or etc one of the server always have copy of the information. I think remote sync with two PioneerFreedomBox devices may be good feature and could be relatively easy implemented with rsync.

Also when we started the project I think only A20-LIME2 REV.G was supported in Debian and support for the new Microchip PHY we use was not included. So currently PioneerFreedomBox-HSK use this obsolete Rev.G version of the board.
I think now Debian supports also later revision. It would be great if we could move to the newest hardware revision of LIME2, I can send you boards to check.

Best regards
Tsvetan

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I did work on standby setups like these earlier on high-availability servers. These are most suitable for static files. Databases such as sqlite3 (used by MediaWiki, FreedomBox, etc.), PostgreSQL (used by TT-RSS) don’t work well with rsync based syncing. Typical approach there is to setup a primary/follower replication setup. There are also complications with LDAP database and for files like passwd with rsync.

These standby setups are best for recovering from disasters within seconds or minutes sometimes even automatically. In setups typical for a FreedomBox it may be sufficient to recover within the hour. We currently have the ability to take backups onto a remote FreedomBox machine (or any server with SSH access). We are in the process of implementing automated schedules for these backups. These backups take into account database backups, file backups, secrets, permissions and also support encryption. In the short term, I believe this is our bet for delivering something like this. In the long run, we do have (vague) plans to pair with friend’s FreedomBox machines to improve reliability and availability.

This would be very nice to do. I will start digging into Debian’s support soon. Please send me a sample board.

I have also had recent success with booting generic UEFI images with u-boot sitting on a separate SPI flash. If this works well, you can place the best possible u-boot into the SPI flash and place the generic FreedomBox (or other OSes) images on SD card or eMMC or USB disk. We won’t have to build separate FreedomBox image for each board (or its revision). The same UEFI image will work on all current and future boards as long as it has a recent kernel version. This will also be no need for FreedomBox to patch u-boot since it will rely on u-boot provided by Olimex.

The strategy to place a 16M SPI flash is very future thinking. I will soon be reporting on how this worked out for the A64 board you have already sent me. I will also test it on the A20 Rev. K. once I have it.