Originally Posted by petew
I'm just getting familiar now. I gutted an old Dell PE700 of the drive cages and am just running the mobo and a couple of old decrepit IDE drives to get familiar with unRAID. I got one of those tiny USB flash drives today and switched to the latest v5 release candidate.
I'm going to pick up aluminum extrusions tomorrow to construct the new drive and fan cage, then get the Dell case put back together. I drilled out most of the rivets to strip the case down to the basics. The Dell uses a standard motherboard and power supply so I figure it's worth putting some effort into it. I'll have the ability to upgrade if the need arises. The PE700 is a pentium 4, about 3GHz with 2GB ram. It's got three PCI-x slots so I'll run a supermicro eight port controller in one of them.
I'll be pulling drives out of my HTPC for the unRAID. I will definitely pre-clear them. I need to save up my nickles for a big drive for parity. I'll investigate using a 400GB IDE drive for the cache drive, but have not really determined that I even need that.
No add on's. I am a total
novice on Linux.
I started a thread over at lime-tech (linked in my sig).
Well, other than the non-official tech support guide, the forums are not easy to find information on there. It took a lot of digging to find what I needed. I am still running beta 5 r 13 I think. I haven't upgraded to a later release candidate... mostly because each version seems to have a different little nuance of one kind or another. What I have works for me, and I am sticking with it for now.
Running the whole OS off of a USB thumb drive (and in memory) is pretty awesome. Gotta love the Linux kernel!
I don't run a cache drive. I have read the benefits of it, but there are also downsides to it, and I didn't want to deal with them. I don't use my NAS like I use a hard drive. I only write to it one stream at a time, and it's usually for something like an mp3 album or blu ray disc i rip. Then it's just reads. I had no need for a cache drive.
I have 3 kinds of hard drives, 1.5, 2, and 3tb drives. So I used a 3tb drive for a parity. The nice thing is, you don't have to destroy your array to add new drives, and even upgrading your parity drive isn't that difficult. All of which require almost no use of linux to do.
Yes, I have had experience with Linux in the past, but it is not really necessary to use unraid. Most of the guides you will find (Once you find them) will tell you step by step every command you need to run.
I'll re-iterate the most important thing of any NAS... cooling is your top priority. No matter how you stack your drives, make sure they are kept cool. Have a good fan (or fans) and good airflow. It will save your data, and keep your drives living a long time.
So here are a few tips (I have all of the links at home, I can maybe add them for you later)
1) Install unRaid. Pretty simple.
2) Make sure your key (license key) is installed so you can use all the drives (if you have more than the free version allows).
3) You will want to pre-clear all of your discs. You will want to do more than one drive at once, and to do that you will need to use "Screen". I ran 4 drives at a time with that on preclear. You can also set up the system to email you when it is done.
4) Not sure if it comes installed or not with the latest RC, but you will want to get the "MyMain" page also (It's the port 8080 web page vs the standard port 80 screen) This web page will be a one click option for many of your add-ons/plugins. It lists many standard ones, and you can just click them to download and install.
5) Build your array.
6) Plan your shares. What do you plan to store? Movies only? Music? You need to come up with a file distribution plan. My distribution plan for movies is VERY different than for music, since the folder trees are much deeper. Movies only go /movies/movietitlefolder/moviefile so each subfolder of the movies folder is its own film, and thus was my distribution threshold for swapping what disk gets written to based on % full. (I think this is the "high Water" setup) For music, many of my folders go /music/flac/folders or music/mp3/audiobooks/folders or music/mp3/albums/A/foldername/songs so you can see lots of different folder levels. You need to think of the perspective of "Loss". If you lose one drive, you don't want all of your music to be on that drive. Distribution should be based on minimizing losses.
7) Create your shares (Decide if your shares are visisble, hidden, or require user authentication)
8) Run a parity check once a month or so overnight. Just to be sure all of your writes worked. I haven't encountered a problem in a year of use, but who knows.
I spent quite a few hours up front getting it all configured correctly. I added several add-ons, such as the myMain, the APC (Power management) plugin, Java JRE, and ps3mediabrowser. Once it is setup and your array is configured, you don't really need to worry about it.