Use Raspberry Pi as a NAS - installation and setup


Use Raspberry Pi as a NAS - installation and setup

If you don't want to buy an expensive NAS, you  can simply build it yourself with the  Raspberry Pi . We explain how it works and what advantages and disadvantages it has here at OkayGotcha.

A NAS is network storage that provides the devices in the network with large amounts of storage. In contrast to a simple external hard drive, a NAS has the following functions:

  • low power consumption in continuous operation
  • available everywhere in the network (for laptops, PCs, smartphones, tablets, ...)
  • easy operation and setup of the NAS via a browser user interface
  • expandable with services such as mail server, VPN server, FTP server, download server, ...

NAS vs. Raspberry PI NAS: differences, advantages and disadvantages

The “disadvantage” of a NAS from Synology or QNAP is the price: A good entry-level NAS like the Synology DS220j costs around 300 euros including reliable hard drives from WD Red  (2 x 2 TB) . But if you want to get your first experience with a NAS, you can build your own NAS with a Raspberry Pi.



Raspberry Pi NAS




Energy costs

Relatively low

Very little



Very good

Processor power

Medium to high


Features & expandability

Very good


But you should keep in mind that the management and functions are not on the comfortable level of a purchased NAS system. While a professional NAS can stream a film to several network participants at the same time, a Raspberry Pi NAS will quickly reach its limits. For testing and trying out or as a DIY project for learning, you can convert your own Raspberry Pi into a NAS.

Set up Raspberry Pi as NAS

1. You need that

  • A Raspberry Pi (preferably the latest model)
  • Official Raspberry Pi power supply  (5 volts) or compatible mobile phone charger for power connection
  • microSD card (at least 4 GB) for NAS operating system 
  • USB hard drive as NAS storage for the Raspberry Pi 
  • (We do NOT recommend a USB stick as a NAS data carrier, as these are quite error-prone in continuous NAS operation.)

2. Install Raspberry Pi OS Lite

OpenMediaVault is used as the NAS operating system . However, in order to be able to install OpenMediaVault version 5 or higher, Rasbperry OS must first be installed on the Raspberry Pi. Open the download website from and download the "Raspberry Pi OS Lite" image as a ZIP file. “Raspberry Pi Lite” has no graphical user interface. However, this is also not required because you will later control OpenMediaVault via an external computer via the network.

Use Raspberry Pi as a NAS - installation and setup

Transfer the image to the microSD card of the Raspberry Pi. Use the free Etcher tool for this . In the program you first select the ZIP file from “Rasperry Pi OS Lite” with “ Select Image ” and then via “ Select drive ” the microSD card as the destination. Confirmed with the button “ Flash! ".

Once the process is complete, you slide the microSD card into the Raspberry Pi, connect it to the power supply and start it. Either you operate the Raspberry Pi with a keyboard and a screen or you control it remotely via SSH over the network. We use SSH here.

After the Raspberry Pi has booted, enter the standard username and password :

  • Username: pi
  • Password: raspberry
If the login doesn't work, you may have set the English keyboard layout (Y and Z are swapped). After logging in, you update the Raspberry Pi with the following command:

  • sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
Restarts the Pi with:

  • sudo reboot
At this point, we recommend assigning a fixed IP address to the Raspberry Pi in the router settings .

3. Install OpenMediaVault

Log in to the Pi with your username and password. Now you install the current OpenMediaVault version from the GitHub repository using an installation script. Simply enter the following command and confirm with [ Enter ]:

  • wget -O - | sudo bash
Then restart the Rasperry Pi and connect the USB hard drive.

4. Set up OpenMediaVault and USB hard drive

When you start the Raspberry Pi for the first time after installing OpenMediaVault, it takes a little longer than usual because certain basic settings are made. If you have not set up a fixed IP address for the Raspberry Pi, you have to find this out in the router settings. A Fritzbox router shows you the IP addresses of your network devices under " Home network "> " Network ".

Set up OpenMediaVault and USB hard drive

Now open your browser on the PC, enter the IP address and press [ Enter ]. Log in to the OpenMediaVault homepage:

  • Username: admin
  • Password: openmediavault

For security reasons, it is best to change the password under " General Settings "> " Web Administrator Password ".

The hard drive is now set up. Click on the left on the menu item “ Data storage ”> “ Drives ”. Selects the external hard drive. The name is probably "sda". Click on " Delete ". You choose " Fast " as the method .

A file system is now created on the deleted volume. To do this, click on the left on the menu item “ Data storage ”> “ File systems ”. Accept the default setting " EXT4 ". After the process you will see the data carrier in the " Status " column as " Online ". Click on " Include " and " Apply " so that the Raspberry Pi NAS can write to the data carrier.

5. Set users and shares

As with professional NAS systems, OpenMediaVault can also manage multiple users with different folder shares. You create a new user under " Access Control "> " User ". Tap on " Add ". Assigns a user name and an associated password with which the user logs on to the NAS when accessing folders.

OpenMediaVault has a user and share management.

You create releases under " Access control "> " Shared folders ". Click on " Add ". Enter a name and select the disk you have just prepared as “ drive ”. Under " Access rights " you set who is allowed to access the shared folder. Then you can click on the share, click on "Privileges " and set exactly who has read and write access to the share (only read, read and write, no access). Save the settings and click on " Apply " at the top .

6. Set network protocols

Finally, the network protocols must be set under " Services ". To do this, activate " SMB / CIFS ". Then you have to define for each network protocol that the corresponding shares are also displayed. To do this, select the shared folder in the " Approvals "> " Add " tab . Saves the settings.

7. Access Raspberry-Pi-Nas from the PC

Now you can access the Raspberry-Pi-Nas from the PC. Searches for networks in Windows, Linux or on the Mac. Connect to the NAS and enter the username and password that you previously created in OpenMediaVault during user management.

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