[Freedombox-discuss] Minimal spec for NAS?

Lars Wirzenius liw at liw.fi
Wed Jun 1 18:36:01 UTC 2011

One of the things in the "Is/is not" list for the FreedomBox was
that it should act as a file server. This is a good thing to
start with, I think, since it does not require dealing with
NATs, firewalls, and such, just doing stuff in the local LAN.

What would be the _minimal_ spec for the _first_ generation of 
FBX-NAS? Something like the following, perhaps:

    I create a USB memory stick with FreedomBox, and boot an
    old laptop off the stick. The laptop is now a NAS server.
    I can format a disk on another computer (ext4, possibly
    over LVM), and then plug it into the FreedomBox, which
    automatically mounts it and shares it over the network.

I emphasize that this should be _minimal_ and _initial_,
because otherwise things will get too complicated too fast,
and nothing will happen. It's better to start with the simplest
possible thing that can be made to work, and grow the system
later on.

* all users see all files
* uses SMB for maximal client compatibility,
  and sftp over ssh for maximal security
* comes preconfigured with a user with a known password
* management via command line tools, login via ssh

The next iteration should probably add a web based management
tool, but there are a lot of open questions of how that should
work, so I think it would be good to avoid that initially, in
the name of getting something to work (and people to build on).

Detection of a USB disk would happen via udev, I guess, or possibly
over dbus, after which it gets mounted under /media (just like on
a desktop system). After that, adding it to Samba should be easy enough.
We could even have Samba just share everything in /media, for
utmost simplicity, to start with.

What do you all think?

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