Originally my question is here. But nevertheless I will copy part of it here.

At home I have external USB 3TB HDD. Also at home I have a wifi, but there is no strict computer place.

So my first goal was to be able to connect to my HDD via wifi. So options were NAS box, router with USB or old computer.

But at one forum, guys adviced me to use Raspberry PI, as a server.

So I'v researched a little bit and I'v got a plan:

  1. Raspberry PI model B(A originally, because of 1 port and 10$)
  2. USB HUB(4+ slots)
  3. WIFI module.
  4. DYNDNS to be able to connect from outer world.
  5. External 3TB HDD.
  6. Debian + FTP server
  7. Other server software like web-server and DB. Might be some custom apps.

So as model A has only single port, and model B only 2 with ethernet, I think it is far more better to buy a model a and a hub, so I will be able to use wifi adapter, my HDD and some other devices as well.

This should be kind of 24/7 system I guess.

Is it a good plan or there are some drawbacks?

  • 3
    FTP is a bad idea. I suggest you to consider safer alternatives, such as SFTP or FTPS.
    – user13
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 13:20
  • Having tried a 3TB drive on Openelec I'm not sure it will read a 3TB drive. I know it will read 2TB and probably up to the 2.2TB 32 bit address limit. It may just need some additional drivers or software, it is Linux after all.
    – eLJay
    Commented Nov 25, 2012 at 23:54
  • 1
    It depends on filesystem ext2,ext3,ext4, and xfs should run fine. FAT32 and FAT16 wouldn't cope. Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 4:06
  • Pi will not be able to deliver files from USB hard disk to local network at more then 3MB/s.
    – avra
    Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 10:38
  • 1
    "2.2TB 32 bit address limit", pardon? Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 20:53

4 Answers 4


What you want is known as Network Attached Storage and is a common use for Raspberry Pi. There are very good step by step instructions for setting up all the hardware at http://elinux.org/R-Pi_NAS. There are a couple things to keep in mind

  1. The Raspberry Pi is relatively low power which is great because its cheap to run but not so great because if you try to stream HD video it probably won't be able to maintain high enough through put. As long as all you're doing is backing up files your Raspberry Pi will be fine.

  2. If you use some configuration of dyndns to access your NAS from outside your network then you should do some research into VPN. If you just leave your NAS available to the outside world by port forwarding then anybody could access it and you will eventually have a security problem. Setting up careful access control like they explain in the instructions I linked will ward off some security problems but you still should look into possibly using VPN.

  3. Originally I said to not use a USB wifi dongle for performance purposes, but I have since learned that the B model's ethernet port is run off of the Pi's built in USB hub. It would seem that wifi might not be as large a performance barrier as I originally mentioned though I would still suggest using wired ethernet for security. Also, depending on the particulars of your setup (eg how far is the Raspberry Pi from the wireless router) wired ethernet would more than likely still have improved performance.

Edited item 3 for accuracy.

  • Thank you for your opinion. Your link helps a lot! Perhaps someone has something to add or improve. Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 14:50

I am running OwnCloud on Raspberry Pi without any problem. You can follow setup instructions from instructables to get similar setup.

Using this method, I was able to convert my four drive usb enclosure to NAS.


An additional comment to item 2. in Dan's answer (and item 4. in your list): something you could set up alternatively to DYNDNS is Pagekite.

You can find information on how to set it up on your RPi here.


So as model A has only single port, and model B only 2 with ethernet, I think it is far more better to buy a model a and a hub, so I will be able to use wifi adapter, my HDD and some other devices as well.

No, you're forgetting that the model A has half the RAM. I don't know if you're going to use HTTP, but for any web server RAM is crucial. Nevertheless, make sure to change the GPU ram to 16 MB with the sudo raspi-config tool if you plan to use it as a headless server (i.e. use SSH and never connect a display). It's fine just staying in the terminal, but it can get laggy with a desktop loaded.

If you do choose a web server route with something like ownCloud, then you might want to look into Nginx as it seems to be tons faster than Apache on slow hardware.

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