Beginner questions about useful NAS packages

Hello everyone,
with a lot of help from the members of this great forum and over at doozan forum, I finally installed OpenWRT on my two NAS devices.

I have started to install a few filesystem packages and can now finally see my mounts in the "System - Mount Points" section.

Now I am still missing a few things and was wondering what the recommendations are.
To start of with:

  • File browser. There is no built in file browser that allows me to e.g. copy files from one place to another. I would like to do this without a permanent WinSCP connection because I want the workload to be on the NAS and be able to shutdown my PC when moving large amounts of files. Is there such a thing with graphical UI?
  • Hard drive utilites to re-partition and format the drives. Moving from stock firmware, the drives have no longer needed partitions and I would like to clean this up. Is there such a thing with graphical UI?
  • SFTP server. I installed openssh server to be able to use WinSCP, but it has no graphical UI where I could maybe redirect certain useres to certain folders. Is this possible somehow?

Thank you for your recommendations :slight_smile:

Not available, AFAIK.
ssh and mc, or screen + mc, if you want to be able to run headless.

Don't think so, fdisk via ssh.

use personal samba shares ?

Note, openwrt is a router software, you can't expect the same functionality as in a NAS.


Hmmm, interesting. Of course I understand that OpenWRT is not a NAS software, but since maximum control was the goal to achieve, I will make due without :slight_smile:

Follow-up questions:
Since openssh is already giving my SFTP access. Is there any known downside to using it instead of a dedicated FTP server, samba/nfs fileshare or similar? Should be safe, right?
Is it possible to add users which can only access certain folders?

Saftey/stability questions:

  • Does OpenWRT control the fan speeds of my device? Or do I need to install additional packages for that?
  • Is there a command line integration for LuCi? I would like to be able to issue commands from within the NAS rather than using e.g. Putty or WinSCP to copy files etc. That way all commands will continue to run even when I cut the connection from my PC.

Depends on your definition of safe :wink:

There will be a performance penalty with SFTP, since it's encrypted.

FTP uses clear text authentication, but if it's only used on the LAN side, it shouldn't be a problem.
Pretty much the same for Samba.

Linux can, in general, control the fan speeds, if it's able to do it on our device, is another question :wink:

There's luci-app-commands, but it'll be like running commands through Putty, but in a web interface instead.


Hmmm, after installing and rebooting I just see an empty page

might need to add some, under configure ?

guessing though.

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But I can only put custom commands there, right? I was hoping for a terminal/console. Otherwise, if I am not mistaken, this luci-app-commands only let's you execute predefined and saved commands.

That's right, it won't open a console to the router. You can only run some custom commands.

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Welll, not what I was looking for, but sufficient for this first task :slight_smile:

And there is no alternative?

you are looking for 'screen' ... graphucal command interfaces in no way imply 'continue to run' once you exit the session...

I would rather have a RaspberryPi or similar with a “full” Linux distro with a external harddrive as a NAS or server instead of forcing in a router firmware in to a NAS and nothing really works.

Yes and no. I own two NAS already and they work very nicely. And they allow me to bind them to different VLANs etc.
I could buy two RPis, but that would be wasteful now.

So yes, I agree, that RPis are a good way to go and I own two myself. But especially the limitations when it comes to connecting drives to the RPi are a bit offputting. It works via the two USB3.0 ports, but I would rather have a real controller.

Anyway, RPi works great and would be my choice were I to build a new system. But with two existing ones, my goal was to get rid of the restrictions of the stock firmware and go with a lightweight, customizable firmware.

Using samba4 and SFTP now and they work great on both my NAS :slight_smile:
(stock only had FTP and samba1 and created a bunch of useless default shares).