SAMBA File Sharing on OpenWRT from CF Card (device suggestion?)

I am trying to make a viable solution for my elderly mother needs to be able to view photos either on Android TV or her iPad, without a PC. She is using an older Cannon Digital Camera that writes to a CF card . I recently tried to get the USB CF card reader working on her existing Android TV box but there are some quirks. The CF Card must be inserted then the USB connected to Android being the main quirk.

I see on ebay I can buy a TP-Link WR902AC pre-loaded with. OpenWRT sometimes for as low as $15.00 used. But there are other devices that claim to support OpenWRT like this GL-MT300N-V2(Mango) Portable Mini Travel Wireless Pocket VPN Router that supposedly has it pre-installed. Here is another one GL-AR300M-Lite I know I bought a mini router one time and installed OpenWRT on it as it was supposedly a supported device but did not have enough space to actually do too much with it. What low cost device is recommended for a simple USB to ethernet or WiFi file share (wifi preferred for connecting to main router)

What I need to be able to do.
As I know linux normally mounts a volume by UUID by default. The Cannon Camera conveniently labels all volume consistently as something like CANNON_CAM" (not sure of exact label) , so I need to auto mount by volume label and not by UUID, so that the mount point and share point are consistent. She will never understand the "path" to get to the DCIM folder to see the photos otherwise, so I need to share the DCIM folder on the CF card, which should be possible when using Volume Label to mount. I also need to ensure that it will keep working through swapping CF cards in the reader without having to reconnect USB or resetting anything. I know this is all theoretically feasible however I need to know how it works in real life, which is not always the same as theory. If there is no "eject media" available remotely (on android TV or iPad) do I need to worry about corrupting cards or data when I push the button on card reader to eject CF card??

And what about this issue?
Can't access samba on Openwrt router from any android device - Installing and Using OpenWrt - OpenWrt Forum

IMO, the easiest way to handle this is to get a CF card adapter for the iPad. Depending on which iPad model she has, you'll be looking for either a lightning or usb-c adapter. These things exist, though, for around $15-$25 USD. She can import photos directly into her photos app (Apple Photos, Google Photos, etc.), and then if she wants, she can also cast them to her TV.

Thanks but that suggestion will not work for her. I need to keep the learning curve small or she will just get frustrated.

No, you can not cast from iPad to Android TV as far as I am aware natively. I did try a paid app once and it was unreliable and too hard to use for an 84 yer old to learn. Not to say it can not be done but not easily for an elderly person. Whether it is an app on Android TV or an App on iPad it adds an additional layer of complexity.

Not interested in viewing in photos app and importing to an already full iPad will not work either. Happy with viewing a Samba Share on a file manager app on iPad and it seems to work well.

Believe me I have tried many solutions and most are too complex for an 84 year old to learn.

I need to keep barking up this tree so if you have any useful input as to why this will or will not work that would be more helpful than suggesting something completely different, that for the most part I have already tried.

I think I may have to use a Raspberry Pi and Linux, as I know I can do it that way!


I am pretty sure that a solution involving network sharing is going to be more complex than plugging in an adapter into the iPad.

That said, you could setup the device as a miniDLNA server (look for minidlna and luci-app-minidlna). You'll need enough space to install the USB kmods, filesystem kmods, and miniDLNA server. Possibly samba, too, although I'm honestly not sure how that would be easier than the adapter. If you do install samba, you'll probalby want ksmbd rather than samba4 because of how much lighter weight it is. Offhand, I'm not sure how much space this will require, but I'd recommend making sure you have at least 16MB flash memory available and 128MB (or preferably 256MB or more) RAM. You will not likely be able to use extroot (or not easily) since you'll need the USB port for a CF card reader.

Also, another approach, although again not OpenWrt related, would be to get a DLNA media server device. There are some in the range of $50 USD that even include a remote control... plug it into the TV and it will be the media source. Or, access over the network as a DLNA/media server.

Setting up samba shares on removable storage media, hotplugging and (u)mounting on demand is not going to be fun, even less within the constraints of common router hardware and OpenWrt.

Complexity to set-up is on ME , not on the user. I need it easy for the user. Believe me my elderly mother will not be the one setting it up!

Just my 2c
Real risk of breaking the setup (usb unplug) during CF unplugs - maybe that can be easily solved by training to replug.
And another risk of breaking the CF with mounted unplugs

I'm aware that you are the one who is tech savvy and the one who will do the work to set it up. So when I was talking about complexity, I was really referring to the user-level interaction (i.e. the experience for your mother)... I don't see a likely scenario where the OpenWrt based solution is actually easier for her than buying a DLNA media server or a CF card adapter for the iPad.

Don't get me wrong, I love OpenWrt and I think it can do a lot of great thigns... but like everything else, select the right tool for the job.

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I have been around the block with these kinds of (DLNA) devices too and believe me a SAMBA share is much easier. Besides there is no guarantee that such a server will auto mount or always add new media. Most DLNA servers run off a database and new media is added to the database thereby making a clusterfrack when a different CF card would be inserted as old card is still in database but images unavailable. I have an existing x86_64 LibreElec/Kodi Box that i. could do this with but once the images are indexed they go into the database and stay there.

Ok... well, it sounds like you have an idea of what to do already... give it a shot and see if it is the right solution. If not, try refactoring.


I though this was something that OpenWRT would be well suited for, but now beginning to see maybe not.

Precisely my point. If you have capable hardware lying around, no harm in trying it. But I think there are other solutions out there that will be eaiser. I really do believe that the CF card adapter for the iPad will be one of the most straight forward options, but I don't have the context that you do about what your mother finds easy vs confusing/difficult.

Why must you keep pushing a solution that I already told you WILL NOT WORK? Do you really believe that to be the goal of a moderator?

Sounds like you are volunteering to be the support to help my elderly mother find the path to the CF Card on her iPad when she needs it? I know what I need!

I am asking you if OpenWRT will do something and you are completely oblivious to my question and continue to push your alternate solution rather than say why OpenWRT May or May Not work,


I just tested a USB disk on LibreELEC and sure enough I get a disk mounted as. sda1-usb-VOLUME_LABEL and when it is shared, it is shared over SAMBA by that same name. So if the volume name is consistent then that share name and path to the files from iPad or Android will be consistent. It just goes to show that maybe I will be better off with a different solution but NOT THE ONE YOU KEEP SUGGESTING DUE TO YOUR IGNORANCE OF MY NEEDS.

So retaliate and ban my accout and show the world how ignorant you really are if you do.

Do you really think that's a suitable/appropriate way to conduct yourself? @psherman is entitled, like everyone else here, to provide their opinion in response to questions that have been posed. Being a moderator doesn't change that.

If you don't like the advice you've been given (which is all from volunteers btw) then just politely ignore it. Or you'll soon find that everyone who might have thought to help will be doing just that to you.


I am asking about OpenWRT , not some other solution that I already determined unworkable and stated that in a post. THAT IS IGNORANCE, and it is inappropriate.. I would not ask about a reader on an iPad here because first I would not figure that anyone knows what they are even talking about.

Whether it is 'ignorance' or not doen't excuse the sort of attitude you're displaying in the last couple of posts. Anyone providing assistance on the forums is doing so in their own time and from a desire to help others. Noone owes you anything.

So, as I said previously, if you don't like the advice then politely ignore it. Otherwise you'll soon find yourself without any assistance at all.


I did not ask nor care about your opinion. That reply from this moderator is not relevant to my question.

Take your own advice and ignore my replies if you do not like them or somehow see it as inappropriate.

I do not need these forums I just thought I could ask and not get a load of attitude. I see now I am wrong. Attitude abounds with expertise not even relating to the subject matter, and responses that do not relate to OpenWRT.


Welcome to the world of public forums, people are free to express their opinion. And you're free to decide it's not relevant to your question (but should do so politely).


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