Helios4 -- community developed ARM 4 bay NAS device received important upgrade

  • Yes, that is right. Twice. Weird, yes?

    Thank you for the info. I've researched a bit and it seems like FedEx process customs for you without permission but charge you the additional fees. In Germany people are sucessfully contesting the fees.

  • Congratulations for reaching the funding goal :thumbsup: i'm wondering which OS would be the best on the helios4. Never tried FreeBSD before but that looks like a reasonable choice because of its focus on security and server tasks. FreeBSD also supports wireguard that i would use instead of SSH. Any experiences with this OS on Helios?

  • I have also taken the plunge with the Helios4 3rd batch. Super excited! All the time between now and June will allow me to read up on btrfs and btrbk ;)

    I almost took the plunge this time around. My only issue is they don't take US currency. I don't use credit cards and my bank flags any international transaction. Once they do approve it, their conversion fees are ridiculous compared to other banks. Other than this one issue, I love banking there so it's not worth switching over. Usually to get around this I use Paypal, and it's worked fine, but they don't take Paypal. This time around, I seriously considered getting a Paypal Debit card and putting the money on my Paypal account and then using the card to buy one.

    Maybe the Helios5.. :)

    Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.

  • i'm wondering which OS would be the best on the helios4

    Why not Open Media Vault? :)

    Helios4 now sitting at 112% funded... so now it's a matter of waiting (& looking at WD Red HDD prices/capacities)

    Meanwhile... happy to report that OMV is running fine on an old notebook PC with twin 3TB external case Seagates attached via USB (not sophisticated, but it does the job!)... noticed that one of the drives (the one in active use) sometimes runs hotter (54deg) when I expect it to be idle. I put it down to VLC staying active on my Android phone even when I'm not using it, so I make sure it's killed as a process when not in use. Drives are now 'cool' at 31C.

  • As OMV is armbian-based i found out that it's BSD copetitor is FreeNAS that doesen't seems to be supported as well

    All the OMV images for ARM are generated using Armbian's build system but how should this be related to FreeNAS? And why should FreeNAS be a competitor to whatever?

    Anyway: Netgate, the company behind pfSense brought FreeBSD to the Marvell Armada 38x platform on which Helios4 is based. So in theory you could get both FreeBSD and FreeNAS running. But please keep in mind that for support reasons the FreeNAS guys tell their user base they would need at least 8 GB of ECC memory (which is no technical necessity for what FreeNAS allows but makes a lot of sense from the support point of view -- people who invest in serious server grade hardware are less likely to run into hassles caused by toy grade hardware like missing write barrier support).

    With FreeNAS you need a lot of technical expertise and be prepared that your support experience over at FreeNAS forum might be annoying.

  • Hi

    Bought this in the first batch but have only just gotten around to setting it up...be dealing with some personal issues / sickness for the past few months...

    I'm happy to report that I have now got the NAS up and running using OpenMediaVail, and running a Plex media Server...now just have to load up some media to see how it performs...but I'm hopeful...then I'll be able to ditch my old Seagate Personal Cloud

  • You're right, it might be not the right place here to ask this As OMV is armbian-based i found out that it's BSD copetitor is FreeNAS that doesen't seems to be supported as well.

    I wanted to comment on this earlier... am I correct that OMV is *not* 'armbian based' but rather it is 'Linux based' and the CPU platform is then a customisation of the distribution? Debian (Armbian, Raspian etc) with OMV doing it's NAS thing over the top? With a web server to provide the interface over network?

    So, you're booting into Linux with OMV running over that?

  • As I see it, as just a user.

    On ARM it is Armbian based. But really it is Debian based. Armbian is Debian based, so...

    OMV consists of a full Linux server operating system with the OMV system as a customization. And the Linux system is optimized for use as a headless NAS platform.

    I think this is great. I can use OMV for some parts but I don't have to. I can use the full underlying Linux operating system as well.

    For instance I handle disks, local filesystems, all the shares and services for them in OMV. And I administrate users and dockers in OMV.

    But I use autofs to mount remote shares, typically other OMV servers. And I use plain cron and bash scripts for backups. I do this outside OMV because it is convenient and that was how I was used to do it long before I started using OMV.

    Some care need to be taken to not do stuff that may conflict with OMV. Test carefully before using things for real.

    I would argue that this is true for most NAS systems. Only it is not as easy to access the underlying Linux OS on many other systems.

    Be smart - be lazy. Clone your rootfs.
    OMV 5: 9 x Odroid HC2 + 1 x Odroid HC1 + 1 x Raspberry Pi 4

  • OMV on i386 or amd64 is Debian with using Debian kernels (and proxmox kernel with omv-extras).
    OMV on armhf or arm64 is armbian which is just a build system and a kernel (and a couple of packages) on top of Debian.

    On all platform, omv is just a package (with additional packages for plugins) installed on a Debian system that configures config files for other packages. If you remove the openmediavault package, you have a normal Debian system.

    omv 5.6.13 usul | 64 bit | 5.11 proxmox kernel | omvextrasorg 5.6.2 | kvm plugin 5.1.6
    omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github

    Please read this before posting a question.
    Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!

  • Ordered yesterday the full kit from the batch 3, expected to be shipped in June. Clever kit with all you may need, just the HDs have to be added.

    I'm planning a 4x8TB station, suggestion for the HDs?



  • Standard answer is a NAS rated drive (eg WD Red) but I'd not be surprised if SSDs start to pop up (would need a 3.5" caddy I'd guess?) - reason; vibration, long uptimes (although not for casual/home!) etc etc BUT! ; cost!

    QN to the experts... would a casual home user get away with standard HDDs? -and- What's the consensus on SSD's in NAS-es?

    Some youtube videos that may help;

    [SSD life expectancy]
    [Hard drives compared]

    [Server vs Workstation]

    (NB - I'm a non tech user!)

    PS... also have Helios4 on order! :)

  • would a casual home user get away with standard HDDs?

    Depends on count of HDDs used and storage topology. In case you want to build any kind of 'array' (mdraid, RAIDz) you need to ensure that certain timeout behavior is correct. Do a search for TLER/CCTL and look at STCERC. You want drives that return in almost no time in case of an error.

    What's the consensus on SSD's in NAS-es?

    I guess there is none or it largely depends on topology and especially write patterns. If SSDs are used as caches (for example ZIL/L2ARC with RAIDz) then those should be enterprise SSDs with consistent low latency and supercapacitors to survive power losses without data loss.

    If you want to build an array purely out of SSDs you need to look at different criteria and weigh on your own. The good thing with SSDs is that they die mostly for entirely different reasons than HDD and that their life expectancy can be monitored via SMART (does not apply to el cheapo crap SSDs whose names often starts with King*). As long as you can monitor the SSD's wear out indicator via SMART you can plan for the event when the SSDs reached their end of life and then decide what to do prior to their predicted failure.

    At the moment I'm planning a storage/VM combo where we most probably rely on 8 consumer grade 2TB SATA SSDs in RAIDz2 topology (or maybe 6 x 2TB SSDs plus one zmirror made out of 2 huge Seagate Exos for 'cold data'). The idea is to let the drives wear out over time and simply replace them all with higher capacity models in a few years. Write access pattern right now is unknown and as so no experiences exist with such a setup. But I'm rather confident that they will last a few years with 10-15 VMs on them and some TB fileserver storage.

    if you use an SSD setup purely for fileserver purposes with very low write activity I would believe there's nothing you need to fear. The access patterns of a data drive are entirely different compared to a SSD as Windows or macOS system drive.

  • Thanks for that... a lot to absorb, so, at a Pro level, still a work in progress, pro-grade SSDs are pricey!

    At a consumer/home level, as long as a decent quality SSD is used and apparently, a fair amount of unused/spare space is left on the device (say... 25% ??) it should give a decent service life

    > as for the Helios4 -> I intend to install new, WD Reds and run OMV as the NAS-OS [stick to the standard]

    > in future, will order another one from the next batch (they will probably evolve the design & specs) then use the 'old' one to play with different drive types & config's

    >> meanwhile, my old notebook-PC with 2x3TB USB HDDs (Seagates, consumer grade) with OMV is running smoothly and no issues since I set it up in Feb :) Happy Days!

    [edit - I aim to simply mirror-copy the two 3TBs as backup... using rsync or anything the forum may suggest]

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