Wondering if OMV is right for me

  • Hi all,


    I ordered a little intel NUC8i5 with 16GB RAM to use as a little NAS server. The storage will be attached by a powered USB3 hub. And i'm looking for a NAS OS to use. I'm thinking about OMV and Unraid


    I want to use my NAS to store my media and other data and run a few docker containers. Emby, Sonarr, Radarr, Jacket, Hass.io and PiHole/Adguard for now, maybe some more to play with later.


    I would have 2x WD 4TB HD's and 1x WD 2TB drive for the data and a 500GB WD NVME drive for the OS. I'll have some more WD USB3 HDs with my my current movies/tv shows/... on it which will turn into backups of those files.


    I've already inquired on the Unraid forums and they said for my setup it's not really a good idea to use Unraid. Even without the use of parity. So I'm wondering what the OMV community thinks about my setup for use with OMV.


    I have no UPS so i would like to avoid using raid if this is possible in OMV.


    Can i just use individual drives and assign shares to them or do i always have to setup a raid configuration?


    Can I set up some sort of backup to copy certain folders from the shares to NTFS formatted backup drives? These would also be USB3 drives hooked up to that same USB hub.


    Thanks in advance for any input!

  • Can i just use individual drives and assign shares to them or do i always have to setup a raid configuration?

    Actually, OMV does not support to create RAID with USB connected devices anymore. Too many issues in the past. So, yes, you can use individual drives.



    The storage will be attached by a powered USB3 hub.

    There are some issues with USB Disk enclosures. Some of them report identical series numbers for different devices, which will not work with OMV. Search the forum to check which USB enclosures are working and which don't.


    Also check the last topic here:

    https://openmediavault.readthe…test/troubleshooting.html


    Can I set up some sort of backup to copy certain folders from the shares to NTFS formatted backup drives?

    Yes you can, but I would not use NTFS (might cause troubles for restore due to permissions and access rights). Stay with ext4. If you need to access the data from a Windows client without a nas, you can either use some third party software to access ext4 from Windows, or just spin up a Linux live distro and copy the data to your Windows drive.

  • Thank you for your reply!


    A lot of what you are saying is making me very happy. It seems like OMV would work fine for my setup from what i read.

    I've been watching a buttload of videos on youtube about OMV, but pretty much all of them talk about setting up a raid config, so that's why i wanted to be sure.


    All the external HD's i'm using are 4TB WD Passport or 2TB WD Elements drives. They are not some random HD's i put in an enclosure.


    I'm new to this, why would i have problems with restore due to permissions? If i can originally can copy from those drives to the array why would i not be able to do that later on? I'm not looking for a "proper" backup solution, more something like when i plug in the Backup HD a scrips/app/whatever compares what's on it compared to certain folders on the NAS and then copies what's missing. Is this possible or am i overthinking things.

    You are correct for the reason i wanted to keep them in NTFS, that's the source at the moment, all my movies/tv series are on NTFS formatted drives and if something goes wrong i can use these backups on any windows pc while trying to fix the nas.

  • You have ownership and permissions.

    https://www.thegeekdiary.com/u…s-and-ownership-in-linux/

    When you run a rsync or rsnapshot job to make a backup to a linux filesystem (like ext4) you can define to preserve those. If you make a restore you can also preserve ownership and permissions. So after backup your files really have the same stat and everything (samba, docker etc.) works like before.

    If you do the backup to ntfs ownership and permission get lost. You might have to set them manually after a restore.


    As usually, you should test your backup strategy if it is working for your setup. You only have backup, if you have tested it.


  • Thanks for that explanation!


    Last thing i'm wondering about is the write speeds i would get writing to the shares?

    On Windows i get write speeds to these hd's between 70-100MB/s, would i get similar speeds in OMV?

    Remember I won't be using a raid setup, just shares on individual drives.

  • I have a test OMV system on the bench now. To test this for you I dug out an old USB3 2TB 3.5" drive, and plugged it in. right away the drive shows up in the disks tab. I quickly wiped it and created a new BTRFS volume on it, mounted it, created a shared folder, and then a SAMBA share for it. add shared folder privileges, and bingo it shows up as a network share on my win10 desktop. I grabbed a 2.5GB file and copied it to the OMV USB shared folder. It climbed up to 282MB/sec and stayed there to the end of the file.


    This should show you that OMV and USB3 file performance does not have to be a barrier for you.


    PS if you are wonder how come It was so high, I have 2.5Gbe Network in my OMV server, so 280 MB/sec is the limit of my network.

    PPS if you were wondering how 1 single HDD could accept a file at 282MB/sec, well it didn't. I also have 16GB in the OMV box, and it used some of the unused RAM as a buffer. It accepted the file as fast as I could provided it, and then wrote it to the USB HDD as fast the HDD itself would allow it.


    I can show this via a much larger write to the share, 21GB, it did the first portion at 280GB/sec then dropped to 125-135MB/sec after a while, this happens when the server ran out of RAM to buffer it in and relied on the HDD write speed to limit the transfer speed. this graph shows the USB HDD write.



  • Thanks for taking the time and testing this!

    It givers me a lot more confidence that my setup will work as expected!

    I only have a 1Gb/s LAN connection, but that still means i will get around 100 - 125 MB/s, that's absolutely fine.


    I will have the choice between 2 SSD's , a SATA3 250GB drive and a 500GB NVMe drive. if OMV needs a system drive and you shouldn't install anything else on it, it might make sense to use the 250GB SATA3 drive? Do you agree?


    Is there an option in OMV to use a SSD drive as a cache drive, lke they do in Unraid to speed up transfers to the NAS?

  • No problem at all. Having it on the bench right now, this is all of interest to me as well.

    The most I see with 1gbe NIC is 110-115. I have my OMV OS installed on an older 240GB SSD as well for OS. I use the NVME drive for my docker containers now. OMV has no SSD caching in the GUI than I have seen, but as OMV is literally just an app on top of a debian operating system, I am expecting that options like bcache lvm cache assuming you also use linux logical volume manager for volumes) might work. I am interested in SSD caching but have not tested anything.

  • One thing to add: performance with ext4 seems to be better than with ntfs.

    I was planning on using ext4 for the drives in OMV.

    My question about NTFS was more about my current drives. They are all formatted in NTFS.

    I was wondering if it was possible to connect those to OMV too so i could copy my movies, tv series, ... from those drives to the new ones.

    My next question/idea was to keep those NTFS formatted drives connected to OMV and once and a while copy newly added data from the ext4 drives back to the NTFS ones to keep a backup.

    That way if something ever goes wrong with OMV i would have a backup of my movies that i can read in windows. This would be a manual copy job, not some sort of automated backup.


    I'm not married to this idea, i'm very new to this all, just asking what is possible, and hopefully getting some better ideas back ;)

  • I was wondering if it was possible to connect those to OMV too so i could copy my movies, tv series, ... from those drives to the new ones.

    Yes, ntfs filesystems can be mounted by OMV and you can copy data to your data drive. Either with the usbbackup plugin, with rsync plugin or from CLI (e.g. using midnight commander).



    My next question/idea was to keep those NTFS formatted drives connected to OMV and once and a while copy newly added data from the ext4 drives back to the NTFS ones to keep a backup.

    Also possible, with the limitations mentioned above regarding ownership and permission.

  • Looks like you are hijacking this thread. How about making a new one?


    You can

    • install OMV on a USB thumb drive or SD card
    • install OMV on a SSD in an USB enclosure
    • install OMV on a separate partition of one drive, so you can use the rest for another partition (this can be done by either shrinking the OS partition with gparted or by installing Debian first and then OMV on top; the Debian installer gives you more flexibility regarding the creation of partitions and filesystems)
    • use the plugin which allows you to create shared folders on the root fs
  • Yes, ntfs filesystems can be mounted by OMV and you can copy data to your data drive. Either with the usbbackup plugin, with rsync plugin or from CLI (e.g. using midnight commander).



    Also possible, with the limitations mentioned above regarding ownership and permission.

    So maybe for the second part just leave those USB3 drives plugged into a Windows machine and copy over the network for the backups? It's not like it's heaps of data i need to backup extra every month.

  • Looks like you are hijacking this thread. How about making a new one?


    You can

    • install OMV on a USB thumb drive or SD card
    • install OMV on a SSD in an USB enclosure
    • install OMV on a separate partition of one drive, so you can use the rest for another partition (this can be done by either shrinking the OS partition with gparted or by installing Debian first and then OMV on top; the Debian installer gives you more flexibility regarding the creation of partitions and filesystems)
    • use the plugin which allows you to create shared folders on the root fs

    Funny enough he posted a part of one of my posts again. I asked the exact same thing.


    My plan for installing OMV, after some more research, is to stick to the 250GB SSD, that way the docker images can also stay there.

    I'll have another 350GB SSD i can use as a share for all my docker config files and other shares i want to be a bit snappier.


    I'll use the 500GB NVMe drive as a new system drive in my old windows pc. No point of using a 500GB drive as a system drive for OMV.

  • I see no benefit for installing OMV's debian OS on an NVME over a SATA. Even a USB stick is easily good enough to boot from. I installed docker on my NVME via OMV extras, and also use it for docker config folders etc. so far so good. Your NAS data on local USB3 attached HDD drives is fine. Your backup of that data sounds like it needs some thought. Google the 3-2-1 rule. consider human error, gear failure, fire, theft, etc.

  • I see no benefit for installing OMV's debian OS on an NVME over a SATA. Even a USB stick is easily good enough to boot from. I installed docker on my NVME via OMV extras, and also use it for docker config folders etc. so far so good. Your NAS data on local USB3 attached HDD drives is fine. Your backup of that data sounds like it needs some thought. Google the 3-2-1 rule. consider human error, gear failure, fire, theft, etc.

    Thanks for confirming my ideas about the use of the SSD's.


    About the backups. All my important files i have on multiple computers and a backup in the cloud. So I think i'm good for that.


    I would like to find a simple solution for backing up my movies, tv shows and music. But if at all possible i would like the backups to stay on an NTFS file system so i can use them on a Windows PC in case something would even happen to my OMV server. Like i mentioned before, I'm not married to this idea if there is an easy way to read ext4 or xfs file system in windows.


    On my OMV server i would have:


    4TB Movies

    4TB TV Shows

    2TB Music/Other


    For my backup drives I would have


    4TB Movies --> 2x 2TB

    4TB TV Shows --> 4TB

    2TB Music/Other --> Music Other


    Those backup drives are what i use now on Windows.


    My last question is about setting up symlinks. I read about it, i know it's possible, just not sure how to set it up and most explanations online never seem to be complete


    What i would like to achieve is one share called Media that has 3 symlinks in it, each one pointing to Movies/TV Shows/Music.

    So in Windows i just see the one Media share.


    This seems also an easier way to later set up a docker for Emby, you only have to point to one folder to get everything you need to set up your libraries.


    Is what i want to do possible?


    Again, thanks for reading!

  • My last question is about setting up symlinks. I read about it, i know it's possible, just not sure how to set it up and most explanations online never seem to be complete

    https://linux.die.net/man/1/ln


    ln -s TARGET LINK_NAME

    If you execute this in the folder "Media", LINK_NAME is just one of Movies/TV Shows/Music.

    TARGET is the fully qualified path to the three folders which contain Movies, TV Shows and Music.

    So you have to create three symlinks.

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