Saturday, 23 October 2010

Overview of ReadyNAS Permissions

Setting up share & file permissions on ReadyNAS devices can generate a substantial number of questions and problems. In most cases, these questions & problems are due to either a lack of understanding by the user of how permissions are designed to work, or a user having incorrect expectations of how permissions work - particularly when more familiar with Windows systems.

This post aims to provide a simplified overview of how permissions work on ReadyNAS devices and what must be considered when configuring them.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Enabling Admin access to the C Volume over AFP

The ReadyNAS firmware has long enabled the admin user to connect to the NAS via CIFS and be able to see the root data volume. For those not familiar, when the admin user connects to the NAS s/he will see all shares plus an additional share called "c" - this is the data volume on the NAS that contains all shares.

One of the key benefits to this is it allows the admin use to directly move data between shares - the data does not travel via the client PC or Mac - and so moves are virtually instantaneous, allow admin to reorganise data quickly & easily.

This is a great feature, but what about those operating in Mac only environment where CIFS is not enabled?

There is a fix, though it requires SSH access to your NAS. Simply add the following line to the file /etc/netatalk/AppleVolumes.system:
"/c" "c" cnidscheme:dbd forceuid:root allow:admin

VoilĂ ! admin can now connect to you NAS over AFP and has full access to the root of the data volume, just like CIFS users

Note: This change will not survive a firmware upgrade, and so must be made again after the upgrade.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Why can't I play my files via DLNA?

The DLNA Organisation defines itself as follows:
The digital home is an evolution of the idea that PCs, consumer electronics and mobile devices should work together seamlessly through a wired or wireless network to share digital content within a home environment. Digital Living [Networking Alliance - DLNA] extends that idea to include sharing content on the go as well.

- DLNA Frequently Asked Questions
The aim is simple and admirable - create a mechanism whereby anyone can access any of their media on any of their devices - Computer, TV, Phone etc. - connected to a home network. Then ensure the success of that mechanism by certifying product compliance with the proposed mechanism.

Netgear has achieved DLNA certification for a number of their ReadyNAS products, providing the ability to stream media to client devices via their ReadyDLNA software included in their NAS firmware. ReadyDLNA simply streams media as-is using the DLNA specified methods - it doesn't modify it or transcode the media in any way, and will stream far more formats than specified by DLNA. (Not that you would know this without trying ReadyDLNA, because Netgear hasn't released any form of user guide for ReadyDLNA or even published the formats it supports)

But this level of support by ReadyDLNA is also the source of an all too common set of questions on the ReadyNAS Forums when trying to access media via ReadyDLNA:
  • Why don't I see all of my media when accessing it via DLNA?
  • Why doesn't my DLNA Certified client play my FLAC audio/MPEG4 AVC Video/[Insert format here] ?
  • Why is it that my DLNA Certified client can play [insert format here] when accessed from a disc, or from a network share - but not via ReadyDLNA?
  • Is the ReadyDLNA server broken?

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Installing an SSL Certificate on your ReadyNAS

How often have you seen a warning like this?

Or this:

More importantly, how often do other users of your NAS see such warnings? And do they know what to do to avoid them, or understand that they are not some kind of fatal error and that your website or NAS access is working just fine?

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Installing Java on x86 ReadyNAS

Here's a step by step guide to installing Java from the official Debian Etch repository.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Installing VirtualBox on the ReadyNAS Ultra

So - I finally got around to reinstalling VB on my Ultra-4.

Here are the steps I used to install the 64 bit version of VB 3.2.8 under RAIDiator 4.2.13 - all worked perfectly first time (though hope I haven't forgotten to copy/paste something)