[owncloud-devel] WD PiDrive Project

eNeKuX enekux at gmx.com
Fri Jan 22 21:00:15 GMT 2016

Hello there (I am re-sending Yesterday's post in plain text format because looks like mailman does not like htmls...)

my name is Eneko and I want to share with you my experience with a similar setup that I have been working on for the last 3 weeks, since I first saw your post "https://owncloud.org/blog/western-digital-and-owncloud-team-up-to-bring-owncloud-to-home-users/".
I am an owncloud user and enthusiast for a very long time. My first server was deployed in a remote VPS and everything worked just fine. But when I saw your post I decided to bring it home and have full control over it.
So when deciding about which hardware to re-use it could be an old PC, laptop... or a raspberry pi... I then realized that I already owned a nice piece of hardware that could potentially be used for my owncloud server plus many other services. That is my Android Box - MINIX NEO X7 (http://www.minix.us/products/NEOX7.html).
The specs are:
+ Processor: Quad-Core Cortex A9 Processor (1.6GHz)
+ GPU: Quad-Core Mali 400.
+ Memory: 2GB DDR3
+ Internal Storage: 16GB NAND Flash
+ Wireless Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Dual-Band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz / 5.0GHz), Bluetooth support, USB 3G dongle support (not included)
+ OS: Android™ Jelly Bean 4.2.2
+ Video Output: HDMI®, Full HD 1080p
+ Audio Output: HDMI®, two channel
+ Peripheral Interface:
RJ-45 Ethernet jack (10/100Mbps)
SD/MMC card reader (SD 3.0, MMC V4.41)
USB 2.0 HOST port x 3, Micro-USB OTG port x 1
Headphone Jack, Microphone Jack
IR receiver (built-in, remote included)
+ Power: DC 5V, 3A adapter included (CE, FCC, CCC certified)

So first, I started to look on different ways of debianizing the box or booting Ubuntu from SD card without flashing the ROM:

But then I run into the next wonderfull Android application: Linux Deploy
with its own github account:

With this application I am able to run a full stack Debian Jessie image in my Android Box in a totally symbiotic environment...
The disk image (.img) is 4096MB big and is deployed in my 32GB external SD card. Then the applications and services of my Debian server are run in a chroot environment and working together with the Android box. This means, that I can keep using the Android Box as my Multimedia Center and at the same time I can have running in the background a pumped up Debian Server with "all-you-can-imagine" services running...
"all-you-can-imagine" services:
+ Apache
+ Owncloud
+ Webmin (+Virtualmin)
+ Letsencrypt
+ Guacamole
+ Transmission
+ Samba
+ WebDAV
+ Postfix
+ Dovecot

All the data like for example for owncloud is redirected to my external usb drive.
With Webmin (+Virtualmin) I schedule regular backups to backup configuration files, mysql dbs and content of my sites...
Transmission's repository and Mailboxes are also redirected to the external disk.
Then I have Samba server to share files in my local network, and I use WebDAV to share same files over WAN.
Guacamole is used as a web-browser based frontend for SSH and VNC to my Debian or other Computers at home (Windows RDP can be too).
With Letsencrypt and the built-in plugin from Webmin I can generate SSL certificates for all the services I want just clicking ;)
With BIND9 I can create all the DNS zones for my domains and administrate them over Webmin easily.

Besides that, I have made sure that the whole setup does not go to hell just because the power goes down or whatever:
so the Android Box is setup in that way that will start when power is detected the Debian image will automatically start when android starts.
Also I do regular offline-backups in two different locations, one at the same SD card where the Debian image is running and secondary in my external usb disk, I rotate them every 7 days and I get email notifications every time the Debian restarts.
Finally, I also have the Android Box running ADB server so I can remotely (over WAN if I want) reboot or run commands in my Android Box...

So... yes! it is quite a "thingy" what I have created... and the funny thing is that the system is not saturated and it is running stable and most of the time with half of the resources...
This whole setup took me like 3 weeks to build it, but I am able to replicate the whole thing in about 3-4 hours, I have documented all the steps...

Now I know that this is a bit diferent approuch to what you are trying to achieve here, but at the same time is something similar.
Unluckily, I did not have the opportunity to play with some Raspberry Pi yet... but in my opinion Raspberry Pi's hardware is a bit limited, specially if people would like to use it as Multimedia Center as well... so I would opt for a richer I know a bit more expensive solution...

Anyways, I just felt like I had to share my experience with you guys/girls since at home they think I am talking Chinese (with all due respect) ;)

I will be following up the mailing list and also the Git-Hub development and if I can provide the community with some of my knowledge I will do so.

Meantime be good and regards,

PS: If you still have some testing units available I would be glad to give a try ;)


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