How to create your own NAS with just a Raspberry Pi and external storage | by Bushra O | April 2022

Photo by Felipe Bustillo on Unsplash

Ever wanted to have your own NAS without paying hundreds of dollars? Got an extra Raspberry Pi lying around? Maybe you forgot some HDDs?

Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions, or you’re just interested in the title, you’ve come to the right place!

If you’ve never heard of these terms, don’t worry!

A Raspberry Pi is basically a credit card sized mini computer that can be used for almost anything. Personally, I have a few going at this moment. One used to control my 3D printer with OctoPrint. One used to connect my non-HomeKit devices to HomeKit via HomeBridge. And finally One that I filled with retro games to play everything from my childhood.

A NAS is network-attached storage. If configured correctly, we can access everything stored on it, wherever we are.

HDD and SSD stand for Hard Disk Drive & Solid State Drive. These are our external stores (to be filled) with everything we need.

Photo by Harrison Broadbent on Unsplash

I answered yes to all of the above questions, so luckily this little project won’t cost me anything. However, this may not be the same for you, so the following is a list of required and recommended items that I/we will use.

A Raspberry Pi
A type of external storage device
A microSD card

For the Pi I found an old 3B+. Old but should be good enough.
If I had to buy a Pi for this, I would have picked the latest one I could find. At the time of writing this blog, that would be a 4B.

For external storage I have an unused 2 terabyte SSD and a 5 terabyte hard drive.

And for our microSD, when I checked, it turned out there was already one in the Pi!

Photo by Eden Constantino on Unsplash

Now that we have all of our necessary items, it’s time to get started! As usual, I’ll break this down into sections. That way, it’s easier to pick it up again when you’re busy or need to stop, just by locating where you were last in the header.


To format the SD, simply download the official imager software directly from the Raspberry Pi official page. Which can be found here:
The software is available for all operating systems.

Once installed, select your SD card in the Storage section.

Now you can choose almost anything for the operating system, from Linux distributions like Ubuntu to gaming operating systems that turn your computer into an arcade, but today we don’t need any of them.

Instead we choose the Raspberry Pi Os LITE

Now click on the little settings icon on the side, enable SSH, change the hostname, create a password for the Pi and enter your WiFi details if you like. We’ll be using an ethernet cable straight from the router, but the WIFI step is good to know if you ever plan to use the Pi for something else.

Save and click WRITE once this is complete then VOILA! Plug the SD into your Pi anddddd you’ve set up your Pi! We still have a long way to go…

Well, if you’re using Mac or Linux, well done, this part will be easy, we’ve built in a terminal 😊. If you’re using Windows 🗑, you’ll most likely need to download Putty and figure out how to enter SSH. That’s another tutorial, so find it out and come back here. Next time, just buy a Unix machine like an adult! i’m kidding, i’m kidding We are not ashamed of these parts. But I digress…

Check your router and find the Pi’s IP address. The hostname is the one you created in the previous step.

Open Terminal (YAY LINUX AND MAC USERS) or Putty (Windows)… and SSH into the Pi using the following and place the username you created and your IP address in the range like

ssh [email protected]

You may get a security warning, but don’t worry about it

Then enter the password when prompted.

Now run the following code in the terminal

sudo rm -f /etc/systemd/network/99-default.linksudo reboot

Sign back in now

ssh [email protected]

and let’s install OMV, OpenMediaVault, a free software to manage our network storage! Copy this again and paste it into your terminal

sudo wget -O — | sudo bash

This may take a while so as always, grab a glass of water, pet your pets, do some push ups/squats or just take a deep breath and when it’s done you can close the terminal now!

Open the internet browser of your choice and enter the IP address of the raspberry.

You will see a welcome/login screen for OMV.

The default username is: admin
The default password is: openmediavault

Before we do anything here, let’s change the password for security reasons
Click on General Settings and then on the web admin password

Now go to update management, check for updates and install any necessary updates.

Once that’s all done, let’s make sure we can see our saves. Click on Disk, it’s on the left under the Storage section. You should see all available disks. For me it’s the SD card on which I installed the operating system and the external SSD storage, for some reason it doesn’t see my hard drive, which I’m starting to remember why I stopped using it, note yourself, pay the premium for memory, what’s the point of having it if you can’t use it! But as always, I digress…

Next click on File Systems, this will most likely be empty, even if it isn’t, create one by clicking . You guessed it! Create!

Now select your external storage, select EXT4 as drive format,(WARNING FORMATTING WILL ERASE ALL CONTENT) and click OK. Then….

You know what time it is! It’s time to wait again. And as always, grab some water, coffee, juice, a snack, whatever. Do some push-ups, squats, setups. Let your pets outside, pet them, love them, give them a treat. Check your email, reply to the texts you dreaded and avoided. Or if you’re like me, FINALLY quit the cv and start cleaning up linkedIn and Github.

Welcome back. Click Apply at the top of the page to save the changes. Select the newly created file system and click Mount.

On the left, scroll down until you find Shared Folders. It may be somewhere else for you

Click +Add, create a name, select the storage we just provided and leave the rest alone and click save! WOOooo were almost done!

FINALLYYYYYYY we just need to make this accessible to us from other devices. Go to Services, select SMB/CIFS, click Enable in the general settings and save. Then go to the Shares tabs, click Add, select our recently created shared folder and save the changes one last time.


If you want to connect to it now,

From a Mac go to your desktop, click CMD+K and type the Raspberrys IP (I only use raspberrypi.local) after the smb:// like smb://you.rIP.H.ere, and then enter your Pis username and password

In Windows, open any folder and in the address bar type you.rIP.H.ere, then click on the new folder under the network section in the left pane. Click on it again and enter your password and username for the Pi

and VOILA.

Now stay tuned for the next part! Since we’ve only just started. There is still so much to do!

About Willie Ash

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