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Updated: 20 min 24 sec ago

[GUIDE] LaptopNAS on Ubuntu 18.04 and External Hard Drives

Tue, 2018-08-14 17:04

On a previous post of mine in r/linuxquestions I was trying to figure out how to use a retired Laptop with some random drives as a NAS.

I thought I'd seen people post stuff like this before but searching the web, I couldn't find much, so I decided to ask around and I didn't get much back. So I kept googling and kept trying different things. I got it to work in 1 day and so I decided to make a quick guide about it.

This was my config but I assume it'd work for more configs than this one.

This is also my first guide so let me know how I can improve the layout to help it feel easier to digest. I dont know what flair (if any) to assign, but I hope it helps someone out there!

  • Toshiba Laptop (Running W10)
  • Windows computer (Running W7)
  • 1.5TB External Seagate HDD (called the mini)
  • 8TB External Western Digital MyBook HDD (called the archive)
  • Some Linux Knowledge
  • Samba

I use the 2 externals to backup all my devices. Phones, laptops and computers. I usually backup to the 1.5TB first then whenever that gets full, offload it to the 8TB (Archive) drive so the more readily accessible things are in the 1.5 TB HDD. Well I started using them less because I had to keep bringing them out, plugging them in and managing the data. So I wanted to sort of always have it available/accessible, but out of the way, and automated.

I have a few years experience in Deb/Ubuntu but mostly from a web dev standpoint and server management. With the release of 18.04 I decided to try to rig a laptop of mine that I don’t use along with some 12TB external HDDs that I do use for backups to create a makeshift NAS

So this is where my linux experience comes in. I already do a lot of sysadmin, data/backup management work at my job so why not employ the same principles here.

I wanted to keep the laptop plugged in where it was, connect it via ethernet to the router which my computer is also plugged into, then plug both hard drives to the laptop and share them over the network so that the drives are accessible to any device on the network, both hardwired and wireless. I know they already have NAS's that do this, but why spend money there when I have the tools and knowledge to make it work on my own?

So I set out to do just that.

Pre-Req steps:
  • Took an old Toshiba laptop with 1TB internal HDD W10 installed on the primary partition (999GB)
  • Split that partition into 2 500GB paritions. LEAVE THAT VOLUME AS IS
  • Then put Ubuntu 18.04 on a USB drive using Rufus 3.0
  • Used the USB to install Ubuntu
  • Formatting the partition using Ubuntu's "Something Else" option when having to choose how to install Ubuntu
  • Then selecting the Free Space (500GB) partition
  • Formatting it to ext4 (500GB) then proceeding with the install
  • Once the install was done, I set up an additional user in Linux that matched my Windows user (just in case) but this part isnt too necessary as we bypass this in Samba config
  • I installed Samba and Smb4K from the Ubuntu Software app
  • And then plugged in both my devices (the 1.5TB and 8TB HDD)


SSH/GUI Remote Connections/Portforwarding/Home Web Server stuff:

After the install was done, I just installed a few things like Apache2, OpenSSH, and TeamViewer 13.

I noted that my internal IP for my new Ubuntu laptop was

I also set up on my router, some port forwarding to send data from myIP:9900 ->

And port forwarded any data from myIP:9922 ->

So this way I could SSH into that machine from my work office if need be, use things like VNC or even just TeamViewer to use the ubuntu GUI.

And technically I could program some Web GUI for that LaptopNAS to do some basic things like access the media from the external drives over the web.

Consequently, turning the LaptopNAS into a mini home server for websites/development projects/testing and data storage/management and whatever else I could think of.

Then I added the internal IP and hostname to the 'hosts' ( C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts) file in Windows (following this guide: ) (JUST THE FIRST PART ABOUT HOSTS, NOT THE REST OF THE SAMBA CONFIG)

I then set up RealVNC so I could also access the server GUI using VNC (just in case the other methods don't work)

Now you've made good progress.

So I tried to run system-config-samba, which failed to load a module

So I ran $ sudo apt-get install libcanberra-gtk-module

Ran $ system-config-samba again but got an error about no such file or directory, so i said screw it, i'll create the file

I switched to root and then ran # touch /etc/libuser.conf

then ran system-config-samba again and it brought up the samba dialog box!

Then I essentially followed this guide here:

Then ran service smbd restart and closed and reran system-config-samba

And VOILA everything worked.

I also mounted my users /home/ directory but instead I just used the steps:

Right click the folder in /home/[folder] and press properties. Set this up and click "Modify Share"


How to set up your /home/ directory for windows share

Then in Windows -> Network -> LaptopNAS ->

I see Archive, the mini and my home directory!

Here they are:

What I see in windows now

Next I just Right-Clicked each drive in windows, and selected "Map network drive"

Gave it a letter assignment, entered my ubuntu credentials BUT if you followed the guide I posted, you should've seen that you set the force username field, so this might not matter all too much. But do it for good measure.

Then It was mapped to my Y: and Z: drive, and I was able to click it within the Computer section as you can see on the left sidebar, OR click within Network.

I tested writing TO the drives and reading FROM the drives and modifying files within both Ubuntu and Windows that were written by their counterpart just to ensure I had full control of all files.


Please note:

Do not right-click on the drive and go into the sharing options via the drive’s properties. This will not work.

Closing Notes/Future To-do's:

I had to uninstall Chrome remote desktop

not only did it not work as expected but it caused a bug that stopped terminal and nautilus from working properly.

So make sure if things are breaking, uninstall chrome remote desktop from the Ubuntu machine first

Next I plan to write some scripts with reporting to automate the transitioning of data from the mini to archive disk and to check that all files were successfully moved and to retry upon failure and keep a log of this then email me a monthly report on the backups procedure with a certain header if things go wrongly or theres an error during the archive process)

I also want to work on historical changes to files so if a duplicate file exists that has been changed since the previous files bytes doesnt match the current files bytes (same path and name) then rename the older file to filename + modifieddate.extension

So if i have two txt files, (mytxt.txt) <-- modified 06/02/2017 300 bytes and (mytxt.txt) <-- modified 07/08-2018 242 bytes, rename the 2017 one to mytxt06022017.txt and keep the new one as mytxt.txt

I believe can get this to work using a cron + PHP scripts or PM2 and Node which offers a lot of key metrics and auto restart on script failures with reporting features on failures.

submitted by /u/mrsodasexy
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Pinebook or TERES-I?

Tue, 2018-08-14 15:58

Any one have experience of both?

submitted by /u/TerraRoot
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It has happened before: Microsoft "partners" with city in order to kill Free Software iniciative (like Munich)

Tue, 2018-08-14 14:24

In 2004, Rio das Ostras, a small city of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, had launched its own GNU/Linux distribution named TATUI (same mistake as Munich? =P). Source:

Well. 3 years later, in 2007, M$ set a partnership with the city, so it will be the pioneer on the educational sector for IT. After the city receiving a couple of M$ "prizes". Source:

Even if you look at the links, they are all broken, so I can't know how and why it ended. If it was some "infrastructure" problem, like Munich or whatever reason. Nothing were archived by then.

submitted by /u/anonimou_eu
[link] [comments] - debugging tool for http/https, response headers and mixed-content. Support Nmap NSE Library, Mozilla Observatory and SSL Labs API.

Tue, 2018-08-14 11:19



It is useful for:

  • checking properly domain configuration (web servers/reverse proxies)
  • redirects analysis, e.g. to eliminate redirect loops
  • checking response headers for each request
  • checking basic ssl configuration
    • validation of the certificates (date, cn, san) and verification ssl connection
  • scanning domain for Mixed Content
  • scanning domain using Nmap NSE Library
  • scanning domain with external security tools: Mozilla Observatory and SSL Labs API


submitted by /u/trimstray
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Need help to beta test the Linux version of our app

Tue, 2018-08-14 03:52

Hey guys! We've finally rolled out the Linux beta but we don't have many Linux enthusiasts among our users. So, I decided to ask here for help. If it's not okay to ask for help here, please let me know in the comments or PM.

Our app is a remote desktop tool (you'll need a graphical shell of course). The new Linux app enables you to make remote support sessions and fix problems and stuff. The tool is browser-based, i.e. you will control the remote computer in a web browser.

So, if you have a spare moment, here go the instructions.

  1. Sign up here: (you will make a remote desktop session from your account on the web)

  2. Run the following:

wget r/
sudo dpkg -i DeskRoll.deb

Or, you can open the above link in your browser and double-click it.

  1. Run a remote support session to this computer as explained at
Running in debug mode

If you run into a bug, please try running DeskRoll again in debug mode, reproduce the bug and send the logs to support (at)

Debug mode key:

deskroll-rd --debug=<LEVEL>

where <LEVEL> is log detail level from 0 to 3. 3 is recommended.

By default, the logs are saved to /temp/deskroll

You can choose a different path:

deskroll-rd --debug=<LEVEL> --log_path=<PATH>


Debian and derivatives, including Debian 8 +, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS +, Mint 13 +, etc.

  • Platform: amd64 (x86-64/Intel64/EM64T/x64)
  • libc6 (>= 2.17)
Package info
  • Size: 21.7 MB
  • Format: DEB
submitted by /u/DeskRoll
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Does Linux work on new hardware?

Tue, 2018-08-14 03:13

I hope this is not a silly question, havent bought a new computer in years. Looking at the laptops in Walmart the other day I noticed there was barely any choice of OS. W10 across the board except for one or two chromebooks so I wondered if I bought one of those laptops would there be issues with removing W10 to install a linux distro?

submitted by /u/Raven9nine9
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Disable Mouse Acceleration

Tue, 2018-08-14 02:43

I am new to Linux and have just installed the latest version of Ubuntu on my home computer, how do I disable mouse acceleration? I have looked online however many of the tutorials are not working for me and I believe they may be outdated. Sorry if this is not the right Reddit for this.

submitted by /u/seriouspublisher
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If a multi billionaire decided they were going to take on the big tech company’s with Linux, what would happen?

Tue, 2018-08-14 01:58

Say they came out swinging with a tablet like the surface pro/iPad line up, laptops, a game console, and phones. What would the response be? How would that shake up the market? Would they get assassinated? That may seem extra as hell but I honestly could see it. Powerful people dislike opposition.

submitted by /u/blu1996
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