Raspberry PI as NAS for Sonos in summer house


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Just want to share my experiences with using the cheap Raspberry PI (2nd gen with 512MB RAM) and a 64GB SD-Card as a mini NAS to hold my music collection in the country house.

Bottom line: it works beautiful!

Detailed story: after trying different solutions to hold the music collection in the country house (laptop, hdd connected to router and an old beaten up NAS - all failures in one or another way) I made the "investment" in a Raspberry PI with a 64GB SD-Card. The Raspberry PI is a credit-card sized ARM-based computer with Ethernet (2nd gen Raspberry), 512MB RAM and an SD-Card slot. No fans or moving parts, power is supplied from a micro-USB so a normal phone charger (1A minimum) will do.
Various Linux-distributions are available but I went for the Debian port Raspbian.
Installing the OS is as simple as downloading a Zip-file and then using a Windows application to transfer the OS to the SD-Card. Initial boot gives various options, most important is to extend the root filesystem to span the whole disk. After a reboot to get the full 64GB available for use, the pre-compiled samba packages were installed and a minimum of configuration was made to create a share for all music. After a time-consuming process of copying the 48GB of music it was time to test.
I was amazed to see that the small server is handling 4 players without any problems or even breaking a sweat.
Provoking the system by heavy browsing of the library, pushing forward and back, cross-fading etc did not cause any stutter or lags at all - amazing.

The total cost of this sever (with a SanDisk 64GB SD-Card being the bulk of the cost) with power supply and a nice plastic casing for the Raspberry ended up being around $180 (including Swedish taxes).

Friendly advices:
* make sure you grab a tested SD-Card, check the lists!
* make sure the power supply is up to the job, 1A is needed
* the casing is really needed, the board is completely naked and without any physical or ESD protection

Links:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/ - homepage of the Raspberry project
http://www.element14.com/community/groups/raspberry-pi - Farnell, one European reseller
http://elinux.org/RaspberryPiBoard - the official Wiki - all you ever need to know
http://elinux.org/RPi_VerifiedPeripherals#SD_cards - the list of tested SD-Cards

Happy hacking!
/Mattias

14 replies

That sounds great, I have been thinking about doing this but my Linux knowledge is poor.

Also, I was thinking about putting all my videos on it too so 64GBs wouldn't cut it, I think I would need a few 2TB drives.

Very well done though, that's very cool.
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The Raspberry PI has HDMI-out and hardware decoding (enabled with a separate license for £4,50) of MPEG-2 and VC-1 so it should be suitable for this as well.
There are some distributions packaging XBMC that seems to be pretty easy to install; http://www.raspbmc.com/

Haven't been using such distributions myself though so I can't guarantee success :-)
m_sandstrom wrote:

The Raspberry PI has HDMI-out and hardware decoding (enabled with a separate license for £4,50) of MPEG-2 and VC-1 so it should be suitable for this as well.
There are some distributions packaging XBMC that seems to be pretty easy to install; http://www.raspbmc.com/

Haven't been using such distributions myself though so I can't guarantee success :-)



So not having looked at it in any great detail, can you hook up SATA HDs to it?

I'm not sure I can stretch to £4.50 though. :-)
You can't connect any drives to it directly, but it can see and read from a NAS.
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USB drive support works fine, I have a few WD Essential drives tied to mine through a powered hub to serve music and movies.
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I have been researching this as well.

What speed sandisk card did you use?
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I picked one of the SanDisk 64GB Extreme cards from this list:
http://elinux.org/RPi_SD_cards
That's great and I am glad you had success in implementing this. I guess I'm just lazy - or looking for an easy solution as I use one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/International-NUS2000-CiragoLink-Network-Storage/dp/B005C31H34/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361052110&sr=8-1&keywords=cirago+nus2000,
which has 4 USB ports that show up as separate drives on my Sonos system. There is a web page configuration for easy setup. No messing with programming, it just works. I can plug any combination of external USB drives, flash drives or SD/microSD cards with USB adapters. It's small, highly configurable and not overly expensive. Cirago also make the NUS1000 for less money, but I wanted the extra features of the NUS2000.
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I know this an old tread but still it is Great idea. My Raspberry Pi is know both chromecaster and Music NAS. But be aware only to install Samba. First I installed Minidlna. And here I really wasted my time.
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I've just bought a Raspberry Pi for just this purpose. Can't wait for it to arrive. Will be spending the w/e looking into what needs to be done once it arrives.
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And finally, after weeks of my Pi sitting in the corner, I finally got round to setting it up as a music NAS. Took a bit of fiddling about and searching the internet, as I'm not well versed in Linux and command line stuff but eventually got there.

Very happy having this little thing tucked away with its low running costs
I'm using a 128GB USB flash drive in the back of my wireless router. No programming, no fuss, works perfectly with the Sonos.
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chicks wrote:

I'm using a 128GB USB flash drive in the back of my wireless router. No programming, no fuss, works perfectly with the Sonos.



Can't do that on my router. Besides, if it could, I would've missed out on all the fun of learning Linux commands ;)
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I've done the same, although just a 64GB usb. As they are super cheap. Probably get another 64GB and software raid them together….

So my pi is now my noddy web server and NAS all in one….for me its better than a NAS, as I don't have much to put on one. I have a RAID 5 in my desktop for all PC related stuff...

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