Raspberry Pi 4 Network Attached Storage

I’m on a quest to find cost-effective ways to store my data. The offerings from cloud providers are enticing, but the subscription payment method can cost a lot over time. Pre-built NAS boxes another option, but they come with a high upfront cost. I decided to create a storage solution using a Raspberry Pi 4 and an SSD drive. In this post, learn how to store data in a centralised location within a local area network and access that data from other devices.


Raspberry Pi Setup

We must install the Raspbian operating system and enable SSH onto the Raspberry Pi.

Download latest Raspbian image

$ wget https://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspbian_lite_latest

Extract the image

$ unzip raspbian_lite_latest

Write image to our SD card

# dd if=./*raspbian*.img of=/dev/sd<XX>

Mount the boot partition from our SD card

# mount /dev/sd<X>1 ./boot

Enable SSH

$ touch ./boot/ssh

Unmount boot partition

$ umount ./boot

Clean up files no longer needed

$ rm *raspbian*

The SD card has been prepared. We have configured it start SSH.

Insert the SD card into our Raspberry Pi and connect the power supply.

SSH Setup

Setup the SSH connection.

$ ssh-keygen -q -t rsa -f $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa -P "<passphrase>"

Copy SSH public key to Raspberry Pi

$ ssh-copy-id pi@raspberrypi.local

SSH into Raspberry Pi

$ ssh pi@raspberrypi.local

Change the default password to something secure

# echo 'pi:<newpassword>' | chpasswd

Disable SSH password authentication

# grep -q "^[^#]*PasswordAuthentication" /etc/ssh/sshd_config && sed -i "/^[^#]*PasswordAuthentication[[:space:]]yes/c\PasswordAuthentication no" /etc/ssh/sshd_config || echo "PasswordAuthentication no" >> /etc/ssh/sshd_config
# systemctl restart sshd

Disk Setup

We need to format our disk drive and mount it before we can share it on the network.

Format Disk to ext4

# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sd<X>1

Create NFS mountpoint

# mkdir /media/nfs

Mount Disk

# mount /dev/sd<X>1 /media/nfs

Mounting at boot

# echo "/dev/sd<X>1 /media/nfs ext4 defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab

NFS Server Setup

NFS is a client/server application which allows us to share directories over the network.

Install NFS server

# apt-get update -y && apt-get install nfs-kernel-server

Add directory to /etc/exports

# echo "/media/nfs *(ro,all_squash,insecure)" >> /etc/exports

Re-export changes

# exportfs -arv

NFS Client Setup

Install the components required for the NFS client


# pacman -Syu nfs-utils


# apt-get install nfs-common

Create a mountpoint

# mkdir /media/nfs /media/nfs

Mount the NFS share on the client

# mount raspberrypi.local:/media/nfs /media/nfs

Mounting at boot

# echo "raspberrypi.local:/media/nfs /media/nfs nfs defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab

Software used


The latest Raspberry Pi now has USB 3 as well as Gigabit networking which is a vast improvement over the previous models. The ability to create high throughput network storage with Raspberry Pis is now possible.

NFS is not fast by default. Optimisations can improve performance. Other protocols (e.g. rsync) may offer better performance.

This was a quick tutorial on how to setup NFS. The next steps are to secure the NFS share. Overall it was a successful project. It was cheaper than a pre-built NAS box.

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Rosh Beed
Rosh Beed

I am an enthusiastic advocate of technology and am passionate about helping others learn and grow. I am always eager to share my knowledge and skills. My inquisitive nature drives me to explore new concepts and bring innovative ideas to my projects.