Storage Posts

Mergerfs Union Filesystem on Arch Linux

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Mergerfs is a FUSE based union filesystem that allows pooling of mount points or other directories into a single virtual directory. While it does consume significant CPU resources and somewhat limit maximum throughput it works well otherwise and is easy to set up. It still offer sufficient performance for a home server use. It is very similar to other union file systems such as MHDDFS.

Securely Wipe Disk with DD on Linux

Securely Wipe Disk with DD on Linux

Formatting a storage device doesn’t prevent the data retrieval with data recovery software. To securely wipe any existing data of the device it needs to be overwritten with new data. This can be achieved very easily with dd on Linux by writing zeros or random values to the device. To avoid wiping the wrong storage device it may be a good idea to first format the disk drive with parted or another command line or GUI utility. Doing this would make it apparent that the wrong device was chosen. Data could still be recovered relativity easily from the formatted storage device compared to a wiped drive.

ownCloud on Shared Web Hosting

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ownCloud is an open-source, self-hosted cloud service that can be installed on a local or remote server. For better performance and reliability it’s best to host it on a commercial hosting service. Both dedicated and shared web hosting packages will work assuming the service is reasonably feature rich. If reliability is not an issue it can be hosted on a local home server without issues as well.

Replace Storage Drives with Rsync in Arch Linux

Upgrade Storage with Rsync in Arch Linux

Rsync is a widely used file level synchronisation utility. When upgrading or replacing a failing disk drive it is important to make sure no data or even metadata loss occurs. Rsync can provide near mirror copies of files and directories. Only block-level copying can create a perfect mirror but it is not needed or wanted in all but some cases such as when a hardware defect is present in which case block level duplication can reduce data-loss.

Force Hard Drives to Sleep on Ubuntu 14.04

Activate Num-Lock at Boot on Ubuntu 14.04

One of the more important traits of a good home server is low power consumption. Hard drives can account for a big chunk if not the majority of power usage of a home server depending on the number of drives. Most hard drives can be put into sleep or stand-by mode to reduce power usage dramatically. Western Digital drives require a more forceful method which is where hd-idle tool comes into play. Hd-idle is a simple tool that can force both SATA and USB hard disk devices into stand-by mode.

Mount Filesystem Partitions in Arch Linux

Mount Filesystem Partitions in Arch Linux

On Arch Linux non-system partitions are not mounted automatically. Partitions have to be mounted in fstab or systemd mount scripts. Mounting in fstab is the more traditional method and is still used because of it’s simplicity and convenience. Mounts in fstab are converted to native systemd mounts so there is no major benefit to mount with systemd at this time. After the system partitions have been mounted you can install MHDDFS or another virtual pool volume.

Configure Samba Recycle Bin on Arch Linux


Before configuring Samba Recycle Bin, make sure to install Samba on Arch Linux and configure Samba shares first. Samba Recycle Bin is similar to windows Recycle Bin and is essential Samba addition for easy recovery of deleted files. It is somewhat different than Desktop based Recycle Bins in that it creates directories as specified and moves the deleted files there.

Configure Buzzer Alarm Notifications on Arch Linux


Many motherboards especially older or higher end ones have a small speaker or more commonly a piezoelectric buzzer that can be used as an alarm. This can be very useful as a last resort for alerting users of serious issues when other notification methods fail to get the user’s attention.

Configure Automated SMART Checks on Arch Linux


SMART tests can give an early warning of impending hard disk failures. Tests can be run manually but this is inconvenient and results are not available immediately. Thankfully smartd can be used to run these tests automatically and email if any warnings occur. Before configuring automatic SMART monitoring you need to install smartmontools and check hard drives for SMART errors to make sure there are no failing hard drives. Smartmontools package also includes smartd daemon which will be used to run SMART tests automatically.

Check Hard Drives for SMART Errors on Arch Linux


SMART tests can give an early warning of impending hard disk failures. On most Linux distributions smartmontools package can be used to execute SMART scans. The package consists of smartctl utility which controls and monitors SMART disks and systemd daemon. Only smartctl is needed to run SMART tests manually but smartd is also required to Configure Automatic SMART Error Checks on Arch Linux.