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Re: Which apps are a must have for your NAS?

NASguru
Apprentice

Which apps are a must have for your NAS?

I'v kept my NAS fairly simple only having Plex and Piwigo installed.  At the time of purchase, there was a trasition from OS 4.X to OS6.X so the app offerings were all over the place with a lot not being ported over to the new OS6.  That said, looking at the availble apps from the GUI appears to have a significant number of apps being offered.  I'll presume the apps are all functional and vetted by now so what apps are an absolute must for your NAS?  More specifically, which ones would provide a better monitoring of the NAS other than the built in GUI performance tab.  

 

TIA!

Message 1 of 10
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: Which apps are a must have for your NAS?

Linux-dash is probably the best for overall additional monitoring.  For anything else, it all depends on what you want your NAS to do, with the processing power of your particular NAS being a potential issue.  The lower powered CPU and less RAM the NAS has, the fewer apps you want to run.

 

I run very few apps, though I have a powerful rack-mount NAS.  I have OwnCloud on an OS6 converted Pro2 (that mounts some shares from my primary NAS as read-only), and my main one runs DDClient and Zerotier.  Both also run Eaton Intellegent Power Protector (IPP) and HDSentinel, which I installed via SSH.  I use Zerotier instead of ReadyCloud for remote access (including remote backup, which ReadyCloud does not include) and DDClient because I need it for OwnCloud and remote access to my surveillance system and just never moved it to the Pro2 or surveillance system computer.  Eaton IPP is unique to Eaton UPS's, providing a lot more info than the bult-in NUT, and I like the way i can have HDSentinel create drive summaries for my main and backup NAS, with the ones from the other NAS copied to the main one for review even when they are powered down.

 

I don't use Plex or ReadyDLNA because my media box can access media via SMB or NFS and I don't store anything that's going to need transcoding to watch/listen to.

 

Unfortunately, some of the apps are becoming a little long in the tooth.  From what I have seen here, Netgear's support to app developers is abysmal, so I'm not surprised.  Right now, for example, they cannot build anything for OS6.10.3 on an ARM system because Netgear "left out" required items from the development package.  And similar things have happened before.

 

Note that there are also apps that are not available through the official Netgear path.  Some are on GitHub (like ZeroTier) and @WhoCares  https://rnxtras.com/  is also very popular.  He does charge a minimal fee to help offset keeping his site up, but it's quite reasonable and he does a bang-up job of keeping his apps up to date (when Netgear doesn't throw down obstacles).  My  OwnCloud installatrion is his version. 

Message 2 of 10
StephenB
Guru

Re: Which apps are a must have for your NAS?

I also take a very minimal approach.  My main NAS only has SMB Plus installed.  SSH is enabled, and I installed iperf with that.

 

Overall, running a lot of apps can create issues when upgrading firmware.  Some also can fill the OS partition - which can corrupt the NAS configuration.  So I've decided to pair my NAS with an application server (a desktop PC that is always on, and has the NAS data volume mounted to a drive letter).  That gives me more flexibility (since I can upgrade the PC and the NAS independently), and eliminates any risk of an app interfering with a firmware upgrade (or vice versa).

Message 3 of 10
NASguru
Apprentice

Re: Which apps are a must have for your NAS?


@Sandshark wrote:

Linux-dash is probably the best for overall additional monitoring.  For anything else, it all depends on what you want your NAS to do, with the processing power of your particular NAS being a potential issue.  The lower powered CPU and less RAM the NAS has, the fewer apps you want to run.

 

Cool, I'll check out Linux-dash then.  I don't need anything too fancy but more curious to what's out there.  I use the ReadyNAS 626X model as my primary device so it should have plenty of CPU/RAM.  Although, it is all stock at this point as I haven't needed to upgrade any of the components due to usage other than expanding the volume with larger hard drives. 

 

 

I run very few apps, though I have a powerful rack-mount NAS.  I have OwnCloud on an OS6 converted Pro2 (that mounts some shares from my primary NAS as read-only), and my main one runs DDClient and Zerotier.  Both also run Eaton Intellegent Power Protector (IPP) and HDSentinel, which I installed via SSH.  I use Zerotier instead of ReadyCloud for remote access (including remote backup, which ReadyCloud does not include) and DDClient because I need it for OwnCloud and remote access to my surveillance system and just never moved it to the Pro2 or surveillance system computer.  Eaton IPP is unique to Eaton UPS's, providing a lot more info than the bult-in NUT, and I like the way i can have HDSentinel create drive summaries for my main and backup NAS, with the ones from the other NAS copied to the main one for review even when they are powered down.

Got it, sounds like your needs are much greater than my own but I agree with minimalistic approach of apps.  Although, I do use NO-IP for DDNS but there's no need for a client since you can renew your IP once a month via email confirmation.  I don't blame you for not using the ReadyCloud as some of the reviews (mostly about the app) are not kind even 4 years later.  

 


 

I don't use Plex or ReadyDLNA because my media box can access media via SMB or NFS and I don't store anything that's going to need transcoding to watch/listen to.

 

Unfortunately, some of the apps are becoming a little long in the tooth.  From what I have seen here, Netgear's support to app developers is abysmal, so I'm not surprised.  Right now, for example, they cannot build anything for OS6.10.3 on an ARM system because Netgear "left out" required items from the development package.  And similar things have happened before.

 


All my TVs in my house are capable of playing my movies direclty with ReadyDLNA but my wife/kids prefer a consistent platform for watching movies/shows and hence the need for Plex.  I blame Netflix for setting that standard but to be fair Plex has worked very well over the last 4 years without any issues.  

 

I'm sorry to hear that about the App store offering as you'd think it would be in full swing 4 years later from my original purchase of the NAS.  Fortunately, I have an Intel chipset but not sure I want to go poking around testing apps just for giggles.  As always, I appreciate the feedback!

 

Message 4 of 10
NASguru
Apprentice

Re: Which apps are a must have for your NAS?


@StephenB wrote:

I also take a very minimal approach.  My main NAS only has SMB Plus installed.  SSH is enabled, and I installed iperf with that.

 

Overall, running a lot of apps can create issues when upgrading firmware.  Some also can fill the OS partition - which can corrupt the NAS configuration.  So I've decided to pair my NAS with an application server (a desktop PC that is always on, and has the NAS data volume mounted to a drive letter).  That gives me more flexibility (since I can upgrade the PC and the NAS independently), and eliminates any risk of an app interfering with a firmware upgrade (or vice versa).


Agreed, minimal is best if you have other options but apps should not be overrunning the OS partition.  Admittedly, I have limited knowledge of how the apps work with the Linux OS and whether or not they need to be installed in the same partition as the OS or if their data piece can be installed in a separate partition all together.  Please excuse my ignorance either way.  Smiley Wink

 

I didn't realize there is a SMB Plus add-on but have been fine with the default SMB service native to the NAS.  Although, I'm curious to what it offers above/beyond the standard offering.  Right, I have SSH enabled as well but not iperf.  I didn't see iperf in the app store so you must have done it manually which is intriguing.  Again, I appreciate the feedback as it seems you and @Sandshark  are the only two on this forum at times. Smiley LOL

Message 5 of 10
StephenB
Guru

Re: Which apps are a must have for your NAS?

FWIW, I do have plex running on one of my NAS at the moment.  Plex can be pretty tempermental about remote access, and there is an issue there on my current application server that I haven't had a chance to sort out.

 


@NASguru wrote:

I didn't realize there is a SMB Plus add-on but have been fine with the default SMB service native to the NAS.  Although, I'm curious to what it offers above/beyond the standard offering. 

It just gives you access to a couple of optional settings.  For instance, you can turn off SMB1 if you like.

 


@NASguru wrote:
I didn't see iperf in the app store so you must have done it manually which is intriguing. 

Yes, i installed it with apt-get so I could make some network performance measurements. 

Message 6 of 10
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: Which apps are a must have for your NAS?

Agreed that apps should not be filling the OS partition, but some are not as well behaved as they should be.  Plex and MySQL have been guilty of doing it for some users, though I think MySQL issues may be more related to the other apps that utilize it for their databases.

 

If you install something from SSH, the best plan is to create a folder in the /apps folder (which is on the data volume) and move the contents of the app folder there, then replace the original folder with a simlink to the one in /apps.  For small apps that you know will not create a database or log that can grow out of control or leave other "junk" about (like transcoding fragments form Plex), it's less important.

Message 7 of 10
NASguru
Apprentice

Re: Which apps are a must have for your NAS?


@StephenB wrote:

FWIW, I do have plex running on one of my NAS at the moment.  Plex can be pretty tempermental about remote access, and there is an issue there on my current application server that I haven't had a chance to sort out.

 



Got it, my Plex is purely used locally even though I have remote access enabled.  I did have an issue a couple years back where it was filling my OS partition with file names of chunk-00000 through chunk-xxxxx.  I never knew why but was able to safely delete them and honestly still not 100% certain it was Plex.  It only happened once in 4 years (filled my OS partition to 50%) and I caught it while poking around.  Now I make it a point to check the root once a quarter just to see what 'changed'.  I still see my OS partition usage climbing (38% currently but was 18% out of the box) but believe that's mostly due to the Antivirus dat files but don't hold me to it.  Part of me always wonder why Netgear didn't set up the the OS partition to be at least 10G rather than the 4G it is currently but I'm sure they had their reasons.  Anyhow, didn't want to get too far off topic here.

Message 8 of 10
NASguru
Apprentice

Re: Which apps are a must have for your NAS?


@Sandshark wrote:

Agreed that apps should not be filling the OS partition, but some are not as well behaved as they should be.  Plex and MySQL have been guilty of doing it for some users, though I think MySQL issues may be more related to the other apps that utilize it for their databases.

 

If you install something from SSH, the best plan is to create a folder in the /apps folder (which is on the data volume) and move the contents of the app folder there, then replace the original folder with a simlink to the one in /apps.  For small apps that you know will not create a database or log that can grow out of control or leave other "junk" about (like transcoding fragments form Plex), it's less important.


LOL, I should have read your response first as I just mentioned those Chunk files to @StephenB  which I thought were from Plex (thanks for confirming it though).  I do use Piwigo which utilizes MySQL for it's database but so far it's usage of the OS partitions seems to be small after 20K photos and 200 albums.  I used Poussin's intial Piwigo's install for my NAS and believe it's behaving appropiately?  Even so, I'm not sure it could be separated out since it needs MySQL and PHP from the root director?  However, I'm all ears if you believe it can be done using a similink.  On a side note, have you or @StephenB upgrade your MySQL and/or PHP to the latest versions manually?  I'm not sure there is any benefit (unless there are security patches) but it's something that always irked me that Netgear never addressed in their updates.  

Message 9 of 10
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: Which apps are a must have for your NAS?

Pousin's  seems to have everything under contaol WRT the OS partition -- he follows the rules.  I suspect everything that can and should be in /apps is there, either by a symlink or code changes made before compilation.

 

Usingfsynlinks instead of code changes is one way to potentuially allow updates form within the app instead of requiring a Netgear-specific app update.

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