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Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS

Sandshark
Sensei

ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS

NASTools mentions in the Apps sub-forum that he is looking into an app for ZeroTier.  I started a small tangent discussion and thought it better to move it to its own thread.

 

I. too, have been looking into ZeroTier, and I think it has great potential on the ReadyNAS.  For those open to SSHing in, it's an easy install in OS6.6.0.  But everything has to be done via SSH and the ZeroTier CLI, so it's not for everyone (yet).  If NASTools does get an app with a GUI, then all aboard.  I suppose ShellInABox could also be used, since it gives SSH access -- I have never tried it.

 

I have installed ZeroTier One (the official name of the application) on OS6.6.0 running on legacy x86 devices.  With OS6.6 now being based on Debian 8 (aka jessie), it should also install on ARM devices using the standard method, according to their documentation.  But I do not have an ARM device on which to try it.  Anyone wishing to risk the possibility of needing to factory default if it does not work right is invited to give it a try (see instructions below) and let us know in a reply if it works.

 

So, "What is ZeroTier?", you ask.  The best desctiption I have seen is that is it a "mesh VPN".  That is, it is a VPN that runs in conjunction with your normal NAT, not instead or in the middle of it.  Instead of routing everything over the VPN, as is the typical VPN implementation (though it can be made to do so), it sets up one or more parallel networks that you can access through ZeroTier.  You can find more information at https://www.zerotier.com/.

 

 I have installed it on two ReadyNASes, a PC, and my Android phone.  I can now directly access the NASes (including the admin page) from my PC or phone when away from home as if I were on the same LAN (though my phone's resolution and the OS6 user interface don't work well together).  I can map drives on my PC.  I can create a backup job between NASes, even if they are in physically different locations.  No need for Rsync over SSH, ReadyCloud or ReadyNAS Replicate.  Just a standard backup process using the other NAS's ZeroTier IP address instead of it's normal one.  For me, this is huge.   It's a lot like ReadyNAS Remote and then some.  Like the ReadyNAS apps, it does use an external server to establish the route between devices, but it does not route all traffic though that server.  As a result, it's only bottleneck is the connection speeds of the devices  There is an option to run your own server, though documentation is sparce (likely intentionally, as doing so is only for highly skilled users).

 

Because traffic takes the most direct route, including staying on your LAN if appropriate, this also means you can use the same Windows drive mappings no matter where you are.  When both devices are on your LAN, speed does not suffer by being routed "around the world".  But your internet traffic also doesn't suffer when you are on the road by being routed through your VPN gateway.  Note that this could open a remote PC up as an attrack point on the LAN, so caution should be used by business users.  Having the ZeroTier connection made automatically with stored credentials is probably not wise for many cases.

 

I was initially reluctant to install ZeroTier because it just used a script and I could not see what it was doing.  But I downloaded and looked over the script and became convinced it would work.  And work, it did.  Just go here: https://www.zerotier.com/product-one.shtml and run the CURL command listed for the Linux install from an SSH session.  I point to the page instead of duplicating the command in case it changes in the future.  I did run an apt-get update first, because I think the system should be up to date before installing any "foreign" apps, but Netgear does not recommend doing the update, as it may create conflicts within the OS.

 

The script checks what version of Linux and what processor you are using, then installs the appropriate files.  It installed fine on my x86 OS6.6.0 system.  It should install on ARM 6.6.0 and may install on older X86 6.x, but I have not tried it. Instructions for installing on earlier ARM OS6 can be found here: https://www.andrewmunsell.com/blog/remote-access-to-readynas-zerotier-one/.  If it were to run on OS4.x or 5.x, it would probably also need to be compiled and scripts manually installed as described on that page.  If it works on OS4 and OS5, it would be the answer to the lack of ReadyNAS Remote and ReadyCloud compatibility on the same client machine.  But even if it doesn't, ZeroTier, unlike ReadyCloud, is compatible with running ReadyNAS Remote on a PC, so you could have concurrent ways to access both old and new systems, though not between each other.

 

Once installed, it's just a mater of using the zerotier-cli command or Windows/Mac/Android/iOS GUI to join all devices to the same network and get an IP address on that network.  ip addr show now now shows a new zto: interface and (if connected to a network), the IP address associated wih it.  The interface and network connections survive a reboot, courtesy of startup scripts installed by the ZeroTier installer.  It was not necessary for me to change any configuration on my router.

 

Note that uninstalling may be more difficult than installing, as there is no uninstall script.  But you can leave it installed but disconnected form any networks and it should cause no problem.

 

Please share your installation experience, good or bad, especially if not on an OS6.6.0 or above X86 system.

Message 1 of 14
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS

OK, so NASTools has now created a package that includes a CLI, so no need for SSH any more.  It is for 6.6.0 only at this point (maybe and higher, I'm not sure; it does check).  If you want it, it's available here: https://github.com/NAStools/zerotierone/releases/tag/readynas%2F1.1.14-nt2.

 

If you installed the standard package via SSH, you have to stop and uninstall it first.  And the configuration files are in a different location (/apps/nastools-zerotier-one/var/ instead of /var/lib/zerotier-one/), so you'll need to move them over unless you don't mind having a new device ID.  Note that an apt-get --purge remove zerotier-one does not remove the configuration files.

 

I had hopes that this could be a way to connect to both older NASes and newer ones, and even the two to each other, since the older don't support ReadyCloud and the newer don't support ReadyNAS remote.  It's not looking good.  I found some info from somebody who tried to compile and install on a SPARC Duo, and it failed; and he appeared to know what he was doing.  It seams Debian Etch is just too old.  The old SPARC processor may not have the necessary horespower, anyway.  I'm still hoping to do something with the Duo V2 and NV+ V2, since Debian Squeeze is newer (but, unfortunately, also now considered unsupported).  This is a stretch for me, but I do have a system to try it on.  But if anyone has more (which means any) experience compiling on the OS5 systems, your help would be greatly appreciated.  For 64 bit Intel-based units running OS 4.2.x, the best bet is to upgrade to OS6. 

 

But, ZeroTier should happily co-exist with the ReadyNAS Remote app, so using those two can give you connectivity to all machine types, though through different interfaces.  Still better than having to choose between Remote and Cloud because Netgear didn't make them capable of co-existing.  And Zerotier can also be used as a bridge, so that's a potential partial solution, though not well documented and requiring a NAS with two ethernet ports.

Message 2 of 14
jaredbidlow
Aspirant

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS

I don't find anything in this post to disagree with. 

 

Just today I had some problems with the windows application though. But that is okay, as I can easily use my iPhone to access my media stack outside of my home network. Uninstall and reinstall of the windows app fixed the connection issues.

 

This was good to start a thread for zerotier as I'm a fan, but this problem exists:

 

I installed @NAStools app on my RN102 (an arm device) but I can't access the gui. it asks for username and password, then it loads forever and never opens. so I have to resort to zerotier-cli with SSH enabled.

Message 3 of 14
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS


@jaredbidlow wrote:

 

I installed @NAStools app on my RN102 (an arm device) but I can't access the gui. it asks for username and password, then it loads forever and never opens. so I have to resort to zerotier-cli with SSH enabled.


You might want to drop NASTools a PM letting him know.  I only have Intel based devices (except old DuoV2), so there may be a problem with the ARM version.  Sounds like maybe a permissions issue.

Message 4 of 14
JohnNulty
Apprentice

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS

Another big thumbs up to @NAStools for his work on apps - you are making me try out new stuff, and that is much appreciated.  I had a go at ZeroTier, and think this will be a really useful resource.  The ZoneTier site won't allow me to create an account (probably because it's a Sunday - even coders have to have their weekends Smiley Wink ), so I can setup my NAS, but I'll try again next week.

Message 5 of 14
NAStools
Luminary

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS


@jaredbidlow wrote:

 

I installed @NAStools app on my RN102 (an arm device) but I can't access the gui. it asks for username and password, then it loads forever and never opens. so I have to resort to zerotier-cli with SSH enabled.


I'm looking into this one.

Message 6 of 14
JohnNulty
Apprentice

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS


@JohnNulty wrote:

The ZoneTier site won't allow me to create an account (probably because it's a Sunday - even coders have to have their weekends Smiley Wink ), so I can setup my NAS, but I'll try again next week.


Just an update - I emailed the team and I now have an account.  I'm in the process of testing out the capabilities, made much easier with @NAStools app Smiley Wink

Message 7 of 14
NAStools
Luminary

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS


@jaredbidlow wrote:

I installed @NAStools app on my RN102 (an arm device) but I can't access the gui. it asks for username and password, then it loads forever and never opens. so I have to resort to zerotier-cli with SSH enabled.


This one is fixed in v1.1.14-nt3.

Message 8 of 14
kohdee
NETGEAR Expert

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS

There are updated versions of ZeroTier at https://github.com/didyouexpectthat/zerotierone/releases, but no UI support. 🙂

 

Message 9 of 14
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS

Without the UI support, meaning you have to go to SSH to control it, you are better off installing it via SSH as well, since you then don't have to wait for the App to be updated after the base Linux install is updated.

 

Unfortunately, I don't think the person who did the update realized that there never was an official Linux UI.  NASTools used the one from the Windows install.  Maybe there is some reason that won't work any longer, but the new developer didn't mention it.

Message 10 of 14
kohdee
NETGEAR Expert

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS


Sandshark wrote:

 

Unfortunately, I don't think the person who did the update realized that there never was an official Linux UI.  NASTools used the one from the Windows install.  Maybe there is some reason that won't work any longer, but the new developer didn't mention it.



NAStools actually used the macOS UI, not the Windows UI.

Not only did the dev put it in the release notes, he responded to you on NAStools' package explaining this.

From https://github.com/didyouexpectthat/zerotierone/releases/tag/readynas%2F1.2.4-nt1-RC1

 


The releases notes:

There is no UI since ZeroTier no longer produces one in a format that is copyable. They currently produce an Objective-C one for Mac and a C++ one for Windows. Using this package currently requires you tot use SSH and running zerotier-cli commands. Notice: If you upgrade from NAStools's last package, you can manually stop and restart the App using the Admin Page and you will be on 1.2.4 and your previously joined networks will persist. I will try to work with ZeroTier on getting a Linux UI.

Message 11 of 14
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS

Thanks for letting me know he responded.  I wonder why GitHub didn't let me know.  Maybe I should check the SPAM bucket.

Message 12 of 14
TeknoJnky
Hero

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS

this thread is the win! thanks to sandshark for posting it.

 

Also I am somewhat confused, if starting from scratch now, would we go with zerotier script, NASTools releases, or this 'didyouexpectthat' fork of nastools?

 

What would be the differences ? the UI ?

 

Also, are we to understand that didyouexpectthat is a random internet person with no association with this forum and/or netgear, a forum member, or someone close to netgear but prefers to remain anonymous?

 

Message 13 of 14
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: ZeroTier and the ReadyNAS

The newest one is based on the current (1.2.4) ZeroTier release.  There have been a lot of changes since NasTools' last version (1.1.14), though his does still work.  Given the fluid nature of network security, I like to stay current with things that could open holes there (not that I'm saying there are any in the old version).

 

Since there is no compatible UI any longer and you have to go to SSH to use the CLI commands, I would just do the standard Linux install from SSH:

 

curl -s https://install.zerotier.com/ | bash

With so many NAS installs available, I would think somebody would be working on a compatible GUI.

 

My guess is that didyouexpectthat is someone close to Netgear and/or the forum who wishes to remain anonomous.  Listed location is Milpitas, CA, right next to Netgear's headquarters of San Jose.  Of course, that's Silicon Valley, so there are lots of Linux enthusiasts there not associated with Netgear.  

Message 14 of 14
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