Kodi Clients and Open Media Vault NAS

I recently reconfigured my HTPC and home network to use Open Media Vault, an opensource NAS solution. I used the hardware I had on hand: a Raspberry Pi 3 and several USB drives. I recommend trying to make your setup work with what you have before investing in additional hardware. Even if you find that it is inadequate, you will quickly learn what’s deficient in your setup.

  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • 16 GB SanDisk MicroSD
  • Ethernet cable (optional, wifi is supported)
  • 2 8TB USB harddrives

Flashing OpenMediaVault

The easiest way to set up OpenMediaVault is by downloading a disk and image and using a program called Etcher.

Download Balena Etcher for your platform. I used it on Ubuntu and Windows and it worked well in both cases. Once you run Etcher, you are presented with a couple of simple options: select the disk image, select the SD card to write it to, and Flash.

Initializing OpenMediaVault

Before continuing, it is a good idea to verify the installation. I connected an HDMI monitor and USB keyboard at this point.

First Time Boot

DO NOT LOGIN

When starting OVM for the first time, you should leave it alone when prompted for a login. Wait until the system has finished updating and rebooted automatically. This can take several minutes. Let it do its thing.

After the device reboots, login with the root username and default password openmediavault. You should be prompted to set a new password. Choose something easy to write from both a mobile and desktop, and secure enough to safeguard your files.


Updating OMV

The OMV image for Raspberry Pi uses a Debian-based operating system called Armbian. The commands are very similar to Ubuntu and other Debian systems.

$ apt update
$ apt dist-upgrade -y
$ apt omv-initsystem

The first command updates the software repositories with the latest versions. The second command updates whatever has already been installed. The third command is executed after installing, and is displayed during setup on a screen with a blue background.

Configuring OMV

After a successful installation, you should be able to open a web browser and open the OMV configuration page from http://ip.address. The application is served up on the default port 80, which we’ll change later on.

The first you’ll want to do is change the default admin password. Go to System -> Network -> General and update the name. I suggest something short with no special characters that you’ll recognize later when browsing the network. I called mine NASPI.

Next you’ll want to set the device up with a static IP address. By default, the device will use DHCP to automatically obtain an IP address. This is fine for a test but not very reliable for a network attached device. Go to System -> Network -> Interfaces. I was greeted by a fairly empty screen, and needed to add the ethernet connection. The connection details are fairly standard, you are able to set the connection from DHCP to static, provide an IP address, set the other details based on the router and network. Configuring the static IP address through the OVM control panel is definitely the easiest method but it is not the only one. It is still possible to configure the interfaces through the console and set the connection details manually.

You should also create any additional users you want for your household and their devices. I found it useful to create a group and add the users to the group, rather than to work with the user privileges individually. You can set both the users and groups under Access Rights Management.

Updating Web Server

By default, the OVM control panel is served up on port 80, acting as the default webpage. Once I added a few processes, I found it was more useful to have a basic landing page with a few shortcuts. I needed to make some minor updates to handle php files.