Building Home NAS Box cum Digital Photo Frame

I am building my own NAS (Network Attached Storage) box which can serve as a Digital Photo Frame also. The I have got the finalized the hardware. Working on the software features of its media features. It is going to be powered by Debian GNU/Linux. I am planning to utilize light weight packages from Debian repository and write some glue application to make a unified interface. Once I get clear picture I can share those details.

Hardware configuration:

1. NAS box – QNAP TS-110 box ($179 USD)

It is a small server powered by Marvell 6281 800MHz ARM processor with 256MB of DDR2 memory. It consumes only 7W while active. It is silent, though it has a mini cooling fan. It has one internal SATA 3Gbps Slot (No HDD), 1 eSATA port, 1 GBit LAN Port and 3 USB Ports. USB Ports gives flexibility for more creative applications. I am going remove the factory firmware and load Debian GNU/Linux on it.

2. Hard drive – Western Digital 1 TB WD10EARS ($55 USD)

Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Green SATA Intellipower 64 MB Cache Hard Drive model: WD10EARS. It’s 5400 RPM rotational speed helps to intentionally selected for this purpose to get minimal noise.

3. TFT Display – Lilliput UM-70 7″ TFT display ($99 USD)

It is based on DisplayLink USB powered Graphics chip which offers 800×480 resolution. It does not need any video port. It connects with mother board with only USB port, which delivers both power and video data to the display.

4. Touch kit – 7″ USB Touch screen film ($36 USD)

It makes the above TFT screen touch sensitive. It is a cheaper solution than buying a touch screen TFT monitor. This is supported in linux kernel support available for this.

5. Sound Adapter – SJ-588 ($2 USD)

Since it is a NAS box, it doesn’t come with Audio chip. This small USB based adapter is supported in Linux kernel. I have already tested it with Ubuntu. It has Audio-In and Audio-Out ports. The purpose is not to get high quality audio, but to get some information from server and also basic alarms. It may be useful to play some routine devotional songs with very basic quality.

6. Portable USB Speakers – NS-PLTPSP ($5 USD)

It is from Insignia. Portable with 3.5mm audio input jack and powered by USB and battery box.

7. Bluetooth dongle – Super Mini Bluetooth 2.0 Adapter ($1.8 USD)

This bluetooth adapter may be useful for quick media file transfer from other portable devices. It is also supported in linux kernel.

Software configuration:

I keep updating the progress here below. To make the reading easier, I have posted individual articles on each topics and linking here.

Debian Installation:

Installed Debian GNU/Linux on this successfully. It is Debian 6.0 Squeeze (Testing) version. I have posted on this. Here is how I got it installed.

Setup as Remote Backup Server:

Installed and configured rsnapshot to carry out backup for other machines in home network. This post has complete details of this setup – command by command.

Setup as NFS server:

Since my home network has only Linux workstations, I preferred to install NFS (Network File System). It is configured to serve the files to all clients in the home network. This post details on how to configure this. If you have Windows workstations, you can install SAMBA/CIFS also.

Torrent Client daemon:

Torrent client need more uptime on your laptop or desktop. So instead of downloading torrent files to you laptop, you can run your torrent downloads on this server. Transmission torrent client installed on this server provides web based interface which can be controlled from your laptop/desktop. Once you initiate download, you can shutdown your laptop. The download will be going on in server. The downloaded files will always be available in server for all client machines in the network to access. Here is complete instructions to get it done.

Setup as Digital Photo Frame:

Using qiv image viewer, I have setup Digital Photo Frame. This post explains in details steps needed.

Share this post

One comment

Comments are closed.