Like every other website on the planet, SmallNetBuilder uses cookies. Our cookies track login status, but we only allow admins to log in anyway, so those don't apply to you. Any other cookies you pick up during your visit come from advertisers, which we don't control.
If you continue to use the site, you agree to tolerate our use of cookies. Thank you!

Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

NAS How To

In Use

So, now that the installation is done, let's take stock. First of all what's missing as compared to the stock QNAP firmware? The first and most obvious omission is the web interface. If you want to administer this NAS now, you'll be using a command line.

But if you prefer configuration via a web-interface, you can easily install something like Webmin. Figure 2 shows Webmin running on my TS-209 after I used standard Debian commands to install it. (You can find the basic commands here if you need them and the Webmin Debian installation instructions here.)

Webmin

Figure 2: Webmin on Debian

You can see in the network configuration screenshot in Figure 2 above that Debian brought up an IPV6 interface in addition to a standard IPV4 interface. You can also see a column of options off to the left that is quite extensive and that's a general theme here. It may be a bit more work, but when you're not relying on a vendor to narrow down your options, you have a lot more flexibility to do what you really need, with the downside being additional complexity.

With this distribution, you're a bit on the bleeding edge with respect to some features that were present in the QNAP firmware. First there is currently no support for DMA mode in the disk drivers, although a Marvell engineer is apparently working it on. This means your disk performance will be a bit less than under QNAP's firmware.

Second, while there is fan control via the qcontrol command, you can't yet set it up so that the speed is temperature-based. That means a bit more noise than you may have had before. And you're on your own for setting up the system so that your disks will spin down when not in use. I've seen a procedure for setting this up. But it's nowhere as easy as the menu-based configuration in the QNAP firmware (for example, you get to decide what it means for the system to be idle).

QNAP included Twonkyvision, a commercial UPnP AV media server, in their firmware. But that won't be in your new Debian system. If you need a media server, you can install MediaTomb as an open source replacement. Figure 3 shows the web interface of MediaTomb running on my TS-209 Pro after I installed it using apt-get install mediatomb from the command line.

MediaTomb on Debian

Figure 3: MediaTomb on Debian

There are also little things missing that you might be used to under the standard QNAP firmware. For example, when you plug in a USB drive, don't expect it to be automatically mounted. If that's the behavior you want, you'll need something like autofs, (installed via apt-get install autofs). Then once it's installed, you'll have to set up the particular behavior you want by editing the configuration files.

The LED and buzzer behavior may also not be what you expect. But you can change those via the qcontrol command. Execute man qcontrol for options on how to use it.

But enough about what's missing, what's available? Lots. Estimates vary, but there may be over 20,000 installable packages available for loading on a Debian system. Want to do some development? I issued an apt-get install build-essential command and a few minutes later I had a complete native tool-chain on the box, which I verified by writing a little "Hello world" program in C (Figure 4 ).

Debian development via the command-line

Figure 4: Debian development via the command-line

Interested in python, php or postgresql? They're all a simple install command away. Want to use some exotic USB peripheral? I counted 69 USB drivers available on my stock Debian system. And of course, since this is Linux, you can always install the kernel source tree, hack away and install your own kernel and drivers. That's what it's all about. The freedom to tinker and make the box do what you want instead of what the manufacturer decided was needed.

More NAS

Wi-Fi System Tools
Check out our Wi-Fi System Charts, Ranker and Finder!

Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

Hi,We're thinking of switching from TalkTalk to Vodafone broadband but it doesn't seem like the Vodafone router can be set up in bridged mode.I curren...
I’m trying to replace an old router. It’s not going very well for me since I’ve been literally trying the whole year, and I’m thinking with Black Frid...
I'm facing a problem with a recent setting my provider KPN (from the Netherlands) changed for their interactive IPTV boxes.Right now the setup is in b...
Between marketing jargon and technical descriptions, every time I turn around there's some new type of QOS. Please help my confused brain!Regardless o...
I have started this thread to document my journey in setting up a DIY NAS.I currently have a ReadyNAS RN212 which is a desktop model with 2x2Tb WD red...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3