Edit: thanks everyone for the suggestions. In the end I decided to buy a icy box usb3.1 4xhdd enclosure for around 100€. In the description it says it only works with mac and windows, but my Linux laptop works well with it, I guess the pi will to as well. I will print an enclosure for the power brick and the pi to screw to the drive case.

Here is why I choose this option: The pi is rather cheap compared to its power and also power consumption. I already had 4x4tb HDDs which I wanted to use, so at least 4 slots needed. The pi has 2x usb 3.0 connections which can be used simultaneously. One will be used for the 4bay, the other is free for now. I have the option to connect a second Nas case if I need more storage. Usb 3.0 is pretty fast, even if I don’t get all the 5gbit/s. It’s still faster than 1gbit/s ethernet.

I also thought about getting 2x 2xhdd enclosures to use the two usb3.0 at the same time. But decided against it because it would be a little more sketchy and I wanted to keep a free usb port for a second drive enclosure.

There are some enclosures that offer raid (hardware raid?) But I could not figure out if that would mean that all 4 drives will be raided, so I decided for the cheaper variant and would do the raid myself.

I plan on running 2 drives as raid1 and the other as raid 0 for secure storage and the other for movies and stuff I can download again.

Thanks again for all the comments!


It seems weirdly difficult to find a good solution to attach HDDs to my pi. Best case would be for me a enclosure with small power supply, space for my pi, and at least 2 bays for HDDs, rather 4. All that for under 100€ of cause :D

I could not really find cheap hhd enclosures that connect via usb. Any recommendations? I don’t really want to use HDD toasters, they feel not permanent enough for a Nas. I could also not find sata to usb hats for the pi that are available right now

  • rambos@lemm.ee
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    5 months ago

    Pi NAS is a big pile of cables and adapters IMO. You can buy used PC with multiple SATA or M2 ports for 100€

    • thedirtyknapkin@lemmy.world
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      5 months ago

      yeah, once you have the drives, building the rest of the system can be done for dummy cheap if you look at like cheap used workstations that some company or school is offloading. and it would still probably be a more capable system all around.

  • atzanteol@sh.itjust.works
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    5 months ago

    It seems weirdly difficult to find a good solution to attach HDDs to my pi.

    Being a nas is not at all what a pi is made for. So it’s not surprising at all.

    • JohnnyWanker@sh.itjust.works
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      5 months ago

      The Raspberry Pi would be a great low power device to have always on with some storage attached to backup to, store family photos, etc.

      So not a high performance NAS, but good enough for this use case.

        • Turun@feddit.de
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          5 months ago

          It entirely depends on what you want to do with it. So calling it underpowered is not a statement that can be made in general.

          • vegetaaaaaaa@lemmy.world
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            5 months ago

            Disk I/O always been the weak point of RPi, with slow USB being the only way to attach drives, and the USB port sharing the same bus as the network controller. A requirement for a frequently used Network-Attached Storage is… well… decently fast network and storage access. The Pi will not cut it for this specific task (moving external USB drives around your house would be faster and more practical).

            • Turun@feddit.de
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              5 months ago

              It depends if underpowered means “too slow” for you, or “slow”. I would consider the meaning more similar to “too slow”, i.e. I think the reference point matters. Therefore for me the pi is not underpowered, just low powered. [Edit: to keep the discussion on track, I would therefore consider the pi “good enough”, which was the original claim in the second level comment]

              Of course in terms of absolute numbers the pi has not a lot of processing power.

  • Possibly linux@lemmy.zip
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    5 months ago

    Your raspberry pi doesn’t have sata or pcie support. Depending on your use case you may want something other than USB as USB is slow

          • maiskanzler@feddit.de
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            5 months ago

            From what I read online that can lead to instabilities and was therefore disabled on Linux.

              • maiskanzler@feddit.de
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                5 months ago

                I did too, but shortly after decommissioning that server the drive became unresponsive. I really dodged a bullet without even realizing at the time. SMART data did not work and may have alerted me in that case.

                Also, unrelated to SMART data, the server failed to do reboots because the USB-SATA adapter did not properly reset without a full power cycle (which did not happen with that mainboard’s USB on reboots). It always git stuck searching for the drive. Restarting the server therefore meant shutting it down and calling someone to push the button for me - or use Wake-On-LAN which thankfully worked but was still a dodgy workaround.

    • WbrJrOP
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      5 months ago

      I have 2 HDDs with a speed of 180mb/s with a burst of 6gb/s according to the Seagate website. Usb3.0 has a data transfer rate of 5gbit/s

      So the usb connection will be the bottle neck, but 1. My network speed is not that fast and 2. 5gbit/s is still plenty I think?

      • Possibly linux@lemmy.zip
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        5 months ago

        First of all, you will never achieve usb3 full theoretical speed. Its just not going to happen. Even if you could though you wouldn’t be able to get full speeds because your bandwidth is split between devices. You will be sharing the bus between plugged in devices along with on board hardware devices.

        • ShortN0te
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          5 months ago

          A USB 3.2 gen 1 connection (5 Gb/s) is still plenty for multiple HDDs AND when you have no need for compute on the NAS the network Link is the relevant bottleneck which is half of the USB connection.

          Then USB 3.2 gen 2 (10 Gb/s) interfaces on HDD enclosures get more common every day which gives even more headroom with little more expenses.

  • beeng@discuss.tchncs.de
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    5 months ago

    I ripped out the control board of the 2x bay toaster and then bought some sata extension cables (with power) for 2x HDDs. 3D printed a little drive bay type thing and then slapped the raspi on top with the usb controller. It works great!

    Works for my usecase of basic NAS /SMB /SFTP and I can stream 1080p etc.

    But would look to sata in the future also like you mention, couldn’t find a hat, but USB speeds are fine for me.

  • pl_woah
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    5 months ago

    You can do it. I use a powered USB hub and a raspberry pi, and 5 hard drives.

    It is a mess of cables but was simple enough.

    I also sprang for a UPS because most filesystem’s I tried like zfs and btrfs didn’t appreciate random brownouts from running 4 drives off the pi itself.

    Right now they’re xfs and used for a minio install and torrent storage

  • Jelloeater@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    Hey this and put FreeNAS / TrueNAS on this.

    TERRAMASTER F2-223 2Bay NAS Storage – High Performance for SMB with N4505 Dual-Core CPU, 4GB DDR4 Memory, 2.5GbE Port x 2, Network Storage Server (Diskless) https://a.co/d/iT25GwL

  • krigo666@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    There are several solutions but will be above the budget. Best solution is the Argon Eon case for the RPi 4. I’m waiting for a version for the RPi 5.

    Can house the Pi and either 4x 2.5" drives or 2x 2.5" and 2x 3.5" drives, all SATA.

  • loganb@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    I dont know if this qualifies as a “toaster” but Ive used this docking bay in the past for a NAS and it served my purposes decently well. One thing to keep in mind is that random IO will be lacking with a usb interface. Also, this particular chipset does powercycle all the drives when one is removed so drive swaps end up requiring you to power the entire system off to perform. Also no integrated cooling may be a deal breaker as you illuded to.

    If I was basing a nas build off of a PI, I would look to use the PCIe 1x2.0 interface on the pi 5 as a HBA.

  • fart_pickle@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    I’m using terramaster as hdd enclosure. I have two of those, both connected to lenovo thinkcentre. I’ve tried rpi but I needed more power hence the lenovo thingy.

  • X3I@lemmy.x3i.tech
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    5 months ago

    Geekworm offers a HAT and an enclosure for 2HDD and the Pi, that might suit you

  • IndustryStandard@lemmy.world
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    5 months ago

    M2 is getting so cheap that having a drive spinning all day can add up in electricity whereas m2 is a lot more efficient.

      • IndustryStandard@lemmy.world
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        5 months ago

        M2 isn’t much more expensive than HDDs anymore. It used to be five times times the cost. Now maybe 1.5 to 2 times. And they require a lot less space and no dedicated backplane with seperate power.

        Also you need redundancy. A 20TB hdd is very expensive and usually very overkill. Rebuilding them takes very long if you ever have corruption issues, along with other problems.

        It’s better to have three smaller drives than a single 20TB one.

        Unless you’re running an actual datacenter with cooling and big rack space, m.2 is a likely more worth it these days for a small home NAS.