Excited about Rockstor -- build plans

I want to thank Phil for replying to an email I sent to support before I joined the forum. In my email I said I am very excited to find Rockstor, particularly as I want to implement and experience the use of BTRFS. I realise that a key element of BTFRS is currently presented as “Not for production” because of the hole from unclean stoppages, but for me the storage capacity efficiency that Raid5 provides, along with the BTRFS ability to add disks of different sizes to pools, are incredibly important. I have done a great deal of research on NAS systems and I have been disappointed that NAS systems like FreeNAS, NAS4Free, OMV and Unraid either do not support BTFRS or do so in a way that makes it hard for general NAS users to implement. Unraid is better, but the way it uses BTFRS is a big compromise, I think.

I am acquiring the hardware to build a good NAS with:

a Supermicro X11SCL-LN4F MB supporting 6 SATA drives,
a Fractal Design Node 804 case that can accommodate 8x 3.5in drives
a current model I3 CPU.
I have a good UPS for my current systems, and I plan on 3x 4TB HDDs to start plus a couple of SSDs for the system and the cache pool. I spent my whole career on the technical side of corporate IT, escaping to macOS when I retired 20 years ago, and I have built several personal systems over the last 30 years, including my current macOS Hackintosh/Linux system (I was able to build an iMac equivalent for much less).

I am a definite amateur when it comes to Linux (I am currently doing an Introduction to Linux course provided online by the Linux Foundation). But with help from the forum I hope to find my way.

I posted about my initial attempt to build Rockstor in KVM on my Ubuntu 20.04 system. For that I actually used the Rockstor 3.9.1 ISO, which surprisingly the Rockstor page on SourceForge page still says is the current version. I didn’t look more closely to see all the subsequent builds. Anyway, now understanding the move to openSUSE I am going to try install one of the openSUSE versions. I have installed VirtualBox to see if it is better for me than KVM. From what I’ve seen so far it is more informative and easier to follow. But Phil has suggested a different approach using KVM as a starter. I’ll see how I go with Virtual box first, as I have it ready to go.

Anyway, I am very glad to be able to participate in such a newbie-friendly community which aims to produce a proper BTRFS NAS.

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@ceh-u Hello again.

It is our last available CentOS based installer and only publicly available installer; for now at least. And will, with a lot of patience for the hundreds of MB of upstream updates, update itself and it’s Rockstor related packages to 3.9.2-57 from 25th April this year if subscribed to the Stable channel. Though a ‘yum update’ at the command line is advise for this given it’s now such a large update.

So it’s still viable, but given your linux interests and newer hardware plans, and the beta state of our now long planned openSUSE transition, the testing channel does look like the way to go. Just be cautious with the updates especially as we near our next stable release and we will then start using the testing channel to address our other technical debts accumulated over the years, ie Python 2 to 3 and old Django etc, which will inevitably cause issues. Auto updates doesn’t yet work in the openSUSE version anyway (at least through our Web-UI) so you should be OK there.

I’ll try and indicate in the changelog the point where we stop heading towards the current stable and branch out towards the next stable release which will be post Rockstor 4 Stable release but build on Python 3 newer Django etc.

I can chip in with an idea re:

If this UPS has the capacity to also back the proposed Rockstor machine and your network switch and infrastructure then you could consider having Rockstor manage it and use NUT’s (https://networkupstools.org/) network capability to serve the power info out to your respective clients. This is a built-in config within Rockstor for it’s UPS config. See our following doc entry on this:

http://rockstor.com/docs/ups-setup/ups_setup.html

Specifically the Netserver Mode mode. But this all depends on your particular setup of course. And if your UPS is sufficiently supported by NUT. The following page should give an indication of this:

https://networkupstools.org/stable-hcl.html

Just a thought on the overall power wiring really. As that way Rockstor can send shutdown notifications to all the network clients (assuming NUT client compatibility) and await their acknowledgement and, after a time out for this, cleanly shut itself down there after.

You might like that. Also do post pictures of your build. And be careful with those hackintosh updates, I’ve tried those on and off a little while ago and the updates would often cause major headaches. I may just have been using more borderline hardware though.

Hope that helps and thanks for sharing your plans. Very encouraging.

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Thank you very much. And especially about the UPS. It is a CyberPower 850VA/510W unit and it has been extremely reliable. I will check out its compatibility with NUT. The approach you suggest sounds very good.
At this stage I have only the Supermicro MB. I’ll be buying the other components over the next few weeks. My experience with the hackintosh is that my system, since my last hardware update in 2017 has been absolutely rock solid once, guided by the community forum, I generated a USB SSDT and refined the kexts (drivers) that my system needs. These days when a macOS update is released I need only do the normal Apple update.
Thanks again.

I have a CyberPower Value 800VA (480W), it works fine with NUT (driver is usbhid-ups for me).

I have this in my /etc/udev/rules.d/90-nut.rules, you may or may not need it these days (this was based on some post about setting it up from years ago, can’t remember where it was now).

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ENV{DEVTYPE}=="usb_device", ATTR{idVendor}=="0764", TAG+="systemd", ENV{SYSTEMD_WANTS}+="nut-server.service nut-monitor.service"

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Hi Simon Lee – thanks for that. I’ll keep this in mind when I build the NAS.

Just to report that in preparation for trying openSUSE-based Rockstor versions in a VM on my desktop, I have openSUSE Leap 15.1 installed on a separate SSD (my main system is currently macOS 10.15.5). I have a JeOS Leap 15.2RC VM guest running and I will use that for testing Rockstor. I had some problems getting the VM connected to my network, but that has been resolved.

As a Linux noob with only some macOS terminal experience, I m quiite impressed with openSUSE.

I need to test in VM because I won’t have assembled all the components for my NAS build for a few weeks yet.

As posted above, I have a working JeOS Leap 15.2RC VM and nano installed. Any suggested next steps for testing Rockstor built-on-openSUSE?

@ceh-u Hello again.

The steps are pretty much as laid out in:

Which in turn links to:

which requires the first part of:

Which I’ve recently updated/clarified to help those wishing only to do the rpm testing, rather than stand up a development environment. So it now tells you when to return to the former step. In your case, as you have used a pre-installed JeOS image, you can skip the install part (staring at "Apply all upstream updates), you will also get some errors such as Apparmor not existing. You can ignore these also: it’s just not installed in a JeOS image.

These docs are meant to educate as to the reasons for each command, they are not a quick and dirty cut and paste. But this way one can know what is happening and that is ultimately more valuable and then easier to know what has not worked if something didn’t go as expected. Let us know how you get on and if it’s looking too crazy then either ask on each issue or await the installer.

Hope that helps. And if you do end up going this ‘by hand’ route then take notes on the tricky parts as those docs are being improved all the time. But they are not intended for beginners, but all the commands and config changes are fairly simple so should be fairly straightforward. But a higher than base level familiarity with linux is assumed, hence the suggestion you installed nano in our other thread on this. But there is really on one edit to do anyway so still fairly straight forward. Please be patient if you do have any issues as again it’s not intended for beginners but given your embarking on a linux course anyway it could be an interesting exercise. Just remember to be exact on any particular issue you run into and be sure to not change stuff while your question is outstanding, at least not without updating your forum question. I’m personally pretty tied up doing the next testing release (with a new twist) but there are many others on the forum who have gone through this exact same process who are hopefully going to be able to chip in.

Hope that helps. And yes this can all be done in a few lines of shell (which is mostly what it is anyway) but wheres the education in that. Plus context is everything and if an install is all that one is after then we will soon have the installer which is down to 5 actions (disk, language, keyboard, license, root password) so you might like to try that out also once it’s finished :slight_smile: . We are aiming for a release ready for your hardware arriving.

Many thanks. Loks like it will keep me busy for a while :sunglasses:

OK, succeeded in installing 3.9.2-60. Some screenshots attached. Now I’ll bone up on the Rockstor guide before I dig into configuring it and trying functions. Sorry, haven’t found how to have these appear as icons.

Screenshot%20from%202020-06-30%2016-01-22 Screenshot%20from%202020-06-30%2016-02-06 Screenshot%20from%202020-06-30%2016-06-18

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I have a successful install of the 3.9.2-60 rpm on openSUSE Leap 15.2RC JeOs running in a VM on a full 15.2RC desktop.
So far I’ve setup disks, shares and users and tested accessing the shares via Samba. I haven’t run into any problems yet, apart from those caused by my inexperience with Samba.

I’m wondering what are the priority functions of the system to test, and if there is a testing channel to post results in.

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