My thoughts on Rockstor and thoughts on changes

Recently I had the chance (right now actually). As I am in the throws of doing just that. Learning it as I go and reading forums, videos, and general digging into something I do not really understand but that does not stop me.
Other than an issue with the drive, I was using everything was very quick (a hot knife through butter) as the saying goes, to prove how easy and fast it was.

Now on to Rockstor itself right now I consider it in my own mind as a Beta, there are quite a few things that do need help or change. I am saying this from a person that has worked on 3 MMORPGs as a CM and content designer in my younger days. I know from the many years of working in the games industry that LOOKS are EVERYTHING a good UI means happy customers.

Most of the interface is really easy to use and navigate even for someone that has never used a storage software like this before,

Creating pools,
making shares
Snapshots and the list goes on are all easy to use and find.

My first issue is the writing and size of the content on the Dashboard the display boxes such as the Disk activity and so forth the writing is too small even at an expanded size. I would like a way to bump this up.
Especially as I look at things also from a disabled person perspective. If one has sight issues, this is really hard to see. I do this by expanding firefox zoom but it would be a nice option.

I have a few suggestions for this area mainly cosmetics.
A search would be just lovely.
As it stands there is a huge grey box with just a tiny bit of information in it, It would be nice to see them as smaller boxes in the way of the dashboard look 3 to 4 in a row easy readable and easily organized.
Menu system left side of the Rock-on at the moment it is a large vertical black box with nothing in it except Rock-on service and a button.
Or as I was reading about an installer Portainer, and found that another software (OpenMediaVault) lets you install Portainer from the interface to then let one install dozens of dockers.

Well, my thoughts at the moment. I could gladly add many more suggestions and so forth but that is for another post, another day.

Can it do what CJ and I need? I am not sure at the moment I need to read more about what I can and cannot achieve with Rockstor.



the changes you’re proposing are good one, especially in light of needs to e.g. have larger fonts/displays that can be easily configured. I suspect, it will be a little while before that can be added, due to the first priority of rebasing on OpenSuse as @phillxnet has stated in other threads. But I think those would be good additions once the new base becomes stable for general audiences (and has feature parity with the current CentOS based versions).

As for your question on the RockOns - that is more of a philsophical approach. The RockOn framework (as I interpret it) was designed to make life easier for non-docker experts, so an “app” can easily be added using the docker architecture, but also not requiring major understanding of all the switches, bobs and other things to get it up and running successfully. So, there is, I believe, no intention on changing that approach (@Flox you can add many more arguments, I am sure). It’s about the balance of flexibility and ease-of-use. If you look at some of the Rock-Ons and compare the configuration options with what’s shown on dockerhub you will see that not every single option is always exposed (seems more like an 80/20 rule, covering 80% of use cases with 20% of the configuration).

With that said, there have been a few threads discussing this notion, probably mostly from the view point of advanced users that feel more comfortable with docker concept and the tools available out there for managing containers and such.

If you haven’t found it in your searches yet (unlikely), but here was a thread from some time ago:

If you’re intending on spinning up quite a few containers based on your other thread discussing your plans

and need control on specific detailed configurations, then within the above thread, @Code_Monkey provides his version of using Portainer (as a RockOn itself) to manage other containers that don’t have RockOn jsons available for them:
check out post 4/12 in that thread:

But, as mentioned, that goes beyond what Rockstor’s original architecture was about.


I agree to some point, the UI can be improved, but in general I’d consider it on of the stronger points of rockstor.

What I really miss is rocksolid basics. Containers, rockons, whatever - thats all nice to have, but the primary function of a NAS must remain the serving of storage. And this needs to work flawlessly.
From my experience over the last ~2years rockstor just isn’t as reliable in these basic tasks as it should be.
Disk failures, disk replacements, deleting failed disks, ui stopping to work and various other bugs, etc, I had issues with all of these. The last straw for me was that the spindown stopped working for no obvious reason. Phil gives great support, but stuff like that just shouldn’t happen on a NAS system.

I finally decided to try out most of the other available NAS OS and I found an alternative where all these basics just work, and I will stay with that for now.

That’s where I would start to improve rockstor - fix the basics, then add the nice to have stuff.

Personally, do we need another Nas storage solution? What people need and that is going on the many different forums I have read trying to work out what to go with is a combination of
1: The look for FreeNAS
2: a better curated Dockers and plugins system like from Unraid
and their are other system out there that have plus’s and minus’s.
I think that to many people are trying to reinvent the wheel.

Am I using anything right now, NO, Each one of the programs I have looked at and tested on the server just gave me a dam this could be better in (such and such and area).

I will always argue and always do that the UI is one of the main things that a team should also work on.
If the UI is shyte then people will get turned off to the program even if it is one of the best. Sadly I never learned how to do UI’s maybe is something I should have done should do who knows.

I like that Rockstor is going with Opensuse instead of the same same old. Now that said it maybe a better move or it might be a total cluster F*** but time will tell. I think the dev have looked at the option of the different OS’s and well landed on OpenSuse. But here is a golden opportunity to have a good look at the UI and this is my personal opinion (Do not create it as a CODER create it like you are a person new to it. Do you really want to be hunting around or using CLI to get stuff done? No of course not, people want it right in a good and convenient place. Hence why I mention FreeNas 11.3 I think it is. Large fonts, the dash has great imagery.

Ouside of NAS storage programs look at blender and Gimp as two instances of bad interface when starting. The biggest comment was “you can tell a coder made the interface” and you could it was just not easy to use at all, scattered, no cohesion .

But that is my thoughts…