Many enthusiasts have teamed up to create great free software (and excellent tutorials) that will allow the average user to create a home server in just a few minutes. Thanks to their creativity, we now have so many options to choose from.
With the right tools, you can create a media server, network storage solution, ad blocking protection, music streaming service, Apache web services and more. OpenMediaVault is one such free home server solution that, when combined with the Raspberry Pi, creates an affordable server in your own home.
OpenMediaVault was originally created as a network storage solution. With a simple interface, you can perform much of the server management required from any device (with a web browser) in your home.
As long as the web browser is on the same home network as your Raspberry Pi, you have the ability to add users, set up file sharing, install certificates (SSH and SSL), launch docker containers, and monitor your server’s performance. view from the comfort of your laptop or tablet.
What you need
Before you start setting up your home server on your Raspberry Pi, make sure you have the following items.
- Raspberry Pi 4 (recommended)
- SD card (basic install: 8 GB; up to 256 GB for additional storage)
- Additional storage (external SSD/M.2 via USB) is recommended
- Monitor (during initial installation)
- HDMI to micro HDMI cable
- Ethernet output and cable
- Power supply (make sure the power supply can power your Raspberry Pi and external storage)
- Keyboard and mouse
First you need to install Raspberry Pi Lite OS on the SD card you want to use with your Raspberry Pi. The easiest way to do that is to use the Raspberry Pi installer. With Linux open a terminal and type:
sudo apt install rpi-imager (Debian)
sudo snap install rpi-imager (other Linux distributions)
Alternatively, you can use this guide for help installing Raspberry Pi Lite OS from any operating system. Make sure to select Raspberry Pi OS Lite (64-bit). Follow the intuitive directions and relax. This will take a few minutes to complete.
During the installation process, make sure to select the advanced options to set a hostname and enable SSH. Setting up a hostname is easier than remembering your IP address and an SSH connection is required when accessing your Raspberry Pi terminal remotely. When setting up a username and password, you need to be extra careful to remember this information.
When the installation is complete, the Raspberry Pi will come to a login screen (this is where the monitor comes in handy).
Enter your username and password that you created during the initial installation. Once logged in, it is good practice to update the newly installed OS, reveal the Raspberry Pi IP address and install the OpenMediaVault software.
Most operating system images that come with installers do not ship with the latest updates. With the following instructions you can easily make sure you are informed. Also enter your password when prompted:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
Now you need to find your IP address. Type one of the following commands:
You can find your IP address under the eth0 section and next to inet.
On the computer nearby, open a terminal (or similar program) and type SSH [email protected] Address (replace user with the username you created during the first installation and the IP.Address with the IP address just revealed. For help connecting to your Raspberry Pi remotely, check out our SSH to Raspberry Pi walk-through for details.
Now that you have the basics of your Raspberry Pi server set up and ready, it is now time to install OpenMediaVault.
Type the following command into the same application that you connected to your Raspberry Pi remotely via SSH:
sudo wget -O - a href="https://github.com/OpenMediaVault-Plugin-Developers/installScript/raw/master/install">https://github.com/OpenMediaVault-Plugin-Developers/installScript/raw/master/installa> | sudo bash
Enter your password to continue when prompted. This will take up to 10 minutes to complete. When this activity is complete, you should see a screen similar to the one in the picture.
When your Raspberry Pi rebooted, the IP address may have changed. You can either write down the new IP address (if it has changed for you), or type raspberrypi.local into the address bar of the web browser on your remote computer.
Note the default username (admin) and default password (openmediavault) shared in the login greeting. This is terribly important. After entering the IP address of your Raspberry Pi (or raspberrypi.local) into your computer’s web browser, you will see a login screen.
Customize your server
Now type the default username and password to login to your server! You will be greeted with a dashboard that needs to be set up. But make sure to change the default password first. To do this, click on the person icon at the top right of the main OpenMediaVault screen.
The included dashboard contains monitoring information for your CPU, memory, containers, file systems, services, network interfaces, and other diagnostic tools. After selecting the settings page hyperlink (in the information message), you will be presented with a list of options. Click the boxes next to your favorite diagnostic statistic and hit save.
To change your dashboard widget settings, click the person icon in the top right corner and select dashboard.
Select Users > Users from the left menu. Then choose the blue plus icon at the top left and fill in the required fields. Don’t forget to press save.
You will see your users listed in along with email and group information related to each user. To change user information, click on the user row and press the pencil icon above the name header. You should see something like the user data in the image.
Take a moment to review our guide to a detailed understanding of Linux user and group permissions to better understand Linux user and group permissions.
You can choose how you want to use your mounted storage. For example, you can use that 128GB SD card you bought with a Raspberry Pi kit. You can also use a larger USB stick that is collecting dust. Before you can use your SD card, you must tell OpenMediaVault to also use the root file system for your server storage.
To elect System > Plugins in the left menu. At the top right of this screen you see a magnifying glass and a line. Search for “root” and you will see the “opemediavault-sharerootfs” plugin. Simply select the plugin you want to install, then select the down arrow (above the words Package Information at the top of the screen).
If that’s out of the way, select Storage (left side) > File Systems. Once there, select the blue plus icon at the top of the screen and choose mount. Then select the file system you want OpenMediaVault to connect to and hit save.
You will also see a warning message at the top. Select the check mark (top right corner of this administration tool) to ensure that your changes are saved. Press Yes when asked if you want to apply the changes.
You can also add samba file sharing so you can easily transfer files to your new Raspberry Pi server. Choose to get started Services > SMB/CIFS. Check out our guide to find out which file transfer method is best for you.
To keep your server secure it is important to implement certificates. Select Certificates > SSH or Certificates > SSL. Click on the plus sign and follow the simple directions. OpenMediaVault does the rest! To learn more about the purpose of an SSL certificate, check out our guide.
What will you make next?
Are you going to create a web server, reverse proxy, pi-hole or a plex media server? Of course, you can always stick with what OpenMediaVault was originally designed for: a NAS solution.