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Firstly, I know very little about servers and secondly the 1Tb HDD I have has network capabilities, but no software is installed on it, so when connected to the computer it is seen as a network connection, but not as a drive. Any advice on how to get started would be great.

The network screen shot

Up until now, I have been using it as a USB drive which worked well, but when this is sorted, I would like it to be connected directly to our BT HomeHub accessible through the WiFi for all the family to use as a film and back up repository. I would then be able to set up individual accounts for each family member to use and may be, if possible, make it accessible from outside locations.

The First question then is:

    How can I install Ubuntu server on the 1Tb HDD attached directly to the computers network port but which doesn't show up in Nautilus?
  • HDD Western Digital
  • 1.0Tb LBA 1953525168
  • Model: WD10EACS-00DB0

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What drive is it? – Oli Jun 24 '13 at 12:59
Good question, I'll strip it down and find out... – SimplySimon Jun 24 '13 at 13:00
Sorry I mean the NAS - what is the make and model of this mythical half networked, half usb'd beast? – Oli Jun 24 '13 at 13:02
Description and images added to the question :) – SimplySimon Jun 24 '13 at 13:15
The descriptions you posted are all only related to the HDD that is located in the NAS. The HDD alone has no network capabilities. You have to give us some information about the case the HDD is attached to. – ortang Jun 24 '13 at 13:36
up vote 1 down vote accepted

On second thought i might have misunderstood what you really want to achieve. To sum things up:

  • You used the NAS directly connected with USB
  • You want that NAS to be shown as network drive to all the computer in the LAN
  • You want to install Ubuntu on the NAS?

The third question is the one that bugs me ;) Usually a NAS comes with some pre-installed proprietary software, my guess is that you can not install Ubuntu on the NAS.

Usually the NAS has some sort of configuration interface, look it up in the manual, or give some more detail about the NAS you have in use.

I thought you want to use that NAS as root filesystem for your ubuntu server, guess I am wrong, ill leave the previous answer below anyway:

Ill give you some hints. Yes, you can use your computer without a physical harddrive.

To make that work you have to use PXE in combination with a DHCP server, a TFTP server and a NFS server. I don't know if the NAS you are using has that capabilities. All in all this will be no trivial task, but it is of course possible.

PXE is used as the first step, your bios and the network card have to support that, check the bios settings for network boot or something similar.

The steps are the following:

  1. PXE fetches a ip address from the DHCP server and the ip address of the availabe PXE boot server.
  2. Once a PXE boot server is found, the data is transfered using TFTP, mainly the kernel image and the initrd.
  3. Once the kernel has been loaded, the NFS server is used for providing the root filesystem.

There are some tutorials out there, i suggest you read through them and take your time to set the things up in a testing environment. You could use VirtualBox for example, the guest NICs support PXE.

Good luck!

share|improve this answer
When I first got the HDD, it worked as a network drive, but when I found that it worked through USB, I formatted it and it seems as though I wiped any OS that was on there. – SimplySimon Jun 24 '13 at 13:18
It seems that way, you have to re-install the software then. Iam sure there is some tool or something available for that, take a look at the website of the manufacturer of your NAS. – ortang Jun 24 '13 at 13:34
:) I'll take a look. Thanks – SimplySimon Jun 24 '13 at 16:00

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