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How To Create A Linux NAS With Amahi

Linux servers are complex and hard to set up, especially if you’re a new user. As a result, many projects have popped up to make having your own Linux file server much easier. One such project that attempts to make owning and operating a Linux NAS is Amahi. The Amahi project prides itself on making installation easy, the UI simple, and operations easy to understand. In this article, we’ll go over how to install Amahi 10 and set up a complete Linux NAS with it.

Note: To run Amahi you’ll need an old PC or server that can always be on. Don’t have that kind of hardware? Consider trying this out on a VPS, as it may be possible.

Install Fedora Server 25

Amahi is server tech for Linux, but it isn’t something anyone can download and burn to a USB drive. Instead, you’ll need to take an existing server operating system, run the Amahi setup tool, and convert your system to an “HDA”. Usually, the server OS in use is Fedora Server.

The Amahi server software, at its current release, is 11 on Fedora Server 27. That said, in this tutorial, we’ll focus on Amahi 10 with Fedora Server 25, as it is more reliable and the installer works better. Generally speaking, it’s okay to use these older versions of Fedora Server, in spite of new releases, as all the software for your server is updated via an official Amahi software repo.

Getting older versions of Fedora Server isn’t impossible, though the developers discourage it, as the project would prefer you to use their latest release. The fastest way to get Fedora 25 is to use the wget tool. Open up a terminal and grab the latest ISO file of the F25 server.

wget https://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/25/Server/x86_64/iso/Fedora-Server-netinst-x86_64-25-1.3.iso

Downloading the F25 Server net installer ISO won’t take too long, as it’s much smaller than the full DVD ISO. When the download finishes up, grab Etcher for Linux, plug in a 1GB USB stick ,and use it to flash the ISO file.

Now that Fedora 25 is on a USB disk, take the time to create a new Amahi account. During the account creation, you’ll be asked some questions about your network, so have that information ready. Additionally, the account creation tool will generate an install code. Save this information as you’ll need it later on.

Partitioning

Partitioning Fedora Server is very important, due to how Amahi works. Do not select “AUTOMATIC”, as it will set up an LVM partition layout and potentially screw up your Amahi setup. Instead, after booting the F25 ISO file, click on the hard drive icon under “SYSTEM”, select the hard drive you wish to install on, and check the box next to “I will configure the partitioning”.

Click the “DONE” button to be brought to the Anaconda partitioning tool. In this tool, click the minus button to remove absolutely all partitions currently present on the hard drive. Then find the drop-down menu, open it, and change it from “LVM” to “STANDARD”.

Note: the partitioner will want to change from “STANDARD” to “AUTOMATIC”, so you may need to change it back more than once.

Click the + button to create a new partition. Look for “Mount point” and change it to /.

Try to give the Root partition the majority of the hard drive space.

In this tutorial example, the Amahi server drive is 18 GB.  14.9 GB of the space goes to the Root partition, and the remaining space will go to the SWAP partition.

When all partitions are set up, click “Done” to go back to the previous menu.

UEFI Users

Generally speaking, UEFI isn’t necessary for a home server. Most users should be able to get away with just using BIOS boot. Can’t use BIOS? If so, after creating a Root partition, create a Fat32 partition 512 MB in size. Under mount point, select /boot/efi.

Once the EFI partition is ready, use the rest of the drive space to create a SWAP partition.

Begin Installation

Setting up the partitions is the hard part. The rest of the installation is quite easy. Select “Software selection”. Under this section, select “Minimal Install”. On the right, select “Standard”, then click “Done” to return to the main menu. Click “Begin installation” to start the installation process.

While Fedora Server finishes installing, set up a username. DO NOT SET A ROOT PASSWORD!

Install Amahi

Now that Fedora server is up and running, it’s time to install Amahi 10. Before doing anything, run a ping command to ensure your network connection on the server is working:

ping google.com -c3

Download and install the Amahi RPM:

sudo -s

rpm -Uvh http://f25.amahi.org/noarch/hda-release-10.0.0-1.noarch.rpm

Lastly, install the Amahi tools. Be sure to replace “YOUR INSTALL CODE” with the code Amahi gives you after creating a new account.

dnf -y install hda-ctl

hda-install YOUR-INSTALL-CODE

Using Amahi

Unlike a lot of other Linux NAS software tools, Amahi doesn’t really need to be configured. File sharing should be up and ready to use right away. To use your server, log into via the web interface and customize your server (if you so choose). Open up a new browser tab and access via:

http://server-local-ip-address

Not sure what the server’s IP is? Try this command:

ip addr show

Users can also go ahead and install various Apps from the Amahi store. Learn more about apps here.

Upgrade To Amahi 11

As stated earlier in the article, Amahi server is running on an older version of Fedora Server. The developers take their time in releasing new versions of the software, so that’s just how it goes.  If you’re only using your server for Amahi, and don’t need the latest packages, this is fine. Older versions of Fedora don’t have official support from the developers, but this shouldn’t be an issue.

If you feel uncomfortable with Amahi 10, consider upgrading to version 11, as it uses Fedora 27, which still has some support, even though 28 is now out. Read the Amahi Wiki entry, as it goes over how to upgrade your installation.

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