Two long-time FreeNAS users test the Debian-based OpenMediaVault, we share our favorite features FreeNAS doesn’t have, where FreeNAS still pulls ahead, standout features of version 3 over version 2 & why we think the project has a very bright future.

Plus Lenovo & Intel feed Linux users another shit sandwich, take a look at Greyhole & chat up the new desktop releases.

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— Show Notes: —


Brought to you by: Linux Academy

OpenMediaVault in Practice Review

OpenMediaVault is the next generation network attached storage (NAS) solution based on Debian Linux. It contains services like SSH, (S)FTP, SMB/CIFS, DAAP media server, RSync, BitTorrent client and many more. Thanks to the modular design of the framework it can be enhanced via plugins.

OpenMediaVault is primarily designed to be used in home environments or small home offices, but is not limited to those scenarios. It is a simple and easy to use out-of-the-box solution that will allow everyone to install and administrate a Network Attached Storage without deeper knowledge.


Has Support for Raspberry Pi and Odroid-C2

OpenMediaVault 2.x

  • Debian 7 (Wheezy)
    +Revised GUI supports configuration of WiFi, VLAN, et a

OpenMediaVault 3.x

The Setup


Intel NUC

  • 4th Generation Intel Core i5-4250U processor
  • 2014 Model BOXD54250WYKH1
  • 4 USB3.0 Ports


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Have not tested a drive failure


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  • Synology DS412+
  • Just over three years old, running great, still getting updates.
  • 205.68 MB/sec Reading, 182.66 MB/sec Writing
  • 2 LAN with Failover and Link Aggregation Support
  • Features SuperSpeed USB 3.0
  • CPU Passive Cooling Technology & System Fan Redundancy

OpenMediaVault 3 Pros

  • Debian 8 is very secure and solid, around for a while.
  • I live in a systemd world.
OpenMediaVault Super Plugins:
  • Greyhole is worth the price of adition alone.
  • SnapRAID could give you real data protection.
How Greyhole Works
  • The user defines it’s storage pool by listing all the paths of the different disks he wants to use.
  • When files are added on Greyhole shares’ Landing Zones, the Greyhole daemon moves those files into 1+ of the paths defined as the storage pool. It then replaces the original file (on the share) by a symbolic link pointing to one of the copy created in the pool.
  • Samba is configured to use opaque symbolic links, i.e. what are in fact symbolic links in the shares appear as normal files to clients.

OpenMediaVault 3 Cons

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Runs Linux

Moto Mods, Require You to Run Linux

The Moto Mods Development Kit (MDK), allows you to contribute to the ecosystem and bring your own Moto Mod to life.

Desktop App Pick

Greyhole – Redundant Storage Pooling using Samba

An application that uses Samba to create a storage pool of all your available hard drives, and allows you to create redundant copies of the files you store, in order to prevent data loss when part of your hardware fails.

Next Steps

  • Try out QNAP’s Ubuntu Running NAS

  • NAS and iSCSI-SAN unified storage solution for server virtualization

  • Supports VMware(r), Citrix(r), and Microsoft(r) Hyper-V and advanced virtualization features
  • AES-NI hardware-accelerated encryption for efficient cryptographic performance up to 412 MB/s
  • Supports hardware decoding and transcode 4K (H.264) videos on-the-fly or offline
  • Dual HDMI outputs for switching between mirroring and extended desktop options
  • Supports the Linux(r) OS with direct output via HDMI
  • Equipped with 24-bit digital to analog converter (DAC) for amplifier and clear audio

  • Check out the new unRAID Server OS 6.2 d


Upcoming OSS Events

— NEWS —

Lenovo confirms that Linux won’t work on Yoga 900 and 900S laptops

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Device maker Lenovo today issued a statement confirming that its Yoga 900 and 900S convertible laptops cannot boot Linux — only Windows 10.

“requires very specific, complex and unique drivers that require even greater amounts of testing, to ensure class-leading performance with Windows 10”.

“support our Yoga products and our industry-leading 360-hinge” before stating it “does not intentionally block customers using other operating systems”.

Compounding matters, a ‘Lenovo Product Expert’ seemingly responded to a Best Buy customer’s complaint online with the following:

“This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft.”

If Linux won’t install on your laptop, blame Intel not Microsoft

Here’s the problem: Linux doesn’t support internal solid-state drives in RAID (Intel RST) mode. Linux can see the drive in AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) mode. However, certain Lenovo laptops don’t allow the mode to be changed in the BIOS. You can boot Linux from a USB drive, but not install it on the laptop’s SSD.

Hardware hack enables Linux support on Lenovo Yoga 900 ISK2, undermining Lenovo’s statement

A hardware hack has enabled AHCI support on the Lenovo Yoga 900 ISK2, undermining Lenovo and Microsoft’s claims that Linux is “missing drivers”.

Unfortunately, the procedure to flash the BIOS is too complicated for most people because the person who did it had to use external flashing equipment to bypass Lenovo’s ROM signature check and load the modified BIOS, and he can’t provide the BIOS ROM because it only supports his computer and has private info in it, such as the Windows 10 license for his machine.

GNOME 3.22 Released, This Is What’s New

Software, the GNOME app store, is looking a lot nicer in GNOME 3.22.

MATE 1.16 Desktop Environment Officially Released with More GTK+ 3 Improvements

After 6 months of development the MATE Desktop team are proud to announce the release of MATE Desktop 1.16. We’d like to thank every MATE contributor for their help making this release possible,” says Martin Wimpress. “The release is focused on improving GTK3+ compatibility, migrating components to newer libraries, fixing bugs and code hygene.”

GTK+ 3.22 GUI Toolkit Released for GNOME 3.22 As Devs Prepare for GTK+ 4.0

“The 3.22 release is the last development release in the GTK+ 3. series. GTK+ 3.22 will be maintained as the long-term stable version of GTK+ 3, and new development will move to the GTK+ 3.90.x releases. To learn more about the GTK+ roadmap, read:,” says Matthias Clasen in today’s announcement.

Major new features include:

  • The Wayland backend has support for drawing tablets
  • The Wayland backend requires xdg-shell v6
  • We have a gesture API for tablet support, GtkPadController
  • GdkMonitor offers an API for richer information about connected outputs
  • GdkGLContext supports GLES
  • GtkScrolledWindow has new max-content-width/height properties that can
    affect the sizing behavior
  • GtkShortcutLabel is a new widget that can display keyboard shortcuts
    in the same way that GtkShortcutWindow does
  • A number of GTK+ APIs will now transparently use portals when used
    in a Flatpak sandbox, including GtkFileChooserNative, GtkPrintOperation,

  • Versioning and long term stability promise in GTK+ – GTK+ Development Blog

Mail Bag

Name: Kristiyan D

Subject: Proper use of Touchpad

Message: Hello guys. My question may be silly but I am trying from a year and more to find a proper way to use and configure touchpad/clickpad on GNU/Linux. Could you suggest me some information online because I am looking in particular how to use it (position of hands), proper configuration under GNU/Linux (palm tracking, sensitivity, coasting, scrolling, etc)?

Name: Jeff P

Subject: Wallpaper Changer

Message: Hi Chris.

I think it was in last weeks LAS that you were showing your desktop with the wallpaper changer app that took random wallpapers from an online source and set them for you. I like doing something similar because it is good to have variety. You said you are just collecting your favourite background images to a single folder so that you can cycle through them instead randomly grabbing from an online source.

Because wallpaper slideshows do not seem to be baked in to the GNOME DE and I cannot find a wallpaper changer that I like I am instead using a script which I keep running in the background to change my wallpaper every 10 minutes. I don’t know if I already shared it with you but here is my script for changing wallpapers.

cd "$WP_DIR"
while [ 1 ] 
  set -- * 
  random_num=$((( $RANDOM % ($length) ) + 1)) 
  gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri "file://$WP_DIR/${!random_num}"
  sleep 600

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