HowTo: OpenMediaVault - Set up Windows share or SMB server

One becomes really practical NAS (Raspberry Pi – NetworkAttachedStorage / build your own NAS with a Raspberry Pi 4) Of course, only if you can access it from anywhere in the network. This is the only way to store or retrieve data.

In order to distribute media such as photos, videos or music, there is of course the option of making them available using a DLNA server. (Info here: OpenMediaVault – Install DLNA plugin for media streaming)

In this way, however, the data can only be retrieved. One way to save them is to share individual folders or drives via SMB or Windows share. SMB means that Server Message Block Protocol which is sometimes also called CIFS (Common Internet File System).

Once shared via the SMB protocol, you can access it from any computer that supports this protocol (and is connected to the same network). Access from smartphones is also possible with certain apps.

How to set up such a release is described in the following article.

Safety instructions

I know the following notes are always kind of annoying and seem unnecessary. Unfortunately, many people who knew "better" have lost eyes, fingers or other things due to carelessness or injured themselves. Data loss is almost negligible in comparison, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Because even the coolest project is not worth injury or other trouble.

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Before you start with this article, you should have prepared the Raspberry Pi so that it can be reached via the network and controlled via SSH. It should also have OpenMediaVault installed and running.

The following articles describe what needs to be done to prepare your Raspberry Pi:

In the following lists you will find all the parts you need to implement this article.

Required tool:

1xScrewdriver set  Buy at Amazon
1xSD card reader  Buy at Amazon

Required material:

1x Raspberry Pi  Buy at Amazon
1x Raspberry Pi power supply  Buy at Amazon
1x Raspberry Pi case  Buy at Amazon
1x Micro SD card 64GB  Buy at Amazon

Set up drive and folder sharing under Open Media Vault

If you have not yet set up a drive (e.g. external hard drive) in your OMV instance, you should do so now. This is the only way large amounts of data can be stored and conveniently shared over the network.

How you can do this I have in the article OpenMediaVault - Set up an external hard drive as a drive described.

create user

I strongly recommend that you secure each released order with a user login. This ensures that only authorized persons have read and/or write access to the share.

You should also create a separate user for this. Of course you can also access the release via the OMV standard user account. With a separate user account, however, you create additional security.

How you can proceed to create a new user, I have on the one hand in the article OpenMediaVault - Create another user described. On the other hand, it is also shown again in the next steps.

To do this, click in the section

  • Users

on the entry

  • Users

Then click on the shown blue plus symbol...

...and then click on "Create".

You can enter all user information in the form that appears.

In most cases it is sufficient to assign a user name and password. Of course, you can also configure other settings (e.g. group membership) here.

Then click on "Save" to apply the settings.

Before you confirm the configuration change, you should now configure the access rights folder.

To do this, mark the entry of the user you just created and then click on the folder symbol with the small key.

Here you can now set for each shared folder whether the user you just created should have no, read or read and write access.

In our case, of course, it has to be read/write access, because this is the only way data can be written to the folder.

To apply the changed access rights, you must now click on "Save".

Now you can accept the changes to the configuration by clicking on the checkmark shown in the upper yellow bar...

... and confirm the transfer by clicking on "Yes".

Install SMB Server Plugin

The SMB Server is part of the basic functionality of OpenMediaVault and is installed by default. So you can start configuring right away.

Enable and configure SMB Server

In order for you to be able to set up an SMB share, the server must first be activated and configured.

To do this, click in the section

  • services

...on the area

  • Settings

There you activate the checkbox "Enabled" to activate the SMB server.

In addition to a few other options, you can also activate "Home directories" for the respective users here.

This means that each person is assigned a separate folder that only they can access. This is useful, for example, to set up a private folder on your NAS for each user in your network.

Another practical function is the recycle bin function. If you activate the "Enable recycle bin" option, all deleted files and folders are first moved to the recycle bin. This can be very useful for recovering accidentally deleted files.

Once you have set all functions as desired, you can apply the settings by clicking on "Save".

Set up SMB sharing

Now the SMB server should already be running on your NAS. However, you have not yet released any folders, which is why the SMB server is available in the network but does not display any content. Below are the steps to share a folder.

To do this, click in the navigation bar

  • shares

On the view that then appears, you can add a new release by clicking on the blue plus symbol.

The shared folder can then be set in great detail.

To do this, you must first select the folder that you want to share in the drop-down menu.

That being said, there are the following options:

  • Read-Only: Activate this option if the folder is to be shared without write permissions
  • Browsable: Activate this option if the folder should be visible when browsing the server shares. Otherwise it is only accessible by directly entering the path.
  • Time Machine Support: Enable this if you want to use Apple's Time Machine feature enablement.
  • Inherit ACLs: Enable this if ACLs from parent directories should also be set for new folders and files.
  • Inherit permissions: Activate this if permissions from parent directories should also be set for new folders and files.
  • Enable recycle bin: Check this to enable the recycle bin function in the share.
  • Hide dot files: If this option is activated, files starting with a dot will be hidden.
  • Extended attributes: Activate this to be able to save extended attributes
  • Store DOS attributes: Enable this to store DOS attributes

Once you have configured everything according to your wishes, you can activate the release by clicking on "Save".

Test SMB sharing

After you have activated the SMB server and set up a share, it is now time to test it. There are also helpful tips in the article RaspberryPi – Share folders with SMB and integrate as a network drive under Windows. A few simple steps are also described in the following steps.

Open the view of your network environment by (for example) clicking on "Network" in the view shown.

In the network view that is displayed, all devices in the local network are displayed. The name of your OpenMediaVault instance should now also be visible there.

Select it by double clicking on it.

If you have not already done so, you must now authenticate yourself to the SMB server. To do this, you should use the previously created user access data.

Enter the user data and confirm them by clicking on "OK"

You should now see the previously created share there.

No access to the SMB share?

If you get the error message shown at this point, this is because the user you used for authentication does not have the rights to display this folder.

In this case, you should check the access rights again. How these are set is described in the section "Creating users" earlier in this article.

Set up a network drive in Windows

Now you have released the desired folder. In order to be able to access it easily, I recommend setting up the shared folder as a network drive.

How you can implement this on a Windows system, I have in the article RaspberryPi – Share folders with SMB and integrate as a network drive under Windows described.

More articles related to OpenMediaVault

I have described the many other functions of OpenMediaVault in other articles. All articles on the subject can be found here

Have fun with the project

I hope everything worked as described for you. If not or you have questions or suggestions please let me know in the comments. I will then add this to the article if necessary.
Ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂

PS Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you think it's cool that I share the information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee fund. 🙂

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