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endecotp

Do you recommend ODROID-HC1 ?

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Hi Everyone,

I'm considering getting an ODROID-HC1 to use as a simple NAS. Is this a good idea?

(Yes, some of you will have seen my very similar post about the Espressobin!)

My requirements are quite basic; a single SATA SSD and a single ethernet port, running NFS and Samba. I do need a newish version of Samba (required to support "Time Machine" backup from my Mac) which I believe is in Debian Buster but not in Stretch. I've been a Debian user for decades; I guess I might be happier if the hardware supplier provided a Debian image, but it's great that Armbian is available.

I note that Armbian Buster for this board is described as "Testing"; should I wait for a bit until it is more mature?

Good things about this board include the mechanical design. I have some other ODROID boards (C2s) and I'm reasonably happy with them. I am slightly put off by the use of a USB-to-SATA adaptor chip, but maybe that is an unreasonable prejudice. The requirement for a wobbly SD card (rather than e.g. eMMC or booting directly from the SATA device) is another minor worry. The Exynos SoC seems to be quite old, but on the other hand that should mean it is a proven design and the software support is mature.

What's the verdict? I'm looking for something that "just works"; I don't want to have to fiddle around with things for days! (I've done enough of that in the past.)


Thanks, Phil.

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On 1/15/2020 at 3:04 PM, endecotp said:
 

Hi Everyone,

I'm considering getting an ODROID-HC1 to use as a simple NAS. Is this a good idea?

(Yes, some of you will have seen my very similar post about the Espressobin!)

My requirements are quite basic; a single SATA SSD and a single ethernet port, running NFS and Samba. I do need a newish version of Samba (required to support "Time Machine" backup from my Mac) which I believe is in Debian Buster but not in Stretch. I've been a Debian user for decades; I guess I might be happier if the hardware supplier provided a Debian image, but it's great that Armbian is available.

I note that Armbian Buster for this board is described as "Testing"; should I wait for a bit until it is more mature?

Good things about this board include the mechanical design. I have some other ODROID boards (C2s) and I'm reasonably happy with them. I am slightly put off by the use of a USB-to-SATA adaptor chip, but maybe that is an unreasonable prejudice. The requirement for a wobbly SD card (rather than e.g. eMMC or booting directly from the SATA device) is another minor worry. The Exynos SoC seems to be quite old, but on the other hand that should mean it is a proven design and the software support is mature.

What's the verdict? I'm looking for something that "just works"; I don't want to have to fiddle around with things for days! (I've done enough of that in the past.)


Thanks, Phil.

Buy!

 

I personally have HC1 for almost two years and no problems. Alternatively, you might think about HC2 if 3.5 inches will interest you in the future, especially if you need something above 5TB at normal prices it will be a better solution than 2.5.

As for OS, install Armbian based on buster but with 4.14.y kernel because currently 5.x has big problems with HC, it doesn't boot at all. But 4.14 is not a problem because some time will be supported.

As for samba, stretch has 4.5.16, buster has 4.9.5 If you need 4.11.3, you will need to install samba from bullseye / sid sources.

Buy a decent PSU, don't save !!!
I also recommend buying a branded A1 / A2 SD card.
If you are thinking about using a USB port, it would be good to have a HUB with power. In general, imho Odroid has something of poor quality USB ports, quite loose and likes to have problems with pin contact, sometimes you need to bend the metal plates for better contact but these are random cases. My HC1 works well with the rf receiver and the USB sound card.

After buying it is worth checking if the Firmware is new, if not update ... https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid-xu4/software/jms578_fw_update

My armbian HC1 handles omv, pihole, kodi, xrdp and chromium. If you have fast hdd / ssd then getting 80-100MB/s should not be such a problem with SMB.

You can also think of a uart-usb cable especially dedicated to odroid just in case.

Generally it's ok and stable, I do uptime 20/30/50 days.

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Quote

OMV 4 just as OMV 3 already supports TimeMachine (AFP/Netatalk). APFS volumes can be backed up flawlessly to TimeMachine AFP shares still using the anachronistic HFS+ SparseBundles. No need for SMB here whatsoever.

 

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Thanks for the comments. I think I'm probably going to get one.

> install Armbian based on buster but with 4.14.y kernel

OK; https://www.armbian.com/odroid-hc1/ is offering Stretch on 4.14 and Buster (minimal) on 5.4. Presumably there is some way to get what I need; I'll worry about the details later. I believe that I need Samba >= 4.8.

Regarding TimeMachine, I have got the impression that using newish Samba is preferable to using netatalk in some way, though I don't recall the details.

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2 hours ago, endecotp said:

OK; https://www.armbian.com/odroid-hc1/ is offering Stretch on 4.14 and Buster (minimal) on 5.4. Presumably there is some way to get what I need; I'll worry about the details later. I believe that I need Samba >= 4.8.

Here you have Buster (server) and 4.14.161 after installation you will up to 4.14.165

https://dl.armbian.com/odroidxu4/Buster_legacy

 

And the desktop buster version and 4.14.161

https://dl.armbian.com/odroidxu4/Buster_legacy_desktop

 

 

https://dl.armbian.com/odroidxu4/

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I've bought one, and it seems to be working mostly OK so far.

The Armbian installation was straightforward.  It would be nice to have a summary of how the default installation differs from a regular Debian installation, though.

Its NFS server seems to be working OK.

Setting at Samba for Mac Time Machine has been a bit more problematic.  Having copied&pasted some example smb.conf files from random websites I got something that worked... until it stopped working, after about 200 MB of the initial 200 GB backup, with no useful errors logged anywhere.  On a hunch I've tried disabling IPv6, and it has (so far!) got 1.6 GB through the same initial backup, hmmm.  This probably isn't the best place to ask about this, but if anyone has experience with Time Machine using Samba (rather than netatalk) please let me know!

 

Thanks again for the recommendations.

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I have a couple of HC1 and HC2, it works "out of the box" as many other boards.

 

But i agree with Igor that USB HDD connected to run with NAS server is not ideal. But i can also tell that ODROID did have some problems with USB ports on HC1, HC2 and XU4.

Some argue for that cleaning the USB ports helped. I haven't had luck with that "trick"

 

Igor, you mention that NFS works better than SAMBA. I'm just a little curious in what way? Just from your own experince and point of view.

I do use SAMBA myself, it is only because the transfer speed is almost identical on my media server.

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On 1/22/2020 at 9:35 PM, Igor said:

The problem you have with Samba can be explained with common cheap/broken USB to SATA implementation and the fact that USB based NAS solutions are ... crap/problematical. But also Samba is not the best. I only use NFS and which works as expected.

 

Those are rather worrying claims.  The issues that I had with Time Machine went away after I disabled IPv6, for some reason that I've not really tried to debug yet.  Could you please elaborate on the ODROID-HC1's USB-to-SATA implementation being "cheap/broken"?  It would have been useful to hear this after my initial post, before I bought one.

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41 minutes ago, endecotp said:

Regarding installation itself, I wonder if it would be possible for you to re-use more of the Debian Installer stuff?


DI is a separate suite and for some boards this would be a nice way to start. But its a lot of work to get there. We barely maintain this stuff, while can not afford any bigger and not really necessary things. If you have (big) wishes, consider covering them https://www.armbian.com/get-involved or just dump it on the top of https://forum.armbian.com/forum/38-feature-requests/ which will never be addressed. There is just a few of us and we have our own agenda,

 

47 minutes ago, endecotp said:

it has worked very well so far.

cover that you don't have problems with the basic usage.

 

43 minutes ago, endecotp said:

I'm thinking of things like initial user creation, timezones and language, and (for systems like mine with an SSD) partitioning.


We cover this functionality with armbian-config (which btw. nobody helps me maintaining). Remember that most of the hardware we support have no other media than media that they are booted off. Which is why this embedded approach is just fine.

 

47 minutes ago, endecotp said:

/var/log seems to be a ramdisk, so it's not persistent.

 

Debian is very rough system and we improve it here and there. This is improvement is due to the fact that most of the systems run from SD card, which life span gets shortened with writings of small chunks of data. This improvement prolong life and raise overall performance. If you need other functionality, to catch logs, you have to disable this and return to slow stock Debian.

 

51 minutes ago, endecotp said:

command-not-found seems to be installed by default.


Armbian is Debian (or Ubuntu) on package relations levels. It does not contain the same set of packages. Core yes, but the rest is again a matter of adaptation. The case is that, because of relations compatibility, you can install whatever, while if this would be a custom Linux distro, you will not be able to do that in a very simple manner. There are applications that works on Debian, while some only works on Ubuntu. This and that version. We provide all and its on you to pick the one that goes with your software best. Hardware support, the expensive stuff, which is in Debian only generic, is the same.

 

48 minutes ago, endecotp said:

Could you please elaborate on the ODROID-HC1's USB-to-SATA implementation being "cheap/broken"? 

 

https://linux-sunxi.org/USB/UAS
https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/239782/connection-problem-with-usb3-external-storage-on-linux-uas-driver-problem

 

For more, use search above, Google. It has been discussed. Less problem you will have with native SATA or PCI/NvME implementation.

 

On 1/23/2020 at 10:38 AM, soerenderfor said:

I do use SAMBA myself, it is only because the transfer speed is almost identical on my media server.

 

I don't need to use samba :) which is why I use NFS and got full network utilisation. But I do test it from time to time and it doesn't always work as expected. 

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Relax ladies and gentlemen!

Odroid HC1 and HC2 when it comes to NAS is one of the better options available on the market when it comes to one hdd and for this price.

 

On 1/23/2020 at 10:38 AM, soerenderfor said:

But i agree with Igor that USB HDD connected to run with NAS server is not ideal. But i can also tell that ODROID did have some problems with USB ports on HC1, HC2 and XU4.

Some argue for that cleaning the USB ports helped. I haven't had luck with that "trick"

I have already written about it above. Sometimes some have a poor quality physical USB2.0 port which causes pin contact problems. It was enough for me to press the metal latches. And frequent symptoms of loose pins are problems with disappearing hardware or lack of maximum power supply at the port. But OP apparently doesn't use HDD on usb2.0 so that shouldn't worry him!

 

 

On 1/24/2020 at 4:36 PM, endecotp said:

Those are rather worrying claims.  The issues that I had with Time Machine went away after I disabled IPv6, for some reason that I've not really tried to debug yet.  Could you please elaborate on the ODROID-HC1's USB-to-SATA implementation being "cheap/broken"?  It would have been useful to hear this after my initial post, before I bought one.

The HDD is connected not via USB in itself. This is a SATA-USB3.0 bridge that has nothing to do with the physical USB2.0 port.

However, not many problems on the JMicron SATA-USB3.0 bridge. JMS578 is quite a good construction, there will certainly be some problems but nothing that would make HC1 suddenly go to the trash. Personally, I had no problem for two years. And you, too, will not have problems. Do not panic! ;)

 

Odroid HC1 / HC2 is still a very good SBC as a NAS.
The problems you have are not problems with HC1, but problems in the software layer, not hardware.

If this is to be a NAS, I recommend trying to install OpenMediaVault via armbian-config, it will simplify samba / nfs configuration ...

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