RPi/Dell PC/RCA Hybrid

To try to shorten this post, here are some abbreviations first:

RP = Raspberry Pi 3 B+
DD = Dell PC (1.8 GHz & 4 GB RAM w/ Linux Mint 19)
LT = RCA Windows 10 Home laptop/tablet hybrid
UHD = 1 TB Toshiba external USB hard drive

Ok. Introductions are out of the way.

I’ve got the official NextcloudPi image flashed onto a microSD card, which is plugged into the RP, but it’s not had anything done to it except boot up; right now, it’s @ a command line waiting for setup commands to be input.

The UHD currently has 2 partitions - (1 NTFS & 1 ext4) that I’d like to connect into a USB hub and then connect the hub into the RP.

My ISP is Cox; the RP is directly connected via Ethernet into an Ethernet port on the rear of the router; all other devices are WiFi-capable.

I may need a DDNS service (my router and Nextcloud are both NoIP-compatible, so all should be fine there.).

Here’s what I’m hoping to achieve:

  1. Run NextcloudPi as the only “thing” on the RP.

  2. Have my family to be able to access Documents, Music, Photos, & Videos using iPhones, tablets (Kindle Fire & full Android), & the LT. (I had planned on setting up Plex Media Server on the RP, but it appears to me that Nextcloud can natively access the multimedia files Music, Photos, & Videos, so we’d all be content with that. Also, I don’t want to put too much of a load on the RP. Maybe I can get a 2nd Pi for Plex Media Server in the future.)

Note: All Documents, Music, Photos, & Videos currently reside on the NTFS partition.

  1. Be able to back up the LT to the NTFS partition on the UHD.

  2. Be able to back up the DD to the ext4 partition on the UHD.

I hope this makes sense and is possible. If I need to make any changes to achieve what I’m striving for, I’m very much willing to do so, but be aware that I’ve always been a Windows user; my only Linux knowledge is with Mint 19, but I’ve not done anything but basic commands in the Terminal.

I’m willing to learn, though! Thanks in advance!!!

Get your image of NextcloudPi working, that is the best way to see the performance and if that is enough for you. Some basic functions are ok but with a lot of media, it’s not a great performance. If you consider buying a different device, you could check out a few with more power (and a bit more expensive):

On my list of things I’d like to achieve (see above):

#1-getting Nextcloud up & running - will do.

#2-I’ll postpone that until I can get better hardware.

#3 & #4 (backing up the Dell desktop running Linux Mint 19 & backing up the Windows 10 laptop/tablet hybrid) - I’d really & greatly appreciate the specific step-by-step instructions on doing those. As I said, Linux is quite new to me, so specificity will help me greatly. I’m sure Samba is involved since I’ll need to back up Windows 10 (on an NTFS drive) to an NTFS partition. I’ll also need to know how to make the Dell “see” the ext4 partition on the external USB hard drive through the home network.

Do you want to sync all clients to your Nextcloud server or just use the Nextcloud server to store your backups. In the first case, you could then backup the Nextcloud server (to a separate disk for example). The clients do all the syncing between the devices. In the second case, Nextcloud risks to be a overkill and a simple sftp transfer would do the job, however if you want direct access to the Nextcloud storage without sync client, you could use WebDAV as protocol which is natively supported by Nextcloud. In theory you can use WebDAV as network drive in windows but the implementation is a bit buggy (better use other WebDAV clients).

What I’d like to do is to be able to set a scheduled backup from the Dell (using Linux Mint 19’s Timeshift feature) onto the USB HDD’s ext4 partition. I’d also like to be able to perform an “on-demand” Windows 10 system backup when the RCA laptop/tablet hybrid is connected to the WiFi network (I carry the RCA device with me to and from work daily, so any backups would be done overnight while it and I are @ home). I want to be able to do full-system backups at home on both systems by clicking a button on each system and letting each “do its thing”.

I don’t mean to sound difficult, but I’m not seeing very many SPECIFICS on exactly how to set things up. I MUST have MORE specificity; these forums are intended to help people, so I’d like to see them used to actually help me in my situation instead of short general answers being given.

In answer to your most recent question, I’d like to have all documents, Music, Photos, & Videos that are created on any device to be synced to Nextcloud, so I could access them from any other device at any time. I’m currently working on a family budget on my laptop/tablet hybrid; if I have an idea for it when only my iPhone XR is with me, I want to be able to load it, access it, input the idea, & save it. Then, when I’m at home again, I’d want to access the same file again - seeing it the way it was when I saved it when I only had my iPhone XR with me, & continue working on it.

My understanding of NextcloudPi is that my USB hard drive (via a USB hub) is connected to the Pi and that said HDD contains all of the files; I can then set up multiple users with permissions to restrict what others can see (for example, re. the family budget I’m working on, my wife and I would need access to it, but our 2 daughters wouldn’t) using the personal Nextcloud website or a Nextcloud app.

Please remember - specifics, please!

You won’t get too far by being demanding. This is run by volunteers on their free time and might not feel like spending their free time helping a person that is demanding

Just a heads up

I appreciate that this is run by volunteers; I want to get to the point in my knowledge where I can help others. I wrote that post after something unrelated to all of this upset me and let it affect my attitude. I apologize for being the way that I was, but I really do need specific instructions; this networking/Linux/self-hosting cloud thing is very new to me and I want to make sure I get it right the first time. I’ll appreciate any help I get. I know that what I’m wanting to achieve both can be and has been done; I’m just waiting for the right person to come along with the “I did it - here’s what you need to do” philosophy.

I’d even be willing to send some $ via PayPal (after I get paid later this week) to anyone who provides all of the assistance I’m hoping is out there!

Well, I’m happy to report some success at getting some progress made on NextcloudPi! I set up a NoIP DDNS account, ran through various setup steps - password changes/fail2ban/port forwarding, & a few others that fatigue is currently hindering my recall thereof.

I’m able to access it both on my in-house network from all machines and on my T-Mobile iPhone XR using the LTE connection (with WiFi off).

I’m being overly cautious not to “jump in all at once” by trying to learn as I go. I honestly didn’t think I’d get this far after just 2 hours.

The offer of sending $ via PayPal (it is not an attempt at a bribe - it’s just my realizing my inexperience in this area and that I believe that more-experienced users should receive some tangible form of compensation for helping newbies like myself) later this week still stands, though, because I’m still trying to get things all figured out, especially with my USB external hard drive with the 2 partitions (NTFS & ext4) - do I need to move the NTFS files to the ext4 partition, then delete the NTFS partition, & expand the ext4 partition to fill the entire drive OR is there a way to keep the NTFS partition on the drive as-is to keep the Windows 10 backup on? If the NTFS partition can stay, then I’d still move all files currently on the NTFS partition to the ext4 partition to have them available to myself & my 3 family members, correct?

Which program would I need to use to do whatever needs done re. the USB hard drive and on which platform? I’ve got both Windows 10 Home and Linux [Mint 19] as my 2 OSes.

I’m getting there… at a snail’s pace…

Well, let’s be assured, it’s not just you…

What you can do on they way, if you find shortcomings on the documentation, or little stuff that could help to avoid confusion, let us know to improve this.

I’d use a Linux system which can handle all file systems. In your case Mint. You can keep the NTFS partition, that’s up to you if you need it for your Win10 backup.

Due to (1) the fact that the equipment I have right now can not be replaced at this time due to other family financial priorities, (2) the fact that, with only a couple of exceptions, the help I’ve received has not at all been useful to me as a “newbie”, and (3) that my ISP will happily unblock port 80 - IF I sign up for a business account (nope-see (1)), I have abandoned the idea of using both Nextcloud and Plex Media Server at this time.

Although I was irritating, I did apologize, and I even offered $ via PayPal to anyone willing to take the time to help me. Apparently, nobody was willing to accept such a task.

For now, I’ll use the family feature I’ve activated in Microsoft OneDrive to use as our “family cloud”. We might not have good video streaming quality to our iPhones from OneDrive, but that’s just how things will have to be until better equipment enters the picture.

The open-source community must understand that “newbies” come into it with ideas - some simple, some grand - of what they’d like to see accomplished. Instead of talking down to them about their equipment or setup, please, please, please try to find a way to help them get where they want to be (or as close as possible to where they want to be) using the equipment they have. Not everyone can run out and put down 100s of $ for better equipment without a thought about how it might affect other family financial obligations.

And don’t assume any level of knowledge on their part - ASK them about their comfort level with what would be necessary for them to do to help them.

We only suggested that with everything you plan to do, it might a bit tight. However, the RPi can be a good start. But it’s something to set up, as a newbie you probably need some time.

There is no one-to-one support. Perhaps some newbies would like more support, however if it is not paid you always have to consider that people help in their free time. For general questions, we can give some hints and directions what to search for. We could think about a newbie corner but we would need people to answer their questions. On the other hand, there are howtos for setups, that go through it step-by-step.

One reason for me to change the ISP. And if there isn’t, change politics that you get a choice.

There are many that run Nextcloud on a raspberry or other cheap ARM boards (for less than 100 $ + hard disk). Just a media server and Nextcloud on a single RPi, that seem a bit much.

We have an issue template, should we just ask for the user’s experience level? Regarding Nextlcoud, Linux, Network, …?