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Jan
17

Getting to your PiDrive

ocipv6I wrote few times about my PiDrive already, this is continuation of the work in progress and I would like to share what I did since the last time.

Getting accessible

We need to address two problems regarding the accessibility of PiDrive. First one is actually not that you need to access your PiDrive from Internet, but something much simpler. Once you connect your PiDrive to your local network, you need to find out it’s local address first so you can set it up. There are various options, for example including avahi or netbios and configuring them to publish some recognizable name. I’m sure everybody has those in mind and I do as well. But I wanted to start first with something that might have escaped the others and what I consider quite simple but at the same time quite effective approach. On boot, I display ownCloud logo on HDMI attached display if there is one and bellow it address of the device. My PiDrive came with 90 degrees angle HDMI converter so it looked like it is expected that you will connect display to it. And reading what is written on HDMI is much simpler and reliable than anything you do on computer.

Other accessibility issue is getting to your PiDrive from Internet. I already prepared kinda solution (still need to implement tunnel option thought) for the Internet of tomorrow (IPv6), but as quite some people still live in the past, I extended my application and now it supports even UPnP. What it is and how does it work? If you have smart enough router that allows such kind of thing (most of them, although you probably need to enable it), you can instruct your PiDrive to open up a port on it and forward it to itself. Tricky part is that your router has to support it and you kinda need public IPv4 on the other side (otherwise it misses the point). So it doesn’t solve everything, but gives PiDrive accessible on IPv4 to at least some people. And Dynv6 I implemented previously while playing with IPv6 should be able to resolve to your public IPv4 as well. So you can get ready for the future, while still maintaining compatibility for people living in stone age.

Image

Both of the improvements mentioned above are installed into my image and also finally installed ownCloud on it. Although currently just a git snapshot. For final version, I’ll have to switch to packages I guess, but currently I have some dependency issues with them (and php7) that I need to solve first. You can now try improvements I mentioned by yourself. Just inspect my GitHub repo or you can still download my temporal binaries (now updated).

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