NAS Optimizations for RockPro64
You have just described in general one of the features I love most about Slackware. It does only what you tell it to do. It is never an "underfoot butler". No matter how well-intentioned, that's just a complication begging for not only failure, but obfuscation of the cause.

While I'm happy with my SATA SSD install of Slackware, I am also not at all unghappy with the various installations I have on both eMMC and MicroSD. It is just an assumption but perhaps it is because of the methodical and cautious nature of OpSys level programmers combined with the conservative nature of Slackware that influences Stuart and mralk3 to recommend against eMMC.

BTW and FWIW I edited my boot menu file to include an entry for the most common alternate MicroSD installation (OpenMediaVault) to be certain I could select and boot it but found it was not needed. Intrinsic Boot priority just boots any that are present, and just as importantly does not exhibit any problems if any entry pointing to a device that for any reason is not present. That may also be a result of Stuart and mralk3 conservative approach but for whatever the cause that's a sweet failsafe flexibility. You can add an entry with no concern for any hangs that will still function once the device is connected..

I haven't yet ordered the case and likely won't for at least a month. I'm fixed income retired and it isn't high priority since, ugly as it is, my present case works a treat. Currently my highest priority is with my Main to be able to remove both a 1TB Nvme and a 2TB Nvme drive by getting a 4TB NVME so I can avoid my motherboard's shared PCIe/SATA resource allocation on extra slots. I am also considering moving from a 10600K to an 11600K to get the upgrade to Gen 4 PCIe since that is likely a weak link in terms of system balance, affecting both GPU and storage .
(07-29-2022, 05:33 PM)enorbet2 Wrote: and it isn't high priority since, ugly as it is, my present case works a treat.

If you have a solution that works, why fix it!!! I do have an 8u rack that was intended to hold some SBCs on a custom rack, and a UPS to keep the data online during an outage, however some scrap plywood fixed to some generic closet-shelf racks mounted on a wall in the basement make for an ugly but useful home lab. Really I need to put it on a cart to roll around as convenient.

For home storage I have everything mirrored, and backed up to an offline copy. Right now that is Debian and FreeBSD based, although I would like to get back to having all of my Linux the same distro for simplicity's sake. Ubuntu, MX Linux, Anti-X, Armbian, Raspbian, Mobia, and now Slackware are on my SBCs, desktops, laptop, netbook, PBP, and Pinephone. Used to have Ubuntu, then Lubuntu on everything until they dropped 32-bit support, and before I got into the Pine64 bottomless pit of money and time! I love it though. I am unlikely to give up on Debian forks entirely, but it would be nice to not have to remember which init system, firewall, and package manager is on what system!

It all distracts from having a media file server, the backup, and also a gaming setup emulating games from my favorite time period, the 90's and up to mid-'oughts'. The RockPro64 is not going to be a good long term large file server, but for a media server it is reasonable.

I updated all of the packages on my Slackware desktop SBC and it never exceeded 1.40 Gb memory usage, which is impressive, while I had 5 tabs open in Firefox ESR!
Quartz64, RockPro64, PinePhone Mobian, PineBook Pro, PineTime, and all the trimmings that make FOSS fun.
Hello again,
I suppose I should've qualified that "works a treat" statement. If all I do with it is leave it connected and only run Slackware it's just great, but since I'm extremely new to any ARM device I am enjoying playing around and learning what is possible. That's how I ended up seeing if I could install Enlightenment DE on Aarch64Slackware in hopes of exploring how a touch panel might work on it. Also I'm very interested, more for the fun than any need, to try to get something like Cockpit (one stop GUI shop for NAS/NFS administration) installed on Slackware. I've been fussing about for awhile trying to build a working Conky on Slackware but the RPM package for OpenSuse doesn't display correctly either, so it make take a bit longer.

Anyway I'm including a link to a photo of my DIY NAS with the cover off. It doesn't look overly nasty and does display the problem I could solve with the Pine case - easy access to ports. It's no problem with the cover off but I designed it so that with the cover on it would do a great job of cooling drives and PSU. It's mostly on principle now I guess since it runs decently cool even the cover off but it is so much cooler with the cover on. It just seems a lot less work to build from the Pine case where it is all tightly enclosed while still having great access to ports.
Thank you for the picture! You could easily build a case that will suite your needs much better than a Pine64 NAS case modification, and for cheaper with some basic hand tools using common hand tools. The NAS case has been powdercoated so any modification other than drilling or cutting out will ruin the finish and cannot be easily replicated. Thus one would end up building an upper shell (it is a 2-piece clam shell design) anyways which would require a $20-30 piece of sheetmetal (from Home Depot, Lowes, etc). The tricky portions would be the cutouts around the jacks but there are a few options to work around that.
1) cutout around them and leave naked
2) use the premium case front and end panel
3) use the PVC case front panel and manually cut out rear panel
4) some variation of the above like a rabbit-like cutout (look up "woodworking rabbit dado grove") and add a door or whatever
The only tools necessary would be:
-Rough and fine file set
-Smooth face hammer
-straight edge/square
-Exacto knife or scratch awl
-hand snips (pliers type) or jigsaw with fine bits
-WD40 (as a lubricant for the jigsaw)
-2 Clamps or quickclamps
-3 (or more) pieces of 1x2 oak wood whose individual length exceed the max lengths of case + 1" (to allow for 1/2" tabs) to be used as a manual brake to bend metal
-Assortment of sandpaper or foam sanding wedges, 60grit, 120grit, 220grit for slightly profiling wood
-steel wool (optional) for putting a grain-like scratch pattern on sheetmetal, or to polish depending on pattern and paint finish.
Sheetmetal can be steel or aluminum, thin as possible. To fasten everything it would be helpful to have rivets or PC case screws. On properly cleaned metal with a rough scratch one can use an epoxy or other industrial glue to fasten bolts to the sheetmetal. Spend some time J-B Kwik (JB Weld brand yellow and black) epoxy works great for steel to steel, otherwise buy an epoxy appropriate for the material like aluminum to brass, brass to steel, etc. To add rigidity rolling over the edges (steel) or 90 degrees bends on aluminum edges, with dimples helps. With steel a hollowed out piece of flat wood and a rounded punch will make dimples. For aluminum use a blunted chisel as wide as the dimple length and hallowed out piece of wood. The wood would have a trench-like cut out portion a 1/4" wide and 3x sheetmetal thickness deep.

If you would like a tutorial, I might have time to do one by the end of August. One thing about making custom cases; if a person only wants one, often times cannibalizing from old cases works well for things like the fine mesh air intakes, or drive bay holders (like you've done) in order to save money. If one knows they will be making several custom cases, then it may be worth buying the fine mesh in sheets from a wholesaler or online supplier, since somethings are easier to make from new when considering quantity. Another thing to consider is that Aluminum can be cut with an Exacto knife, straightedge, and folding.

I am about to evaluate NetBSD and OpenZFS for my Quartz, if I am happy about performance, I will build a custom case using common tools and make a tutorial for it. If I am not happy with OpenZFS on the Quartz I will abandon any projects with more than 2 3.5" HDDs, or 8 2.5" SDDs. My multi-drive setups that do not fit into the NAS case are in a separate drive bay using longer SATA cables routed into the NAS case.
Quartz64, RockPro64, PinePhone Mobian, PineBook Pro, PineTime, and all the trimmings that make FOSS fun.
Thank you very much for the info and the offer. I do have some experience at electronic chassis building and only had to resort to a machine shop when building in stainless steel. Specific to the RockPro64 NAS case, the only mods I would likely need are internal to fit my PSU and drive bay, possibly just the drive bay. The value I perceive in the prebuilt is exactly in the ports alignment. The only thing I dislike in the one pictured is that there is no way with it's dimensions to easily make all the ports flush mount as well as moderately seal against unwanted airflow to keep as much of the wind tunnel effect as possible. Well, I do dislike that I lacked the patience to wait for the nibbler to make my cuts cleaner but that isn't too hard to fix or hide, but I was pretty excited to put the RockPro through it's paces and see what it can do. It's actually quite impressive.

I do plan to try benchmarking ZFS vs/ BTRFS as I suspect ZFS is a bit faster. I'm pretty sure that is my bottleneck after benchmarking ethernet. I suppose my addon SATA card could be an issue as I was pretty shocked when a BIOS upgrade on my T61P Thinkpad upgraded SATA II to SATA III. Apparently Lenovo just forgot about it and moved on. Some very savvy owner in the Thinkpad community created a BIOS upgrade that in one fell swoop increased CPU compatibility, doubled max RAM, and bumped SATA II to SATA III. The T61 was released right as IBM sold to Lenovo so there was marketing at work keeping things more tame than they needed to be. The BIOS upgrade breathed new life into that old war horse.
Very interesting! Since it is show and tell...(hehe)

When I first purchased the RockPro64, I hadn't intended on using it as a desktop, however I had managed to destroy my AMD Phenom II quad-core CPU not to long after getting the RockPro64 up and running. Because we were in the middle of COVID, and Minnesota was still locked down, I had to make due dual-booting my wife's Acer laptop and with the NUC that may be pictured. I also had not ordered the eMMC to USB adapter right away so had to learn how to install an OS by un-jumping the eMMC to SD jumper, hence making some switches.

The PCIe slot and the primitive software support for Pine64 offerings gives me a feel for the pioneering days of micro-computing and early PCs. I've gotten so far away from having just a basic NAS and video game emulator, that I would like to return to the original reason for getting the RockPro64, the PCIe slot on an SBC. However the distractions have turned me into a super Linux user. After the announcement of the sunsetting of CentOS, and having experienced Ubuntu dropping 32-bit support, I had decided to take the advice of a vlogger who said not to have all of one's eggs in a single basket, so tried out FreeBSD on the RockPro64 and have loved it. With Slackware being developed and supported by people with respect for the Unix philosophy, but who are also pragmatic, it feels like a BSD. That is an over-simplification but sometime nextweek I will set up to evaluate OpenZFS on Slackware, and hopefully it plays nice with OpenZFS in FreeBSD. If it does, then I will transition all but a couple of my Linux PCs/servers to Slackware. I have a neglected Gentoo build which is only a teaching aide, and for the time being I need Ubuntu Studio on one of my PCs for some media editing I do. I am a very excited nerd though, so look forward to reading about your progress!
Quartz64, RockPro64, PinePhone Mobian, PineBook Pro, PineTime, and all the trimmings that make FOSS fun.

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