Sharing External Hard Drive on a Raspberry Pi 15 Jan 2014

This is a quick and dirty guide to setting up your external hard drive with your raspberry pi as a file server.

First off, you have to mount your drive. This can be achieved with the following:

sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g  # if your drive is NTFS
sudo mkdir /media/hd
sudo mount -t ntfs-3g -o rw,defaults /dev/sda1 /media/hd

You should probably add your external hard drive to your /etc/fstab file using these options here:

/dev/sda1    /media/hd    ntfs-3g rw,defaults    0    1

Now that you have your hard drive set up, onto setting up samba to share it on your network:

sudo apt-get install samba samba-common-bin
sudo smbpasswd -a pi
# Type the password for the user `pi`

sudo vi /etc/samba/smb.conf
    # You can use all defaults and
    # just change the following options
    security = user
    socket options = TCP_NODELAY

    # Add this group to the end of the file
    comment = Pi External Hard Drive
    path = /media/hd
    writeable = Yes
    browseable = Yes
    valid users = pi

sudo service samba restart
sudo testparm -s
# You should see the group you created listed here

If everything worked, you should be able to connect to your shared folder using the user pi and the password you typed before.

It’s worth mentioning that, while you may be able to share your hard drive’s contents plugging it directly into the RPi, it will most likely die from time to time - or even fail to mount completely - if you’re using it for other processing intensive things (e.g. using xbmc, running a web server, etc). You’ll benefit a lot from buying a USB hub and plugging your hard drive and you RPi in it!