For anyone coming to this post looking for solutions on IOCELL Net Disk, I am sorry. The company seems to have folded and is no longer hosting any of the links I mentioned here. It’s a great product and mine worked on Ubuntu with the instructions here, but my disk failed (hardware) and thus I am not able to experiment with it anymore. If you find any updates outside of this blog, please feel free to post in comments below. Thanks. -Sam
Last week, my Windows PC stopped working. (I have to look into it later). At the moment, I am working with my taxes and I needed some files from the old machine, desperately. Luckily, I’ve been backing up. For this, I use IOCell Networks (also Ximeta)1, NetDisk. NetDisk is a Network Direct Attached Storage (NDAS) device. This seems to be a combination of Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Direct Attached Storage (DAS). As a device, NetDisk is really an external hard disk enclosure that is network enabled and you add hard disk (I added a 1TB drive to it). The difference from other external drive enclosures is that this is network enabled, so once plugged into Ethernet, it can be accessed from any PC on the network. And Direct Access because, you can just plug in the device directly to Ethernet, not through any computer or server. To add security, they have added a software layer (IOCell/Ximeta NDAS) that you need to install on each PC to access the drive. You will have to register the software with the specific serial # of the NetDisk. Thus, only specific PCs with the right software and serial # register can access the drive. I had installed this software on my Vista machine and that worked like a charm. (This post relates only to the Linux version of this software. If you need help with Windows version, please refer to their user manual).
Now, at this critical moment, when I needed to access the back up, I couldn’t. My main (Vista) PC is dead. My wife’s laptop runs Windows 7 and is not capable of running Ximeta NDAS software (It freezes – even the version 2.72 they suggest to fix the issue). Then my other PC, where I am typing this from, is running Ubuntu 12.04 for which Ximeta does not have a driver or programs for NDisk. At least, not any installation binaries!
But there was hope. Luckily, Ximeta provides (open source) source code at https://github.com/iocellnetworks/ndas4linux/tree/master/ for Linux. Downloaded the source code (If you go to zip tab in the above page, it will download a file named ndas4linux-master.zip. The source directory has several versions. Which version to use depends on your kernel version. (To find your kernel’s version, you can use uname -r on linux terminal). For Ubuntu 12.04, I used version 3.2.0. Though I work with large systems at work, I never venture to compile big programs at home. This time, it’s different. Desperate situation require desperate measures. I ventured on compiling the driver for Linux myself. I was amazed. Huge sets of files got compiled while I watched, without major issues. Once the source code is compiled, we need to install and load it. Here is a list of things to do from their documents:
- Download a source tarball.
- CD into the right folder and run make
- Change to root or sudo make install
- Start ndas as root
- As root, or by sudo, register and enable ndas devices with ndasadmin
cd ndas4linux-master/3.2.0 make linux-rel
cd ndas4linux-master/3.2.0/build_x86_linux/ndas-3.2.0.x86 make
Starting ndas Driver
After building and installing the driver software, you need to start the driver before you can use the device.
sudo ndasadmin start
You also need to register the device serial #, before you can mount the device volumes. The readme file, how_to_use_ndasadmin.txt inside the version folder (3.2.0 in my case) lists the steps to install and run NDAS software. To register the device, you need to find the serial number (and write key) of the NetDisk device. These are available at the bottom of the Netdisk box.
sudo ndasadmin register <SERIAL_NUMBER> -n NetDisk1 sudo ndasadmin enable -s 1 -o r
First, I didn’t see them come up. Then I found them listed in “Places” option in Gnome desktop menu. To see the device listing, you can use the following command:
To disable/unmount the device, use the following commands:
sudo ndasadmin unregister -n NetDisk1 sudo ndasadmin disable -s 1 -o r
1 IOCell acquired Ximeta’s NDAS; so you will see the names used interchangeably here and the web. See here