Rock 5B Blue Edition 32 GB NAS

I made a small writeup with my Jonsbo N1, single 24TB + single 24TB + raidz1 48TB ASM1166 nas setup.

Runs awesome with Joshua Riek’s 6.1, on an Arch/Alarm as provided by kwankiu, no transfer errors and around 3 weeks of uptime already.


Great write-up- last line got me, lol.

Thanks for detailed overview and some ideas, I’m also going this path with R5B 32GB and several changes.
Can You make some graph for consumption when this system boots and stays idle? Anything used for cache?
Have You summarized all costs of this build? :wink:
Any plans for upgrades? Like that GaN power supply or more ethernet speed?

Tax included everywhere:
$250 Radxa Rock 5B 32 GB Blue edition
$150 Seasonic 650W PSU
(or $150 HDPLEX 250W PSU)
$150 Jonsbo N1 case
$20 Radxa acrylic case and fan from Allnet China
$30 Cables (Sata bundle, USB, dumb coaxial-USB-C)
$10 ATX 24 breakout board
$3 acrylic plate
$2500 hard disks
$50 for 2 Noctua fans, 4 and 14 cm.

It burns 10 watts with 1 drive spinning, 6 watts extra per drive.


Thanks for this list.

$2.5k disks price is absolutely insane :slight_smile: I got 6x16TB for about half of that,
PSU setup and idea about GaN version is perfect, why there is not much of those yet on the market? :slight_smile:
Do that solution support hot swap?

10W on idle with all of that is great result,
what services are You planning there? Some may cause really unexpected issues and power drain, I just learned that hard recently and now I’m payng extra attention to that.

Running Linux from the emmc would be more resilient than sdcard.

I’m running the user space from an SSD, just the Linux kernel from SDCARD.

How did you do that?

mkdir /mnt/future-root
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/future-root
cp -ax / /mnt/future-root

Then edited the kernel params so that they don’t use the old “disk” (sdcard) but use the new one instead.


from which I noted the UUID of sda1, but also the old one of /dev/mmcblk1p2 (may be slightly different, it’s the sdcard).

I went with this to the kernel’s boot command line, in /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf and replaced the sdcard’s UUID with the one I’d noted for /dev/sda1/ in the root=UUID=00000000-1111-2222-3333-444444444444 directive.

Then I:

mkdir /mnt/mmcboot

and modified /etc/fstab to mount the sdcard into /boot, like Armbian do:

UUID=<the sdcard's> /mnt/mmcboot ext4 defaults,noatime,commit=600,errors=remount-ro,x-gvfs-hide 0 1
/mnt/mmcboot/boot /boot none bind 0 0

This is old trick to get system running on not supported hardware, just by changing uuid for / in boot configuration. This makes possible to run system from nvme/ssd/usb when first stage don’t support that. SD card is mainly read only, so it will not die soon.

My goal is to go from uboot to sata ssd directly without emmc/sd but I never looked into it

Of course it’s better to use final drive only, but this require supported hardware at u-boot stage so it’s not always easy to boot there.
Radxa had some issues with pd power adapters, bit slower boot solved that one too. On pi5 I still can’t boot directly from nvme, but it’s possible (and stable) with this method. Probably You got plenty of old sd cards and can use them here if You need.

Interesting, we’re same same in case and cutting the Sata part :smiley:
You’re is very clean as you put it all in the Nas case but for it that case’s shipping is more expensive than the case itself in my region. I will soon start working on making a custom case for my current NAS :smiley:

BTW I forgot to remove the protective sticker or maybe I did that on purpose, I don’t remember. But without the sticker it looks so cool.

I have root / on ssd while /boot on sdcard or emmc.

You can try to flash uboot on emmc/sdcard and flash os on sata ssd and it should boot from ssd given that uboot have pcie support.

Then you can flash uboot on sd/emmc along with /boot partition so the initramfs will load from it and then hand over control to linux kernel which will mount /root on ssd and start the os. I am following this approach on my nas.

Usually all I needed to do was to burn both sd and nvme, then just boot and replace uuid of / mount. If nvme was detected then this trick is possible and that works on almost everything including risc-v boards. U-boot stuff is bit harder and needs to be matched with system and probably then it’s possible to do the same in spi and start from it.

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The 8 bay ‘acrylic panel cases’ make a great budget NAS tower as the Rock5b is a near prefect fit on a 3.5" HD.
Top 2 bays I use for rock5 and associrated electronics.

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Cable spaghetti on back but it works :slight_smile: I initially planned to buy same case :slight_smile:
Is it semi transparent plexi or You did not removed protective film?

How do you power the hard disks?

Its a 12v Brick PSU that has a usb-c flylead taken off that 5amp 5v buck you can see there that provides the 5v.
Its just 12v & 5v as still to find a disk that uses 3.3v that I had.
I still have the double pole relay as it still powers after shutdown but was just going to activate on bootup.
I built it and it works great but its sat unused still with the peel ply on the plastic :slight_smile:

Its actually 2x 3 strings as all I could find, but I never bothered to cable tie or niether remove the protective film.
You seem to be able to get 5 sata power and the sata leads are Asus style inline right angle perfect to fit into the m.2 sata controller but also a bit long, its 8 leads total just never bothered to tidy.
Using the top 2bay with the Rock5b on extended hexs there is enough room for standard sata cables of a much better length.
There is a 2.5" to 3.5" drive bay adapter it sits on that just acts as a shelf.
There is also a ebay 12v fan controller with the thermal sensor on the top harddrive.