Roll your own Dropbox with a Raspberry Pi

ownCloud logoFollowing the success of hooking up my Raspberry Pi to my BT Home Hub the next step was to do something useful with it.

I am a very active user of cloud services, particularly Dropbox and Google Drive. Both work well but in order to gain additional space you have to pay but what if you could run your own service and add as much storage as you liked? Enter ownCloud a Dropbox lookalike that you run on your own server.

In my case the server is my Raspberry Pi and a 500gb harddrive attached providing the storage and it is working well.

Rather than regurgitate all the steps you can follow the simple guide found over at instructables which are pretty accurate in my experience.

However, the one area where it was a little hazy was in the mounting of the external hard drive, no doubt bread and butter to hard core linuxites. It certainly isn’t plug and play as it is in Windows. Anyway, a quick google turned up what I needed to be looking for and how I should mount the drive, which goes something like this:

sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/owncloud

The problem was that the drive wasn’t appearing at all!  A process of trial and error and checking the logs:

dmesg | tail -n 20

confirmed that it wasn’t being detected by Linux. This was strange as the drive was externally powered and nut being powered by the hub. However, another search and I found that others had the same issue which was resolved by plugging the drive into the top of the two usb ports on the Pi. Swapping to the top port did indeed resolve the issue and now I have my ownCloud running smoothly and accessible.