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Review: EasyNAS 1.0.0 and Solus 4.3

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My fresh copy of EasyNAS booted to a console interface. A welcome message says we can connect to EasyNAS through a web browser by visiting the address "https://:1443". (Note the lack of a domain name or IP address in the URL.) We are then automatically signed in as the admin user. The admin user is not the same as the root user in this instance, they have different user identification numbers and permissions. A menu is then displayed which prompts us to perform an action. The available actions are: reset the admin password, restart the network interface, reset the NAS to its default settings, check for updates, restart, shutdown, and run a shell.

Resetting the admin password turned out to be awkward. The new password must be complex, long, and not based on a dictionary word. Sometimes what qualified as a "word" was a bit flexible. For instance, the password "wtf123" is rejected because it's "based on a dictionary word", but "wtf123#!" is fine.

Since it seemed the NAS did not yet have an IP address I tried resetting the network connection. The system appeared to hang for about 20 seconds and then returned to the menu without displaying any status update or asking any questions.

The menu option to run a shell presents us with a bash prompt. A quick check of the command line environment revealed EasyNAS runs Linux 5.3, uses systemd as its init software, and offers the standard collection of GNU utilities. There are no manual pages included. We can perform actions as the root user by prefixing commands with sudo, otherwise the admin account appears to act like a regular user.

EasyNAS reportedly had an active Internet connection, but could not find a route to the Internet or perform DNS lookups. The EasyNAS documentation does not appear to address how to configure the network and the openSUSE documentation says to use YaST for configuring network and DHCP options. The YaST tools are not installed on EasyNAS. I then tried the backup method using wicked, which is mentioned in the documentation. I still came away with no valid IP address or route. I had the same result after I tried assigning an IP address using the command line ip command: I could not ping other machines and other computers on the network could not reach the NAS web interface, despite having an active network interface and a manually assigned IP address.

This experience is in contrast to five years ago when I reviewed EasyNAS 0.6.2. At the time the installer did not have strict hard drive size requirements, IP addresses were assigned easily from the console menu, and it was painless to connect to the web portal remotely. With EasyNAS 1.0.0 these things did not work and every time I rebooted the operating system EasyNAS would fail to load properly, dropping the user to a rescue console. Rebooting a second time always worked to bring up the usual console menu.

EasyNAS five years ago was not a mature project; it had limited functionality. However, it worked and provided some simple storage options. Version 1.0.0 barely installs and has a number of issues relating to password reset, minimum requirements, and networking.

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