How-To Geek

Learn How to Upgrade and Manage Your Amahi Server Storage

We have just shown you that you can upgrade your Windows Home Server for free by choosing the open source Amahi server. Now that it’s installed, here’s how to manage your drives, shares, and storage pool.

Add Hard Drive

The first step to adding storage is to add more drives. To do that, shutdown the server and plug in the additional hard drives you would like to add.

We will need to format the new drive so make sure you have a backup of anything you may need.

Power on the Amahi machine and use another computer to SSH to the server.

If you don’t have an SSH client on another computer you can also use anyterm from the Amahi repository.

First, install a few tools so we can mount and format the drive(s). Run this command as root:

yum -y install pmount fuse fuse-libs ntfs-3g gparted util-linux-ng

Next, check to make sure your hard drive was detected with the command

ls -l /dev/disk/by-id/ | egrep -v "part|scsi"

You will want to look for something that starts with “ata-” because these are your IDE and SATA drives while something that starts with “usb-” will be a USB hard drive. Make note of the part after the “-> ../../sd” because thatĀ correspondsĀ to your hard drive letter in /dev/sdX

Using the drive letter you just got, launch cfdisk from the terminal as root with your new drive as it’s only option.

Make sure this is your new drive and not an existing drive with data. All of the information will be formatted from the drive in this next step. Typically if you only have two hard drives the first will be /dev/sda while the second will be /dev/sdb

In the example above I will launch cfdisk with:

cfdisk /dev/sdb

If you have partitions already on the drive use up/down to select the partition(s) and left/right to select the delete action at the bottom.

Once all the partitions have been deleted you can then select new, to create a new partition, and then write the new partition table to the drive.

Quite cfdisk when the actions have been completed and then run the command below replacing sdX with your drive letter.

mkfs.ext4 -j /dev/sdX1

Now the drive has a fresh partition formatted and ready to go. Run the command


as root to automatically mount your new partition.

The hda-diskmount command will also give you the line you need to add to /etc/fstab to automatically have the drive mounted every time the server is turned on.
Use nano to edit your fstab file as root

nano /etc/fstab

and add the suggested line from the hda-diskmount command to the bottom of the file.

Reboot the system and when the server is back up go to to the webpanel to verify the hard drive is mounted.

Manage Storage Pool

Now that the hard drive is formatted and mounted, go to your HDA’s setup page, click on the settings page and then check the box for advanced settings.

Now go to the shares -> storage pool tab and check the box next to your new hard drive to use the drive in the greyhole pool.

If you want to use the benefits of pooled storage you will need to add more than one hard drive to the pool. Repeat the steps above to add more drives to your HDA and then pool the drives here.

Create Share

Now that you have more space and the storage is being pooled, click on the shares -> shares tab and click new share.

Give the share a name and select if you want it to be read only and visible.

Once the share is created, click on the edit icon next to the share name and check the box to use the storage pool.

If you have more than one hard drive added to the pool you can also select how many copies of the files you would like to store in case hard drives fail.

For more information or advanced setup of your storage, check out the Amahi wiki

Amahi wiki: Adding a Second Hard Drive

Amahi wiki: Storage Pooling

Justin Garrison is a Linux and HTPC enthusiast who loves to try new projects. He isn't scared of bricking a cell phone in the name of freedom.

  • Published 08/1/11

Comments (9)

  1. hakke

    These directions show exactly why I won’t “upgrade” from my WHS1 server to amahi. Ridigilous how difficult adding a hard drive / drives can be.

    And another thing worth mentioning (not mentioned here) is that you have to give control of your network to amahi to enable all features, which is just plain stupid.

  2. Thrush

    I don’t feel like Amahi is a viable replacement for Windows Home Server, or even FreeNAS until it can do everything through the GUI. I’m not afraid of a little SSH, but other products make these tasks much easier.

  3. tropic.Heat

    I have this NDAS external hard drive for some time and i dont see why i need a server. ( btw i also have WHS..but i prefer the NDAS HD ) This is what i did :

    1. Bought an external NDAS hd enclosure for $19. ( SATA)
    2. Bought a 2TB SATA 3 HD and plug it in the enclosure…
    3.Connect the enclosure to my router and voila …i have an external back up/ shared drive.

    You can share the drive on all you devices and map the drive for easy access. You can also use windows built in Back UP service to back up all your devices. :) Cheap and easy.

  4. Justin Garrison

    @Thrush web based hard drive management is in the works but does not have an ETA at this time. I agree it isn’t non-techy yet, but it is on it’s way IMO.

  5. EchoGecko

    If you install the Werbmin interface you can do every thing without ever using command line, I dont know if it works with version 6 but my old version 5.4 works great, after installing webmin module I setup my 10 drive Raid 6 setup though webmin for a 15 TB of usable space (10×1.5TB), never really bothered with greyhole though.

  6. EchoGecko

    small edit, only about 12 TB of it is usable, plus I use a 750 GB as the base drive for the OS to be installed on.

  7. trucklover

    If you want to do the same using a GUI interface, read on below. This tutorial is command line way to add hard drives, format them, and then make the system mount the hard drive in the same place in the file system after every reboot. I am quite capable at the command line and use it on a daily basis but for a task like this I will opt for the some degree. Even though my amahi hda is headless can still do this via a GUI. The general steps:

    ssh into the box ex: ssh -X username@hda then,
    I will su – (type in root password) to step up to root privileges then,
    type gparted
    select the new drive, format it,
    navigate to (which is the webmin application)
    then using webmin mount the drive to the system in the location that I want my files /var/hda/files/whatever or /backups for example
    Check the box to make the system save the configuration (this is the same as adding the drive’s UUID via nano)
    Check your hda dashboard to see the added capacity to your server

  8. Matt

    I agree I would like to be able to have the ability to configure the IP settings of my Amahi server myself (in case I need to change the IP address for some reason), but I have been using Amahi for a couple of weeks now and love it. I’m not a linux expert but know enough to get by.

    I am looking to get some more hdd’s and would like to either set up a raid or have an external drive for backing up the server.

    Also a nice windows program for ssh to amahi or any linux server is putty and it is a free program at

  9. Billy

    Sadly, I cannot get any additional drives mounted. I did the first tutorial and got Amahi setup fine. I have tried mounting three drives. I also tried reformatting and wiping in Windows and then using these instructions again … same thing.

    [root@localhost dev]# hda-diskmount
    NTFS signature is missing.
    Failed to mount ‘/dev/sdb1’: Invalid argument
    The device ‘/dev/sdb1’ doesn’t seem to have a valid NTFS.
    Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disk instead of a
    partition (e.g. /dev/sda, not /dev/sda1)? Or the other way around?
    Mounted /dev/sdb1 as ‘/var/hda/files/drives/drive5’
    You may want your system to mount it every time you boot.
    To do so, add this line VERY CAREFULLY to /etc/fstab and reboot:
    UUID=4befb8ba-2dc9-4e90-9119-2c9e51ec6cf4 /var/hda/files/drives/drive5 ntfs-3g rw,user,fmask=0113,dmask=0002,uid=500,gid=100,noatime 1 2

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