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How to connect N5550 to Linux Mint 18 using iSCSI
#1
Hello everyone,

I'm a big fan of the Thecus N5550 and use it connected as a mapped drive F connected to Windows using iSCSI.
My main problem is that I dual boot between Windows 10 and Linux Mint 18.

I'm able to connect to the N5550 in Windows, but have not been able to figure out how to connect via iSCSI in Linux. I've searched forums and found information which I do not understand.

I have 2 questions that are related:

a) Is there an easy way to connect the N5550 to a computer running Linux? I would greatly appreciate some clear instruction Smile

b) Once I can connect the N5550 to my Linux OS, I then want to be able to run Windows 10 as a virtual machine inside Linux and connect Windows to the N5550.

Thanks!
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#2
I do hope that someone can provide the answer. 
Are there not other users out there who also want to connect to the N5550 using iSCSI in Linux?

Is there a better way to connect to the N5550 and use it as my main drive for photo editing software in Linux and Windows?
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#3
Could someone working at Thecus please reply to my question?

There's a lot of Linux users out there and I imagine that many people would like to use their N5550 attached to their Linux systems.
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#4
There's a very short tutorial of what you need on Mint, here: https://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1446

I'm assuming you know how to get a command-line interface in Mint, no?
Thecus N5550 (CPU: D2550 @ 1.86GHz, BIOS: 2.05.14.5.cdv X64)
Disks: 5 x 3TB Seagate NAS-class; 2 x 3TB-RAID1 plus Hot Spare
Memory: 8125 MB (2 x 4 GB Corsair 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM 1333)
Apps: Too many to count....
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#5
(10-14-2016, 11:34 PM)ThaumaTechnician Wrote: There's a very short tutorial of what you need on Mint, here: https://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1446

I'm assuming you know how to get a command-line interface in Mint, no?

Thank you for your reply!

I have some familiarity with the command-line Terminal interface.
But when I tried to install open-iscsi open-iscsi-utils, I received a message saying the packages could not be located.
What should I do to resolve this?

 $ sudo apt-get install open-iscsi open-iscsi-utils
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package open-iscsi-utils

I will look forward to your reply. Thanks!
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#6
I'll try it on one of my machines which has Mint installed - will report later.
Thecus N5550 (CPU: D2550 @ 1.86GHz, BIOS: 2.05.14.5.cdv X64)
Disks: 5 x 3TB Seagate NAS-class; 2 x 3TB-RAID1 plus Hot Spare
Memory: 8125 MB (2 x 4 GB Corsair 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM 1333)
Apps: Too many to count....
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#7
(10-17-2016, 11:13 PM)ThaumaTechnician Wrote: I'll try it on one of my machines which has Mint installed - will report later.


Thank you! I'll look forward to your test results.
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#8
Hi ThaumaTechnician!

Did you have a chance to try it? I'm looking forward to connecting my N5550 to Linux MintSmile
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#9
Sorry for the delay.  I got really busy at work, and this fell off my todo list.

That earlier tutorial, while probably good then, needs to be updated.  I've made some incomplete progress - I'm posting here so you can at least install it and play with it.  I'm searching for a GUI Open-iSCSI administrator utility, but in the meanwhile, the CLI works...

On the N5550, create an iSCSI server/target, accept all the defaults - this is for learning/testing for now - and give this service a name.  Reboot the NAS, make sure the iSCSI service is Enabled.  At the iSCSI screen, drag your mouse across the public name of the service and copy it to a txt file.  It should look something like:   iqn.2016-10.com.yourdomain.n5550:iscsi.iscsi-test.raid0

In Mint:
1) Launch Software Manager from the Menu / Administration, type in your administrator password when prompted.

2) Type 'iSCSI' in the search box.
You should get three packages listed:
i) the main open-iscsi package and
ii) the dummy open-iscsi-utils package (only there for automated scripts), and
iii) an open-iscsi:386 installer (I suspect that it's the same as 'i)').

3) Double-click on the open-iscsi package / installer and click on 'Install'.

4) Click on the 'Search Results' on the arrow to return on the package list.

5) Double-click on  open-iscsi-utils package and click on 'Install'.  <-- probably not necessary.

6) Close Software Manager - Open-iSCSI is now installed.

7) Open a terminal window and type in the various commands.  Please note: this is still a work in progress...  

Note that the tutorial I linked to earlier has the CLI parameters as whole words.  The installed package uses letters only.
So where it's shown as
Sudo iscsiadm -mode discovery – type sendtargets -portal <server's IP address>
it's actually
sudo iscsiadm -m discovery – t sendtargets -p <server's IP address>

In fact, it turns out that "Sudo iscsiadm -m discovery" is sufficient to get your server's IP address and port.  

sudo iscsiadm -m discovery -p  <IP address:port>   -- this should return the text of the server's record


You could/should edit the iSCSI config file so that iSCSI on the Mint launches automatically at startup, thusly:
From the Terminal window: sudo gedit /etc/iscsi/iscsid.conf
Search for 'node.'   Change the line
node.startup = manual  to
node.startup = automatic
Leave the commented lines (with the '#'s) as they are, for documentation.
Save the iscsi.conf file and close gedit.


You can type 'iscsiadm --help' for a listing of the command-line parameters.  I haven't had time to find/get the 'man(ual) pages' for this software, so I'm still working out the parameters required.   Maybe in a day or three I'll be able to update this procedure to one that's guaranteed to work.

In case you don't already know this, the 'sudo' command (at the start of each line) means 'Super User DO' - or in Windows parlance 'Run as Administrator' (this is why it prompts you the first time in that session, for the password).  So,
gedit /etc/iscsi/iscsid.conf  <-- will open the file via gedit (a graphical editor) in read-only mode,
whereas
sudo gedit /etc/iscsi/iscsid.conf  <-- will let you modify it.

Also: when using a terminal window command prompt in Linux, the up-arrow repeats the previous commands typed in. Very handy: up-arrow, move the cursor to where you need it, make a change, hit enter.

Edited to add: Man page available here: https://linux.die.net/man/8/iscsiadm
Thecus N5550 (CPU: D2550 @ 1.86GHz, BIOS: 2.05.14.5.cdv X64)
Disks: 5 x 3TB Seagate NAS-class; 2 x 3TB-RAID1 plus Hot Spare
Memory: 8125 MB (2 x 4 GB Corsair 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM 1333)
Apps: Too many to count....
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#10
Thank you ThaumaTechnician for taking the time to examine this.

I installed open-iscsi as instructed, but was not able to make any connection to my N5550 based on the remaining instructions.
When you can, please investigate this and see if you can put together a clear set of commands that can help us use the N5550 on Linux.

I just noticed that this thread "How to connect N5550 to Linux Mint 18 using iSCSI" has received nearly 2000 views in just 2 months ans is one of the most read threads of recent months. Surely this should indicate to Thecus that at least 2000 people want to use a Thecus NAS with Linux. How hard could it be for their software engineers to provide clear instructions? Or better yet to provide some simple software that makes connecting easy?

I will look forward to your post ThaumaTechnician, and hope that Thecus support staff will be able to help.
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#11
This is now one of the most read posts in many months, yet Thecus has not responded at all.
The company makes good products- why are they not providing support to Linux users. How difficult can it be to establish protocols for connecting to Linux?
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#12
How ridiculous! I just revisited my post to find it now has nearly 4575 views which ranks as the 10th most viewed posting since 2012. Yet nobody from Thecus has bothered to answer and thousands of people like me have no idea how to connect their N5550 to a Linux PC.

I sincerely hope that Thecus staff will take note and write a rely that includes clear instructions or create an automatic connection tool to make this simple.
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#13
This post has attracted well over 7,000 views: users want to know how to connect to the Thecus N5550 via an ISCSI connection.
I find it outrageous that Thecus staff have not provided an answer to this simple question.

After working with an IT friend, I have it working now. This is the solution.
----------------

1. First install open-iscsi package

2. Find out your server's IP address and port
Sudo iscsiadm -m discovery

Then use the address returned by that command to input into this command:

sudo iscsiadm -m discovery -p  <IP address:port>

This will give you the “server's record”.

A few different IPs might appear. The top one is the Thecus (but this may vary). Might have to use process of elimination. The one called “loopback address" is always the local computer. Thus this IP is not the Thecus.

You can run sudo ifconfig. This will show your IP addresses.
If you see an inet address, this is the server address, which is the same as the one my computer is using. Identify the Thecuse accordingly by process of elimination.

Create your own ISCSI target address by putting the correct IP into the command:

iscsiadm --mode node --targetname iqn.2015-08.com.thecus.n5550:iscsi.rayiscsi.raid0 --portal ___.__._.___ --login

Specifically, the ISCIS target address is: iqn.2015-08.com.thecus.n5550:iscsi.rayiscsi.raid0
The other stuff is the command to connect. Suffice to say, just use the whole command and it should work.

------------------------------------------
Once this is set up, you must turn on your Thecus N5550 before you start your computer or Linux will not be able to find and enumerate the drive.

If someone can refine this into a clearer set of instructions, please include them in your posts so we can have a definitive answer to this simple question.
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