Build your own Pro NAS – Seagate Goflex Net with Debian Linux, RAID1 and OpenMediaVault 50

It’s taken me a lot of hours, weeks in fact to get to the point of having stable GoFlex Net with Debian Linux, OpenMediaVault and RAID1. And many many failed attempts !


This is a guide for how to do it, and sharing what I learnt along the way. If you want to build a similar device, then you’ll be able to using this guide, the EASY WAY, avoiding the mistakes I made, saving time and stress.

Obviously if you follow this guide you do so at your own risk, and it’s your responsibility to make sure that you’re doing things correctly, not mine. GoFlex Net can be broken (aka bricked, foobared, door-stopper) if you don’t use care and caution, ESPECIALLY when doing anything to do with the inbuilt NAND flash memory. Take care in what you’re doing and you won’t have a problem. Check everything carefully and check the references …

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50 thoughts on “Build your own Pro NAS – Seagate Goflex Net with Debian Linux, RAID1 and OpenMediaVault

  • maihoaomv

    i posted this exact same reply on the debian “Linux Device Hacking” forum so this is kinda sorta a duplicate. i hope it’s ok that i ask these questions here also. i may post this over on the omv forum also to see if i get toasted for asking. they may have just overlooked the armel stuff.

    i’ve had 0.4 running on the goflex home for a while. i like the new 0.5 version and am trying to install it to run on the gfh. i worked my way through the procedure an get as far as installing omv but it fails for unmet dependencies: php5-proctitle

    the php5-proctitle deb package is available for x64 and i386 but not armel. i found what I think is the source code for php5-proctitle on the omv site.

    any ideas how to get it to work with omv 0.5?
    is it possible to compile and package php5-proctitle on the goflex without having to cross-compile?
    any suggestions?
    any ideals?
    any help with compiling php5-proctitle?

    and i suspect php5-proctitle won’t be the only package that is missing for armel.

    root@GoFlexHome:~# apt-get install openmediavault
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree       
    Reading state information... Done
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:
    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
     openmediavault : Depends: php5-proctitle but it is not installable
    E: Broken packages
    • Anonymous

      Hey maihoaomv,

      Don’t worry about posting in multiple places, the info for this is very much distributed anyway and no one would blame:)

      Interestingly I had the *exact* same problem with OMV 0.5 in my attempt to install. In short the conclusion I came to was that it isn’t at this moment compatible with armel. ie I gave in, in favour of a working solution, against a distant perhaps possible solution.

      Solutions :

      1. Wait until Debian make php5-proctitle available for armel. You could pester them, maybe it’s almost done ?
      2. Ask OMV guys if they know a work around, or whether OMV would use a different package, or be hacked not to use php5-proctitle
      3. Compile to package yourself for armel … sorry I don’t know how to do this, but I suspect it’s possible, don’t know how hard or how long it would take. Only experience I have with Linux compilation is the reg.db for wireless, which wasn’t too difficult with a tutorial. There are guides I know on for recompile kernel, but don’t know if compiling the php5-proctitle package would be similar procedure. Best source of help with this probably

      Very hard to say at this stage whether php5-proctitle is the only obstacle, it was probably 5-6am when I gave in and didn’t plan on re-exploring !

      I will repost this and OMV forums, hopefully someone who knows more than me will chip in:)


      Don Charisma

  • maihoaomv

    Yea!!! I got openmediavault 0.5 sardaukar to work on the GoFlex Home. For some reason the /etc/collectd/collectd.conf file is not being correctly configured during installation of omv. I cheated and copied the contents of collectd.conf from the virtual machine into the collectd.conf on the GoFlex and the installation completed successfully.

    Once I had the WebGUI up and logged in I was able to do the minimum configuration. Samba, NFS, and SSH is working. I couldn’t get Plugins to work though. I get a communication error. Still don’t know why collectd isn’t configured correctly. Maybe someone on the omv forum can tell me.

    Thanks for your help and encouragement.

    • Anonymous

      My pleasure, glad you got it working. I’m sticking with my “stable” system for now!

      I had problems in the past with collectd on OMV 0.4, (however I think it was wheezy rather than squeeze) I had to abandon the install as it rendered it unbootable – did you check for reboot working yet?

      Communication error sounds resolvable, internet/network issue?

      Don Charisma

      • maihoaomv

        Reboots ok.

        FYI. I did a fresh install a second time. I noticed in the /etc/collected/collected.conf file that nearly all the config stuff was commented out including the hostname. I uncommented the hostname, restarted the install and it completed without further errors. I wonder if maybe there is a bug.

        Anyway I wasn’t able to get plugins to work. That’s a totally different problem. I noticed on the OMV forum someone else was having the exact same problem with not being able to see the plugins. Keeping my eye on that one. Maybe they will come up with a solution.

        • Anonymous

          So do you think it’s OMV or the deb package that are commenting out the hostname in /etc/collected/collected.conf (why I mentioned it was on wheezy I had the problem)

          For plugins I remember there being an extra repository to add (in sources), to get for instance mini-dlna to work (because I think plugins were “beta” versions). Have you checked this ?


          Don Charisma

          • maihoaomv

            Right now I’m thinking there may be something different between the ISO install and the package install in that the iso may be preconfigured. Whereas the way we did it doesn’t have the the advantage of of a preconfigured os already in place. Maybe somethig that was overlooked. Just a thought. I didn’t have any problem installing the iso in a VM. Was hoping someone on the OMV team might see a possible connection.

            I could never get minidlna to work with 0.4. Works beautifully with 0.5. I didn’t know about the extra repository. Didn’t put a lot of effort into trying to get it to work because I was using Logitech media server anyway for both squeeze box and DLNA music playback.


      • maihoaomv

        ok i tried it in a i386 vm. i chose debian-6.0.7-i386-netinst.iso (squeeze) as the base install os without installing graphics. I then installed openmediavault and with the exception of having to manually install postfix it ran all the way through to completion without failure. and as far as i got through the configuration it, omv working perfectly.

        well so much for that theory.

        however i did in the process find out why the arm version of squeeze fails for collectd configuration. the problem is the hostname as i suspected but the real reason it fails is there is an extra line in the /etc/hosts file that appears to be added during the installation of squeeze onto the hard drive (in the vm).

        i tried adding this extra line to the /etc/hosts on the goflex and it installed omv without failure (with the exception of php5 and php5-proctitle on course which can be preinstalled).

        in your instructions you talk about the /etc/hosts file as follows:

        root@debian-kirkwood-wide:~# cat /etc/hosts localhost
        ::1 localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
        fe00::0 ip6-localnet
        ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
        ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
        ff02::2 ip6-allrouters

        on the goflex the following line needs to be added to the /etc/hosts file: GoFlexHome.localdomain GoFlexHome

        adding the line fixed the problem.

        root@GoFlexHome:~# cat /etc/hosts
        # This configuration file is auto-generated.
        # WARNING: Do not edit this file, your changes will be lost. localhost GoFlexHome.localdomain GoFlexHome

        # The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
        ::1 ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
        fe00::0 ip6-localnet
        ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
        ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
        ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
        ff02::3 ip6-allhosts

        also note there is an extra line at the end of /etc/hosts that i presume was added during omv install.

        so in conclusion the difference between the i386 and the arm is that the i386 installer takes care of the /etc/hosts setup but in the arm version there probably is no installer as such so as a result /etc/hosts doesn’t get updated with the hostname.

        how is the arm os installed in the beginning? this might be a good question to ask on the doozan forum.

        it’s been fun (when i’m making progress) and frustrating at the same time but i learned a lot. now i need to tackle the problem with being unable to see the plugins and communication failure in the omv web gui.

        slowly but surely we are making progress with omv on arm but in the future if omv is to support all platforms then somewhere along the way the omv team needs to address these problems.


        • Anonymous

          Hey maihoaomv,

          Your experiences mirror mine, it’s frustrating at times, but rewarding in the end.

          I think the /etc/hosts line is missing because that needs to be set by you the user (davygravy didn’t know the name of your machine or what domain you’ll be in when he built the rootfs). So I think the answer will probably be something like, do you’re own fresh install then add a compatible kernel or compile the kernel yourself.

          For now I have a stable device, which took me a long time to get here, so I’m not making any changes. Possible that once OMV goes 0.6 stable then it might be worth trying with a wheezy install.


          Don Charisma

          • maihoaomv

            for me it’s a hobby. i was just wanting to see if i could get 0.5 to run on armel. and it does, mostly, very nicely. i’m sitting on pins and needles waiting for 0.6 omv to be released. wheezy at last, yea!!!!

            hopefully somewhere along the way volker will support armel. they are relatively inexpensive machines (with other advantages also), and since the release of raspberry pi, arm is starting to become quite popular.

            i bought the goflex to use on my home lan not realizing just how badly stock seagate sucked. cracking it was fun and made it much more versatile. arm is well supported in debian. it’s fairly easy to use, and with omv installed, makes samba and nfs a breeze to setup.

            over the years as the jobs changed i had been forced to move away from unix. when i retired i figured it was a good time to get back into it. in my opinion linux is so much more fun than windows. because there is more openness it’s easier to find answers on the internet. besides it gives the brain cells a challenge and helps to slow the creep of the cobwebs (i hope).

          • Anonymous

            About the same with the Seagate net, I was aware of stock firmware and possibility to change to debian before I bought TWO seagate goflex nets. I just like the lower power consumption, the two SATA ports and portability aspect most.

            I spent really a lot of time getting it up and running and have had multiple builds work then mysteriously fail, so I don’t want to experiment anymore, well at least not until there’s a good reason (and there’s time factors for me at present also). I can appreciate this is different for other people.

            Seagate software side of things generally sucks, I have Seagate Satellite also, and there’s been quite a few issues with it. For their hardware, it’s way better than the competition. I’ve had failed seagate hard drives but they have lasted way way longer than Western Digital, Samsung etc, the only other one that was any good was Toshiba, and I think they sold their hard drive business to seagate, or at least Tosh laptops seem to have Tosh branded seagate drives.

            Like you I’ve been around a bit in different jobs and used a variety of OS’es. Linux is much improved with commercial support on Ubuntu, and debian seems very stable now. For some mainstream things Microsoft seems better. But I reckon with all these copyright clampdowns they keep on having, Linux really has a massive opportunity to go much more mainstream. Reason I say this, is that if pirates can’t pirate software anymore, they aren’t suddenly going to magic money out of thin air, they will turn to open source alternatives. GIMP vs Photoshop, Ubuntu vs Windows … god knows how this will affect Apple, but they seem to have a little niche anyway.

            Good to chat, as and when I convert GoFlexNet2 to debian, I may update this post or write an additional one.

            Best regards

            Don Charisma

    • Anonymous

      Have to confess, I’ve never had yellow led …

      Please don’t panic and think about what you’re doing next. Every time I wasn’t able to boot from USB stick, I was able to use this procedure to revert to factory.

      The code looks fine for restoring the original uboot, which return it to the factory uboot. Did you get any error messages ? what were you trying to do before reverting to factory ? why did you want to revert to factory ?


      Don Charisma

  • Artur

    when start led blinking green ~10s, switch to amber. No ip adress no ssh router not view, no respond to pings

    when return it to the factory uboot: no erorr messages
    no logs 🙁

    Sorry poor english

    • Anonymous

      No worries for English, I know you’re doing your best.

      But please can you answer my questions, otherwise it’s difficult to help …

      * what were you trying to do before reverting to factory ?

      * why did you want/need to revert to factory ?


      Don Charisma

  • Artur

    why did you want/need to revert to factory:
    I not replalce usb stick when installing rescue system to original usb and on the rescue disk contiune install
    installing xmlstarlet_1.5.0-1 shutdown and not booting

    why did you want/need to revert to factory ?:
    i’m panic when no boot from usb. I thought I have to start over again

    • Anonymous

      Panic’ing them flashing not a good idea, I explained this early on and repeated the warnings in my post…before flashing you need to be 100% sure you’re doing the right thing.

      Rescue system allows you to boot without the USB stick attached and you can ssh into the GoFlex Net.

      If you’ve done a restore factory uBoot, then it should boot without USB stick attached.

      Have you tried all of these. Have you tried to create a new USB stick with davygravy’s rootfs on it (on a Ubuntu machine) ?

      The only way we can decide if it’s bricked is to try all the things we can think of first. Even if it’s not possible to boot, may be possible to get into it via serial cable or UART.


      Don Charisma

  • Artur

    Thanks for your help,!

    Having tried everything you listed, but at nothing happened 🙁

    Qrdered USB Serial Adapter.

    • Anonymous

      No worries, my pleasure.

      I haven’t done anything with the serial cable, so can’t help with that. Hopefully you can get it sorted out.

      As I said to other people, once you get the GoFlex stable and how you want it, leave it that way !


      Don Charisma

  • maihoaomv

    Sounds like to me it may actually be running uboot but not finding any thing to boot from it hangs with the orange led blinking. I have my GoFLexHome set up to boot from either usb or hard drive. It starts out with the green led blinking then switches to blinking orange led for about 20+ seconds while it is trying to find something to boot from.

    If you have access to a linux machine why don’t you try putting a rescue rootfs on a usb flash and try booting it from that. Not sure what the name is but you should be able to find it on the doozan forum. Ask on the forum if you have to. Generally someone will be willing to help you. If that works and you can get ssh access then you should be able to fix it.

    Net console is ok if you don’t run into any problems. But if you, like me, were having problems after the kernel starts, the serial console is the only way you are going to be able to see what is going on. Getting it open without breaking it is the hard part. There are several guides on the internet that may help with installation of the serial cable.

    Hope it helps.


    • Anonymous

      Hope this can help Artur.

      What worries me is if the flashing to factory failed with the flash left in an inconsistent state.

      Hopefully it’ll be possible to unbrick it.



  • maihoaomv


    this may be what you can try to get it booted. there is no guarantee this will work so you do it at your own risk.
    i generally don’t use netconsole. it didn’t work that well for me. i prefer the serial console instead. with the serial you can see every step of the boot process. so i won’t be able to help you with netconsole.

    if you are interested in giving it a try, you can find the rescue rootfs here:

    not sure which one is which but start with this one first:

    you will need to be on a linux machine to do this. alternately you could boot your pc from a ubuntu or linux mint, doesn’t matter, install cd.

    plug the flash into a usb port. you will need at least a 512MB flash.
    open a terminal. at the command line type
    sudo blkid
    to find the flash. it most likely will be /dev/sdb1

    in the following i’m assuming that the flash is /dev/sdb1. be absolutely sure. otherwise you could ruin a partition on your hard drive. once you know which dev the flash is on type
    mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb1
    that is assuming your flash is on /dev/sdb1. change sdb1 if needed.

    it will take a few seconds depending on the size to write the ext3 file system. once it completes add the rootfs label. type
    tune2fs -L rootfs /dev/sdb1

    mount the flash.
    mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt

    cd /mnt

    verify the label is rootfs. type
    sudo blkid

    you should see something similar to the following
    /dev/sdb1: LABEL=”rootfs” UUID=”8e266dda-027c-42fb-a439-69016b40f8e6″ TYPE=”ext3″

    NOTE: the label must be rootfs

    check to see if the file system was made. type

    you should see lost+found and nothing else

    download the tarball from the dropbox site onto the flash drive

    it’s a large file (58MB) so it will take a while to download

    now untar the file system onto the flash.
    tar -xvpf rootfs-br2012.02_06082012.tar .

    Don’t forget the period at the end. once tar has completed its job it should dump you back into the command line. type
    rm rootfs-br2012.02_06082012.tar
    NOTE: cache buffering can cause data not to be written to the flash. so sync’ing the cache is important to ensure all the data is written to flash before unmounting the flash.

    wait for the command line.
    verify file system was written to flash. type

    you should see the following

    bin dev home linuxrc mnt proc sbin tmp var
    boot etc lib lost+found opt root sys usr

    at the command line type
    sudo umount /mnt

    remove flash and plug it into the usb of the goflex. turn on the power and hopefully it will boot. you might try ping’ing it to see if you have network connectivity. if you can get ssh (or netconsole) access then you should be able to fix the problem.

    beyond that i’m lost.
    good luck

  • Artur

    Can you help me, I got the following message and UART boot:

    U-Boot 1.1.4 Cloud Engines 1.1.2 (3.4.22) SATA PHYADDR=0

    U-Boot code: 00600000 -> 0067FFF0 BSS: -> 00691750

    Soc: 88F6281 A1 (DDR2)
    CPU running @ 1200Mhz L2 running @ 400Mhz
    SysClock = 400Mhz , TClock = 200Mhz

    DRAM CAS Latency = 5 tRP = 5 tRAS = 18 tRCD=6
    DRAM CS[0] base 0x00000000 size 128MB
    DRAM Total size 128MB 16bit width
    Addresses 8M – 0M are saved for the U-Boot usage.
    Mem malloc Initialization (8M – 7M): Done
    NAND:256 MB
    Flash: 0 kB

    CPU : Marvell Feroceon (Rev 1)

    Streaming disabled
    Write allocate disabled

    USB 0: host mode
    PEX 0: interface detected no Link.
    Net: egiga0 [PRIME]
    Hit any key to stop autoboot: 3 2 1 0

    NAND read: device 0 offset 0x100000, size 0x300000
    Reading data from 0x3ff800 — 100% complete.
    3145728 bytes read: OK
    ## Booting image at 00800000 …
    Image Name: Linux-
    Created: 2011-02-17 8:10:10 UTC
    Image Type: ARM Linux Kernel Image (uncompressed)
    Data Size: 3236180 Bytes = 3.1 MB
    Load Address: 00008000
    Entry Point: 00008000
    Verifying Checksum … Bad Data CRC

    • Anonymous

      Hi Artur,

      I’m the same as maihoaomv, it’s not an error I know the solution. Best to post of doozan forum.

      Please let us know how you get on:)


      Don Charisma

  • artur

    Hi Don Charisma, Maihoaomv,

    Problem solved 😀

    I booting from UART. After reinstall uboot, booting correctly from usb.

    I installed OMV 🙂

    Thank you for helpfulness

    • Anonymous

      My pleasure as always, glad you got it working:) Did you find out what the problem was ?


      Don Charisma

  • artur

    I do not know, uBoot reinstall solved problem.

    There is another problem:

    do not go to boot from hdd. when attached hdd, does not seem to

    • Anonymous

      Good you’ve fixed anyway:)

      The GoFlex Net only boots hard drive from the right hand slot, did you check that ?


      Don Charisma

  • artur

    Yes i check

    fw_printenv shows arcNumber=2097 i replaced to 3089.

    When connect hdd seems to have, but no booting.

      • Anonymous

        I think the ext2 filesystem is probably simpler and works fine, so use what works. Might be worth a check on your fw_printenv as I know it’s possible to specific the filesystem for SATA there.

  • Robert


    Don ! Great Great work. Helped very much. THANK You!

    Only one line missing from your description:

    fw_setenv arcNumber 3089

    Without it no sata was recognised in dmesg either.


    • Anonymous

      Thanks Robert, it’s been a while since I was knee deep in debian and uboot … remind me where you reckon that should go in the sequence and I’ll add it … cheers DC

  • robert

    Hi Don!

    You a re amazing. (Can’t read as fast as you answer 🙂

    Sequence should be in step 7, when you write:
    “At this stage I attached an SATA hard disc and tried to boot from USB. No joy, doesn’t boot. ”
    Extend this to mention SATA not even appears in dmesg without that line.
    Probably you changed the kernel and as a part of that process, made this step, that’s why you forgot…
    Never mind…
    Thanks to keep document living!

    I have one question:
    How did you upgraded to wheeze?
    I tried distupgrade but stayed at Debian 6.0

    Regards Robert

    • sammy

      Did this and it works great! Thanks.
      Just wondering if anyone tried a usb Wi-Fi card to make it wireless…

  • Sammy

    Thanks for the excellent guide. Your time knee deep saved the rest of us 🙂
    I had trouble getting my stat recognized. Turns out I also was missing
    fw_setenv arcNumber 3089
    I think it should be added towards the end of step 7 after updating OMV before attaching sata drive.
    Thanks again!

  • Paul

    Hi Don,

    Great blog. I’m a complete newbie with Linux etc but willing to invest the time and give this a try as the Goflex Net fell just short of what I’m after (NAS that can work with time machine for Mac but can also act as a DLNA box for my Samsung Smart TV blue ray player).

    A couple of Q’s before I get started:
    1. Does your process leave the Pogoplug web interface intact? (Not the end of the world if it doesn’t, but I’ve seen a Pogoplug device hack that seems to leave the basic functionality intact.)
    2. Is it possible to setup the Goflex Net to act as a DLNA Server? If so what add-on would you recommend?

    Thanks for sharing your efforts and advice.

    • Anonymous

      You are welcome 🙂

      1. To my knowledge it’s revertible using the script to “Restore old uBoot” … but please do your own due diligence on before ploughing in !

      2. I installed mini-DLNA on a prior build, however the build broke before I tested it (due to SD card problems). It’s possible to install mini-DLNA via OMV but you need to add a special repository. This is explained on OMV forums. Otherwise it’s command line deb. So bottom line is that it’s possible, but I can’t tell you exactly how to do it as I’m not using it.

      Also check the links at the bottom, there are many useful blogs/sites from guys that are doing “stuff” with GoFlex Net and Dockstar.

      My system is and has been running without failure since prior to writing the article. I would recommend ditching the Flash drive at your earliest opportunity, they do fail. I have kept my Flash drive as it was when I built my build, so I can revert if necessary.

      RAID 1 works well although it does a weekly or monthly rebuild by default which isn’t really necessary. If you have the time and interest I would look at the RAID suggestion in my TODO list, it’s possible that you’d get a performance gain. My system gives around 20Mb/s which is OK for what I’m doing with it.

      Warm regards


  • BKrueger

    massive thanks for your work!

    I Just want to give a short feedback – since i had some trouble using the LEDs =).

    1. as some guys said already, there is one command missing:
    fw_setenv arcNumber 3089
    I set this var in the very end (before trying to install a sata drive) but i guess, you are not able to use sata/LEDs (you can control only the green one) before setting this variable correctly!

    2. The script which is used to show the cpu usage is not working properly. I just fixed the little awk bug, so that now only the real cpu idle value is taken into account.

    Just replace this part
    # Find the line with CPU info, pick the last number = percentage idle
    # subtract it from 100 to give CPU utilisation
    /..*..*..*..*..*..*/ { cpu_utilise = 100 – $6;
    if (cpu_utilise >= 20.0) { cpu20=”default-on”; }
    if (cpu_utilise >= 40.0) { cpu40=”default-on”; }
    if (cpu_utilise >= 60.0) { cpu60=”default-on”; }
    if (cpu_utilise >= 80.0) { cpu80=”default-on”; }
    # Find the line with CPU info, pick the last number = percentage idle
    # subtract it from 100 to give CPU utilisation
    /avg-cpu:/ {
    cpu_utilise = 100 – $6;
    if (cpu_utilise >= 20.0) { cpu20=”default-on”; }
    if (cpu_utilise >= 40.0) { cpu40=”default-on”; }
    if (cpu_utilise >= 60.0) { cpu60=”default-on”; }
    if (cpu_utilise >= 80.0) { cpu80=”default-on”; }

    cheerio and massive thx !!!

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