Adding further functionality on the same PI3b

I’m currently using my PI3b for openhab2.5 only. This is absolutely stable.
Now I would like to retire my DD-WRT router by adding NAS and VPN functionality on the pi instead.
Is that okay for the pi performance and and it’s stability?
Can I set the wlan interface on the pi as AP as well (no DHCP required here)
I would like to use pivpn and the wireguard protocol, and I also thought about upgrading to Pi4 (which one 4 or 8gb?) Cause it offers usb3.
And now the real important question, does it make sense to do that with openhabian installed or better with raspian light from scratch?

I can only give my personell opinion:
Putting all those functionalities onto one device is putting all of them at the same risk!
Think about what you will loose when this one device breaks.
I would use three devices!

Only ever run openHAB on a dedicated system. As @opus said you’re putting all of your systems at risk, and what for ? some little X € in energy savings ? Irresponsible.

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Have you looked at the OdroidC4 with Armbian OS. That along with your existing RPi might make a good fit.

There’s nothing wrong with a Pi 3 - the point is about separating devices to avoid dependencies.
And openHABian for sure is the better choice.

For OH on the Rpi with openhabian I agree. The Odroid suggestion was for adding NAS and VPN.

As you would need another box anyway, I’d get a Pi 4 as it can serve as a backup for your OH server, too.
Yes you could even install openHABian on there (it’s just Raspbian so technically, it is a decent NAS basis, too). So you would have a “warm standby” OH box.
Armbian, Odroids both are off-mainstream. That’ll increase risk and overall maintenance efforts by a fair margin so you should have a very good reason why to move there.

PS: but I’d get a QNAP or synology box for a NAS rather than DIY.

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You can install OH via Armbian config tool and use as a backup as well. I must admit using a Rpi may be a better choice for now but Armbian is getting better.

True but as mentioned above it’s getting better. I picked up the OdroidC4 before I knew about the latest Rpi4 and I may have picked the Pi over Odroid but kinda glad I didn’t as it’s a nice board.

Totally agree. :+1: Spending the extra money when it comes to storage/backups/ease of use/etc… is well worth it. :wink:

Hmm thanks for your thoughts. I’m a bit disappointed cause I thought using some few services on a Linux driven pi 4 e.g with 4 GB would be easy to handle for that piece of hardware. Now I more or less hear that’s not the case. I am on the way to reduce hardware because all of them need somehow maintenance.
Ok this means I further need to use my DD-WRT router for the additional services.
By the way on that stupid piece of hardware I’m running ovpn server ovpn client and Samba for the USB3 drive - all on that broadcom 1ghz CPU device.
That is working, you now what I mean?
Why not on a much better Pi4?

You are not getting the point of the above answers, nobody said a Pi4 could not handle those services. The answers given suggested against it because all those services SHOULD run on a seperate device. You might overcome a downed smartphone server, if the WiFi AP and your NAS aren’t run from that device. If all is running on the failed device you have…


You will get the full gamut of response from no to yes :slight_smile:
And all these responses are correct.
However, there is a thing called architecture and design principles… and often cost efficiencies.
… and there is “it depends” :slight_smile:

If you rely on you openHAB system, because the house won’t function without it, I would opt for a dedicated rPi for OH. The extra 60-ish Euro should not matter given the benefit.
If it doesn’t matter to you when one systems falls over for other systems to fall over too; by all means, put it all on one rPi. This refers to the ‘risk’ component others already eluded to.

As for the rPi as NAS: there is a difference between a NAS and a disk on a rPi. Rarely using the shared storage on a rPi works quite well. However, only the rPi4 is in the space of providing proper NAS functionality.

As I eluded to: there are multiple ways to skin a cat. :slight_smile:

To name just a few:

  • micro USB powering is just terrible. For toying this might look to be good enough, agree, but for running serious stuff on it? In case your hobby project that runs mainly idle, perhaps fine. But there are numerous problems caused by this cabling/connector - I also experienced that one got shorted and literally caused fire. Luckily that happened in front of my eyes …
  • USB2 rail for internal communication is responsible for extreme slow IO (on the level of 10y old SBC)
  • limited access to hardware due to proprietary OS that boots Linux, only 1GB memory
  • no advanced useful functions like HW encryption support, no eMMC, no USB(3) UASP

RPi is basically a proprietary video player with added ARM cores for general computing. To this day. When it comes to playing video up to 1080p, Rpi3 is (was) good cheap device until several years ago … If you close one eye, hw features are good enough for OH, except the fatal one - your house can burn down … and despite all those failures it became a standard. Competitive non mainstream devices are technically much better, but some, especially latest and greatest, still lack SW support. That takes time. But not in the range of old Rpi3 and below. Allwinner H3,H5,H6,A64, Rockchip RK3288, … have very good mainline kernel support + good Armbian (group fixes on the OS level are similar to what 1-2 persons are trying to achieve with Openhabian to run one app) support and they work good or better than Rpi3. Especially for server case scenario like running OpenHab, there should be no problems.

What about reliability? RPi is not exactly a proper NAS but it can “serve storage over the network”. Proper NAS does not have USB2SATA drives especially not over USB type A connectivity.

Here you can find which problems to expect in this context:

Once again you took my statement out of its context:
… for the purpose of running OH. And OP owns and operates it and does not want to buy new HW.

I basicly agree with you.
However, these arguments could be pointed at InfluxDB(other databases) as well as Grafana, just as well as MQTT broker… (just to name those few services which is provided with openhab).
Question is - how far will you go for your hardware equipment, and how much riscs will you take.
Optionally you could run each services/server on its own hardware, just to make sure. But that would probably not be a financial good advice.

Thanks guys for all your opinions and experiences.
I just ordered a Pi4 4gb, (8gb is not available…) I already have a SSD and a USB3 adapter.
So I will move openhab on the SSD, changing Pi4 firmware to allow fully SSD boot and add NAS functionality to the remaining part of the SSD. Also I want to activate WiFi on pi4 to have a AP for some Tasmota switches next to the pi4.
Remaining functions like wireguard client and server I will put on the remaining PI3b, or
I will definitely come back to you with some questions how to achieve that using openhabian as base.
For one thing you maybe could help me already. I could find some instructions how to copy the existing SSD on the SSD, and also how to flash the new firmware to the pi4.
But how to use the remaining space on the SSD - additional partition I assume, what format, NTFS?
And now how to add NAS functionality - just Samba I guess, do I need to install something additionally or is it available in openhabian?
Can you maybe point me in the right direction?

If you want to create a NAS look at the open media vault project or freeNAS. I would not recommend you ask openhab questions in a NAS project and the same goes for asking NAS questions on a openhab forum. OMV has a lot of features like being able to recover data from a failed drive and detect and fix bit rot. Far better to learn from people that know the subject better.

Perhaps your current dd-wrt router is faster in encrypting - check and compare numbers. Yes, its almost unbelievable how slow Rpi is in this.

You are ignoring right directions and warnings :wink: for being safe from troubles. For the things you want to run and to minimise the frustration and maintenance, sell both Rpi and get some (optional low powered, embedded) x86 device.

This is the smallest problem you need to worry about. You should be asking storage experts - not OpenHab forum - if the hardware you want to buy is good for NAS. OH can run on any NAS that has enough memory, while the other way is a bit more problematic.

… but still you ended up with two devices (designed for DIY / playing with) where both are only good enough for OH and similar services but below average / inappropriate for the other jobs you desire?