Recommended Software: Unraid

For several years I have been running a home server to store data, home movies and other media. Whilst I fully embrace the cloud the simple fact is that sometimes you need to store data locally. For around the last 7 years, I’ve migrated from a Synology DiskStation to a self-built server and onto a HP ProLiant Gen 8 Microserver. Although I researched Unraid before I preferred running Ubuntu Server primarily to get to grips and learn Linux.

Anyway earlier this year I wanted to add some unused hard disk drives to my setup, which were different sizes, and I stumbled across a recommendation for Unraid. As I was going to have to rebuild the server anyway, I thought I would try it out. Then in the last week I’ve upgraded another 2 of the 5 hard disk drives. And Unraid didn’t skip a beat. Without loss of any data my storage array was simply rebuilt and the existing docker containers (Plex, Airsonic) were restored from a community app backup.

So just over four months on, how do I feel about Unraid? To put it simply, I think it’s probably the ‘go-to’ software for pre-built, NAS-Linux distros. Or at least right up there with any of its peers. As close as you can get to working out of the box without going for something like a Synology or QNAP pre-built NAS. The web interface is quick to learn and functional, dockers are amazing and avoid all kinds of grief if you have to start again, and the ability to easily setup Virtual Machines is really cool. My basic license of Unraid cost me about £43 after USD to GBP conversion and it’s been a bargain overall.

Of course this isn’t really ‘gaming’ related. Although having a home server with lots of storage makes it far easier to simply backup your PC game installs by dragging them to your server when you want to free up space (69GB The Elder Scrolls Online, Doom (2016) nearly 80GB etc.).

Unraid can be used in a gaming PC setup in a variety of scenarios as made famous by Youtube channel Linus Tech Tips, but if you want to know more, check their website: https://unraid.net/.

I’ve just been really impressed with Unraid and wanted to sing it’s praises.