XBMC the Thecus N3200 NAS and NFS Redux

I’ve been meaning to post about this for ages, but for some reason I’ve always had something better to do, like washing my hair. As I detailed in my previous post about XBMC the Thecus N3200 NAS and NFS, I couldn’t get it working, as XBMC couldn’t mount the NFS shares and I couldn’t adjust the mounts via the Thecus N3200 OS. I gave up in the end and switched my XBMC distro from OpenELEC to Raspbmc mainly so I could get access to the underlying Debian OS and thus edit the /etc/fstab file.

Installing Raspbmc is a breeze, just download the install script, stuff your SD card into your computer, run the script and then go and enjoy a beer while it does its stuff. Then all that was left to do, was ssh into the Raspberry Pi and edit it’s copy of /etc/fstab and create some local folders to mount the shares to. As I’d previously done all of that on my laptop, it was just a case of copying the relevent bits from one /etc/fstab to the other. A reboot later and XBMC was happily adding all the media from what it thought was a local folder.

Just in case you find yourself in a similar position, here’s the entries in the /etc/fstab on my laptop:

# Thecus N3200 mount points, assuming your NAS has a fixed IP of 192.168.0.100
192.168.0.100:/raid/Bob /home/boba/nas/bob nfs rw
192.168.0.100:/raid/Photos /home/boba/nas/photos nfs rw
192.168.0.100:/raid/Music /home/boba/nas/music nfs rw
192.168.0.100:/raid/Video /home/boba/nas/video nfs rw
view raw mount-points.sh hosted with ❤ by GitHub

XBMC the Thecus N3200 NAS and NFS

After getting OpenELEC installed on an SD card and running on my Raspberry Pi, the next step was to get XBMC serving up all the media that is stored on our Thecus N3200 NAS.

It looked like it should be pretty straight forward, as I already have various NFS mounts setup on the NAS for access via my Kubuntu laptop. However, I just couldn’t get XBMC to browse into any of the mounted folders; it could see them, just not access them.

There isn’t much information out there about my NAS, mainly as it was superseded pretty quickly by the N3200PRO. Which meant that there wasn’t much information with which to try and diagnose the issue. After a bit of googling, I did manage to track down a post that implied that my NFS mounts would need to invoke insecure mode, which was backed up by the XBMC wiki. Shame the N3200 doesn’t expose any real NFS settings, so you can’t configure the mounts from the frontend; at least not with the last official firmware.

I did look at adding the insecure flag the NFS mounts directly, via the /etc/exports file; shame that you can’t SSH into the NAS by default though. After a bit more trawling, I found a couple of modules that would allow me to reset the root password and run a SSH demon. With the modules loaded, I SSH’d into the NAS and added the insecure flag to each of the NFS mounts; shame the changes were lost when I rebooted. I eventually gave up trying and asked for help on the Thecus forums, I haven’t had a reply yet.

While I wait on a reply, I just added the various mounts to XBMC via SMB. It’s not my first choice, but it appears to work fine, at least there were no obvious streaming issues while I watched Ratatouille last night…