[NextBox] how to change the backup disk


I’d like to test the backup function, but at this moment I only have an external disk that is smaller than my NextBox internal one.
Some quick questions:

  • Am I correct assuming that (even if a bit stupid) this will work anyhow, because my NextBox is currently almost empty?

  • later on I’ll want to remove this small disk, replacing it with a larger one. Now I don’t see any command to switch the NextBox off, nor to ‘quietly’ unmount the external disk.
    → Is there one, or do I have to savagely unplug it alive (and how will my poor NB react) ? :wink:

  • separate from this, is there a way to both get (1) a backup on an external disk, AND (2) also expand the NextCloud storage with (another?) external disk?
    (I know Nextcloud can do the latter, actually that’s the reason I selected a Nextbox model with a smaller HD, investing on more RAM instead)

  • last point : I know the ext disk must be self-powered. And my small ext one does feature this capability. But it is actually a low-power SSD, which also can work without it.
    → is there some max P limit for instance, or is it really a taboo?
    (what I expect : this also depends on the power drain from the NB internal HD, which varies with the model, so no general answer… but maybe as there are three USB ports one may use two of them at the same time for the same disk, for instance?)

Thank you!

Hey @Herve5,

Yes, this is correct, the backup essentially is a copy of all data inside your Nextcloud instance + some configs and the database dump.

Inside “Storage Management” there is a “X” right of your mounted partition, click it and the external drive will be unmounted. Generally, removing a mounted hard-disk is considered bad, but will in the worst-case lead to data-loss on the removed hard-disk (usually only if currently data is written), but usually has no impact on the NB.

Generally, yes, additionally in the future we plan to extend the backups onto e.g., NAS drives to add flexibility and this will give you one additional free USB slot.

Please see: Frequently Asked Questions — Nitrokey Documentation especially the first questions in Hardware about USB and power supply, there are also additional links. In short: This “might” work, but should be considered dangerous, we clearly suggest to never use an external hard-drive without a power supply.


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Perfect, thank you!

Even more perfect!
Thank you really. I also now have seen how the Nextcloud instance proposes updating, and everything going well, which is worth being praised!

P. S. no way to safely switch the full NextBox off other than unplugging it? (would it be just to relocate the mains plug…)

Not yet, but it’s on the way: add reboot and shutdown to api · Issue #6 · Nitrokey/nextbox-daemon · GitHub

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Thanks for your time!

I didn’t set the SSH access : I presume that f I do it, I’d be able to just send some sudo shutdown via the terminal?

yes, exactly … I’d prefer sudo poweroff … but yes that’s the workaround right now.

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OK, then I’ll motivate myself for an ssh :slightly_smiling_face:
Thanks a lot!

@daringer just to mention it, even commanding this way a ‘sudo poweroff’ results in a terrifying meow from my basic internal HD -the kind of thing not do do everyday apparently… :hot_face:

(Maybe there is some ‘park heads’ command in the standard debian here?)

with hdparm -y you could spin down the hdd, but as logs are on the hard-drive, the drive will likely spin up again afterwards. I had the very same feeling about that sound, but all my investigations show that this is normal.

In detail it is even worst to spin down the hard-drive too often because there is a “limited” number of spin-ups (approx. 600k).

E.g., also in this thread: How to gracefully power down HDDs on shutdown - General - openmediavault but various similar statements about auto-parking being a default as of today and there is no need to park-heads or spin-down.

If you find something else, please let me know, but at this point this is all I can tell.

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Actually I found GitHub considers even far less spinups before HD death…
So, I’ll prudently wait till you push an update that lowers the logs writing, or even auto shorten the logfile so that it fits in the inner disk :slight_smile:
Thanks again!