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mmmann

Considering Unraid: please critique and/or advise

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1 hour ago, mmmann said:

I had written that none of the drives were showing up. I figured out why: whereas I had been connecting as <name>/main, I tried to get to the machine from its DHCP address, and had forgotten to turn on scripting for that site. It's quite interesting: Unraid displays most of the main/ screen and leaves a big gap in the middle, waiting for javascript to fill in the list of drives.

 

Suggestion: make sure that there is wording in that big gap, like "PLEASE WAIT … JAVASCRIPT IS RUNNING TO DISCOVER DRIVES". Otherwise, I was staring at a half-formed screen, scratching my head.

Possibly any other issues, such as the non-working add share, is similar. Not only does the webUI rely heavily on javascript, but adblockers are known to sometimes block some elements for no real reason. Whitelist your server.

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Update: I connected to Unraid using Microsoft Edge, in order to rule out javascript blocking, ad-blocking, etc. No change in behavior.

 

Attached are two screenshots: one of the main/ screen, showing drive 6 being rebuilt, and one of the shares/ screen, showing everything greyed out.

 

Perhaps I don't understand shares. According to the youtube video, you just click [Add Share]. Help!

20190419-Unraid-Main.jpg

20190419-Unraid-Shares.jpg

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It's probably greyed out because a parity sync is in process, when the drive is rebuilt you will be allowed to create a share. I've never noticed this before, so I am just guessing, but it makes sense to me.

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Those screenshots seem to indicate none of the disks have been formatted (nothing in the FS column), so there is no place to create any shares.

 

If you think that is wrong post a diagnostic.

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When you insert a new drive, a [Format] button appears near the bottom. I can't remember the exact wording of the button--I only did it once for each drive. But I remember that it defaults to 'xfs' and that you need to get through that step before moving forward. But, logging in as root, I don't see any of the drives mounted. In Unraid, are the drives mounted as normal under Linux? What's the expected behavior of an 'ls /' or a 'cat /etc/fstab' or a 'ls -l /dev/disk/by-label'?

 

Edit: the mystery has been solved. Somehow Unraid was operating in Maintenance Mode during the rebuild.

 

Total size:9.9 TB

Elapsed time:2 hours, 44 minutes

Current position:857 GB (8.6 %)

Estimated speed:82.9 MB/sec

Estimated finish:1 day, 6 hours, 25 minutes

 

When you [Stop] and then unclick the [x] Maintenace Mode checkbox (which doesn't appear during the rebuild), and then re-start, the file systems reappear. Another UI gotcha--there should be far more feedback if you're in MM, like "DRIVES OFFLINE - MAINTENANCE MODE" under all of the columns to the right of the drives.

Edited by mmmann

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BUG REPORT: The Shares screen comes up absolutely blank under Firefox with Adblock Plus. This is an ubiquitous setup and should be fixed or detected.

 

WORKAROUND: Disable ADP on this site. Most users of ADP will not know how to do this.

 

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FEATURE REQUEST: Under Shares -> Share Settings, show more information about the drives rather than just "Disk 1", "Disk 2", etc. This includes the Included Disk and Excluded Disk, as well as any other areas in the product that use the same subroutine. Failing this, the user must open a new tab on the browser (to Main) to figure out which drives numbers are associated with which drives.

 

Drives need to be identified, at the moment of input into the form, by the drive manufacturer or drive type or size, etc. "Disk 1" is nondescript to a human. But "Disk 1 - HGST - 9.9TB - *GJ9B" indicates that it's the Hitachi SAS drive, the big one, whose serial number ends with GJ9B. Yup, that's the one.

 

Edited by mmmann

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BUG REPORT (Minor): Misspelling in Shares -> Share Settings.

 

"Only indicates that all new files and subdirectories must be writen to the Cache disk/pool."

 

Suggestion: run a spell-checker over the entire product during SQA.

 

BUG REPORT (Minor): In Shares -> Share Settings there is no help for the two settings, "Read settings from" and "Write settings to". What do they do?

 

Suggestion: have an intern or moderator go through the product, screen by screen, and make sure that every setting has associated help.

 

Edit: See the post, '"read settings from" "write settings to" what is this?' The lack of help / feedback for these settings has already been noted.

 

 

Edit Again: apparently these settings act as a type of "like this", in which case they should be called, "Set the share up like this / copy the share settings from", and "Remember these share settings / save the share settings to be used again, later."

 

Edited by mmmann

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4 minutes ago, mmmann said:

BUG REPORT (Minor): In Shares -> Share Settings there is no help for the two settings, "Read settings from" and "Write settings to". What do they do?

The bug is actually that the help is not properly linked to the text field.

Turn on global help on that page to see the explanation.

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BTW, all your observations are valuable info, but likely to get lost in this thread instead of getting the attention they deserve from the company. There are specific forum areas for bug reports and feature requests, with specific protocol to ensure they get the proper attention.

 

https://forums.unraid.net/bug-reports/

https://forums.unraid.net/forum/53-feature-requests/

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2 hours ago, mmmann said:

#2 - When tasks are not possible due to the array running, there should be wording to that affect, e.g. "User Shares Cannot Be Configured: Array is Running." It could also be a bubble.

image.thumb.png.8a5027696e76d3a6ab1c2fa41d96b5d9.png

 

Can't Remember though if this is a 6.7+ improvement or not.

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1 hour ago, Squid said:

image.thumb.png.8a5027696e76d3a6ab1c2fa41d96b5d9.png

 

Can't Remember though if this is a 6.7+ improvement or not.

He was actually talking about something else but his wording was misleading. He thought he couldn't add any shares because of the rebuild, but it was actually because he was in Maintenance Mode.

 

The screenshot you gave there has been that way for as long as I have paid any attention to it.

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2 hours ago, jonathanm said:

BTW, all your observations are valuable info, but likely to get lost in this thread instead of getting the attention they deserve from the company. There are specific forum areas for bug reports and feature requests, with specific protocol to ensure they get the proper attention.

 

https://forums.unraid.net/bug-reports/

https://forums.unraid.net/forum/53-feature-requests/

I agree. Some of these are probably simple enough to be fixed easily. Lots of things in the webUI I don't look closely at any more, or even use at all.

 

2 hours ago, mmmann said:

The Shares screen comes up absolutely blank under Firefox with Adblock Plus.

Adblockers have been dealt with in the past, but they seem to be a moving target. We always just tell people to whitelist their server.

 

2 hours ago, mmmann said:

Under Shares -> Share Settings, show more information about the drives rather than just "Disk 1", "Disk 2", etc.

Might be something there though it might also be a little difficult to get the serial numbers to fit in the UI elements for include/exclude. And, those settings are really about the slot, and not about the disk in the slot. If you replace one of those disks, or even just rearrange the existing disks, the setting still applies to whatever disk is in the slot, and not to a specific hard drive.

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This is likely going to sound negative and it's not intended to. How well the UI is layouted/works etc is very subjective. What you may find confusing may be easy for others to understand. On the flip side something you think would make it easier to understand might be confusing to others. I know for a couple things you've mentioned I would be a lot more confused if it was changed.

One example is archived notification I don't see it too necessary as they will all be in the log which is always accessible on the top bar.

You do have to keep in mind it this is a product designed to be installed on a user built system. So the expectation would be you can figure out how to build a system. So yes it requires work and reading.

Choosing the right supported hardware is on the user. There is a lot of info in the forums covering most hardware. And things like flashing the lsi firmware is also covered well on the forum.

It does take some investment of time, reading and understanding. And like has been said, some of that is kind of on purpose. One good example is thinking a reset array should be right there to click. That's a very bad idea, there is a reason it's somewhat hidden. You need to understand what that does and when to use it. Having it in the forefront, people will just click without thinking.

The UI and some procedures could definitely use some improvements that's for sure. It's far from perfect but is leaps and bounds better then it was.

After getting comfortable with unraid some of the UI decisions might make a bit more sense. For example disk info in the shares. I don't see much point in that. While I do organize my data based on disks like you sound you want to do also. I would argue you would have more info visable and it might even be easier to have two windows open so you can identify which disk is which.

Now you might notice I have been here for a bit and you are looking at this as a new user but I don't come from an IT background so I do look at this as a more normal user. Additionally I help a few family and friends with unraid who are much less technically inclined so I do see what and where they have trouble also.

Setting it all up initially, that's the most work/learning curve and likely the most annoyance. Hardware trouble doesn't help either. But thankfully after getting it up and running you generally don't play with the UI much more as unraid will just run. Sometimes when something does go wrong or you have to do some disk maintenance you will forget prodecures due to how much time has past. But thankfully the answers are for the most part always here or someone will help.

I would have given made a better post with replies but I'm on mobile.

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