I’m Mel Grubb, a .Net developer from Columbus, OH. I work on all kinds of cool and interesting projects; Healthcare, financial, public-sector, you name it. I’m also a father and sometimes a DJ on the weekends (Old-school punk and goth to newer EBM, darkwave and industrial, mostly).


23 Responses to About

  1. How can I ask a question? I got stuck with making partitons.
    I got this result.
    (parted) select /dev/sda
    Using /dev/sda
    (parted) mklabel gpt
    Backtrace has 0 calls on stack:
    I would be grateful if you could help me out.
    Thanks flor a great serie.
    // Rune Bertil Johnson

    • Mel Grubb says:

      That’s exactly what it says? You say “mklabel gpt”, and it says “Backtrace has 0 calls on stack” immediately? With nothing else in between? That’s parted actually crashing is what that is, but this is as close to “nothing to go on” as you can get. You were running through sudo, right?

  2. markcoffey says:

    mel, could you post how to share media from freenas nas to raspberry pi

  3. Mel Grubb says:

    I haven’t tried this myself, since the Pi is the device with the drive, but assuming the existing NAS is sharing files openly, I would think you could configure MiniDLNA with the network path to the files (e.g. \\server\sharename). Give it a shot and see what happens.

  4. Phil Davis says:

    Hi Mel,
    Thanks for taking the time to document all of this very useful information. I have 6 pi’s running xbmc/kodi and thinking of adding my nas (QNAP 231 w 6TB) to the mix creating a central respository and making all pi’s share the same favorites etc.

    Given your experience, would you use Kodi’s SQL to talk with the nas or have a pi as the central machine with file shares pointing to the nas?

    My wife is a buckeye so hopefully you can help (me being a sad wolverine since the crimson and grey team has stomped on us Michiganders for over a decade!)


  5. Shawn Dunham says:

    Watched your Pluralsight series on Raspberry Pi Home Server. Well done, tons of great information.

  6. namor says:

    dear mel grubb

    i wonder if there would be a solution to easily set up a raspi at my friends home and connect a hard drive for each drive that i use in my atelier (lots of data, mac), and use the adsl line during the night to synchronize the disks securely? this would be so helpful. where should i start to search for such a solution? it also could be one rpi for each hard drive (5-6).

    thanks for any advice.

    • Mel Grubb says:

      Yes, but if you’re looking for backups, why not use CrashPlan? It’s what it’s built for. Just set up a minimal server with CP, and attach it to your same account. Select it as a backup destination and go.

  7. namor says:

    thank you mel

    to be honest, i don’t know crashplan enough (that’s why i’m asking). at the moment i own a dozen disks all with an identical backup twin. my dream would be to install a raspi at my friends home and plug in all the backup disks via usb hub. and on my side use ether a dedicated raspi (where i only need to plug in the disks) or a software on my mac computer that synchronizes the disks (1:1) full automatically. would you think this is possible and secure with a raspi and crashplan (without having all the data in the cloud)?

    thanks again. and greetings from zurich.

  8. rpismr says:

    I was reading Part 6 about adding a hard drive, because I’m about to get an RPi 2 and I want to set it up with an external hard drive, but I’m a little confused by the following update you posted:
    Updates: If you didn’t change the boot option using raspi-config so that the Pi boots to the
    command-line, the hard drive will auto-mount each time you boot up, and copying the root
    filesystem to the external drive will fail. Make sure you’ve configured the Pi to boot to the
    command line, and everything should work as per the original post.
    Can you explain in more detail what you mean? Is this a recurring issue every time the RPi boots, or are you just saying that when you’re setting up the hard drive initially and get to the step “Copy the old root partition to the new drive” that the dd command will fail for some reason if you haven’t set your RPi up to boot to the command line?

    • Mel Grubb says:

      The most recent release of Raspbian bits straight to the desktop, and the desktop auto mounts drives as they show up. You can circumvent this by configuring the Pi to bit to the command line instead.

  9. Aaron says:

    Hi Mel, really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks so much for posting so many useful articles. I’ve just bought a Pi and you’ve accomplished many of the things I also aim to achieve. Bookmarked for reference in the very near future 🙂 I’ve got pluralsight for use as part of my job so I’m going to look up the series as well. Out of interest, do you run your blog off a lamp stack on a Pi or is it hosted on more traditional servers? I ask because the blog is as responsive as I’d expect, and it would be pretty impressive if this runs off a Pi. I dabble in web design and one of the main reasons I wanted a Pi is to have a ‘proper’ lamp environment to learn Apache and Linux terminal in more depth. Sure, there are other ways to do it, but this way offers so many other learning opportunities! Thanks, Aaron.

    • Mel Grubb says:

      I’m not hosting the blog on the Pi. It’s just a hosted WordPress site. Nothing fancy. When you start building the server, make sure you look at the updates both on the blog and the PluralSight discussion pages. The Pi world moves fast, and a lot of things changed with the release of Raspbian Jessie.

  10. David says:

    Hi Mel,

    I followed your tutorial re: creating a samba server. Great tutorial step by step. After digging around (and reformatting my pi time and time again), I have been able to mount my HFS+ hd to the pi – I can read my drive over the network but cannot write. Using mac. I was trying to mess around with samba servers to set up users, but no luck. Any guidance would be much appreciated.

    Using raspberry pi 3 – raspbian/jessie boot – 64gb sd card – wireless access – hfs+ mybook as external hd

    • Mel Grubb says:

      That sounds like permissions to me. If you created folder to be shared as the root user, then samba may not have the rights to write to them. Use chown to resign them to something like nobody: nogroup if you want them to be public. Linux permissions can be a little tricky. It’s one of the reasons I use ntfs for my public shares. It makes them simpler. If you want dinner control over ago can do what, then I’d look at samba docs or tutorials for guidance.

  11. Yvon Lepine says:

    Hi Mel,
    Long time listener, first time caller,
    Is an email server possible for you docs?
    I was looking at https://samhobbs.co.uk/raspberry-pi-email-server
    looks well rounded with Postfix with Dovecot and Squirrelmail, plus Spamasssassin and Sieve
    But citadel is more to me tempting with ease of install instructions, It seems an all in one package.

    I would love to know your thoughts before I blindly bulldoze my way though because I’d prefer your documentation if you did some here first and foremost.
    what are your thoughts?

    • Mel Grubb says:

      I have not explored full email server options for the Pi for a number of reasons. First of all, there’s the spam problem. If you run your own email server, nearly every commercial email system in the world will consider everything you send to be spam, unless you have a domain name that already has some serious reputation that is. Basically, if I were to send out emails from a private email server hosted at melgrubb.com, most of what I send would get swept into spam folders unless the recipients individually whitelisted me. Another reason that I don’t run my own server is that I tend to build and rebuild my server with some regularity, so there would be plenty of times that my server would just simply not be there.

      I do, however, cover simply sending emails from the Pi. In the article about setting up a UPS, I show how to set up a simple email sending service that uses my regular email service to alert me when the power goes out. If all you need is to send emails, then you should look at that. Otherwise, I’d go ahead and look into the articles you mentioned, but I have no plans to do an article about email servers.

  12. Art B says:


  13. Ian McB says:

    Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across this blog tonight looking for the same thing you have done with the CyberPower UPS and a Pi. I do hope you remember me. We worked together at a tool company on the east side of CBUS twenty years ago. I’ll never forget your interview day as this enormous person gets out of this little car (Geo, I think). Cheers!

    • Mel Grubb says:

      It was a Ford Aspire. I find that the shorter cars all tend to have more headroom. I’m not sure why. But everything is a crossover these days anyway, so I can have both.

  14. Hi Mel I wanted to ask how you did the screen recordings on then pi?

    • Mel Grubb says:

      The initial recordings we’re made using an ElGato HD 60. Once the remote desktop is working, everything is recorded straight from my desktop using Camtasia.

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