Storj on top of a Raspberry Pi + 3.5" HDD?

Hi all!

I’ve been running 5 storage nodes on a HP Microserver Gen8.
I decided to do that because the server is 24/7 and would run even without Storj.

Now, I’m really considering to set up (or move existing) nodes on a Raspberry Pi (since I already have several ones, including RPi 3 or 4).
I saw a lot of people do it either with a 2.5" USB3 HDD or high-capacity HDD (with a separate power, such as these WD HDD).
But I would like to run 3.5 HDD on a Raspberry Pi Storj node mostly for 2 reasons:

  1. I already have them for Storj purposes and would like to avoid buying new ones
  2. 3.5" HDD seem to be more cost-efficient. I mean that for the same amount of space, 3.5" HDD are cheaper and offer better performance (I’m excluding SMR disks).

So I have several questions and would like your opinion /advice about setting up a Raspberry Pi Storj node:

  1. Am I wrong when I say that 3.5" HDD offer better performance and better quality/price ratio than a 2.5"HDD (excluding SMR disks)?
  2. How would you plug a 3.5" HDD to the Raspberry? Is there any “HDD case” you would recommend in order to plug it to the Raspberry through USB (or other port, Idk)?
  3. I know that there is a thread related to rigs pictures. But if you have posted there your RPi setup based on 3.5 HDD or other disks than 2.5"HDD I would love it :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot for your help!

Hi @jeremyfritzen,

I run my node on an RPi4 as well. My first HDD was not a NAS one with CMR. I strongly advice to use an CMR drive. Referencing my issues a couple of months after the launch auf the node. You will definitely need to switch to CMR within the first 6 months.

Also, consider to setup a monitoring script on your RPi. I am working and sharing my own here:


I would only use 3.5in drives for storj, also keep in mine if you plan on using a rpi as a node you will need to use a better boot media then SD cards, probably better to use a small usb ssd drive for the boot because you will be replacing tons of sd cards because they do not last last maybe 2-4 months they will either corrupt or stop working all together. Ask me how I know.

You can use external hard drive enclose with external power for the 3.5 in drives.

Thanks @Bivvo and @deathlessdd !

I agree. It is what I meant in my original post: I want to avoid using SMR disk. I currently use CMR disks.

Good! thanks :slight_smile:

Thanks @deathlessdd :slight_smile:
Indeed, I had a Raspberry Pi Storj setup 1 year ago. I made the RPi boot on the storage disk itself (on a dedicated partition). Not the best scenario I suppose but still better than using the SD Card I guess.

Do you recommend one?

I’ve got an RPi3 with three drives attached (2x 2TB, 1x 1TB) configured as one node each using one of these:

I paid a lot less than that when it was on sale but it has worked well for almost a year now. It is generally stated to not buy anything for Storj and use what you’ve got available, but I invested in this dock since I can get use of it if I give up on Storj. The only gotcha I’ve found with it is that if you want to pull or insert one drive it will interrupt connection on the others already docked. So be sure to stop Storj and unmount everything before doing anything in the dock.

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Currently im using ORICO 4 Bay USB 3.0 SATA Hard Drive Docking Station/Duplicator for 2.5 inch & 3.5 inch HDD -Black (6648US3-C-V1) -
But what I would recommend is finding one with a power switch not a button so if the power goes out it will turn back on its own.


perfect :slight_smile:

Let me know, if you need help with the monitoring script. :v:t2:

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@deathlessdd, with the 4 bay Orico have you found the same thing that I did, where insert/removal of a disk interrupts communication for any already in the dock?

Not sure what I’m doing different but I’m still on my first MicroSD card I started with in November 2020… haven’t had corruption like you mentioned. I am going to be replacing it with an “endurance” type card though.

I am using this one: SanDisk MAX ENDURANCE microSD card 32GB
Should work a while. Hopefully longer than a state of the art SSD. :innocent: @jeremyfritzen

Yes if you put in a new drive or remove a drive it drops connection…

I had a stack of Sandisk Ultra 32gig maybe they just suck I dont know. I have 3 RPI4 all of them had simlar issues over time, The SDcards get really hot over time. I had to repair the boot a few times… Also these RPI4s werent only for storagenodes though so that could be the issue. All of them were running exporter as well keeping logs and monitoring so that probably added to it.

By the way, of much RAM would you recommend to host 4 nodes (4 HDDs)?

I would think 4gigs is fine but my rpi4 has 8gigs of ram. I also use Ubuntu server for my rpi4s

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After checking my RPis, I see that I haven’t a Raspberry Pi 4, Only Raspberry Pi 1, 2 and 3.
Do you think a Raspberry Pi 3 will do the job with good performances?

Yeah for sure, I run on a really weak nas as well, using binary and it runs it fine.

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Interesting. Which SDs did you use?

I am using an usb fan and running my node downstairs at 14 degrees - resulting in an operating temperature of max 30 degrees.

Without doing so it was around 50. so absolutely agree on your thoughts. Hope my setup lasts for a long time.

What’s the tool you are using here?

Its just Htop usally already installed.

htop from my RPi3 with three nodes. Not having any issues.

Hmm, the average load on my node is much higher than yours. Could that be due to the disabled swap (to extend SD life)?