About 6 months ago I purchased a QNAP 419P NAS. I did a bunch of shopping around and settled on this one largely because it’s Linux based, runs on a low powered ARM cpu, and it’s got a pretty active community. After 6 months of operation I can’t say I’m thrilled, but it hasn’t been a complete disaster either.
I bought it to replace an older P4 system I had Frankensteined into a file server. It had an old ATA133 3ware raid card with ~900GB in raid 5. I had it running rtorrent on the console and serving up files using NFS. Pretty basic and it served my purposes just fine. I started running out of disk space so I picked up the QNAP 419P.
The 419P is a departure from my normal setup since everything is done through a web UI. I also mount my files using CIFS so my room mate can mount a drive too. The 419P will allow you to mount CIFS and NFS but the permissions get all borked up and since Linux support for CIFS is pretty good these days (and Windows support for NFS sucks) I made the switch.
Now on to the reason I’m writing all of this down: the torrent client that QNAP packages for the 419P is terrible. It’s custom so in their defense it’s a lot of software to maintain. That said I’ve got no idea why they’re trying to roll their own. There are so many web front ends to rtorrent++ that there’s no excuse to be building your own half-baked web front end.
Now bad UI I can handle but recently the trackers I used have started white listing clients. Naturally the identification string offered up by the QNAP torrent client isn’t on the list. So what to do? Well this is where the QNAP community comes in: package rtorrent++ and a few web front-ends. This is all described in their forums  and the person who did the heavy lifiting here is definitely getting a few paypal bucks from me as a thank you.
So I’ve got rtorrent and the front ends running on my 419P but why am I still annoyed? Well for one thing there’s no authentication for it. QNAP spent some time building their auth system and it’s not half bad but from the looks of it there isn’t a way for application developers / packagers to tie into it. So as it is now the web UI for rtorrent is wide open. Even on my home network I like to have at least a login / password.
There may be a way to tie into the QNAP auth infrastructure, or even a way to require some auth for the rtorrent front end (I’m thinking some sort of apache mod_auth foo to get at the URI). In the mountains of spare time I’ve got I’ll take a quick look (thick with sarcasm). For now I’m just happy to be downloading again thanks to the QNAP community.