OS5 Dashboard X App

Look at what I’m developing, and this time it’s the real deal, but it’s not quite finished yet.

Everything on the new OS5 dashboard (installable via an app) is fully functional except the “WAN Status” and “Temperature” boxes. I also need to write code to perform media scans to populate the doughnut chart, but that’s a bit complicated and will take some time to complete.

And that’s not all I’ve done…

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The “Volumes” section automatically adapts to the number of volumes present.

The Capacity display will have two modes of operation, Volumes (default) and Media, which will be user-selectable from the “Settings” section of the dashboard.

The Movies, Pictures and Music sections in the example above are not yet populated because the back-end media scanning code hasn’t been written yet.

Finding acceptable colors for the doughnut chart was not easy. The color red is reserved for system-critical alerts and warnings.

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It’s coming along nicely, and only the WAN Status box remains non-functional.

Finding a reliable method of checking that an active internet connection exists, is proving to be more tricky than I had first imagined. Simple ping (ICMP) checks aren’t reliable, and wget or curl tend to block. I like a snappy (responsive) UI, so blocking processes are a huge no-no for me. For example, the way WD uses wget to check for an internet connection hangs the browser, which drives me crazy. Captive portals are also a problem I must consider.

The WAN Status box will also serve as a Cloud Status box, where the Cloud Access enabled status will determine what mode is active. If Cloud Access is enabled, the Cloud Status will be shown. If Cloud Access is disabled, the WAN Status will be shown.

The Disks Status section of the dashboard now shows the RAW_VALUE hard drive S.M.A.R.T. attribute, which WD had previously removed.

The WAN Status box is now fully functional, but the Cloud Access detection hasn’t been incorporated yet.

WAN and Temperature Status Boxes

Also, the icons for the WAN Status and Temperature Status boxes change color to match the status indicated. I may change the icons later, but these will do for now.

When the Capacity box is in “volumes” mode, it now adapts to the number of volumes present.

Media Mode:

Capacity Media

Volumes Mode:

Capacity Volumes 4

Capacity Volumes 3

Capacity Volumes 2

Capacity Volumes 1

It now works perfectly on the EX2 Ultra and Mirror Gen2, and was easier than I thought. Making it compatible with other My Cloud NAS models shouldn’t be a problem.

As you can see, the EX2 Ultra tends to run HOT, or at least hotter than I’d like. Fortunately, my Fan Speed app helps to cool things down, but the fan tends to get a bit noisy at times. I also have an AC Infinity 80mm USB fan ready to go, if needed.

Frankly, whoever designed the cooling system of the EX2 Ultra needs a serious lesson in the laws of thermodynamics.

One of the things that always bothered me about the factory dashboard for OS3 and OS5, is the fact that it never actually shows the system temperature, simply saying “Normal” instead. What exactly does “Normal” mean anyway?

As it turns out, “Normal” is a bit deceptive. Basically, the board temperature level is (almost) always zero, therefore the temperature is “Normal”, but without providing any meaningful information. The board temperature level can also be two, but the temperature thresholds to reach that point are absurd.

Temperatures are numbers too, so why not show them instead?

CSS styling has been added to menu items to provide additional visual feedback during mouse hover events.

I’ve always found the ISO Shares feature to be very useful, yet it was inexplicably buried. Now, the ISO Shares feature has it’s own menu listing under the Settings section of the dashboard.

I’m considering the possibility of moving the ISO Shares feature to the Shares section of the dashboard, which is where I think it should be. However, I’m concerned that users might become confused by the difference between ISO Shares and Network Shares.

Out of curiosity, I decided to see what the ISO Shares feature would look like if it were moved to the Shares section of the dashboard. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but I remain undecided.

Personally, I don’t get too excited about ISO shares.

Maybe cause I don’t use this feature. . . .but aren’t most programs installed via some sort of executable? I have things arranged in a “utility folder” where I store program files. I don’t think I have seen anything distributed on a CD for several years. . . .

. . . in fact, the last four machines I have handled didn’t even come with optical drives as a choice (say. . . last five-seven years). Only time I handle CD’s/DVD’s is when I rip a music disk or movie.

Know what I would find handy? Put the hibernate button on the main dashboard. I have not added a share to my OS/3 NAS units in a few years. . . .(I am pruning down to one share over time). . . . but I often power down the units when I know I won’t be using them for awhile. (say. . .shutdown twice a month. . .rarely run more than 30 days. . .most often 3 or 4 at a shot.)

oh. . . .and if you are monkeying with code. . . . . are you doing anything regarding the sleep issues?

I am not sure. . .but do these units have a wake-on-lan capability? (in OS/3 firmware)

(As you know, I currently have my NAS units on an isolated LAN - - with no internet access - - )

A separate Network Database settings page has been added, with clear instructions for people who can’t be bothered to click the “Learn More” link. It also affords the ability to easily add additional relevant database settings in the future.

A new About Apps section has been added, with a new banner graphic styled in a similar way to those of the Users, Shares and Cloud Access sections. The Manual Install link was moved to make room for more apps in the sidebar menu, and the App Store section now has two modes of operation, online and offline.

In online mode, an apps json file is downloaded from WD servers, and the user is presented with an install button for each available app. The app icons are also retrieved from WD servers.

In offline mode, an apps json file is retrieved locally, and the user is presented with a download link for each available app. The app icons are also retrieved locally.

I’ve decided to make the WAN Status box strictly for displaying the internet connection status, because the cloud status messages are just too “wordy”. Therefore, the cloud connection status has been moved to the Cloud Access section, which is really where it belongs anyway.

Also, ISO Shares have been permanently moved to the Shares section of the dashboard because it just feels “right”. That, plus the distinction between ISO Shares and Network (User) shares is actually quite clear, or at least it is to me.

Yes there is interest

The login page has been altered so the admin username is no longer shown. I’m also thinking about bringing back the City Sprite image that WD inexplicably decided to remove. It’s actually quite nice, and is one of the few things I like about this God-awful monstrosity of an operating system called My Cloud OS5.

However, the security benefits are minimal because the admin username can still be found via a special URL, thanks to the stupid nasAdmin proxy server WD decided to force as a middleman between clients and the httpd (Apache) web server.

httpd <--> nasAdmin <--> client

The nasAdmin proxy server listens on port 80 (HTTP) and 8543 (HTTPS), then redirects all web traffic to the httpd (Apache) web server, which listens on port 8000 and is restricted to 127.0.0.1 (localhost) only. It’s the source of the unwanted HTTPS redirects so many people (myself included) were bitching about a few firmware versions back. For comparison, the SSH, Samba and SQL Server (MariaDB) processes and the ports they listen on are also shown below.

Proto  Local Address    Foreign Address  State   PID/Program
tcp    127.0.0.1:8000   0.0.0.0:*        LISTEN  4201/httpd
tcp6   :::80            :::*             LISTEN  4314/nasAdmin
tcp6   :::8543          :::*             LISTEN  4314/nasAdmin
tcp6   :::22            :::*             LISTEN  3778/sshd
tcp6   :::139           :::*             LISTEN  5890/smbd
tcp6   :::3306          :::*             LISTEN  15778/mysqld

In response to the avalanche of complaints about the unwanted HTTPS redirects, WD added a dashboard section and called it “Web Dashboard Services”, where the word “services” is intended to make it appear as if something good is being provided.

What that friendly-sounding “Web Dashboard Services” title neglects to mention, is the fact that the nasAdmin proxy server is still funneling all web traffic to the httpd (Apache) web server and it’s bastardized configuration. WD obviously went through a great deal of trouble to make the nasAdmin proxy server difficult to remove, and all things considered, I believe the reasons can’t be good.

Eventually, I plan to remove the nasAdmin proxy server and restore the httpd (Apache) web server to a more traditional configuration, but the process won’t be easy, and will likely require much more extensive firmware modifications than a simple dashboard redesign.

Here’s a new login page design that makes everything more compact, thus allowing the City Sprite image to be included without looking ridiculous on some devices.

It just fits within the confines of my 55 inch TV screen, which is the general measure I’ve been using as a height target… when possible. The TV is where I tend to manage the NAS most often, and the original dashboard was close to the right height, so all it took was a few tweaks to make it fit.

I also created a new logo image for the EX2 Ultra, because the original image was too large, and so blurry that it looked like it was created by a third grader using MS Paint.