I would like to use my RPI running volumio not only play music but host a networked usb drive so that I can sync my laptop with it as a kind of backup. I have tried to use samba to do this but my efforts seem to conflict with Volumio. Has anyone tried to do something like this? And as someone new to network management, can someone suggest a better alternative if it exists?
Sounds like Rsync is what you are looking for. If you are using a RaspberryPi, then maybe Raspian or OpenSuse would be a better host for a USB drive file server. Have a look here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Ultimate-Pi-Based-Home-Server/ .
I would guess you could do it with Volumio too. Since the USB drive would be mounted by Volumio, If your laptop runs Windows, you could use a free program called WinSCP http://winscp.net/eng/download.php which has a GUI you can use to drag and drop files between Volumio and your Laptop,
I was definitely planning on using rsync, and I could do everything by just using ssh, but I thought a networked drive would be nicer. That instructables looks great, but it doesn’t address the main problem which (I suspect) is that Volumio has a kind of lock down on Samba. I’ve added my own drive to the /etc/samba/smb.conf file, but I can’t seem to access or see the drive from another computer, and smbstatus doesn’t include it.