Dumb Raspberry Pi question: can a Pi 4 4GB handle being a NAS and running Pi-Hole simultaneously?

I just got a Pi 4 4GB that I’m gonna set up as a “NAS” with a USB3 hard drive attached. Nothing mission-critical, it will mostly be hosting the music library for our SONOS system so we can access those files when our computer is off.

Is there enough horsepower to run Pi Hole and work as a NAS at the same time? Or should I use a dedicated Pi as my Pi Hole device?


Pi-hole basically acts as a local DNS server, proxying your DNS domain name resolution requests and selectively blackholing ad serving domains.

For a home environment, this should not be particularly taxing on the server - this is something that routers do while using much more meager CPU/RAM resources than a modern Pi.

The NAS will likely be the bigger resource user, esp. if there are multiple simultaneous consumers of the streamed music/video.

Should be fine (but my opinion is NOT based on having actually done this setup).


Probably will be fine as a file server as long as you do not expect it to transcode files to other formats like Plex and other systems do.

1 Like

You can run a file share on a wireless router with USB support (64MB of RAM, and a tenth of the CPU power). The main issue becomes how much work you want to put into system design, care, and feeding.

If you’re OK with maybe changing the protocol you use on your client and server for media sharing, and being flexible, the rpi (especially the latest model) is going to suit you just fine.

For small music files, shared over SMB, and a very efficient DNS daemon, you could probably run that on an rpi 1 or a pi zero if you wanted to.

1 Like

I have 41 devices on my PiHole including some Amazon product like Alexa and Firesticks. They do their best to tax my little RPi3B 1GB and the CPU usage is 2.1% max. I don’t serve music off of it, but I think the RPi4 would scoff at you and do a beautiful job of being a music server. IMHO of course.

Rumor has it that a lot of people use them routinely to replace their desktops. What I’ve done with my RPi4 is webserver and print server and it rocks, so much so that I’m considering using a smaller zero for those applications. These are a whopping $5 at Microcenter.

BTW. You have your choice of OSs and a couple of them are geared to music servers including Rune Audio. http://www.rpimusicplayer.com/



If you want the best all-around OS with the most user friendly GUI these days I’d at least start with Raspbian. I run this on my PiHole RPI and it works great. Since the Raspberry Pi folks “support” it or at least you can download it from their site, I’d say it is the default os. Some of the others are fun to try though. If you have more than one SD card it is pretty easy to do.

Some are close to real time, some are entertainment oriented, some are IOT oriented (Windows IoT in particular with Win10) and some are there because the Linux port is pretty easy to do and a lot of people have their favorites. There was even a Unix BSD port although I don’t know if it still exists.

Everybody seems to be using Python to add their own applications to the RPi and even the Arduino now so if you want to really get into the guts of the PI, Python is a great way to go.

Ultimately, I’d just experiment with it and see what works for you. Frankly, one of the best things about the little Pis are their cost. I can’t really tell you how many I have, but I’m not afraid to go get the latest.
I own three of the RPi4s, 2 2GB and one 4GB. You can have all kinds of fun for not a lot of money.

I don’t know if you’re a programmer or not, a lot of DMS folks are, but the RPis lend themselves to doing some pretty amazing things and GiTHub is packed with people’s projects you can try.


Just wanted to say thank you for asking this, because I was wondering the exact same thing. Decided to try it out with a pi 4 since I only intend to store docs and other stuff off my laptop and don’t plan to stream stuff off it for now.


Wow! Tell us more!


Everything with an IP goes through the PiHole to get DNS. I have a number of entertainment devices such as Firesticks, an Xbox, Yamaha receiver, BluRay player, etc. I have a number of computers such as six desktops and servers including a Mac, four laptops including a mac and a number of gaming machines. I have two Amazon Echo Dot’s and four Google Mini’s plus a number of Rpi’s including a Rpi AIY kit from Google. I have a dozen or so home automation devices including several Ring cameras, Nest thermostats a Hubitat and numerous TP-Link plugs and switches. Lastly, we have three iPhones, a couple of iPads and several old iPhones I use for MP3 players. It is not nearly a full c-class subnet but I’m working on it.:grinning:

Not everything is running simultaneously, but they are online most of the time. (We unplug Alexa and the minis sometimes.) I haven’t yet decided if there is a privacy issue with them.