My SLUG (Linksys NSLU2)

Network Storage and Linux Box modification of a NSLU2

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Finding the "right" media server

I Keep "Slugging" Away on my NSLU2

The file sharing and UnSLUG setup on my NSLU2 seems to be working fine. I have been installing optware packages and have made a few attempts to configure imagegallery on Apache with no success.

I Finally settled on lighttpd for a webserver and have moved on to make my music accessible throughout the house.

especially want to serve out the music to my house stereo without spending much additional money, or by stringing any more cables and wire. After-all the whole setup is intended to be wireless, thats the main fun anyways!

As I experimented with media servers I decided I wanted to expand the USB ports on the SLUG. I had read in the UnSLUG Wiki that UnSLUG had some trouble with USB Ports. Several brands were suggested and I found one close to what was recommended
at a local computer store.

I thought that the Targus PAUH217U worked fine and I was able to hang the USB drive and a flash drive off the hub and have room for two more connections. It seemed to work at first, but after a while, things got flaky.

I could not see bo
th drives without logging into the admin user, so I think I will go back to two dedicated USB ports. So much for hanging a printer off of a hub, not this hub anyways.

Perhaps I will get brave enough to solder on a couple of more USB ports. I guess the NSLU2 supports five USB ports. So, get out the solder iron, some wire, a few USB ports and hack away. I would create an attached hub with a hole for the wires to come out, rather than the way these guys went about it.

Good instructions though, just kind of crude cover in the end.

I found the Netgear Wireless Digital music Player MP101 had what I was looking for. It was made a few years ago and did not take off like wildfire
. I found it on sale for $39 including shipping, did some temp credit card offer with Amazon and will end up only paying $9 once I get the credit they promised.

Once I get the unit, play around with the firmware, I will install it and see if I can play my music collection on my main stereo from any computer on our wireless network. Kind of Nifty if you ask me.

The next project will focus on installing a printer on the print server port and getting some fancy way of accessing all those digital photos I have sored on the various hard drives around the house.

Stay tuned.....

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Discovering the "Slug"

Modify The Linksys NSLU2 and Reflash with Linux Unslung

I have been experimenting with a wireless network at home and have grown accustomed to the features of the Linksys WRT54G -L and S. I have worked with the DD-WRT firmware and have had a lot to work with on that project. Lately I wanted to have some central hard-disk storage and began to look around for some cheap way of backing up my computers and storing photos and music. That's when I discovered the "SLUG".

Around Winter Solstice time I was home on some time off from work and looked around for a used Linksys NSLU2. I found one to bid on on Ebay an
d won an auction for $46 total. I was excited to take another Linksys product and expand features with Linux firmware.

I was excited to begin and after a few days the Linksys NSLU2 arrived at my doorstep. I went online and found volumes of sites and support to do a million different projects with this little device. I decided to go simple and my initial goal was to learn more about Linux and develop a central storage deposit on my home network.

At first I thought I had bought a brick. The original li
nksys software did not seem to work. Since so many people have been contributing to this Project, I found the tools and instructions to bring a brick back to life.

I did the RedBoot bootloader and I recovered the SLUG box and reflashed
into a successful upgrade to unslug. I Reflashed the SLUG with Unslung 6.8 Beta.

Next, I read about how the earlier units were underclocked and a "simple"
hardware modification could be made made to basically double the speed. One just had to remove a resistor and the speed would increase two-fold. I looked around and found a German site that had some pretty good photos of this process. So I went back to the NSLU2-linux howto pages, opened up the box and I removed the R83 resistor and TurboSlugged my Slug.

I used a small jewelry wire cutter and a magnifying glass and a small CRUNCH doubled the speed of the processor.

There are other hardware modifications one can make also.

I Formatted a 250 Gig WD Essential My Book in the ext3 format. I also had a 1 Gig flash drive I decided to use. I also Formatted a 1 Gig Verbatum flash drive in the ext3 format.

At first try, I "unslung" the filesystem to the WD hard drive, but it never would spin down while everything was idle. I was concerned because I wondered how log the IDE drive would last spinning all the time. I looked around and all the solutions were too complicated for me to handle at this point.

At some point, in my late night trance of slug obsession, I found I could redo everything and "unsling" onto a flash drive. So I found out that I was able to move the entire file system to a 1 Gig Flash Drive., so, I did!

The Flash Drive was continually blinking though, so I found a way to quiet down the activity.

All this stuff is on the web and easy to find by google searches. Also much of the details are at:

After I "Unslung" to a 1 gig verbatum usb flash drive on port 2, I read about packages and learned howto use
ipkg. I decided to move beyond telnet and set up openssh.

I tried the TwonkyMedia Server and installed a 30 day so-called "Free" version and decide
d I did not like it, nor wanted to pay for it.

Much to my dismay, the only way to remove the server was to reconfigure the SLUG. What a Pain! Back to square one! Re-format, re-unsling, do not pass go, do not collect $100.

My goal this week is to install a media server to serve out our photos, mp3's and possibly video.

Stay tuned for more.......

My access point setup--Linksys WRT54GS running DD-wrt and the happy SLUG fam.