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 and 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 linksys 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: http://www.nslu2-linux.org
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 decided 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.