My SLUG (Linksys NSLU2)

Network Storage and Linux Box modification of a NSLU2

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.


At 9:46 AM, Blogger John Sevinsky said...

I have the MediaTomb media server running on my Slug. It's been working great. You might try to load that package and see how you like it.

At 4:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant info. I am new to this whole world of linux and am just at the stage where I received my slug. I also have the exact same WD HD as you mention. However I have many files on this drive. I am attempting to save and re-format this drive. Can you guide me please

Pat -


At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is a good info blog about techno and i interested about wd Hard drive now

At 6:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep at it. I got NSLU2, as I was annoyed at having to have my PC on to stream my media to my Roku Soundbridge.Also had the 1GB MYBOOK to play with as well.
And out of these two devices, I now have a ftp running, a mail server, UShare(works great for streaming all my divx to PS3), and using mt-daapd to stream to the roku. This missus doesn't understand it, but loves the way it just works!!!!
I'm a Linux novice too, but just read, read, read, there are tons of Linux help sites out there, and a quick chmod in google will bring up a wealth of help. Its just permissions which throws me now. :-)


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