hacking the weekend away

I spent Sunday doing something deeply geeky - I hacked my Networked Attached Storage server to run a more user-friendly operating system so I could use it as a server. The device, the Linksys NSLU2, has a whole community devoted to implementing various pieces of software on it. As it only costs about ninety dollars, it's a very attractive piece of hardware to hack. The biggest draw for me is that it only draws eight watts of power - significantly less than my current file server.

Bruce Fields commented:
Ah! I actually bought one of those last year to install Debian on, spent a weekend trying, and gave up--somehow it got through the installation process but didn't end up being bootable. How did you decide to do it? (And has it worked out?)
on Sat Jan 5 22:16:11 2008

David commented:
Uh oh - my laziness is about to be exposed....

I started (this is a work in progress) with the firmware available at NSLU2-linux, specifically the Unslung firmware. I thought I would use the easiest possible version first, and see if that would work for me. Once it's installed (which is actually do-able from the stock web interface) you move the OS to an external drive, turn on telnet, hop into the box, and apt-get (or whatever the command is) the packages you want (e.g. SSH). At this point that's what I have - I think the box in this state will do all I want it to do, though I haven't yet made P2P work, which is a goal. There is a binary, though, so I'm hoping it will be possible.

on Tue Jan 8 09:42:03 2008

Bruce Fields commented:
Pfft. Your laziness is nothing compared to mine. Maybe I should give unslung a go first--that does look a little more straightforward.
on Fri Jan 11 22:56:01 2008

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