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nslu2.jpg What a cool tech toy! Its supposed to be a NAS unit. I never would have bought one for that because I have my own server. I don't need extra USB storage. But then I learned a few things:

  • its from Linksys, makers of the highly-hackable WRT54G router.
  • it runs linux
  • people have hacked it to do cool stuff
  • it goes on sale for < $50

I decided right then..I had to have one. So I bought it the very next day. Unfortunately it was near Christmas and I was really busy so it sat there unused for a while.

Un-slinging the box

The main thing you have to do is make the NSLU2 boot from an attached device. That device will contain a more robust linux distribution, which enables you to do more things. Fortunately, the built-in GUI from Linksys gives you the ability to update the firmware.

  1. Visit the NSLU2-Linux page and find a suitable replacement firmware. There are several options to choose from:
    • UnSlung - modified version of the original Linksys firmware
    • Debian/NSLU2- a standard linux distro for the ixp4xx processor
    • SlugOS/LE - Little-Endian firmware image for the NSLU2
    • OpenSlug - Big-Endian firmware image based on OpenEmbedded
  2. Follow the directions to replace the firmware in the NSLU2. (Note: follow them very carefully–each distribution has specific rules of when and how you need to reboot your device).

After that, you can login and begin customizing your slug. I turned mine into a tiny asterisk box.

More to follow…

/home/cfreyer/public_html/data/pages/technology/nslu2.txt · Last modified: 2007/07/19 15:30 by Chris Freyer