Sunday, October 7, 2007

Unslunging the nlsu2

I finally got myself a nice little linux box. Or, actually it is a NAS adapter, a small box that can turn your USB drive to a networked NAS station. Nice thing about it is that it runs Linux and there is a community of hackers that provide an alternative firmwares for it. So, with a little tweaking you can get it running pretty much any software you want.

Well, now after reading the wiki and other instructions for a day, it seems that "little tweaking" is a relative term. For example, I would like to try to use a USB flash stick as the only "hard drive" for the system. However, to flash the new firmware all the discs should be formatted to ext3 file system with the NSLU2. But it won't format any flash drives. Duh. And the instructions for unslung (one of the alternative firmwares) explicitly says that the instructions should be followed step by step, no improvising. But there is no instructions for this case. And I know there are systems running with only flash drives.

And I don't have a cross-over ethernet cable that is needed if I wanted to connect the slug directly to my computer. And that is needed if I ever wanted to telnet to the box in recovery mode, let say, if I failed the flash and made a brick out of my brand new slug.

Well, I guess nothing can go wrong...

(Edit): And nothing did go wrong! I now have a nice little linux server on my desktop!

For some reason the package feed of ipkg is missing, so I can't really install any cool stuff (like mandatory ssh daemon) on it yet.