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Revision as of 01:37, 19 February 2009 by Kahits (Talk) (Installing Debian)

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NSLU2 and it's possiblities

The awesome little device from Cisco (fka Linksys) contains a ARM 133Mhz processor, consumes around 5 watt, has a 100Mb ethernet port and 2 USB ports.

Installing Debian

This tutorial is written for "Debian/NSLU2 (armel) 5.0 Stable Release" aka Lenny - http://www.slug-firmware.net/d-dls.php running on a NSLU2.

A. Using the GUI based method

If your NSLU2 contains the original firmware, or if it supports an upload function, this method applies to you.

  • Connect the NSLU2 (Ethernet, Power, USB storage to port 2), turn it on.
  • In Administration/(admin/admin)/Advanced/Disk format the storagedevice.
  • Go to Upgrade mode and choose the new firmware (di-nslu2.bin) press install and wait about 5 minutes to complete the firmware replacement. After the upgrade is completed, the nslu2 will reboot itself.

A. Using the upslug2 method

If your NSLU2 contains a firmware release with no support to upload this method applies to you.

  • Connect the NSLU2 (Ethernet, Power, No storage device plugged in yet).
  • Use a paperclip and hold down the reset button, press the nslu2 on and wait till the yellow led turns orange. After that, immediately release the paperclip. If all is well, the led will flash alternately orange and green. Now the NSLU2 is in upgrade mode.
  • Use upslug2 to upload the firmware to the nslu2
  1. upslug2 -d ixp0 -i di-nslu2.bin

NSLU2 00:1a:70:a1:b0:9e Product ID: 1 Protocol ID: 0 Firmware Version: R23V63 [0x2363] Upgrading LKGA1B09E 00:1a:70:a1:b0:9e

   . original flash contents  * packet timed out
   ! being erased             - erased
   u being upgraded           U upgraded
   v being verified           V verified 
   <status> <address completed>+<bytes transmitted but not completed>
   * timeout occurred         + sequence error detected
  • After the firmware is flashed, it wil reboot itself

Rebooting... done

Three beeps will confirm it is ready.

B. Let's install debian

  • Turn off the NSLU2, Connect the storage device to port 2, and turn the NSLU2 on. Wait for about 5 to 15 minutes to let the debian installer startup. When is ready for action it will sound 3 beeps.
  • Login to the NSLU2 using ssh installer@192.168.x.y (check you DHCP server for the correct IP address) the corresponding password is install.
  • The installation of debian will start automatically; During the installation you must at least install the following services:
 -  [*] ext3-modules-2.6.18-6-ixp4xx-di: EXT3 filesystem support 
 -  [*] openssh-client-udeb: Secure shell client for the Debian installer
 -  [*] partman-auto: Automatically partition storage devices (partman) 
 -  [*] partman-ext3: Add to partman support for ext3
 -  [*] usb-storage-modules-2.6.18-6-ixp4xx-di: USB storage support

You have to make some other installation options, but they should not pose any problem.

  • The actual installation can take up to 4 hour (depending on the ftp location you have choosen). It took me about 1.5 hours.
  • After the installation, the kernel will be written to the NSLU2 and it will reboot itself.
  • Wait after rebooting a couple of minutes until the nslu2 is ready for action. Now login using ssh with your given credentials.
  • One of the first commands to use is apt-get install ntpdate and ntpdate to set the correct date/time.

Have phun with you debian installation.

-NYI: Cool services to run (File-/ Print serving, DAAP Server, Apache, MySql)

-NYI: Cool peripherals (Videorecording, Webcam, Mouse, LCD Display, Serial)