The NSLU2 is awesome

20 11 2008

I have already mentioned Linksys’ NSLU2 in a previous post and I thought I should go in some more detail about this great little product. As mentioned, it is a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, allowing you to attach two USB hard drives to it, so they can be accessible on your network. The standard firmware also allows you to run an FTP server off it and carry out backups to and from the device.

However, it really comes into its own when you install some custom firmware on it, available from here and here. This site gives access to a variety of firmware, from one based on the original Linksys firmware (probobly the easiest to use, but based on an old Linux kernel) called uNSLUng to full blown Debian.

unslung

unslung

This opens up a whole world of possibilities, as you can then install loads of apps to the little device, and since most of these firmware types allow you run the firmware from an attached drive, you then get past the limited memory of the device. You can visit here to find out what people are doing with their NSLU2s, commonly called slugs. Examples include using it to host Apache2 and WordPress (as I did to run my website for my wedding), run an iTunes mt-daap server called firefly, run various backup solutions and even as the basis for a Digital Photo Frame.

Personally, I installed openWRT on it, as it is designed to be run from memory (so the hard drive aint running all the time) and it has a nice web interface. I use it to run a number of rsync jobs, as described in a previous post, to back up my media files occasionally, so it acts as a redundant drive. I might also get it to act as an FTP server and I am considering installing the IDP program snort on it. It wont be a Gatekeeper but it will be a start. There is a huge amount you can do with this device and it is great to use for task that need a computer to be on all the time, but doesn’t require much processing power. Since the slug uses very little power when running, it will save on your electricity bills 😉

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21 11 2008
WP Furn Blogs » Blog Archive » Home Network Attached Storage Devices

[…] The NSLU2 is awesome | pruperting […]

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