TapThe Slug (Linksys NSLU2)

I understand that this brilliant little device has been around for a while but it took me by surprise.

Linksys NSLU2

The spec says that it can add one or two USB2 hard drives to your network accessible from any PC as shared partitions. That is certainly true and it works very well. What is not obvious is the potential of this device; It runs a native copy of Linux from its flash drive and uses Samba to share the drives with Windows. Nicknamed the Slug, quite a lot of people have picked up on it and there is a thriving community of hackers who are turning this cheap little box into all sorts of other things e.g. Web servers, mail servers, media servers, router firewalls, home automation – anything you can do with a decent operating system and a couple of USB ports (or a few other things if you get inside.)

The thing that staggered me when I opened the box was it’s size. How big do you think it is from the picture. I was expecting a mini tower, perhaps the size of a hard back book. The box was smaller than that and when I opened it, the device was the size of the palm of my hand. The slug foot thing is only there to stop it falling over from the weight of the cables.

I have only hit a few snags when installing it and none are problems with the device itself.

  • 10baseT is just not fast enough to drive this thing sensibly, I will have to upgrade my switch.
  • I need some decent backup management software; any suggestions? The device comes with some scheduled job options onboard but I need one driven from the client.
  • Windows Explorer has a problem copying large files nested deeply in folders across the network. It grinds really slowly and watching the lights shows that it goes for long periods doing nothing.

References from other web pages (Pings and Trackbacks)

  1. Order of the Bath » Blog Archive » Sonos

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