Openslug on the Linksys NSLU2
Warning: this page is now seriously out of date, the openslug revision I was using was replaced and I couldn't get on with the replacement (see Slug 2010) so I'm still running one Vanilla NSLU2 but no more openslug
A beginner's guide written by a beginner. I intend to show the procedures and configurations that I have actually tried out, along with logfiles of what actually happened. I intend to demonstrate that the openslug firmware image is a viable replacement for the original linksys firmware even for the non-expert user.
SlugOS: An implementation of OpenEmbedded (Linux) for the NSLU2
uNSLUng: A modified version of the original Linksys firmware. Unslung adds usefull features like a shell and the "unsling" script to transfer operation to an external disk. uNSLUng is a "Big-Endian" system.
uNSLUng has a slightly irregular directory structure compared to newer Linux versions. It is also stuck with a version 2.4 kernel which cannot be updated.
OpenSLUG or SlugOS/BE: SlugOS compiled in Big-Endian mode. This appears to be the preferred SlugOS model.
DebianSLUG or SlugOS/LE: SlugOS compiled in Little-Endian mode. Since this version stores numbers the same way as a PC it may support some device drivers that don't compile properly on a B.E. system.
NSLU2/Debian: Debian Linux (not OpenEmbedded) on the NSLU2. As of December 2006 this looks a bit tricky but in time this may become the preferred option. As of 2008 it is becoming the preferred option, though licensing issues mean that the "Official" fully open-source version of the firmware cannot support the NSLU2's Ethernet port and a second "Unofficial" version of the firmware is available.
Big-Endian: A way of expressing 16 bit or larger quantities as multiple 8 bit numbers where the most significant byte comes first.
Big-Endian is the representation used in most network protocols and therefore it is common in network appliances.
Little-Endian: A way of expressing 16 bit or larger quantities as multiple 8 bit numbers where the most significant byte comes last.
Little-Endian is the representation used in Intel processors and therefore it is common on desktop operating systems.
Due to a quirk of it's design the NSLU2 can be run either way so I am choosing to concentrate on Openslug (Big-endian).