Yesterday I remembered that I have a Linksys NSLU2 device somewhere forgotten in a box.
Linksys NSLU2 is small Linux device which connects USB hard drives with the network transforming them in to network drives. It comes with a simple Linksys’ firmware for performing only basic operations and changing some options. Although the device has an ARMv7 CPU which supports a lot of Linux ARM operating systems such as Debian and OpenWRT. You can explorer all the available operating systems available for NSLU2 at NSLU2-Linux’s home page.
My idea was to use NSLU2 as a simple home samba server nothing more nothing less. That’s why I choose to install OpenWRT (installation guide available here) which is light with an operational web interface where you can perform almost every administration operation you want.
After OpenWRT installation I faced two problems:
1. Couldn’t locate the device’s IP
2. The device didn’t has DNS
The first problem was really easy to solve. OpenWRT is a small Linux operating system mainly for routers. That’s why after the installation, OpenWRT has a static IP which is 192.168.1.1 which is the most common IP address for routers.
Now, if you try to plug the OpenWRT device in the network where there is another device or router present with the same IP (192.168.1.1), then you have a problem. You have to change your device’s IP and let the OpenWRT device take 192.168.1.1.
The second problem was a little bit tricky. In the first time I thought that the NSLU2 didn’t have internet connections because I couldn’t event ping outside the network. Through OpenWRT’s web interface I visited the Network->Interfaces->Lan page where I was able to add the network’s gateway where for me is 192.168.1.1 (my router’s address). Unfortunately my problem was still the same. Suddenly I realized that I couldn’t ping because there wasn’t a DNS server.
Through Network->Interfaces->Lan page I added a DNS server field with the value 192.168.1.1. That’s right, I added my router’s IP address for DNS Server. Every other IP I tried to add was breaking down my DHCP server.
Now I have a fully operational NSLU2 device with OpenWRT installed!