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State of the project, Christmas 2006

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  • Rod Whitby
    Christmas time is a good time to reflect on where our NSLU2-Linux project is today, and where it s going in the coming year (at least from my point of view as
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 24, 2006
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      Christmas time is a good time to reflect on where our NSLU2-Linux
      project is today, and where it's going in the coming year (at least from
      my point of view as project lead).

      1/ Unslung

      Unslung is the distribution targeted to those who wish to continue using
      the vendor firmware, but add the ability to install Optware packages.
      Unslung seems to be quite stable at version 6.8, with over 22 thousand
      downloads so far. Mike Wester is doing a great job in fixing some small
      irritations, and we're hoping to see an Unslung minor version update
      some time in the new year.

      2/ Optware

      The Optware set of packages has seen the addition of many new targets
      this year - we now target 11 different devices (nslu2, wl500g, ddwrt,
      oleg, ds101, ds101g, nas100d, mss, fsg3, ts72xx and in the near future
      we will be releasing a feed for SlugOS/BE), and the set of packages
      grows almost daily. A big thanks to Brian Zhou for taking on and
      executing the job of maintaining our Optware package feeds so well.

      3/ SlugOS

      SlugOS is the distribution based on OpenEmbedded, which completely
      replaces the vendor firmware with custom firmware and packages designed
      from the ground up for devices with limited memory and storage. SlugOS
      stable version 3.10 has over 7500 downloads so far (4000+ little endian,
      and 3500+ big endian), and work progresses on SlugOS 4 - which includes
      the latest 2.6.19+ kernel, the new open source ethernet driver, and Apex
      as a second stage bootloader. In the future, we expect SlugOS to
      migrate to being a derivative of the Angstrom OpenEmbedded distribution
      - we're planning to join forces with the OpenProtium guys to pool our
      development resources and make Angstrom a great distribution for not
      only PDAs but for NAS devices too.

      4/ Debian

      The NSLU2 is now a fully supported target for Debian Etch, and there
      have been over two thousand downloads of the Debian Installer Etch RC1
      image. Future plans for Debian include targeting the NAS 100d and the
      DSMG-600, improving the stability and reliability of the open source
      ethernet driver, and improving the support for the USB disk leds. I
      personally am in the middle of the Debian New Maintainer process, and
      hope to be able to do official NSLU2-Linux related uploads to the Debian
      repository myself sometime next year.

      5/ OpenWRT

      I have recently been granted write access to the OpenWRT SVN repository,
      and am working on support for the NSLU2, NAS100d, DSMG600 and FSG3 in
      OpenWRT kamikaze. As the development effort for UcSlugC has wained
      since John Bowler decided to take a breather from NSLU2-Linux, we have
      been looking for a good alternative for those who want to deploy a
      device with no external storage, and run everything they need from
      internal flash. We think that OpenWRT might be a good distribution for
      that group of users.

      6/ Project Infrastructure

      This year saw our big move to OSUOSL for our main project server machine
      (www, monotone, ipkg, etc), and we hope to start the new year by moving
      our auto-builder infrastructure to OSUOSL too. I want to personally
      thank Tom King (ka6sox) who looks after our project servers for free
      (and hosts a number of them at his private business), and does so in a
      way that we wouldn't even get if we paid big bucks for it. Tom is
      supported by a number of others on the NSLU2-Linux Core Team who help
      out with administering our nslu2-linux.org network and servers, and keep
      the web sites up, the packages building, and the monotone server serving.

      7/ Fifth Annual Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE 5x)

      NSLU2-Linux has previously exhibited at LinuxWorld Expo 2005, and SCALE
      4X, and we have been accepted as an exhibitor at SCALE 5x on 10-11
      February 2007. If there is anyone who will be in the Los Angeles area
      at that time and would like to help out on the booth, please contact Tom
      King (ka6sox).

      8/ Donations drive

      We're currently holding a donations drive to purchase new hardware to
      support moving our auto-build functionality to a new machine to OSUOSL
      so it can be on the same LAN as the monotone server and packages mirror.
      We're targeting USD$1500, and already have had a couple of hundred
      dollars donated in the last week. If you appreciate what the project
      does, and want to show that appreciation in a way that benefits both the
      developers and users of our custom firmware, then donating is the best
      way to do that.

      9/ Thanks

      I want to personally thank all the developers who contribute to our
      custom firmware and packages, all the people who write up pages for the
      wiki (or correct or update pages that are already there), all those who
      answer questions on the mailing lists or IRC channels, and all our users
      who have made this project so successful. It's a pleasure to have seen
      this project grow from myself and a couple of other guys on an IRC
      channel in July 2004, to the project as it is today. And it's only
      going to get better next year ...

      -- Rod Whitby
      -- NSLU2-Linux Project Lead
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