State of the project, Christmas 2006
- 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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