SlugNews -- Issue #1 11/12/04
- SlugNews -- The world-wide news of nslu2-linux Vol 1. Issue 1
The Linksys NSLU2 NAS box is an average home network attached storage
device. However, in the hands of a group of world-wide computer
enthusiasts, it's a general-purpose Linux development platform.
SlugNews aims to bring a summary of the activities on the nslu2-linux
projects to interested observers.
Slug is the pet name for the NSLU2. Due to time/space issues we may
cover this history in a later issue. Slug development activity is not
even 4 months old. Development activity breadth and depth is
staggering. The range and breadth of activity is based on several
1) World-wide open development (leading to SlugTime -- 40 hour days 10
hours in 4 timezones with overlap).
2) A sizable group of seasoned developers and members for a new
3) Most importantly, there is a friendly (by Internet standard)
communicative meritocratic community.
In this information age, we live by the communication of relevant
information. Short of a Phone Calling Card, nslu2-linux has just about
all the means necessary to promote pertinent communication among its
members. Web Sites, Internet-Relay-Chat, Wiki's, Message groups, CVS,
BitKeeper repositories, SourceForge projects, and even fund raising!
See http://www.nslu2-linux.org for more information.
All of these tools are useless without motivated, intelligent people
working to solve problems and issues. That is where the nslu2-linux
community really shines. The community is not perfect , but overall it
is a truly magnificent with many things to be proud about.
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" so the saying goes.
Thanks to Jim Buzbee who helped fuel the nslu2 craze by publishing
some internal information and how to get telnet access to the box
early on. Also, to the OpenWRT project that demonstrates great
firmware replacement for the Linksys WRT54G wireless AP. Finally,
special thanks to rwhitby who created the Yahoo mailing list, IRC
channel, registered the nslu2-linux.org domain, CVS repository, key in
setting up the www.nslu2-linux.org wiki, BitKeeper repository, and has
drove Unslung development. kergoth (Chris L.) also deserves special
mention for helping nslu2-linux get (and staying) running on
Overview of SW milestones
During the last 3 months there have been the following milestones in
CVS and OpenEmbedded (oe):
1) (CVS) Makefile for building firmware with 2.4 kernel and Intel
2) (CVS) Makefile for building firmware with the 2.6.7/9 kernel and
Intel drivers (CSR+NPE)
3) (CVS) Unslung 1.x releases (binary and source release) over 1K
4) (CVS) unslung ipkg packages
5) (OE) Unslung 2.x releases -- (binary and source release) over 500
6) (OE) Unslung 3.x Alpha releases (jffs2 fs)
7) (OE) Openslug 1.x Alpha release (jffs2 fs)
8) (CVS) Slugtool -- important tool for splitting/joining Linksys
NSLU2 flash images
9) (CVS) Sluggo -- tool to build Redboot
10) (CVS) SlugImage -- perl replacement for slugtool with major
additions like the FIS directory and JFFS2 partitions.
11) (CVS) UpSlug -- a non-web based firmware image update tool
12) (OE) Switchbox -- a minimal rootfs allowing switching between root
13) Operational JTAG reflashing and rumors of a slug with additional
14) Of course there is serial port support
15) Testing of other buses
16) The SaltedSlug -- the bare PCB board used to verify traces
17) SlugBug is a bug tracking tool.
The IRC CHANNEL
Long-term, SlugNews will focus on weekly or semi-weekly updates as to
what's happening in the #nslu2-linux IRC channel on freenode.net.
Before beginning, please forgive me if I've forgotten anyone or
anything it's because of my senility, really it's nothing personal.
Here's a summary of the last couple weeks activities:
* unslung continues to progress with jffs2 support and the
consolidation of several images down to -standard and -able
* upslug is working. This allows firmware upgrades via the network
without using the web interface. It used the upgrade capability in the
device and can be triggered in a couple of different ways.
* openslug has made great progress and is getting closer to beta.
* slugimage was created and is working.
* jacques successfully used JTAG to recover a corrupted Redboot in
flash. This occurred during early jffs2 development.
* developers are more familiar with OE. This means kergoth is now
bugged by less start questions.