Embedded servers - I'm in love

I gotta admit I’m in love with embedded Linux servers.

I have four slugs here now (Linksys NSLU2 for those not in the know). Three carry 2x500Gb disks, the other 2x320Gb. That gives me a total of 1.8Tb available on the network, with no noise, no heat, no operating system “funnies”. They are all configured to shadow copy disk1 to disk2 each night (hence 1.8Tb not 3.6Tb) and so my data is pretty secure.

Basically this lot replaces (and enhances the capabilities of) two big noisy heat-radiating servers and consumes a fraction of the power. In my environment performance is fine, I doubt they could service a busy multi-user database but I tend to have just a few files open and the load is split across the slugs.

I recently augmented these with a Nanopoint NAS-2000 disk enclosure. This is slightly bigger than a standard external disk box, takes one IDE drive of any capacity, and serves out through its onboard network via ftp, samba/cifs AND nfs without any further tinkering. I’ve stuck a 750Gb Seagate in there and I store all my public data, firmware upgrades for the slugs, and Fedora ISO images on it. That means I can net install Fedora from the NAS without having yet another server doing the job.

External drives for the slugs are a mix of retail enclosures (Iomega/Seagate because I got them pretty cheap) and recycled drives in Nanopoint “Icy Box” enclosures.

The current capacity (1.8Tb slugs plus 0.75Tb NAS) will be augmented by 2 1Tb shuttles (two machines to shadow copy master to slave) to give 3.5Tb dedicated storage on the network. This “server farm” uses next to no power, is very very quiet, and needs minimal maintenance. Compared to the veritable herd of Globalwin 802s it replaces its far preferable - the thing only takes up as much space as a bedside cabinet.

I am very impressed with these embedded devices, especially the NAS2000. If you have a mixed operating system network, large storage requirement (streaming media, photo archives etc.) or just a space/power/noise constraint give them a look next time you are thinking of upgrading. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

I bet you get a lot of potatoes from the local farmers where you are …

can I interest you in this webserver ?


I agree with Mojo’s thoughts on the Slug.

It’s a fantastic device, whether you keep it as standard or like me, you unsling it and use it for other purposes.

As standard the device is great, allows me access to files throughout the house without having to rely on other machines in the flat being on, it takes not a lot of power and generally great.

Unsling it and you’ve got an extra benefit for your money. Ability to run my own website and other things is great.
Again, as a home user, performance is great. Exactly as I need.


i must admit i am very tempted to take my storage in this direction. the only thing holding me back is the lack of gig networking. do you know if there is a gig version?

Some of the more expensive NAS devices have Gigabit, there’s no need on the slug as actual performance through the USB disks means the network is not in practice a bottleneck.

I have a slug here too, but I’ve got 4 drives hanging off nmine, 2x 250gb, a 400gb and a 120 gb. My only quibble with mine is that it sometimes hangs, I think it’s down to the way I use it, as in, I think it’s when I’ve too many sessions open onto it it throws a wobbly, in normal day by day use it’s ace, I regularly stream HD video off it and have no problems.

Dammo, I had mine throw a wobbly but then I believe it was because I’m running a webserver on it and because I’ve unslung to a flash drive over a hard drive, I disabled swap space. Thus overusing the memory would cause the thing to crash.

I just have a simple NAS enclosure with an 80GB IDE in it. Overall it seems a bit slow the first time I connect that day, but otherwise runs pretty well on its own. I originally bought it so I could get data off the drive of my old machine but it now serves well as storage as I only have my one laptop connected, no other running PCs in the house.


the SLUG I brought from Drezha a while back and has just sat on the side (Mojo and TFW can testify to that) is now a fully featured Gentoo install, allowing me to make use of the entire Gentoo emerge package tree :woot:

I think I’m going to fall in love as well :cuddle:


Cool. Never looked into installing a full linux distro on it. Only used it Unslung. Was nice bit of kit mind.

Question is, can it run DC :wink:

the answer is yes, but very VERY slowly :lol:



in love - but not quite that much :lol:


(cheers Scream for the link on MSN)

Heh its not even a good NAS the one I have will only work as an attached USB disk now, the NAS firmware has gone mammaries vertical (probably due to the power problems the flat used to suffer from, I may be being unfair to nanopoint). Slugs, however, haven’t missed a beat.