Thursday, December 11, 2008

Installing debian on NSLU2

NSLU2 is a very useful device and can do a lot of things. By installing Debian you can use your slug as a full linux machine. First step is how to install Debian linux to the slug.

First you have to get the slug into upgrade mode to flash the new firmware. Turn off the slug and while holding the reset key on the back turn it on. After a while you can see the orange light will become red. At that time immediately release reset key.

You must be seeing a red light blinking telling you that you did it right :). Now you have to install the firmware to the slug. It is adviced you to install latest debian .Go to and download the latest firmware.(For now it is

Now you need an updater to send this firmware to the device. From

you can download a tool to send the firmware to the NSLU2. (This tools work on xp and vista but not on vista x64, keep in mind).

With the tool you can search the wireless devices and select the firmware from your drive and send to the slug. It will take roughly about 10 to 15 minutes.

After the firmware update do not touch the slug. It will reset automatically and you will hear three beeps when it is ready.

Now you are ready to connect to the device. You can use putty to connect to the device. It is a free software and you can donwload it from

Once you download enter the ip of your nslu2 to connect.

installer is the user name install is the password for this release of the firmware. Now you should see a simple GUI for the installation. Just follow the steps. DONT SELECT ANY OTHER SERVICE WHILE INSTALLING (webserver, ssh server...). later it will ask some questions like the root password.

It will take about 4 to 5 hours to complete the installation. So do not close the putty during the install. Otherwise you will begin the process from the beginning(after the installation of firmware). Be patient and in the end you will have a lovely debian running NSLU2.

It will reset itself after the installation ends. You can log on using putty, root as user and the password you choose at the installation.

I am using 8gb of usb drive as the installation disk. I used 1gb drive before but it is very small for debian and you will not install much application if you use 1 gig. I will advice at least 2 gb of flash disk for the install.

You can also look at this guide if you are having problems during install

Wait for the other guides for the cool applications

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