Benefits of installing Debian?

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somniculouse
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 5:02 pm

Benefits of installing Debian?

Post by somniculouse » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:37 am

Hello all.

I'm trying to figure out if I should install Debian on my device. :roll: If you know the answers to these questions, can you help me out?

Does Debian replace Lacie's firmware?
Does Debian allow for custom partitions (getting rid of MyShare, etc)?
Does Debian enable USB support for the entire drive? (Lacie limits the USB partition to half of the drive's size)

And this may be unrelated, but the bottom grill on my 2TB NS2 heats up over 110 degrees (that's where my thermometer stops). Will rooting/flashing my firmware affect this?

Thanks for your help.

assetman
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 5:16 am

Re: Benefits of installing Debian?

Post by assetman » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:06 am

somniculouse wrote:Does Debian replace Lacie's firmware?
Yes except u-Boot program that is used to boot up the device from pre-defined partition.
somniculouse wrote:Does Debian allow for custom partitions (getting rid of MyShare, etc)?
The u-Boot expects to find bootable kernel image from /dev/sda6. I'm using sim's kernel image and modules that can be downloaded from ftp://lacie-nas.org/kernel/kirkwood/. I used console within Debian installer to wget and dd the kernel image to /dev/sda6. When Debian installer finished and I got my first boot up I extracted kernel modules (linux-modules_2.6.38-rc4_kirkwood_lacie.tar.gz) to /lib/modules and gained device support for my USB soundcard.

As long as you keep your kernel file in /dev/sda6 you can partition the device as you like. Originally the largest partition is formatted in XFS which is a terrible idea (for instance you don't get reliable hard disk spin down). I heavily suggest formatting the partition to Ext3. Here's how I partitioned my NS2 in Debian installer:

Code: Select all

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1         642     5155887    5  Extended
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2             642      121602   971604992   83  Linux
/dev/sda5               1          32      256977   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda6              33          33        8001   83  Linux
/dev/sda7              35         642     4882812+  83  Linux

Code: Select all

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda7             4.6G  635M  3.8G  15% /
tmpfs                 124M  4.0K  124M   1% /lib/init/rw
udev                   10M     0   10M   0% /dev
tmpfs                 124M     0  124M   0% /dev/shm
/dev/sda2             913G  505G  399G  56% /storage
somniculouse wrote:Does Debian enable USB support for the entire drive? (Lacie limits the USB partition to half of the drive's size)
By default the USB port is not used for file sharing but connecting additional devices such as other USB hard disks, soundcards, webcams etc.

What comes to the heating problem you could always turn the device to stand on its side.

kalleguld
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:55 am

Re: Benefits of installing Debian?

Post by kalleguld » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:44 am

By default the USB port is not used for file sharing but connecting additional devices such as other USB hard disks, soundcards, webcams etc.
Just to clarify: The front USB port works fine under Debian. You can plug in hard drives, hubs and sound cards.
But the back USB port ( the one used to plug the NS2 to a computer) is Not supported under Debian, afaik. Perhaps it is possible to salvage the drivers from the Lacie installation, but I haven't seen anyone doing that.

somniculouse
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 5:02 pm

Re: Benefits of installing Debian?

Post by somniculouse » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:32 pm

@assetman,

Thanks for your post! Just what I was looking for.

What would you use the USB sound card for? Streaming internet radio or something? Sounds like a cool idea, and I suppose you could set up a webcam with remote access as well ...

I was hoping that the hard drive could function like a regular USB device like any other external drive, but I'm realizing this probably isn't possible with any NAS. Oh well ...

Thanks for posting your partition table. That's exactly how I was hoping it would look.

@kalleguld,

That's exactly what I wanted to know. I think having added USB functionality with Debian is novel, but not being able to use the drive as a USB HD seems totally impractical (for me anyway).

Thanks for your replies.

assetman
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 5:16 am

Re: Benefits of installing Debian?

Post by assetman » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:57 pm

somniculouse wrote:What would you use the USB sound card for? Streaming internet radio or something? Sounds like a cool idea, and I suppose you could set up a webcam with remote access as well ...
I'm using NS2 as a very, very good jukebox.

My USB sound card is Cambridge Audio DacMagic, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/accessories/B0039N5M8K. I play music with Music Player Daemon, http://mpd.wikia.com/wiki/Music_Player_Daemon_Wiki, using command line client called Ncmpcpp. Internet radio is supported but I mainly play FLAC's and MP3's stored in the device.

Image

Other clients also exists, for instance a iPad client:
http://www.katoemba.net/makesnosenseata ... creencast/

and a Firefox client:
http://mpd.wikia.com/wiki/Client:Mpm.

I don't see the lack of USB hard disk support as a major problem since I can get transfer speeds up to 12 MB/s using Samba. Good enough for almost anything.
Last edited by assetman on Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

somniculouse
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 5:02 pm

Re: Benefits of installing Debian?

Post by somniculouse » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:33 pm

@assetman,

Wow, that's one helluva sound card! And I thought I was an audiophile ... lol.

I'm probably going to sell my NAS because when I bought it, I thought I could access the whole thing via USB. Thanks for your help, though.

assetman
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 5:16 am

Re: Benefits of installing Debian?

Post by assetman » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:42 am

somniculouse wrote:I'm probably going to sell my NAS because when I bought it, I thought I could access the whole thing via USB.
Just out of curiosity, where do you plan to use the USB hard disk so that Samba/FTP connectivity wouldn't cut it?

somniculouse
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 5:02 pm

Re: Benefits of installing Debian?

Post by somniculouse » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:24 pm

Well, I wanted to use the drive to backup/restore images for my computers, but not all of them have gigabit LAN connections - hence the USB requirement. And I didn't want to separate my data into different shares, so looks like I'm back to square 1. Wanna buy my 1tb for $50? lol

kalleguld
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:55 am

Re: Benefits of installing Debian?

Post by kalleguld » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:30 pm

Backups are not particularly impractical on 100 mbit lines - even wireless 54mbit can work fine.

I have just set up my NS2 to take a backup of my main computer and my netbook once every two hours. It is not transferring everything everytime of course, only the parts of the files that's changed.
My last backup time was: 5min 54s for main computer @ 100 mbit, 10 secs for my netbook @ 54 mbit (It hadn't really been used since last backup).

I suggest you look into rsync and rsnapshot - it makes a really nice backup solution.

assetman
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 5:16 am

Re: Benefits of installing Debian?

Post by assetman » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:25 am

somniculouse wrote:Well, I wanted to use the drive to backup/restore images for my computers, but not all of them have gigabit LAN connections - hence the USB requirement.
I get 12 MB/s transfer rate using 100 Mbit/s Ethernet connection to the device. As far as I know normal USB hard disks can transfer up to ~30-35 MB/s using USB connection.

How large drive backups are you planning to make? As kalleguld suggested rsync and incremental backups are way to go. Then you can afford to backup your device even using internet connection since it transfers only data that has changed.

Maksims
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:45 am

Re: Benefits of installing Debian?

Post by Maksims » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:10 pm

1 noob question. if i install debian on my ns2, will i get graphical interface like desktop etc? like usual linux

assetman
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 5:16 am

Re: Benefits of installing Debian?

Post by assetman » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:38 pm

Maksims wrote:1 noob question. if i install debian on my ns2, will i get graphical interface like desktop etc? like usual linux
no

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